So many awkward moments leading up to that first kiss make those early teen years unforgettable. Every tiny detail came back to life as I watched the movie, “Flipped” tonight.

There’s a scene in the movie where the girl chasing the boy sits behind him in class and inches closer so she can smell his hair which she says has the scent of fresh watermelon.

Who can’t relate with this? One moment I’m supposed to act like girls don’t exist and the next I’m dancing with one I don’t know very well, but dang, she sure smells good I wish the song would never end. But I can’t enjoy it too much because I wonder if I smell as good to her over the three layers of my dad’s Right Guard?

An older brother would have come in handy around this time. Although I don’t remember telling mine how to act around girls. I probably did, and he did well to ignore my advice.

And that’s the problem. Nobody pulls you aside and tells you what you’re supposed to do. Adults only tell you what NOT to do. My bedroom was in the basement away from my parents and sisters. I lay in my bed many a night sorting out my feelings such as, “Why didn’t I have the guts to ask that girl to dance?” My Panasonic digital clock radio provided the soundtrack. So many plans were made at that time and yet so few were carried out due to my lack of confidence.

Do you remember dancing with someone you cared for and the song immediately moved to the top of your favorites? Without the internet, I relied on the soft hits station to play it and hopefully not talk over the beginning or end of the song. Even 25 years later, if I hear songs from Toto or Chicago it’s as if I’m transported back to a time when I felt cool wearing penny loafers and pastel Izod shirts.

I have a few more years before my children enter the age of awkwardness. I wish I could pull each of them aside and dispense wisdom I’m supposed to possess as their parent. I’m sure my parents tried this, and I brushed them off. I suspect my children will do the same.

And I’m fine with that.

8 thoughts on “Flipped

  1. My 10-yr old daughter held hands with a boy tonight at the skating rink as the DJ asked everyone to hold hands with someone of the opposite sex. She still thinks it’s gross, but I am not ready for this Father/Daughter thing. Her growing up scares me to death and I want to shoo off any boy that comes near her.


    1. Those were confusing by exciting times. When that took place at the skating rink I headed as fast as possible to the air hockey tables. My oldest turns 10 in a couple of months. Not sure I’m ready for all that drama.


  2. i remember my roommate who overheard me asking a girl out in college. In his southern Utah voice, he said, “I never heard a guy say ‘thank you’ so much.”
    Now I get to be awkward on purpose around Mrs. H. It’s only to pay back the kids.


  3. Gotta love those boy/girl awkward moments. I remember my first awkward moment with Lynn. It was after his mission when we were both in a play together for Church. He’d been taking me to all of the practices and I would go watch him play Church basketball after so we’d been having a lot of fun together for 3 or 4 weeks. The awkward moment? The girl he’d been dating came home from the Y for a visit and rode up to the church with her mom to watch the practice (her mom was the drama specialist). She didn’t know that Lynn and I were there together and had assumed Lynn would take her home. After the practice we were all talking as we migrated out to the parking lot and suddenly there was Lynn opening the passenger door of his 2 Door Ford Mustang with both of us girls standing there looking confused. He looked pretty miserable as he said, “Well, Uh … I guess …uh … you can sit wherever you want … I guess.”
    We’ll have to check out that movie. It looks like a good one.


  4. I think I gave my son only two pieces of advice: 1) Keep your pants zipped; and 2) dance with the girls no one else will. I guess I failed him. 🙂


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