The Mistakes of the Past

For some of us, our youth is not a time for entirely happy reflection

For some of us there are things we’ve said or done that don’t sit well now we look back at it

The only word I can muster is regret, but I’m sure if my brain was back there again with only the 18 years of wisdom I had no doubt I’d do it all the same again.  So, I’m not sure regret is the word I have.

I guess “contrition” is a good word.

I was 17, nearly 18 and had never had a boyfriend EVER.

Well, not if you don’t include the son of my parents friend who lived an hour away that I spent 2 hours with and who shouted “will you go out with me” as we drove off in the car and I nodded and then never saw him again.  I don’t think you can count that one.

I didn’t have a boyfriend because I was skinny (ridiculously so, not in a good way) and flat chested. I’d had one bad haircut too many. I didn’t look terribly pretty.

Then in the few months between finishing highschool (our last year in Oz, your version of 6th form but we do it a year before you. I was 17 in my final year which runs February to December) I bloomed a little.

Me circa 1990

Me circa 1990

My boobs didn’t so much, but my hips grew so much I still have the stretch marks, my skinniness looked a little less harsh, my hair seemed to look better permed and swept up into that immovable fringe we all had in the late 80’s.  I managed to get a bit of makeup on my face. I looked ok.

In the summer before we were all about to turn 18, we did a bit of sneaking into pubs. Inevitably I was caught out with my false id, but the court date happened a month later, once I turned 18, so it was thrown out.

I had never “gone out” before so I had to wear a little tight stretchy black skirt and a tight midriff top. It’s all I had.

Suddenly I was catching the eye of fella’s in our pub.

Suddenly I was having flowers bought for me from those “single rose” sellers.  I literally would get about 2-5 a night.

My mates all had boyfriends in the navy.  They were a little *ahem* more confident than me.  They had slept with guys, they knew what they were doing and I didn’t.

In fact I used to take great delight in mentioning it because some blokes seemed to think it was inconceivable.  HA HA.

So when my mate’s boyfriend rocked up at the pub with her, all brooding and gorgeous (he was drop dead gorgeous. Looked like John Stamos in his younger days — google it). I decided to try a little flirting. I’d never done it before. How do you do it.  Look, eyes down, dance, look, caught my eye, look away, look again, keep dancing.  It was fun.  Look at me, I’m flirting.

I eventually stopped flirting. I needed a wee. So trooped off.  HOWEVER, as I left the toilet, guess who was waiting for me in the corridor. Bloody hell. John Stamos is waiting for me.  He said a few things (long since forgotten) and suggested we go for a walk. So I did. I mean, I had no idea what I was doing.  Shit, they really take this shit seriously don’t they. I was only trying it out. Fucking hell. What do I do now.

We walked around the block and stopped. He pushed me up against the wall and snogged me.  My first proper ever snog. Wow.  Unfortunately I think he had a tiny bit of plastic from a straw in his mouth, so I was focussing a bit too much on that but despite that, it was very nice.

He told me he was being chucked out of the Navy for some misdemeanor and was moving out of his accommodation on board (the navy island) the following evening. He had one day left before he moved to the Eastern States.  He wanted to spend it with me.

He’d dated my mate for around 6 months, was practically living at her house with her family and he wanted to spend his last day with me.  Argghhhh. What do I do.  Now obviously the correct thing was to say “You know, I really like you, but clearly our timing is all off. You’re with XXX right now and it would be really wrong of me to rob her of her last day with you. We should just reflect on tonight as something that could have been and let it go”. But, of course, I didn’t say that did I? I had never EVER had a bloke want to spend time with me.  I just said “yes”.

So I picked him up from my friends house (cringe) and we went horse riding. I’d never had a date before, this seemed like the sort of thing people do.  After horse riding we snogged a lot in the car.  Then I drove him on board to clear out his stuff.  He said we didn’t have to “do anything, but it’d be nice”. I grinned like a moron and didn’t commit and thankfully he took that as a no.  I’d didn’t know WHAT the hell I was doing.

Then I drove him back to my mates house.  SHIT!

Why am I telling you this?  Welsh “the mate” did get her own back (I’ll mention that in another post if you’re interested) but we did kind of spend time on and off in each other’s company over the next 2 years.  Never great mates, but she was mates with my mates so she was there. Just there.  She eventually joined the airforce and moved to the other side of the Country, got pregnant to a married man, had her son.

She came over to visit me on Wednesday in London! Eek.  Her hubby is English and she’s got family in Germany so she is over here every couple of years.  I don’t know her THAT well, but enough to see that it made sense for us to meet up.  AWKWARD.

Well, it was quite awkward.  We don’t have a huge amount in common. I talked like an idiot, filling the gaps. She slowly got drunk on vodka, him on a bottle of wine. They told me about my other school friends back in Oz.  She didn’t ask what I did or ask anything about my life, how I feel about living here, nothing. I volunteered information.  I asked all about their life, what they did.  She said she wanted to visit my children yet NEVER once engaged with them. Didn’t really speak to them at all. No photos, nothing!

It was an odd setup. I was obviously worried about it as I couldn’t sleep that night, but it’s done now.  I may make an excuse next time she visits. Maybe see her again the time after that. I usually have no problem dropping friends, but it’s not like her see her often.  I don’t know………I felt I needed to see her.

Do you have weird acquaintances or old friends like this? Or did I made a big mistake? AND more importantly, did you make stupid decisions in your teens that you now somewhat regret?


About freefallinginto40

I am 40 years old. I blog about how I'm coping with my "new" age at . I'm a married mother to two after years of infertility. I have a 6 year old called Pickle and a 3 year old called The Monster. I work 4 days a week. We are also planning a move to the country! I blog about that at
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4 Responses to The Mistakes of the Past

  1. Borednicole says:

    I think most of us have weird things like that from our past (or present). If you think back on it and it makes you feel uncomfortable then you learn from it and take more control next time you’re in a similar situation. Funny how so many years later something can still make you feel uneasy though. And the other person probably doesn’t even remember it. 🙂

  2. Tim Healy says:

    This was a great post. It seems like that event was significant in your life and that is why you were so nervous about seeing her again. Because she was not engaging with you feels to me like she only wanted to compare herself with you and your family, to check up on you. I have “friends” like that I end up not fostering the relationship and letting it slip away into history. I always learn new words from you “snogged”

    • Haha. Snogged is an English term though. I’d have never said it in Oz. I think you’re spot on about the “checking up on me” point though. No doubt I surprised her thought as I’m very different now than I was.

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