I ran into my first-ever boyfriend at Trader Joe’s

by singlemomseeking on September 9, 2008

We’d met on a Jewish youth retreat during my freshman year of high school. E. was the first boy I’d really kissed. He’d always reminded of Billy Idol. Maybe it was his hair cut.

I’d actually tried to find him five years ago, after moving back to California. It was one of those classic moments when I was having frozen yogurt with one of my new single mom friends — and our kids. E. and I used to have frozen yogurt at this same place.

So, I’d said out loud, “I always wondered what happened to E.–”

And my friend, who’s also Jewish, blurted out his name.

“You know him?” I said.

“I grew up with him,” she said. “Our families are friends.”

She got his number for me, with a warning: she told me that he probably hadn’t changed much since high school. He’d never been much of a communicator. We only went out for a few months. He always wanted to make out. I don’t remember us talking much.

I called. I left him a long, rambling message. I probably giggled.

He never called back.

~~~

Flash forward 20 years after our first kiss.

This weekend, M and I rode our bikes to Trader Joe’s. I wasn’t exactly wearing my first date skirt.

I’d just showered. My hair was back in a braid, and flat on top from my helmet. I had on baggy shorts and flip flops.

M pulled me into the frozen aisle for ice cream. That’s when I saw him, walking towards me.

“E.?”

“Rachel?”

We recognized each other. We stopped in between the bonbons and frozen berries. I held my breath.

Then I remembered M. I introduced her. She said, “Can I get some spanokopita, too?”

Then she wandered further down the frozen aisle.

I asked him if he ever got my message.

“No,” he said. “I travel a lot for work, I might have missed it.”

I didn’t really believe him. But I couldn’t read him. That’s how it was back then, in high school. There was no expression on his face.

“I’m making a pumpkin pie,” he told me.

“But it’s not Thanksgiving quite yet,” I teased him.

He didn’t laugh. The pumpkin pie, however, meant that he was in a relationship. Single guys are not shopping for canned pumpkin on the weekend.

I was not about to ask for his number. And he didn’t ask for mine. He probably did not know that I’m a single mom. How could he?

But he did let go of his cart and open his arms. It took me a second to realize that he wanted to give me a hug.

I wasn’t looking, and I almost put my heavy basket down on his toe. When I hugged him, I got nervous. Maybe it was the way he smelled. My body remembered that excitement.

Then we just stood there, without saying a word. I wanted to ask for his number. But I wasn’t sure why. Maybe it was just the writer in me? I was curious. Remember how we used to make out?…

But he still seemed awkward. His hand returned to his cart. We said “bye.” He went one way, and I went the other.

I’m still thinking about him. I don’t have his number anymore, but I have my connections. I can get it.

Should I try to call him? Or, would that just get messy…? He probably has a girlfriend.

Image from http://www.traderjoes.com/

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea September 10, 2008 at 5:45 pm

Go with your first instinct, which is that he is involved with someone. Men DO NOT make pumpkin pie unless a woman is helping and she is craving it.

Reply

SDMktg September 10, 2008 at 7:07 pm

Andrea, I’ve never had any help in the kitchen and I’ve made many, many Thanksgiving dinners for my entire family. I happen to enjoy cooking.

I will admit I’ve never made a pumpkin pie just for myself though and when it comes to cooking for women I only make apple.

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Kitkat4real aka SOLO dot MOM September 11, 2008 at 7:31 am

What can it hurt to call him? All he can say is “I have a S.O.” Call him…. This reminds me of a guy I continued to run into after my divorce. We had dated in college and he was so fine… also not much communicating was going on back then… but he was a great kisser! Each time even now in my thirties that I run into him (which is a little weird) I get so nervous I can barely think straight leave alone get words out in that moment. It is so unreal how guys from our past can still have that kind of affect on us… mature grown women, even still.

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NappyKitchen September 11, 2008 at 11:10 pm

Rachel, if you can not read him and he does not have a sense of humor — that’s a VERY bad sign. Believe me, you don’t want to open THIS can of worms. Just remember him fondly in your dreams. You are like me.You are naturally very curious. So I feeeeel your pain!

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Sheri September 12, 2008 at 8:06 pm

I have no advice but a guess.
He perhaps be gay.
Just figure I’d throw that out there.

I’d be sad he didn’t ask for my number but he didn’t ask if you were involved either or ask much of anything.Not sure I’d want to pursue that.
If he wants to find you he will or fate will intervene and you will see each other again.

Reply

Vinnie Sorce September 15, 2008 at 11:31 am

I’m still friends with my first ever girlfriend from September 1979. I’m her youngest daughter’s godfather.

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mommypie September 19, 2008 at 12:14 am

As soon as I got home, I’d be Googling him. Any marriage license? Divorce records? Any sign of a girlfriend?

I don’t know what I’d do without Google. My current boyfriend, Web MD, is actually jealous.

mommypie’s last blog post..Gettin’ busy in the afterlife.

Reply

singlemomseeking September 19, 2008 at 10:00 am

Mommy Pie, you know me well. I Googled him, Facebooked him… as soon as I got home.

But nada. Not a mention of him.

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