I met Tony in the sixth grade, at Johann Kalb Elementary School in Nurnberg, Germany. We were both Army brats. I arrived in Nurnberg before him--in the 5th grade. In the sixth grade, we were in a shared classroom, with two teachers--Mr. Gill and Mrs. Get. It was such a different kind of class. We went hiking every Friday, played team-building games, and even went repelling during our weekly hikes. I remember Mr. Gill explaining the importance of good hygeine to the class, and he stressed the importance of matching clothes. He specifically pointed out that a red shirt doesn't really go with blue jeans. I know, right? WTF? But, I still think about that whenever I put on a red shirt. I seriously wonder if I match or clash.
When Tony arrived, I remember thinking how cute he was. He had curly blonde locks, pretty eyes and a sheepishly-shy grin. As with most girls that age, I was always overly critical of myself, felt fat and ugly. That's why when Tony asked me out, I couldn't believe it. Yes, this is sixth grade. We were working on a group science project and Tony asked me if I dated. I didn't know what to say. I had never been on a date. I was pretty certain that my parents would strongly object the word "date," muchless allow me to practice the action of it. So, of course, I said yes. He then asked me if I would go to the movie with him. I told him no, and told him to get back to work on the science project before we got into trouble. So, he responded by singing to me. He wouldn't take no as an answer. He continued singing until I agreed to go to the movie with him. I think he sang something like "99 Bottle of Beer on the Wall." I finally gave in, somewhere around bottle number 97, I think. I think that's when I first fell in love with Tony.
Tony and I had the normal on-again-off-again boyfriend/girlfriend relationship over the next few years, until the end of 8th grade. I believe it was mostly off-again from his viewpoint and on-again from mine, but nonetheless, it was intense and memorable. Here are some of my very memorable moments:
2. We used to laugh at our science teacher and the way she would cough....she would always cough with her mouth open and her tongue pushed out....and then he and I would look at each other and do the same thing.
3. When we finally (officially) started going together, I went over to his house and wanted to kiss him so badly, but didn't. Then one night as I was going home he came up behind me and turned me around and kissed me. I loved it. I had butterflies for weeks!
4. Once, Tony, Paul (a mutual friend), Brian (Paul's brother) and I were playing hockey outside at the school (it was winter and school was closed). The boys were playing really well and each trying to be Wayne Gretsky, so when it became my turn and I hit the puck (a real puck), it went flying and hit Brian right smack in the head. This was like a 5 lb puck, or something. I felt horrible and was really embarrassed.
5. I once asked him if he liked me and he told me no. He said that he liked Cathy Gottstein. I was devastated--especially since she was tall, lanky and not even cute, whereas I was short and kinda cute. ;-) He broke my heart. ;-(
6. He used to play Def Leppard's "Rock of Ages" for me all the time. And he introduced me to Blue Oyster Cult (which is a true sign of love right there, right?!).
7. We smooched one time outside of the movie theater, close to the dentist's office on the picnic table. It was completely scandalous, and I loved every minute of it. ;-)
8. He was so cute and had the best smile out of anybody.
9. We only had one English-speaking TV station and once, after watching an episode of Square Pegs the previous night, he tried explaining away his playboy ways with a quote he stole from the show, "Love is good. I like love." He was going with a German girl named Manuella, and I was so jealous.
10. He taught me how to play marbles--the right (old school) way, with potholes not circles.
11. Shortly before I left for the states, I asked him his birthday (August 7th). I've remembered his birthday every year.
12. Also, my last day there, Tony and I smooched on the side of the building, saying goodbye. My heart was truly breaking at that moment. I hated my parents right then.
I left Nurnberg July 3, 1984. My heart was broken. I cried for days, weeks and months on end. I did get everyone's addresses and phone numbers and everthing, but those were quickly lost and/or quickly invalid, as the Army moves families around continually. I lost touch with most of my friends, and most importantly, Tony. I looked for Tony for years. I knew he was from, or had family in, Pennsylvania so several times over the years I'd go searching for him by contacting every Tony Keller that came up in the internet search. But I never had any luck. I also found several alumni sites for Nurnberg American High School
and posted comments, looking for several old friends, but mostly Tony. I did this every couple of years or so, the last time being just a little more than a year ago.
We talked and tried to get caught up with each as much as possible. He's in a relationship, has three kids and drives a truck. He's in Pennsylvannia. He found me via a mutual friend--Paul. Paul had seen my posting on one of the alumni sites and started looking for Tony.....with much more success than I'd ever had. Paul contacted Tony, they talked and he told Tony about my post. Tony found me on MySpace. We've spoken on the phone a couple of times and have texted each other, and we do plan on seeing each other sometime next month. How exciting is that?!
I was gonna wait to blog about this after I sorted through some old photos and scanned them in, but I'm just still so psyched, that I just had to blog about it first. I'll be looking through my photo albums this weekend and plan to pull out some old (and probably embarrassing) photos. I'll post them as I find them. I'm sure they will bring back a lot more memories. So, that's that--exciting, uh?! Happy endings number one.
And, another happy ending I wanted to share is about the best massage of my life-- which I had tonight. I've been working my ass off lately and after having a stressful day, being an emotional basketcase at work and a total bitch to my coworkers, I thought I owed it to myself and everyone else to get a massage and just relax. So, I made an appointment with Dwayne at Spa Sydell in Midtown. Let me just say, it was the best massage--ever!
You know, I've had several massages over the years and as I get older and the celluite gets thicker and gives birth to its own baby celluite, I'm always somewhat embarrassed that the massage therapist is gonna think that I'm gross and will only agree to massage me in the pitch-black dark, but let me just say that Dwayne owned my body tonight! Seriously, he touched me so fully and completely--he didn't hold back. I've had massages by people who tenderly fumble their way around and although they do a pretty good job, it was nothing like what I experienced tonight. I was so relaxed. Dwayne massaged my scalp, my feet, my back, thighs and calves. Little did he know that while he was massaging the palms of my hands, I probably would've signed over legal papers to all my property, had he only asked.
So, some advice to all you men out there.......when massaging your partner....own it. Own that leg, back, head or whatever bodypart is in your hand. Touch it like you mean it. Let her know that is how you roll! If you do, I can almost promise you that it will result in happy endings.....for both of you. For me and Dwayne, however, our relationship had to end just prior to that.......damn solicitation laws. Oh, I mean, yeah, it was nice, Mike, but nothing compares to you, honey. I thought of you the whole time.
Okay, that's it for now. I wish you all very happy endings.