I was a girl scout for most of my childhood. Being a member of the Girl Scouts was an incredibly positive influence in my life. I learned valuable survival skills.
My mother was, for a time, a Girl Scout Leader for my sister’s troop. This meant I attended a lot of Brownie meetings. I was not alone. Another Leader had a son, who I’ll call A.J.
Our families were close. Really close. We hung out all the time. Around the time we were 11, my mother and AJ’s mother started talking about how great it would be if we fell in love and got married. No pressure here, folks.
We were both gigantic nerds. High grades. Star Trek. Science interests.
Eventually, our budding hormones and the hours spent together alone and our parents lackadaisical attitudes towards our time alone worked and somewhere around 12 or 13, AJ became my boyfriend.
When I say our parents really didn’t care what we did, I mean it. We never had an open bedroom door policy in either house. We saw each other several times a week alone, and honestly, it’s a very good thing he and I had a great deal of reserve. We also were probably two of the only kids paying attention in Sex Ed and both of us wanted to go to college.
AJ was a good first boyfriend. He never pushed me to do anything I didn’t want to do. He didn’t kiss me until I asked him why he hadn’t, and then he told me he wanted to be sure I wanted to be kissed.
AJ was my “boyfriend” for about 3 years, off and on. If we couldn’t see each other, we talked nearly every night. He was my second kiss, and 2nd base. He gave me mono. He warned me he had mono, I just didn’t know it was so bad. After that, we suffered together. As we got older, I sometimes met other boys and I think he probably met other girls. During those times, we wouldn’t talk as much. Then our parents would start to wonder why we weren’t talking and we were back on again.
Eventually, they moved further away and AJ and I entered different high schools. I met a boy named Matt at my high school and dropped AJ like a cigarette I’d stuck in my mouth the wrong way. He took it like a responsible young man and never argued. A couple of years later, we were talking on the phone and he asked me why. I told him the truth and apologized. He forgave me.
When my parents kicked me out, I lost touch with AJ. A long time ago, someone told me he had MS. I tried every number I had for him, but nothing worked. To hear that someone who was such a good friend to me and such a part of my childhood and adolescence had such a terrible disease was upsetting, and I wanted to know how he was doing.
Last night, I googled him and found his Facebook. I’m going to send him a message to say hello and see how he’s doing. From his profile, I see he’s a right leaning Libertarian right now, so I doubt we have much to discuss, but I’d like to know he’s okay.
My parents and AJ’s parents both wanted us to marry young. I really believe that my mother wanted me to get pregnant as a teenager. I can’t think of any other reason for the very loose rules I had as a teenager.
AJ married in 2012. I married in 2010. I like to think we both disappointed our parents when we thwarted their plans.