Wednesday, October 20, 2010

WifeSense Wednesday: Off the Wall

I woke up that morning…well, I didn’t actually  wake up because I hadn’t slept at all that night.   Who could sleep when you had a date with Bud Stud?  OK, so it wasn’t a date, more like an after school  field trip -- to a German movie with the German Club.  The plan was for him to pick me up, and we would all go to Carl’s, Jr. and then to Ventura College where a German movie was playing.
After that first note, we started writing each other letters;  not love letters per se, more like “I-think-I-might-like-you-like-a-lot-lot”  letter, and we’d exchange them during second period.  He also started walking me to my classes, and even carrying my books.  A couple of  times, after school, he came over to my house during weed pulling time, and he helped me weed the lawn.  He got more weeds pulled in ten minutes than I did in ten days.
He even met me at the Ventura County Fair  on the day of the parade – we had arranged to meet at the gate where the drill team was going to be dropped off .  He told me that he had won a stuffed animal, but he gave it to Alice.  He bought me lunch, but didn’t  buy any for himself – he said he wasn’t hungry  (I found out later that it was because he was broke).  We walked around in companionable silence until it was time for him to be picked up, and that was the end of that.
As a senior, Bud Stud had last period dismissal, but one day, he surprised me by meeting me at my locker after my last class.  He took my books from me, and began walking  me toward  the girls’ locker room where I had to get changed for drill team practice.  When we stopped just outside the locker room, he shoved the books into my arms, and before my face could register surprise, he leaned over quickly, kissed the side of my mouth, and then took off running.
The next time I saw him, he asked me if I wanted to go with the German Club to watch a movie on Friday night, and handed me a permission slip.  The next day, I gave him the permission slip signed by my dad, and told him I’d love to go.
The morning of the German Club movie was Oktoberfest, and I had the morning free from class.  The first hour, I had free, but the next two I had to work at the Drill Team’s Orange Julius booth.  We had agreed upon a meeting place, where he was already waiting when I got there.  As soon as I said hi, a pair of  boys with fake badges accosted me with a warrant for my arrest, which said someone had purchased a fifteen minute jail time for me for having long hair. 
Actually, it was two back to back sentences, both purchased by Bud Stud.  To give him credit, he stayed outside the jail talking to me the entire time… he said he like having me as a captive audience.  Once I was free, we walked around the quad and looked at different booths until it was time for both of us to serve in our respective booths. 
We agreed to meet again at lunch, which we did, and sat together on the grass in the middle of the quad.  When the bell rang, we got up to walk to class, and right by the stairs where we usually parted ways at this time, he stopped and out of the blue asked, “Would you go out with me?”
“Where to, and when?” I answered.
“I mean would you be my girlfriend?” he clarified.
“I have to have my parents’ permission,” I replied.
“O.K.” was all he said before he left for his class.
He was waiting for me at the end of class, and handed me a slip of paper.  “Here,” he said, “I’ll pick you up at 5.”  And then he was gone.
The slip of paper was another  German Club field trip permission slip, but the part that  said  “my child has my permission to attend the German Club field trip to Ventura College  from  Friday, October 20, 1978  to Friday, October 20, 1978” was crossed out in red ink.  Above it, in the handwriting I’d grown to recognize and love, also in red ink, it said, “JoAnn Cajiuat has my permission to be Jim Hammer’s girlfriend from Friday, October 20, 1978 until October 20, 1979.
I got home and  handed the permission slip to my dad.  “What’s this?” he asked.
“Jim Hammer  asked me to be his girlfriend, and I would like to say yes.”
“It’s fine with me if it’s OK with your mom,” my dad replied.  I  hugged him and kissed him on the cheek after thanking him, and ran into their room where my mom was putting on make-up.
Nay (Tagalog for Mom), Jim Hammer asked me to be his girlfriend, and I would like to say yes, and Tay (Tagalog for Dad) said it was OK with him if it was OK with you.”  Then I handed her the permission slip.
She laughed, got a pen, and signed where it said  “Parent Signature”.  Then she said, “You can be his girlfriend for a year.”
I thanked, hugged, and kissed my mom, and then ran upstairs to get ready for my “date”.  But before I started, I took down the other pictures off my Wall of Fame, including Bud Stud’s.  I ripped up the others, but Bud Stud’s – I mean Jim Hammer’s – I pinned back on my wall, the one right next to my bed.
I was indeed his girlfriend for a year.  Or two.  Or thirty-two.
That was 32 years ago.  Today, for lunch, in celebration of the day he asked me to be his girlfriend, Jim “Bud Stud” Hammer took me out to lunch – at Carl’s Jr. where he took me for our first dinner date, right before the German Club movie.  I’m still his girlfriend, and he is still my Bud Stud.
20 October 2010.


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