I was 17 when I met my first boyfriend, Andy. We met through mutual friends and slowly became friends ourselves. Before we dated, we always hung out in groups. I was always trying to get his attention and dreamed of us becoming closer. It was a long six months, but one night he finally asked me to become his girlfriend.
The night Andy came over with his friend, my parents were out of town. I wasn’t allowed to have boys over while they were gone, but I did anyway because hey, I was a 17 year old girl. During the evening, the three of us just hung out and played games. At some point, Andy and I were alone and that’s when he asked me to become his girlfriend. I was so excited that night that after they left, I wrote a journal entry about my first boyfriend and how everything happened.
A few days later my parents came back home. My mom and I were chatting about her trip and she was asking me what I did while they were away. She specifically asked me if any boys came over while they were away. I looked her right in the eye and told her no. At this point in my life, I thought of myself as a pretty good liar. Figuring the conversation would stop there, I didn’t give it a lot of thought. However, remember that really excited journal entry I wrote? Well it was on my desk in my bedroom. Not exactly in plain sight, but easy enough to find if you shuffled through some papers. And that’s exactly what my mom did.
A day or two after our initial conversation, my mom confronted me about Andy and the journal entry. She told me she was happy for me that I had my first boyfriend, but that I had lied to her about him being over at our house and there would be consequences for that. I was officially grounded for the first and only time in high school.
Certainly being ‘grounded’ means different things in every household. For me, it really just meant I couldn’t see Andy. I talked my parents into letting me to go a football game because of student government and I still had my cell phone so I could at least call Andy, texting wasn’t a thing then! And then less than a week after I was grounded, I was granted early release to my punishment. My dad came home from work earlier one day after getting out of a dinner meeting because he lied and said I had some sort of event he needed to be at. My mom told me to call him out of his lie, which I did, and the whole thing was over just like that.
After being grounded for a week, I was finally free to explore my new relationship. Andy and I often spent time at each others houses. We played a lot of chess because we were cool like that, and we often played other games with his family. He tried to teach me how to golf and our short lived lesson ended with me accidentally whacking him in the head. We loved going to the amusement park, and hanging out with friends. Through the year together, we went to football games, church activities, and prom together. Our time together was well spent and I was in love.
Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a better first boyfriend. Andy and I got along really well, we had fun together, and we fell in love. We had those typical teenage moments of imagining getting married. The future was discussed and plans were often dreamt up. We enjoyed the present and imagined the future.
One of my favorite quotes on teenage love comes from the movie Valentine’s Day. The reporter is interviewing Taylor Swift and after the ditzy statements she makes, the reporter says “There you have it, folks. Young love. Full of promise, full of hope, ignorant of reality.”
Reality has always been one of my favorite words. I’ve experienced many times in my life where I’ve hidden from reality. In fact, I think the first 18 years of my life were just a dream world. I didn’t even know what reality was because I grew up in a stable family where we had sunshine and literal ponies (and horses). And if I could go back, I would hold onto that 17 year old, ignorant girl and just enjoy every minute I could with my first boyfriend.
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