the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Ramblings on Skating

So Jon and I accompanied three of my nieces and nephews to Classic Skating the other night, and maybe it’s because I haven’t been skating in over 15 years, or maybe it’s because people in Utah feed their kids Malt O’Meal at every meal, but I don’t remember kids being so small. At least I don’t remember being that small, but I’ve been 5’11” since I was 14, so maybe I skipped being that small altogether.

I know for certain that Robbie Hawkins was not that small. Robbie was my first real live human boyfriend, as opposed to the entirely imaginary David Hasselhoff look-alike boyfriend, Brock, with whom I’d often play in the backyard. Brock was my imaginary boyfriend for a good decade, and he was sometimes personified in a full-length body pillow that I would spoon on Saturday mornings as I watched “Land of The Lost” and “Saved by the Bell.”

Robbie, the boyfriend of flesh and blood, was 10 years old and we were in the same 5th grade class. He always wore a maroon member’s only jacket that you could tell he wore everywhere, even to bed at night. He had great teeth, a smile so perfect that you knew he wasn’t ever going to need braces, and not needing braces was perhaps the sexiest thing a 10 year old boy could do. What made him totally unique, though, was how his face looked like it was being systematically colonized by a totalitarian regime of freckles.

We started “going together” one Saturday afternoon after we ran into each other at the local skating rink. He was there with one of his freckled cousins �apparently the freckles were totalitarian and imperialistic � and I was there with my father, who at the time was in the middle of a brutal divorce from my mother. I spent the entire afternoon horrified that they would play that Foreigner song “I Wanna Know What Love Is,” because I didn’t want Robbie to see me or my father crying while wearing skates, I would have just died.

At school the following Monday Robbie stopped me in the hallway before class and told me very seriously, “Your father looks like a good man.” I had no idea what he meant but I knew right then that I totally wanted to go with him. And so we started going together, not particularly anywhere, sometimes near the monkey bars on the playground, sometimes by the water fountain by the boy’s restroom. We once walked all the way around the football field, and that was the farthest I would go with a boy for at least another seven years.

We never once talked on the telephone or even held hands. The only thing ever really exchanged between us were his drawings of a female superhero who was supposed to be me. Throughout the few months we went together the superhero’s boobs got bigger and bigger, a feeble attempt on his part, I suppose, to encourage my own boobs to start sprouting. Little did he know that my boobs wouldn’t take the hint for another 11 years when I would return home from a semester abroad in England 20 pounds heavier and two boobs closer to womanhood.

Sometimes I wonder about Robbie, I wonder how things turned out with Ren�e, the really short girl he went with after me. I wonder how their skate date went the week after he and I had to stop going together, if she fell on her face or slipped on her fat ass, that two-faced scheming whore-bitch.

  • brittney

    2003/01/29 at 9:33 am

    Renee have boobs?

  • Katie

    2003/01/29 at 9:37 am

    The scary thing about rollerskating rinks is the fact that they still play the same music from 15 years ago. You feel like you’ve never left. Except for the fact that you can’t believe you actually skate around in a circular motion all night without being bored out of your mind.

  • Paul Gutman

    2003/01/29 at 9:54 am

    I went to an all-boys school, so going with someone at the jungle gym was tough. I do remember, however, skating in a macho fashion to Fleetwood Mac’s 1987 classic “Little Lies.”

  • Funtime Ben

    2003/01/29 at 10:16 am

    I’m sure RenÈe’s super-hero totally sucked anyway.

  • Cory

    2003/01/29 at 10:17 am

    I knew a Robbie once. He sat bare-assed on bubble gum. It took him a pair of scissors and Gumbyesque joints to remove the offending Bubblicious. He was twenty-five and liked to draw superheros.

  • Yahmdallah

    2003/01/29 at 10:21 am

    My first girlfriend wrote me an “I Like You” note which specifically pointed out that she didn’t LOVE me, but just liked me a lot. If I still had that thing, I’d frame it. It was a masterpiece of loving equivocation.

  • B

    2003/01/29 at 10:36 am

    Superhero Dooce are u gonna share those drawings someday to all of us?

  • April

    2003/01/29 at 10:51 am

    You have such a unique way of describing what is normally so mundane. Totalitarian AND imperialistic? I will never look at freckles the same way again.

  • Ariel

    2003/01/29 at 11:09 am

    The first time I heard about “going together,” it was from a friend in fifth grade.

