And did you know what I said then?
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Let me start this post off by saying I absolutely love my wife, I mean she's the best thing that's ever happened to me. However, as hard as it is to believe, I liked other girls. Shocking, I know.
July 3rd 1990 something...
So it was my neighbors semi on again usually off again 3rd of July party. The second I heard from my parents that they were having it, my response was an emphatic "no thank you!" Like hell I wanted to go socialize with people. After all, I had Starcraft and Doom to play.
At first I resisted. That was until the smell of the food hit me. Being a teenage boy, if there was one thing that could get me to go anywhere, that was food. So I reluctantly sauntered next door, avoiding the stares of my neighbors and nodded politely, half listening to whatever they were trying to say to me.
That's when I saw her. She was absolutely stunning with her long auburn hair, brown eyes and a smile that would light up the city of Cincinnati. Also, that last sentence, in hindsight was a complete mental infatuation coming from someone who'd apparently never seen a "pretty" girl before, so the bar was low to say the least.
I was sitting on the porch, halfway into my 3rd hot dog and she looked right at me. Okay, okay, she was probably looking at the grill but in that moment, it was me, me, me.
Now when I was younger, I was a completely, shy, introverted disaster. I wasn't very attractive, I was awkward and I certainly never talked to girls, nor did girls particularly want to talk to me. So I thought this girl was into me, for no other reason than she glanced up at the deck from the backyard and I happened to be there. In that moment I was in love and she was in love with me. Marriage would soon be a thing and we both would be living happily ever after in marital bliss. Then... she wanders off.
4 hot dogs, 3 cheeseburgers and about 5 cokes later...
I probably looked like a fat slob up on that deck, shoving my mouth full of food I didn't want and wasn't hungry for. What else was I supposed to do though? She had to come back eventually right?
Well she did. Not only did she come back but her and her friend that she was with asked if I wanted to hang out.
I can't remember what year this was but I can tell you, I was way too old to be playing tag and hide-go-in-seek, which was exactly what we did, along with a few other people. The thing was though, they could have told me that we were playing murder and I would've at least given it a shot.
Eventually it got dark and we all sat around in my neighbors front yard and holy mother of Christ and all that is magical in this world, this girl actually liked me. Well, her friend said she liked me. So we play this game of back and forth between the friend and the girl, back to me, back to her, back to the friend back to me before it's finally agreed that yes, both of us are into one another. Jesus things were so complicated back then.
The girl from Maine. I could live in Maine...
Hey, I like Maine. I mean now I like Maine. Back in 1990 something though, I'd only been to Maine on a camping vacation with my family when I was maybe 7. Now though after talking to this girl for a matter of 15 minutes I was ready to move. Maine was the place for me. She never said any of this and I'm sure she wasn't thinking any of this but I was ready to start the rest of my life, right then and there.
It's late now though and she suddenly tells me something.
"We're leaving tomorrow"
What the actual fuck! What the hell do you mean you're leaving tomorrow? You can't leave so soon. I love you. I say all of this in my head of course, not daring to express any emotion.
Suddenly, it happens. She leans over and kisses me.
"We have all day tomorrow though. I don't leave until late."
July 4th! Wimbledon and the waiting game
"I'll be outside in the morning. You'll see me. When you do, come outside"
Hell yeah I'll come outside! I say to myself. Now this was the days before cell phones and she was staying at her friends parents friends house so it wasn't like I could get a hold of her that way. My only option was to wait.
I get up at 6 am on July 4th. I would never in a million years have ever thought I'd be getting up at the ass crack of dawn a mere 16 hours earlier but here I was. I immediately go into the living room, sit on the couch, no one else in the world is up and stare like a goddamn creep out the window.
Six turns into seven. Seven to eight and eight to nine. Eventually my family gets up, wanders into the living room and wonders what the hell it is that I'm doing.
"Don't worry guys. Just sitting here being a stalker. Don't mind me"
I don't know who, I don't know why but someone in my house decides to turn the t.v. on and seeing as we didn't have cable and got maybe 3 stations, they decided to leave it on Wimbledon Tennis. Now I never had a problem with tennis really. Did I like tennis? No, not really but I didn't hate it either, it was more of an indifference. Sort of like, 'yeah look at the tar on that road'.
Anyways, my gaze had been a constant death stare where any semblance of movement outside brought overwhelming joy and then instant sadness. My attention was now between figuring out where the girl of my dreams was and why the hell they kept saying love on t.v. Were they mocking me?
It is now almost noon time. I've waited 6 hours now for her to come outside and nothing. Maybe it was something I said? Perhaps as the night had gone on, a horrible odor had arisen from my pores and she could never be with anyone who smelled like that. Maybe it was because I had eaten 5 hot dogs and 4 hamburgers and a pound an a half of potato salad. Maybe it was all a big joke.
Ya know what? Fuck Wimbledon.
Why the hell are they counting wrong? I finally realize that Love is actually zero! Why not just say zero? Why even bother saying ANYTHING!? Then it's 15, then 30 and what's next? FORTY!! Now all semblance of order is out the goddamn window! What happened to 45?? Who makes these rules? Why am I so angry?
The problem with t.v. back in those days was that unless you had cable, you were seriously stuck watching shit.
