Behind the Scenes

I have so many stories just running throughout my head. I carry a journal with me everywhere. Just for the sole purpose to write down story ideas, and even more recently lyrics to songs I will never write because I do not know how to write music. I even take my journal to work. I take it out with me on the playground where I hang out with my friend Henry. It only took one time of Henry running into the local neighboorhood and me having to leave my journal behind while chasing him to make me rethink bringing my journal to work. These days I leave it in my car for when I get my much-needed breaks and the inspiration hits…or misses.

Some are my everyday work, kids, wife stories, some are fiction story ideas, and then some stories are what I believe to be real, we just need someone to bring it to life.

Years ago when one of my beloved cats passed, I wrote a story about Rainbow Bridge. The premise being,  Rainbow Bridge is getting ready for a new arrival. Lots of hustling and bustling goes on in Rainbow Bridge, making sure everything is just right for their new resident. What happens is, God, who is like crazy busy doing his thing with everyone else, assigns some very special pets, pets who have been in Rainbow Bridge for a while, as The Welcoming Committee. When my cat (well, one of many) passed, God put Rocky in charge of showing Sam the ropes and assigning him his own little cloud to watch over his earth family.

Rocky is Joe’s beloved pet that passed away about ten years ago. A former pet is always chosen to be the Welcoming Committee, and if there is no former pet, then Rainbow Bridge just chooses the next in line. Like the time my sister lost her beloved dog, Belle. Belle was her first pet so my Sam was now in charge of showing Belle the ropes, giving Belle her new cloud and just showing her the logistics of Rainbow Bridge with Rocky safely watching on.

Then I started thinking. What happens on the other side? Surely there is more going on behind the scenes, right? Things we have not even stopped to consider until it’s looking at us straight in the face. What happens to the abused, abandoned animals?

Well, I think I figured it out. Hear me out. So, God knows everything, however, we all have free will. Now, the bad people out there who are pretty mean to animals, well God will deal with them. Sometimes it may not seem like God watches over all animals, but he does. Let’s take TC for example.

TC is an adorable, playful ten-week-old kitten who found himself abandoned in Montgomery, Texas. Specifically in The Parents yard. Now, God knew that The Parents were praying for guidance on if it would be a good idea to add another pet to their household. God knows this because in The Book Of Prayers, under “The Parents” he sees that every night a prayer has come in. God being God, he kinda has his hands full. However, he knew this would be an easy one for him. Not without its glitches, but you know, that’s where faith comes in to play.

As God was looking through The Book Of Prayers, something clicked with him. “Hmmm. John, can you bring me The Book Of Animals? I may be on to something here.” So John, the devoted guy he is, brought God The Book Of Animals. Immediately, God flipped to the section of Montgomery, Texas and looked up The Parents address. “Just as I suspected! John, I need you to head on over to Rainbow Bridge and let them know that tomorrow’s newcomer, well, I have other plans for him.”

John, as devoted as ever, heads over to Rainbow Bridge and lets Blink (my beloved cat who passed not even a year ago) know. “Change of plans, he is up to something again. Looks like you have some time off!” Back in Heaven, God works his magic, puts a few things in place.

Talking to no one in particular, God mutters to himself “Alright. Everyone knows I answer prayer in three ways. With a hard “yes” a hard “no” or a “wait and see.” I really cannot be any more clear.”

God then closes both The Book Of Prayers and The Book Of Animals, but not before he made some notes in the margin.

Meanwhile, in Montgomery, Texas. The Parents are getting attached to this new little kitten that somehow just showed up in their yard. Imagine that! Making sure to spend equal time with the new kitten who is safely in the garage and resident cat Owen who, how shall I say this nicely, is not your normal cat, The Parents seem more conflicted than ever. The Parents do not want Owen to feel neglected or replaced, yet they want to do everything they can to make sure this new kitten, who they now call TC is as safe and happy as can be.