    Her: I’m GOING with Josh.
    Me: Going where?
    Her: [scoffs] You know. GOING.
    Me: …To the bathroom?!

    That was the dirtiest thing my 10 year old mind could comprehend.

  • Zan

    2003/01/29 at 11:33 am

    Yikes – the skating rink – oh so many memories of Fleetwood Mack and Blondie songs and that good ol’ “shoot the duck” manuver we had to learn in order to win free passes and soda.

    Then I remember bringing rollerblades to the rink and getting verbally acosted by the Patrick Swazye lookalikes, the wanna-be-tough, rink refs for having wheels that allowed me to go so much faster than they could go that I was kicked out of the rink.

    I never went back.

    But I still have the rollerblades.

  • darsella

    2003/01/29 at 11:46 am

    why did you and robbie have to stop going together?

  • one of the most humiliating things that has ever happened to me was when i was in fifth grade and i was equally in love with two different boys who just happened to be best friends (a habit i unfortunately didn’t grow out of for many years thereafter) and somehow they found out and decided that they would both ask me to “GO” with them at the same time one day after school.

    it was also april 1st, and the gales of laughter and simultaneous chorus of ‘april fooooooools!” that followed their perfectly planned social execution still rings in my ears to this day.

    i can, however, roller skate backwards.

    take that, ya’ bastards.

  • dooce

    2003/01/29 at 11:55 am

    Robbie and I had to stop going together because his very Baptist mother found out that he was going to the monkey bars with a very Mormon 10-yr old, and she thought I might try to convince him to start storing wheat in his attic.

    So, officially, I blame the Baptists.

  • KDunk

    2003/01/29 at 12:00 pm

    i think this web site kicks my fucking ass. well done.

  • Sarah B.

    2003/01/29 at 12:02 pm

    When I went home in 4th grade and told my parents I was going with Matt B., my dad got very concerned and said, “Going where?”

    He was totally Baptist too, only his mom worked for Planned Parenthood, and he had 7 sisters and every single one of them got pregnant before finishing high school, so I totally got the pick of the litter with old No Thumb.

  • Craig

    2003/01/29 at 12:03 pm

    I usually avoid trying to remember things from this far back, because even today they embarrass me. Even though I am thinking to myself and nobody else probably remembers, I get embarrassed.

  • Sarah B.

    2003/01/29 at 12:03 pm

    Just kidding about calling him old No Thumb.

  • Heather #2

    2003/01/29 at 12:10 pm

    They still play the same music?! I’m so going roller skating this weekend!

    Dude, Anna “#2”. You can’t do that with your name. Let’s call you Dos Anna, or Anna Squared or Anna II.

    I’m feeling a little “out of the spotlight” when you add the “#2”, and I hate feeling “out of the spotlight”.

  • allisonic

    2003/01/29 at 12:12 pm

    My rival in elementary school/junior high is now living in the same po-dunk town, 50 lbs. overweight, and working at Bojangles. Oh yeah.

  • allisonic

    2003/01/29 at 12:14 pm

    Oh, my fucking two-faced scheming whore-bitch cheerleader was Beth Keatley.

  • antisocial diva

    2003/01/29 at 12:16 pm

    “two-faced scheming whore-bitch”

    they always are.

  • kate

    2003/01/29 at 12:16 pm

    Did you people really say, “going with?” Nerds.

  • Janna

    2003/01/29 at 12:18 pm

    Slightly off topic, Dooce, but is your new picture thing supposed to be something? Maybe this is because you post about poop a lot, but it looks to me like an off-kilter large intestine. Or maybe the stomach-duodenum pair. Nice.

  • anna jr.

    2003/01/29 at 12:21 pm

    heather #2 – how about anna jr.?

    will that work?

    i totally understand by the way.

  • Kirstie

    2003/01/29 at 12:22 pm

    My 4th grade love interest, R.J., ditched me in favor of some little ho named Kimmy (by which I mean, he stopped holding hands with me in the lunch line and started holding hands with Kimmy, instead), and when I (outraged!) confronted him about it, he told me very earnestly that he had decided he didn’t want to marry me anymore, he wanted to marry Kimmy, but he would still, you know, take me out to football games and stuff.

  • Kevynn Malone

    2003/01/29 at 12:23 pm

    My first girlfriend collected dead moths in her pencil box.

