I thought about doing this post as a podcast, but I've got a cold right now that has manifested itself (partially) in a cough. And I doubt seriously that anyone wants to hear a podcast where the host coughs every three to four words.
I wish I could say I came up with the idea for this post on my own, but I didn't. It's come from two separate threads I've been keeping up with. One is a discussion I was having with a friend earlier this week about scary movies. The other is reading Jamy's details of her early interactions and crushes on members of the opposite sex over on her blog, Grateful Dating
. (Really an interesting read and one I recommend to you if you haven't visited already).
So, you're asking--scary movies and early crushes...what exactly do they have to do with each other?
Stick with me. We'll get there.
My parents told me one of the first girls that I had a "thing with" was a daughter of some of teir friends named Amy. I was a year older than Amy and caused a scandal in the neighborhood the afternoon I apparently thought the best way to impress her was to teach her how to spit. I can only imagine my mom was a bit mortified by this since it seemed to throw a monkey wrench in the plan our parents had come up with that someday Amy and I would get married. Now, I don't remember any of the spitting incident, so I could have been framed for all I know. But I have a feeling it was probably true and our parents took great delight years later trotting out th story to embarass us both with it when our familes crossed paths again. (My dad was career military as was Amy's and they came over for dinner one night when I was in the fifth grade and they were in town.)
The first girl I can remember really noticing was when we lived in Hawaii. Embarrassingly enough, I can't recall her name, though I do remember thinking she was really cute. We'd play together a bit during recess, but we were still at the age when the other sex has cooties.
I do recall one particular incident though. Growing up, I loved comic books. And one of the coolest things around were the Power Records series. They featured all the popular super heroes of the day and I recall being really curious to hear them becuase I wanted to see how the superhero's voices sounded and how that jived with how I heard them in my head. Or how my dad did them when he would read comic books with me. One of the first records I got was a Batman one, that I can still recall large chunks of dialogue from to this day. Another featured my favorite superhero, Spiderman and was called "The Mark of the Manwolf."
Basic plot is this: J. Jonah Jamison's son goes into space, comes back with a moon rock that he had made into a pendant and every full moon, he turns into the ManWolf (your basic werewolf only with blue fur and he wore a ripped up astronauts uniform). ManWolf goes to find J.J.J. for some reason, Spidey's there and they battle. If you're interested, you can hear the entire story here as an .mp3 file.
Now, as a book and record set marketed toward kids, this one was a bit on the scary side. I remember being a bit unnerved by it when I first heard it becuase my imagination was pretty active and made the ManWolf far scarier than he had any right to be. Plus the whole prospect of you find a rock and make into a necklace, thus becoming this beast...yeah, that's kind of scary when you're five or six. Also, I had the record only editon, not the one with the comic book, so my mind could fill in all these details.
I recall my crush at the time said she had the book and record set, which I thought was pretty all around cool. But she said she never listened to it because it was "too scary."
Now, at the delicate age of five or six, I didn't know much about women, but I knew that if she was scared, it was my job to protect her. I knew this because this is what I'd seen in the popular male role models of the day--the Fonz and Buck Rogers. Both of them were daring and had no fear of anything (well, Fonzie had liver but I didn't find that out until later). So, I stepped up and said, "I could come cover, listen to it with you and protect you from the scary stuff."
I was pretty proud as I said this to her. I had it all figured out at an early age.
Which is why when she looked at me like I'd grown a second head, I got a bit confused. I'm not sure she knew how to react to my bold statement of inviting myself over to listen to her SpiderMan record. I do know that I never went over to her place to listen to the record. My first attempt at trying to figure out women want met with a resounding thud.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/03/2006 09:22:00 PM