God having some free time, even though “time” is not really a thing in Heaven, decided to check in on The Parents. God is sitting there at his desk (the whole throne thing is a big misconception) while looking down. The Parents are in the garage playing with TC and Owen is sleeping in the closet. Something that is not out of the norm for him. John happens to come in and sees the look on God’s face. “Does this look have anything to do with what’s going on at the Borders?” God, taking a small sip of wine “No, Montgomery, Texas, the kitten.” John pulls up a chair and watches along. “This reminds me, how are Tony and Helen doing? I have not seen them in some time. Well, earth time that is.” God does a little half laugh. “I have Helen watching over Jennifer…again. She is probably up for a promotion right about now.” John, nodding in agreement. “I am thinking Saint?” Without saying a word, God agrees.

Back in Montgomery, Texas. The Parents take TC to the vet. It is worse than expected. It looks that even at ten weeks old, little TC was hurt pretty badly by whoever had him last. His back leg needs to be amputated. The Parents are crushed. As if they were not conflicted before, even more so now. Of course, they will take care of TC, and fix him up. The Parents want TC to be happy and loved. As he already has their heart. Yet, so does Owen. Right now, they are just playing the waiting game. They are waiting for TC’s surgery in early January, they are waiting to see if Owen will adapt to TC they are just waiting and praying.

“Well, Hello Helen. Nice to see you. I would ask how are things, but I already know you have everything under control.”

“How is my Donny doing? I spoke to John. He tells me…”

God, trying to hold back a laugh. “Relax. I have it covered. I am just waiting for, you know how it goes the Faith to kick in.”






Laverne Defazio

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight
shlemiel, schlimazel, hasenpfeffer incorporated
We’re gonna do it

Before Daniel LaRusso, before Alex P Keaton, before Mike Seaver and before any of the Huxtable clan, there was Laverne DeFazio.

I first met Laverne on “Happy Days.” Laverne and her BFF, Shirley, had a double date with The Fonz and Richie. Laverne and Shirley were likable, relatable, and left the audience wanting more. After five more appearances on “Happy Days” a spinoff was made, and well, the rest is history.

Give us any chance, we’ll take it
Read us any rule, we’ll break it
We’re gonna make our dreams come true
Doin’ it our way

As young girls, my sister and I would watch religiously. By its third season, Laverne & Shirley became the most watched American program, which would lead them to be nominated for two Golden Globes and an Emmy.

None of that matters to me. For both me and my sister Laverne & Shirley meant more to us than any fancy awards. Two young little girls trying to find our place.

Nothin’s gonna turn us back now
Straight ahead and on the track now
We’re gonna make our dreams come true
Doin’ it our way

My sister would always be Laverne, as they were both the more outgoing flirty one, and I would be Shirley, the shyer prudish one.

We would mimic their dance moves every time there was a show to put on at Shotz Brewery, and both my sister and I would root for a lifelong Shirley and Carmine romance.

There is nothing we won’t try
Never heard the word impossible
This time there’s no stopping us
We’re gonna do it

Of course, Laverne, also known as the incredible Penny Marshall went on to do bigger and some would say better things. But, not to my sister and I.

No. Larven & Shirley, to us, was so much more than a show. It touched our lives. I remember one time I was watching the show, this was when they moved to Burbank and had the new opening to the show. I saw both Laverne and Shirley wearing cute summer dresses and skirts. I remember thinking “Maybe if I wore a skirt like they do they people won’t be able to tell how fat I am.”

When our parents took us school shopping, I made to sure to incorporate a few skirts.

On your mark, get set, and go now
Got a dream and we just know now
We’re gonna make that dream come true
And we’ll do it our way, yes our way
Make all our dreams come true
And we’ll do it our way, yes our way
Make all our dreams come true
For me and you

So many memories behind that show.

Laverne DeFazio passed away today, and my heart broke a little.

Joe always tells me he does not care about celebrities, they are nothing to him.

“Well, that’s only because you have not found the one that has impacted.”

So tonight, as Laverne DeFazio is at her brewery in the sky, I will raise my glass of milk and Pepsi and Salute one of the best.