  • Vera

    2003/01/29 at 12:35 pm

    In 7th grade, luck would have it that my class went to the ice skating rink with the 8th grade class that my boyfriend Daniel was in. Oh, the excitement. I was convinced that my teacher knew about my undying love for Daniel, and that’s why we were going with his class. Unfortunately, Daniel, like Brock, was the imaginary kind of boyfriend, so I had to resort to telling dirty jokes in the back of the bus to get his attention. Needless to say, we never went together. Anywere.

  • aubs

    2003/01/29 at 12:44 pm

    My first ‘going with’ experience was with Ethan Foster, the hunka hunka burnin’ 3rd grade love who called me and asked me to ‘go with’ him after the whole ‘accompany dad to the barber shop, spin around in the chair too much such that they asked me what I wanted to do with my hair, thus ending up with a mullet’ debaucle. (which, for the record, made my mom shriek, cry, call her gay hairdresser and the only salvation was to chop off the remaining mullet, leaving me with a parted-in-the-middle short Mary Lou Retton ‘do with feathered sides.) Anyhoo, apparently Ethan LIKED Mary Lou and thus asked me to go ‘with’ whereas I, while being completely smitten with said Mr. Foster, told him ‘no’ repeatedly on the phone while he asked ‘why? why?’ and cried. Denying my own love just because I was afraid to tell my parents I liked boys just yet.
    What a wimp I was.

  • bearclau

    2003/01/29 at 12:49 pm

    I remember the first time I got ‘asked out’. I was in the 5th grade and Brian Vanderstreet called me. He was in the other 5th grade class, but we hung out on weekends because our younger brother/sister played soccer on the same team together.

    Anyway, he called me and asked, “So, you wanna go out with me?”

    Me, like the dumbass I was and didn’t understand the question, replied “Go where? I don’t know. My mom probably won’t let me.”

    To which Brian answered, “Urrr…ok…???”

    The next day I found out that he asked out two-faced scheming whore-bitch Dawn Stevens. And when I finally realized what ‘going out’ meant, I became obsessed and wanted Brian even more.

  • Otter

    2003/01/29 at 12:55 pm

    Land of the Lost and Saved by the Bell in the same childhood? Wasn’t Chaka like from the 70s and Screech from the 80s?

  • Naaman #2

    2003/01/29 at 12:58 pm

    Dude, the rink was the hot place to scope chicks. The best approach: Wait for them to sit at the snack counter with a soda, then go really fast, jump and slide across the railing on your butt so that you stop right in front of them. Then offer to buy them a Slurpee. Worked like a charm.

    P.S. I hated “Red Rover” on skates.

  • the propagandist

    2003/01/29 at 1:20 pm

    i still have the restraining order my very first girlfriend gave me.

  • Heather #2

    2003/01/29 at 1:24 pm

    Anna Jr. is so beautiful. Thanks. I think the world may now resume its rotation.

    Naam – you are such a brat. I’m telling mom on you.

  • jen

    2003/01/29 at 1:30 pm

    It was too hard to rollerskate while wearing skin tight Roadrunner jeans that I had to lie on the bed to do up with a coat hanger. So I mostly just waiting for Naaman to buy me a Slurpee at the snack bar.

  • Broch

    2003/01/29 at 1:36 pm

    Oh my God, you had an imaginary boyfriend named Brock??? my life is now complete. Who would have thought that anyone else had heard of the name!!!

  • April

    2003/01/29 at 1:47 pm

    Broch, dear, *every* girl had an imaginary boyfriend named Brock. Well… except me. Mine was Brett.

  • Angelique

    2003/01/29 at 1:58 pm

    Her name: Suzanne Smith
    Her title: Scheming-Whore-Bitch
    Her offense: she stole my first boyfriend, Steven Galati because she had the only inground pool on the block, and we were still frolicking in the sprinkler at our house. -bitch-
    she turned out to be fat, stopped growing taller regardless of her ever increasing mass, and got pregnant by some loser in town at age 17.
    and then there was Geoff Souder. My first Kiss. his mother made him leave me when i tried to engage her in conversation on her thoughts on Confuciousism at the age of 12. they were christian. and because i would call and leave a message on his answering machine sunday mornings while he was at church, she thought i was in with the devil. He is now the same height as when we were 13, he has acne scars and has yet to be married.
    you know, i am typically impatient, but on certain occasions i can wait for kharma to kick in. in the end, the kharmatic gavel will eventually fall.
    dooce, damn the man.
    awesome post.

