Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Growing Up Ralph - On Wine and Love

The other night Char and I had a glass of wine with dinner. While that’s not an overly common thing, it’s not rare either. Sipping my wine, I started wondering why I like wine. Wine and I didn’t get off to very good start in junior high school.

Like many junior high students – I was more enthralled by things I couldn’t have rather than things I could. Wine was one of those things. My Dad had a bottle of wine stashed in his closet. One night, home alone, I decide, it was time. I took the bottle and ever so carefully poured some into a small jelly jar. Then using the greatest of care replaced the wine bottle exactly where it had been. I hid that jelly jar of wine in my room, anxiously anticipating the next day.

The following day I headed out to catch the bus with that jelly jar concealed in my jacket. All through the day, my friend and I kept talking about the wine. He never had wine either and we decided to taste it a soon as school was over.

We climbed on the school bus and sat down. Then the most amazing thing happened. A girl in my class sat down behind us. It wasn’t just any girl; it was my ‘true love”. Does it get any better? I’m heading home from school, talking with my best friend, a jar of wine in my pocket, and my “true love” is right behind me. It was time to celebrate! I took the wine jar out of my pocket, carefully unscrewed the lid and took a small sip. I really didn’t care for the taste but turned to my friend and said in a voice loud enough for my “true love” to hear, “This is really good stuff”. I handed him the jar and he too took a small sip.

Replacing the lid, I had a moment of brilliance. Now, was the time to make my big move. I turned to my “true love”, told her what it was, and asked if she would like a sip. She said sure. I had scored a homerun! I carefully handed her the jar knowing once she took a sip our “love” would be sealed forever and ever.

That moment will be burnt forever in my mind. At that moment I learned - sometimes “love” sucks. My “true love” got up, walked to the front of the bus, and gave the jar to the bus driver!

Our bus stop was approaching. I took a deep breath and proceeded toward the door ready to meet my fate. To my surprise, the bus driver just smiled as we got off the bus.

The next morning I met my friend ready for another day of school. I was a little nervous when the bus approached because I didn’t want to face the bus driver. When the door opened, it was quite a relieved to see a substitute driver. Life is good – or at least it was for the next twenty minutes or so.

As I stepped off the bus, my heart sank. There was our regular bus driver, the school Principal, the Vice Principal, and my “true love.” I could go into all the gory details but I’ll summarize them for you. My friend and I were suspended for two days and banned from riding the bus for a month. This was back in the days when parents were part of the plot. They made sure I walked to and from school every day.

I took a sip of wine and looked at Char, who is my true love, and decided I still like wine. I can’t help but wonder – if that had been Char on the school bus would she have turned me in?


Blogger Paul said...

Why would she turn you in, Ralph? She's got a glock. That oughta keep you in line, don't you think?

9:42 PM  
Blogger Aravis said...

Would that depend on how good the wine is, and if it meant that there would be more in it for her if it was really good stuff?

Did you ask her? *G*

1:10 AM  
Blogger Granny Annie said...

What? You didn't have a group of citizens coming out of the woodwork to cry cruel and unusual punishment on your behalf?

So, how and when did Char learn that you were such a bad boy?

5:18 AM  
Blogger Granny Annie said...

What? You didn't have a group of citizens coming out of the woodwork to cry cruel and unusual punishment on your behalf?

So, how and when did Char learn that you were such a bad boy?

5:19 AM  
Blogger possum said...

I just love those stories where, if you just change one tiny thing, so much might be different today. As my Uncle used to say, the future is fan-shaped.
As a former teacher, I am glad your parents made you walk to school. Good for them!

10:41 AM  
Blogger 1 plus twins said...

omg that was a great memory you shared with us. i loved it. thanks for sharing. for some reason i think char wouldn't have turned you in back then but now that she knows you for sure she would turn you now. lol and she would be laughing the entire time. lol

8:42 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Although you didn't hit a 'homerun' as you put it with your old girl,
Offering a glass to your current girl just might get you that homerun.
OR it could get you sleeping on the couch. Be careful.

12:02 PM  
Blogger Janell said...

Well, your old true love turned out to truly be a tattle tale didn't she? At least you didn't get a hangover that time. It's good you left her behind in favor of Char.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Cliff, Ralph, Jim, and Dr. Jim said...

Ralph, I think this 'true love' was one-sided. She was your true love but you weren't her true love.

Had it been all 'true love,' true love waits. She would have waited but said NO!

3:29 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

She really was a tattletale!! I'll bet you never did that again after all that torture!! Good story Ralph!!!

7:20 PM  
Blogger Cheyenne said...

Wonderful story.
I love wine, BTW.
And that is the extent of my alcoholic drinks.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Rhodent said...

I am glad that my parents let me have a sip of wine on occasion so that I lacked curiosity about it. Actually, I didn't much like it. Good story!

11:39 PM  
Blogger nora said...

Wonderful story. The school bus is the scene of a lot of my memories - good and bad.

5:47 PM  

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