I have had a pretty hard time in adjusting to my new preschool gig at work. I did not ask for it, in my humble opion, it was forced upon me in a less than ideal way. But, I need a job so I had to accept it. My days are now split between working with the Functional Core Class (something that I believe everyone should do at least once) and working with little autistic preschoolers. When I first told Dad what was happening he was like “I think it’s great, the kids will love you! This is good!” Blah Blah Blah. I am not ashamed to say that I thought Dad just did not get it. I do not do well with little kids. My forte is with the 3-5th graders. I fought it, I was unhappy, I adjusted, and I made it work….for now.

I work with an adorable three-year-old little preschool boy. “Bean.” I am telling you guys, Bean needs his own show. He is adorably amazing and has quickly become my favorite. Apparently, he has some behavior issues, but I do not really see them as issues, I see them as normal. For instance, he gets overwhelmed if there is too much noise or too much going on. I mean, don’t we all? Little three-year-old Bean can carry on a conversation with you like there is no tomorrow. I adore him, and it is because of him that I am now coming around to perhaps liking this preschool gig I was forced to do.

So today, out on the playground, I am working with my little friend Bean. Now, Bean knows me all too well. He knows that all he has to do is reach into my coat pocket and an assortment of gummy worms will be there. I use gummy worms as a “motivator” for my kids, and it works pretty well. As Bean reached into my pocket and found said gummy worms, I told him “Okay, but you have to work for it!” And so it began.

Me~ Bean, Walk with me.
(he walks)
Me~ Okay, stop!
(he stops)
Me~ High five!
(he gives me a high five)
Me~ “What’s your name?
Bean~ “What’s your name?”
Me~ “Your name is Bean!”
Bean~ “Your name is Bean!”
Me~ “My name is Jennifer!”
Bean~ “My name is Jennifer!”
Me~ “Hi Bean!”
Bean~ “Hi Bean!”

He earned a gummy worm, which he happens to call “snake.”

He earned it because he listened to my prompts, although he mimicked many of them.

I gave him his “snake” and off he went to play. Running around without a care in the world.

I am now standing there talking to the other Para’s while watching the kids play.

About ten minutes later, after the main Para told me “Okay no more gummy worms.” Bean runs up to me.

“Snake Jennifer, snake!”

What? Did he just say my name? Without me prompting him?

I melted. I bent down, gave him a hug. “Oh my gosh Bean, you said my name! You can have all the snakes you want!”

The other Para’s looked at me, rolled their eyes and called me “a sucker.”

I mean is this new information? Of course, I am a sucker! I should not even be working with kids because they know what to do to get me to fold. Just ask Henry! However, and more importantly, the main Para told me “He does not even say his teacher’s name!”

Whelp, that is all I needed to hear. Bean can have whatever he wants. He has now taken a piece of my heart that I did not even know was available.

And, once again, I have to say, and I really do not know even know how he does this, but Dad was right.

"I don't think I can express what I have to say in just colored paper and glue."





“The Christmas Tree Crisis.”

Joe and I have each found a new show on Hulu to watch. And by “new” I mean new to us.

Joe’s new show is “Designated Survivor” with good ol Kiefer Sutherland. It’s not bad, I just feel like I have seen it done before.

My new show is “A Million Little Things.” I am only on the third episode (because someone is hogging the t.v) but I am already addicted. It follows a group of guys around who became friends under extreme circumstances. In the first episode, one of the guys commits suicide, and as morbid as this may sound, that sealed it for me. I had to keep watching.

Of course, I was unable to keep watching because I had to go out and help Santa make some Christmas magic. And Joe, well he is still watching his show.

In between cooking dinner and blogging, I noticed once again my damn cat was sleeping in my Christmas tree. I do my usual “BRYAN! GET OUT OF THE TREE!.” He does not budge. Seriously, Bryan believes I put the Christmas tree up just for him and him alone. He does not mind sharing with the other cats, as long as they just sleep under the tree, but when I dare to call him out, the little bastard rolls his eyes at me.

I have to wait him out. It’s like that saying “A watched pot does not boil.” Or something to that effect. So, I go wash some dishes, make a phone call, all while keeping one eye on Bryan. I need to wait for him to get bored and come down so I can evaluate if his fat ass ruined yet another branch.