It's 1:30 and my day has been ruined. I've been duped and scammed and forced to watch a stupid tennis match from England. I'm seething at the screen. LOVE LOVE LOVE! There will be no stupid love! Love doesn't exist and tennis sucks!
Then... out of the corner of my eye, I see movement in my neighbors yard. It's the father, carrying bags out to the car. I sit and stare! They must have woken up late! Yes, of course! That was it! How could I be so stupid. They were tired and slept in. Phew. At least we had all afternoon to hang out and say goodbye.
Only, we didn't. I watched the father for 40 minutes packing the car, going in and out of the house, each time hoping and praying that the next time the door opened it would be her.
Eventually it was her. It was her leaving. I watched in horror from my living room as the girl of my teenage dreams, her friend and the parents got into the car, slowly backed away and drove away.
I sat back into the couch, defeated and looked slowly up at the t.v. screen.
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And other things that the future promised yet didn't deliver!
Imagine: You're 12 years old. You're watching Back to the Future 2. Doc Brown almost murders Marty McFly as he jumps into the future in his flying car. Biff Tannen and his goons just got their asses handed to them on their hoverboards. I legit thought this was going to be the future. Pretty much any movie you would see that was "futuristic" you bet your ass they had flying cars.
Fast forward 25 years we have this.
So I wondered. What other are some other things we were promised in the future that we didn't get?
I asked some people over at Musings Of Shawn on Facebook what they think.
I would say flying cars would be the number one thing that I thought my glorious future would contain. Where the hell are the scientists in labs working on propulsion systems and where are the engineers designing, let's be honest; the ugliest cars you've ever seen.
I thought by now that I'd be taking a damn Delorian to work. What do I get instead? Self driving cars. What the hell man! Stop it! Stop it right now. No one wants your fancy car that can drive itself. What's the fun in that? I want something that if there's traffic, I'm going 20 feet higher to get around that shit.
'What about the accidents" you say. "What about cars plummeting from the sky, reigning terror down on the poor helpless people below?" Well I'll tell you what I say. "Accidents smackshidents"
I'm sure if you can figure out how to make a car fly, you can figure out how to also make that car not turn into a ballistic missile. As Nike says. Just do it.
So one response I got was that they always thought that in their future, out of everything thing else, that there would be a wall.
A wall? Yes. A wall.
The vagueness of the response makes me wonder, what kind of wall would I want in my future. Here are just a few.
A climbing wall
Ah, yes, a climbing wall. The perfect gift for the over the top exercise aficionado. When going to the gym for 3 hours a day isn't enough. Now you can have your own mountain (with convenient steps of course) in your very own home. Watch as people marvel at your ability to climb. Ooh fun.
The understated prison wall. A simple yet eloquent work of art that doesn't get the credit it deserves. Bear with me here. What does every prisoner want more than anything else? Besides drugs and a cell phone.
To know whats on the other side of that wall. They eat, breath, sleep and dream about that wall. Nothing else really matters and that in and of itself makes the prison wall something that anyone would be a fool to pass up.
See, I see where the commenter is going with this and it's brilliant.
The goddamn holodeck
Star Trek is one of those shows that gave us so many things to look forward to. A future without racism, where humans live among the stars in peace and harmony. Some of the things Star Trek promised me, I'll get to in a minute. But first, let's get to the most important, the coolest, the most far reaching, world changing invention that the Star Trek universe ever created. No, not glasses for the blind.
The Goddamn Holodeck.
Let's get a few things out of the way when it comes to the Holodeck. The real Holodeck is probably a filthy, disgusting place that you wouldn't want your worst enemy to visit. The Enterprise janitor who is stuck on Holodeck cleanup duty probably dreams of the day that he is in that one spot when a Klingon photon torpedo blasts through the engineering deck or the captain gives him a red shirt and assigns him to the away team.
The second thing is: Virtual Reality is not the beginnings of the Holodeck. Wearing a stupid thing on your head and pretending you're in the Amazon is not the Holodeck. Not even close. I want the day when I can press a button and say, "Computer, bring me back to tenth grade so I can punch my worst enemy in the face." See that would be cool.
Smell-O-Vision. Seriously, why the hell don't I have this yet? How has society not banded together and demand that all scientific research be put to a halt until this becomes a thing. If we can get behind Harambe, we can get behind this people!
Sit back, let me take you on a journey. You're on your couch... or are you. Okay you are but bear with me. Waves crash along the shoreline as you rock back and forth on your hammock with a cocktail in your hand. You smell the fresh lime on your fingers as you squeeze it into the Corona bottle. You smell the coconut from your suntan lotion and the salt in the air. You pause for a moment. <sniff, sniff> What's that you wonder? You lower your sunglasses and peer towards the ocean, suddenly realizing it's low tide. Mother nature is gifting you the smell of it's now dead ocean inhabitants and the distinctive smell of rotten eggs or sulfur.
Okay, maybe I need to rethink this whole Smell-O-Vision thing. Imagine horror movies with Smell-O-Vision? Or even worse...
Shawn McGovern grew up on a farm 15 miles from Toledo OH. His life long dream is to one day visit that magical city and tell all of his friends about it.