  • scotty the body

    2003/01/29 at 2:11 pm

    Wow. great story. all of this talks of first made me think a bit… and I just realized that my first real everything happened on the same day (with the same person, for that matter0. hmmm…

    i started late, but I hopefully managed to make up for lost time before I tied the knot.

  • kath

    2003/01/29 at 3:23 pm

    My first crush, cute little red-haired Ronald, in 4th grade, used to give me all kinds of good stuff like pencils and cookies, and, most precious, a 1964 Kennedy half dollar. Brand new, please note. God I’m old. Then he and his bulldog faced friend Brad came to my house one afternoon and I wouldn’t let them in because I had just come home from ballet class and I still had on a leotard and tights. Pink. End of romance.

  • lee

    2003/01/29 at 3:30 pm

    Dude, I was 5’10 by 14! Another freak of nature. I was almost sure I remembered reading about your astronomical height in the old Dooce site, but I wasn’t entirely positive. Yay!

    As for my first love, Tony and I started “going together” in kindergarten (I move fast, kids). This continued for years because we walked home from the bus stop together every day. I eventually moved away and that was the end of our wild childhood fling. Friends told me that when he really started “going” with someone (at 15 – six years after my move), the locals teased him about his long lost Lee Ann (me)…how could he possibly cheat on his first love? A good friend that still lived in the area at the time told me that she found a ripped up photo of me (at five years old, mind you) lying on the sidewalk behind his house a day or two after the most intense period of teasing. I guess the Tony didn’t find it so funny.

  • yesno0001

    2003/01/29 at 3:39 pm

    Braless Britney:

  • speedo

    2003/01/29 at 3:44 pm

    I met my future wife in skating 101 in college. She gave me two beautiful children. She is currently a two-faced, scheming, whore-bitch.
    God, I feel much better now. Thank you and have a pleasnt day.

  • the mighty jimbo

    2003/01/29 at 3:47 pm

    i never went with anyone.

    not for lack of trying.

    the skinny little brace faced kid a full foot shorter than all the girls and a full 60 pounds lighter than all the boys doesn’t see a lot of action.

    but good lord and good genetics willing he can sure make up for it in his 30s.

    not that i would know about that.

  • Laura

    2003/01/29 at 4:39 pm

    I once knew a boy in kindergarden and we were tight we would go play out in the cement tubes during recess. I moved to another school after that year, and didnt see the boy again until high school. He was so hidious. Thank god we never actually “went” together.

  • peggy

    2003/01/29 at 5:34 pm

    Eddie Zellner and I “went,” in 4th grade. He didn’t care that I could run faster, and he actually liked all those violin lessons. I bet he turned out gay, too.

  • Kat

    2003/01/29 at 5:34 pm

    My first boyfriend, who I referred to in secret as “Ricky” because he looked just like Ricky Schroeder, also had totalitarian freckles. I remember it so well – we were in the 5th grade, and we would hold hands and skate together at the skating rink during the slow songs. There we were, face to face, a couple of silver spoons! It was so romantic. Then his bastard dad got transferred by his evil corporate bosses to another city, and my little Ricky clone moved away. I don’t know what company he actually worked for, so I’ll just blame Microsoft.

  • nessa

    2003/01/29 at 5:46 pm

    yay for unsubstantiated microsoft bashing!

  • Kristine

    2003/01/29 at 6:06 pm

    Glad to see you back to your regular programming, glad things are going well on the searching-for-hosting side of things.

    On another subject: I totally think that nerd who Simon called the worst singer in the world was a PLANT. From his haircut to his sweater to the way he grasped at his neck when insulted — not to mention his singing. Totally fake — and that disappoints me, I mean surely there were REAL bad singers … eh?

  • Chaka

    2003/01/29 at 6:10 pm

    Me have crush on Holly for many years. Ta & Sa always cock-blocking. Also Sleestaks give me creeps – made me soil my fur.

  • Jane

    2003/01/29 at 6:18 pm

    The first guy who asked me out was my very affeminite neighbor. We had just spent an entire day at his grandma’s house and then his mom took us to eat McDonald’s. He asked me out in the tubelike jungle gym thing. It was so cute, but I didn’t like him and wasn’t even thinking about boys at that age so I said no (I was 10). Years later he told me that I had broken his heart. We’re still friends, though.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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