As Joe and I are doing our own “Battle of the T.V” Bryan decides to get out of the tree and takes a front row seat to see who will win. “Okay, fine, you get the t.v I need to fix the tree!”

Just as I suspected, the branch that held my ten-pound cat is now bent, and I have a “hole” in the tree. “BRYAN!!!! COME LOOK AT THIS! THIS IS WHY YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE TREE!”

Bryan takes this opportunity to go use the litter box.

I stand back and assess the tree. I have a few options.

Option 1~ Bring out one of the five other trees that I have in storage.

Option 2~ Rearrange my village that is under the tree so the now bent branch will lay on the steeple of the church.

Option 3~ Turn the tree so the hole is now in the corner and not visible to the naked eye.

After thinking way too long about the now “Christmas Tree Crisis” I decided to leave it.

As I was standing there, my mind kinda flashed forward ahead some years.

I am in Gracie’s home. I am sitting in a chair by an end table with a lamp, sipping on my signature drink of vodka and diet. I am watching Gracie hand an ornament to her own daughter. AJ and Vinnie are there doing the dishes from Christmas Eve dinner. (Well, that certainly is different.) Sofia is there as well, kinda dictating where her niece should place the ornament. Typical Sofia. Gracie tells her daughter, my granddaughter “Do not listen to her, put it where you want.” Sofia rolls her eyes and now takes over the distribution of ornaments. AJ comes in. “Yo, Sis, there is a hole in the Christmas tree. Want me to turn it?” Vinnie, not too far behind AJ, “Nah Bro, remember, this is what mom would have wanted. We are leaving it for her.”

And Vinnie is right. Leave the tree and its perfect imperfections. Because in the imperfections are where the memories live.





Elizabeth is a childhood friend of mine. I met her at church when I was 14. There was a group of us, Elizabeth, Jess, Darlene, and myself who all just connected. Many weekends would be at each other’s house, the mall, or on youth group activities. The best thing was our families knew each other from church. There was a trust between both the friends and our respective parents, as there should be. Quite honestly this was a solid set of girlfriends. I think the only thing we ever did wrong just involved me and Jess going to a concert and then meeting some random guys-but that’s a whole other blog.

Life took all of us in separate directions. We all became young mothers. Most of us married and then divorced. Elizabeth and I remarried. Jess is still single and Darlene has been happily married to her high school sweetheart. To this day we remain in contact with the wonders of social media.

I was kinda-sorta dating a church guy. We were young, so there was really no “going out.” We would hang out at Church or the Prayer Room and see each other on youth group activities. He was a very nice guy and had I not met the dipshit sperm donor of my oldest son, I am sure our story would have continued for a bit longer. We went to Christian prom together, however, before Prom, our dates were going to cook us dinner at Elizabeth’s house. (We were young and had no money!)

Elizabeth’s father, Bobby, or as us girls called him “Mr. Bremmer” gave all of our dates the third degree. He was polite yet firm. He made them feel welcomed yet let them know we are expected back at Elizabeth’s house at 10:00. He was hard, but always fair.

Shortly after Christian Prom, Elizabeth’s parents had a 4th of July party at their house. The guest would be residents from the local nursing home. Elizabeth’s dad had asked Darlene and I if we would sing a Christian song to “entertain the crowd.” I had never sung before and we would quickly find out that I kinda sucked at it.

Many nights Darlene and I would stay up late, practicing “Born in Zion” by Wayne Watson. Definitely not my first song of choice, however, I had to keep in mind my “audience.” The day of the party came, and Elizabeth’s parents had a sound system set up. Both Darlene and I were nervous. We had decided that she would take the first verse I would take the second and we would do the chorus together.

There we are, two young girls up there in their backyard. People are cooking, lots of wheelchairs, lots of laughs. Everyone was just, good. Mingling, enjoying the 4th. As soon as Darlene and I started singing, the crowd, the nursing home crowd, started yelling “WE CAN’T HEAR YOU! SING LOUDER!” Yeah, this was a hardcore crowd.

Darlene and I rushed through the song. As soon as it was over we ran inside, trying to hide from what I now know to be our own insecurities.

