Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Yearbook: Keith

The year was 1982. We danced to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album and watched “E.T.” on the silver screen. John Belushi died and Prince William was born. We exercised  to Jane Fonda video tapes and never missed watching “Dynasty” on TV. Gas cost 91 cents a gallon and a stamp two dimes. We were spooked by the Tylenol scare and held our breath as the recession began.
It was a year of promise and pain, of sweetness and sorrow.

But it was OUR year. 

We were the Class of 1982, and we were ready to take on the world.    

Keith (Yearbook post/1982)

To a really sweet girl who has a nice personality. Keep up the good looks and keep working hard and you’ll go far.  See you over the summer. Love, Keith


Keith was the first boy I ever kissed. It was in sixth grade and we were playing Spin the Bottle in my girlfriend’s garage. There were eight of us, four boys and four girls. We sat in a circle – boy, girl, boy, girl. If the bottle pointed at someone of the same gender, you kissed the person to their left. I got to go first because I picked the longest blade of grass. I spun the empty bottle of Budweiser that we dug out of the trash. When the bottle stopped spinning, it was pointing at Keith.  

I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to open my mouth when we kissed. The girls and I had talked about it earlier that day when we planned to meet up with the boys in Becky’s garage, but I realized we hadn’t made a decision. Now I was first and everyone would probably follow whatever I did.  I thought my heart was going to explode out of my chest. It pounded so fast it scared me. Even when I gave a violin recital, and I was always nervous at those, my heart didn’t pound like this.

I sat cross-legged on the cold cement. Keith looked at me and he didn’t move. The others were egging me on. I finally got up enough courage and got on my knees and wiggled over to Keith. I decided I wasn’t going to open my mouth. I gave him a quick peck and everyone ooed and ahhed.

Whenever I’m with someone at a bar and they buy a bottle of Budweiser, I remember that day so many years ago. And I also remember Becky’s mom catching us kissing after only a few spins. She chased us all out of the garage and sent the boys home. It wasn’t the last time we played Spin the Bottle, but it was the last time at Becky’s house.

Keith followed in his dad’s footsteps and became a dentist. When he joined his dad’s practice, they built a new office with state-of-the-art technology and equipment. Keith married a nurse that he met  in dental school. They have five kids – two sets of twin girls and a boy. 

Other posts in this blog series


  1. This is fun. I love your description of the cold cement and wiggling over. Funny, back then, no one had finished basements, right? I remember a lot of pinball machines and pool tables, air hockey and foozeball tables, and a lot of large, bare expanses of concrete that made it all echo.


  2. That was great! I forgot about seeing who would go first by choosing a piece of grass. :)