Monday, 1 February 2010

Take my breath away

The excellent Trish at Mum's Gone To has tagged me for a meme about important songs involving childhood memories. As Trish says, it's all about trying to work out how old we are by the songs we mention.

Well, as this is the first time I've been tagged, I wanted to give this some consideration and spent most of the weekend trying to conjure up my early memories linked to music. Sorry, can't do it. Perhaps this is because we were force-fed Radio Three and modern jazz as kids, but probably because all of my important childhood memories are linked to food. What a surprise.

So, I've reached into the depths of my truly embarrassing collection of teenage memories...and have pulled out a real corker.

I'd just turned 17 in the summer of '86, (there, have saved you doing the maths) and spent three fantastic weeks travelling around France and Italy with twenty other co-ed sixth-formers and two very patient teachers. Let me paint the true picture of what I was like, at Just Seventeen. I'd attended Catholic schools since the age of four. I had two very Catholic parents who lived in fear of my sister and I being Led Astray (with good cause, as later came to pass. But that's a story for another day). I'd never had a boyfriend. I had plenty of friends who were boys. But no Boyfriend.

Anyway, the trip was perfect. Sunny days in vineyards, warm evenings in piazzas, Florence, Assisi (Catholic school, after all), Venice, the Massif Central, the lot. All the time, flirting for my life, with T. T was the Naughty Boy. Of course he was - when you're 17, Good Boys are dull. Naughty Boys are forbidden, exciting, dangerous and off limits.

So, I spent three weeks trying to get him to notice me, without success. We returned home. In one last attempt to win the man of my daydreams, I convinced my parents that I had to hold a 'reunion' party at ours before the start of the new school term. T arrived. Queue more flirting. He laughed at my jokes. He complimented me on my new perm. Finally, finally he was noticing me.

The night wore on, the party was drawing to a close. For God's sake, T, make a move, notice me, notice me! He pulled me to one side and asked for my number. This was really happening, the culmination of my summer campaign, this was it, don't mess it up, don't mess it up FK...don't do or say anything stupid, just give him the bloody number.

I smiled up at him...and farted. Yes, dear reader, in my excitement, I broke loud and triumphant wind. Panic farting had never happened before, and has never happened since. Well, what was a girl to do? I gave him my phone number and we both continued as if I had not just made a total tit of myself during the Most Important Moment of My Life.

He pretended to write the number down and left.

I hoped that I had just imagined it all. Even when he didn't call, I convinced myself that he'd just lost the number. I continued to dream.

Now, I wish that this was the end of this sorry tale. Alas, no. We returned to school in September and I think T also may have convinced himself that IT had never happened and he asked me out. I had a second chance. We went to the cinema to see Top Gun and sat a discrete distance apart - no hold handing, no yawning and surreptitiously stretching an arm around me. Perhaps T was worried about another wind outbreak.

We left the cinema in the late summer evening, the strains of Berlin's smooching ballad 'Take My Breath Away' still in our heads. We got the bus home. He walked me to my door. He moved in for the kiss...

Have you ever clashed teeth whilst trying to kiss? It's really, really painful. More painful than biting your lip or stubbing your toe. More embarrassing than farting. Well almost.

I can't remember the details of the moments which followed. I think my fragile teenaged brain just thought that enough was enough, this chick had gone through too much searing embarrassment for any girl, it was time to shut down.

We didn't go out again. I don't think we even talked again. Luckily, I realised that T wasn't for me when he snogged my best friend at another party the following weekend. I think he was just proving to himself that he wasn't a totally useless kisser.

Well, that's why I told myself every time I heard that annoying song after it remained at Number 1 for weeks that autumn. 'On this endless ocean, finally lovers know no shame.'

Oh, Berlin, how wrong you were.


Lady Perkleton said...

Sadly, that is like my love life now although in my defence, I am younger than you :-)

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

OH GOD! I'm squirming just thinking of your embarrassment. You poor thing! It just wasn't to be with you and T was it?
I was brought up a catholic too so know all about the teenage dilemmas of pent-up emotions versus the threat of "God's watching you!"

Expat mum said...

How could you not feel a fart coming? I don't understand. (I'm lol'ing though.)

Cats whiskers said...

Hilarious. Haven't heard that one in the 33 years (count 'em!) I've known you. Suspect there may be many more skeleton stories like that in your closet!!! I wait with baited breath!!!

Footballers Knees said...

Lady P - only by a very few months!

Trish - and don't you find that God is STILL watching us?

EM - No, I didn't feel it coming on, that's the way with panic farts (apparently!)

Cat - well, plenty more where that one came from -in the mood for sharing?!!