Elizabeth and her dad came in to find Darlene and me.

“You girls did great!”
“Eh, don’t listen to them, half of them can’t hear anyway!”
“I am proud of you!”

He gave Darlene and I a hug and ordered us to eat some grub!

And, that we did.

Tonight, I found out Elizabeth lost her dad. As I am writing this post, Elizabeth is making memorial arrangements for her father. There are no words.

Tonight, I am taken back to that hot and humid 4th of July in Norfolk, Va.

If I listen closely, I can hear Darlene and I singing “Born in Zion” and the lyrics, well, the lyrics have never been more fitting.

Very few are born to riches, very few
Very few of cherished wishes ever come true
But that won’t matter much at all
On the day your name is called
When this earthbound life is through
And your Father says of you

This one was born in Zion
Make no mistake, this one is Mine
This one was born in Zion
This one will never, this one will never
This one will never die

Very few are ever famous, very few
Very few will ever live the dream that they choose
But that won’t matter much at all
On the day your name is called
When this earthbound life is through
And your Father says of you

This one was born in Zion
Make no mistake, this one is Mine
This one was born in Zion
This one will never, this one will never
This one will never die

And every dream left unfulfilled
And every worthy goal
Is just a shadow of the joy that waits
Forever to unfold

This one was born in Zion
Make no mistake, this one is Mine
This one was born in Zion
This one will never, oh, this one will never
This one will never die



*This post was supposed to be posted last night, but as usual, life and all that.

Tonight’s post was supposed to be “Day 4” of my 30-day writing challenge. The prompt being “10 interesting facts about yourself.”

Well, I got number one knocked out and then I drew a blank. I mean I think I am an interesting person, but writing “ten interesting facts about myself” does not seem all that interesting. So, I am just going to move on. You’re welcome.

I was talking to dad on the phone yesterday about his blog Cobblestone Dreams. My dad and his brother (my Uncle) have had this blog over a year now. The blog follows their childhood growing up in New York City. It’s definitely a blog worth reading and to take it a step further, I could even see a show based off of their blog. Do you guys remember the show The Wonder Years?  A coming of age comedy set in the 1960s. That too was a great show, and I can see Cobblestone Dreams (the show) much like that. Naturally, I would have to play a part. Oh! I could play the part of my grandmother, their mom. How cool would that be? Okay, some seriously needs to pick this up. This would be my shining moment, my welcoming to the Big Screen. Look out Oscar’s here I come!

Okay…..where was I?

Every Monday, depending on whose turn it is, either my dad or uncle writes a post. My dad is up this week and was struggling to find a topic because in his words “We have covered so much.” I told him that their blog is going to be a legacy for the Ortolano family. Even if they never reach the numbers of readers that we all set out to reach when we start a blog, Cobblestone Dreams has found a permanent home on the Internet. Many years from now Cobblestone Dreams will still be alive in its own little corner of the Internet and one day, maybe Gracie’s own daughter will come across it. What a gift that will be. So, basically I do not care if Dad cannot think of a topic to write about, he better figure it out for the family legacy! (and my Oscar)

Which brings me back to my own corner of the Internet. I have had this blog for years now. Some of you have been here from the start, some of you are newcomers. Either way, what I learned tonight from talking to Dad is I love writing. I love writing this blog. No matter where my other writings may or may not take me, no matter if I have something to write about or not, I need to keep at it. I need to keep at it so my own kids and possibly their children have a quiet place to come find me and my stories of years gone by.

We are about two weeks out from Christmas 2018. I cannot believe how fast time is passing us all by. I am already doing preparations for Halloween 2019. Seriously. It is Monday night and I made it to the Fantasy Football playoffs. I am banking on Tyler Lockett to do what he does best and get me some points. However, it is not looking too good. If he does not make the points, then I do not move forward.

I am going to have all my kids home for Christmas, as my oldest has moved back home, and in the process, we kinda got a bonus son too. Life is good, life is hard, but watching the news is a cold reality of how much harder it could be.

My brother-in-law and I finalized our Christmas Eve plans. If we were to leave it to Joe and his sister, nothing would get done. They would both agree with this. Christmas Eve will be spent together, Christmas day we will do our own thing, and do not worry, I will not be cooking.

As always, time is getting away from me. I have to wrap things up, make sure the girls are in bed, as well as myself for our early morning wake-up call for school and work. Time is also getting away from me in the sense that we are only two weeks out from Christmas and there is still so much to do. So much to plan. I do not know how your mind works, but here is a quick snippet of mine.

  • Get through these last two weeks and then Christmas break starts.
  • School starts back January 7th.
  • Once we hit January I have Vinnie’s bday.
  • Then Sofia’s.
  • The Gracie’s.
  • We are now in March.
  • Spring break.
  • The finish line is in sight.
  • Summer vacation.
  • Summer went by in a flash.
  • Here comes the 2019-20020 school year.

Where the hell does the time go?

Everybody’s moving at the pace of lighting
Sometimes we need to bring it back down and just start watching.
Take it all in instead of worrying about social media capturing.
And remember these days, these good old days of living.

The smiles and laughter,
the fights and forgiveness after,
The dreams and hardships, that will be part of your chapter.
at the end of your nights, when you’re in bed,
alarm clock set for all of tomorrow’s forgets
you tell yourself that indeed, it all mattered

You look in the mirror and see the beginnings of the fine lines.
It’s settling in, making a home in the corner of your left eye.
With your little girl looking on
anticipation wondering if there’s anything wrong

this is a moment that never lasts long
don’t let her be blind side.

Honey let me tell you, it wasn’t always this way.
I remember not too long ago when I was just your same age.
Life comes and moves you swiftly, you quickly lose track of time
before you know you it you wake up to see you have earned those fine lines

So listen closely as I tell you, make time to stop and see,
appreciate the good times and those that may not be

It’s not always where you’re going
but how you get there, that is the guarantee
 of a life well spent,
a life well loved,
take it all in, while taking your time
finding your mountains while learning to climb
everyone is moving at the pace of lighting.











Day 3 of 30

Day 3: Your first love and first kiss, if separate, discuss both.

As of the writing of this post, Christin is going to grace us with her presence and join in. She is now officially on her Winter Break, which means if all goes well, we should be seeing more of her here on the Blog.

Now, for today’s prompt. Oh, where to begin. I remember growing up, once I hit my teens, everyone told me “You will always remember your first kiss.” Well, guess what? I do not remember my first kiss. I cannot even remember the guy, which makes me sound slutty, but trust me that was not the case. I can proudly count on one hand how many people I have kissed….among other things. And yes, I will say it, even having what I consider to be a low number, I wish it was even less.

This is what I do remember. I did not understand the logistics of kissing. Which way do you tilt your head? Whose lip is on top? Can you still kiss if you do not use your tongue? I remember asking my conservative church friends “How do you kiss? How do you know if you are a good kisser?” Forget Youth Group on Wednesday night church, my friends and I would gather together watching all the cute boys play basketball and they would draw me a diagram of how to kiss. Now, I do not know if they just sucked at drawing or if I just was not getting it, but I was more confused than ever.

“Jen, you are overthinking it!”

“How can you NOT overthink it, it’s a pretty big deal!”

I was obsessed with learning how to kiss.

At the time, Dad was working for Pepsi. One day, he brought each of us three kids home an oversized teddy bear. I do not know if this teddy bear was a promotional item or what, but I instantly fell in love with my new friend. I would position him on my bed, or at my vanity table. Many times all my other stuffed animals would just sit in his lap. I loved that big ole bear. And, low and behold, the oversized teddy bear was the absolute perfect thing to practice kissing on. I had the diagrams my well-meaning friends drew me. Looking at the diagram, then practicing on my teddy bear, well, it was good until it was not. It took me a bit too long to realize the damn bear cannot tell me if I am any good or not. This was pointless.

One day, at church (of course) while the sermon was going on I snuck out back with one of the cute church boys. Right behind the church while I am sure the Pastor was preaching about keeping yourself pure, I had my first kiss, or at least I think it was my first kiss. The thing is, the only important thing for me was knowing if I was any good at kissing. I knew the cute boy would never be into me and my charming personality. He wanted to see how far he could get with me and that was it. I knew this, even back then, but I did not care. In hindsight, it was better that way. Let me have my first kiss with someone who I am not attached to, so when I do have my first kiss with “The One” I will know if I am any good or not. Look, this was the logic of a 14-15-year-old me. It is also proof that I have always been competitive.

Now, fast forward about 14 years. Give or take. Joe and I have been dating for three months. He was always a complete gentleman. Seriously. In those three months the guy never even held my hand. I knew he was a keeper. I knew he was one of the good ones, and I knew I was falling for him hard.

One night he was over and we were playing a card game of Rummy, which I am exceptionally good at. I learned how to play from my sister, who is equally as competitive as I am.  Now, this is where Joe and I have different recollections of the events I am about to tell you. My version, also known as THE TRUTH, is I was winning. I was winning every hand and although he is not as competitive as I am, he is not that far behind. Joe would tell you that it was him that was winning, but that is not true. Please refer to my previous post where I talk about my impeccable memory.

So, Joe and I are “talking crap” to each other about the other losing. Just good fun times. One of us, (again, our stories differ, but I am right) had the idea of “Whoever loses the next hand has to initiate the first kiss.” He says it was my idea, I say it was his. Now would also be a good time to mention the fact that Joe has a horrible memory.

Naturally, he lost the hand of Rummy (because I am too good.) It was fun and then it was awkward. It’s not like I was going to be “Okay you have to kiss me now!” I mean I did rub it in that I won, but made no mention of “the bet.” As time was ticking away, Joe put his jacket on, “Well, it’s getting late. I have an early day tomorrow.” I followed him to the door, telling him I had a good time beating him in Rummy. He turned around, looked at me, asked if he could give me a hug. “Of course.” He put his arms me, and mine around him. As he pulled away, getting ready to open the door, he slowly came in for the kiss. It was perfect and fun, and sweet all rolled into one. As I watched him go down the stairs, I knew right then and there that I just had my last first kiss.


Jen called me last night, like clockwork.

“You need to do the 30-day blog thing with me!”

Oh boy. Let me tell you guys something. I am hanging on by a thread. Just finished with finals for school and work is…well work is mentally draining at times. I haven’t even got my Christmas tree up and I have a mountainous pile of laundry on my couch that needs to be folded.

Now Jen thinks I have the time or energy to write anything, let alone a blog.

“C’mon it will take 20 minutes…”

So, here I am writing a blog about my first kiss or my first love or some crap like that.

Here is the thing. I wasn’t your average teenage girl that was into boys. In fact, they weren’t really on my radar. I was more interested in hanging out with my friends, cruising the avenue Friday night, and going on adventures with my best friend Steph. I mean, I did hold hands with a boy when I was 14 for about 5 seconds, until my face turned red and my hand got sweaty. That was the beginning and the end of my high school romance. While most of my friends were figuring out who they were going to the dance with on Friday night, Steph and I were planning our Friday night around what kind of pizza we were going to order and where we were going to take a drive to. One night we got brave and went on the wrong side of town. With 2-Pac bumping on the speakers, we found ourselves amongst the drug dealers and prostitutes downtown. With the windows down at the stop light, we thought we were pretty cool until we heard “POP-POP!” We ducked down, thinking it was gunshots…there may have been some screaming too. She hit the gas and it was only then we realized it was merely a car backfiring and not gunshots. We laughed our asses off all the way back to the westside where it was safe for a couple of white girls that had no business in the hood. We still laugh about it to this day.

So back to the first kiss or my first love that I’m supposed to be writing about.

So, here’s the thing, I had to kiss quite a few frogs before I found the one.

I had to wait 9 long months for that kiss.

After being friends for a while and then dating for a few months, I waited patiently as each date we went on ended in a hug.

 I think we were both nervous, not sure how to proceed.

And then one day on my couch, it happened.

Everything stopped for a moment, time stood still.

I can remember it like it was yesterday.

It was the best first kiss.

Lucky for me, every kiss we have, feels like the very first time.



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