Friday, November 29, 2013

Picking The "Bad Boy" - My Adolescent Choice (that has lasted a lifetime) Vol 1.

*Very import!

None of the males who have been a part of my life have ANY crimes against women or children. No baby rapist, no sodomites, no crimes against seniors either. We all have to draw the line somewhere in our personal moral code of honor. Those crimes are unforgivable.   !*

"GOODFELLAS" is a favorite movie of mine. Especially the one minute excerpt above. It tickles my fancy - I never get tired of witnessing a greaser gangster whip some preppy boys booty for disrespecting his gal. To me the beating means more than a wagon full of flowers, candy, diamond rings and tender "I love you's" whispered every tens minutes in my ear. By pistol whipping the offensive jerk, the gangster could catch a case, going to jail or even state prison. That is  L- O -V -E in my hazel eyes. When a guy puts his freedom on the line to uphold your honor (or his own) - he real does care deeply for you. Or he thinks he owns you. Which, as long as he isn't controlling, is kinda sexy, no?
Russell Fortier, high school bad boy AND my husband!

Second grade I had my first "bad boy"crush. I had a playmate named Julie. We palled around for most of that school year-being in the same classroom. My burning crush was Julies' older brother. His name was Billy. Pale white skin, glossy long black hair that he constantly flipped back from covering his brown eyes. Sears store brand Tough Skin jeans with dirty lace up navy blue Vans. Skinned knees topped with a bad attitude. Dreamy!

Billy had a natural swagger that drew me in. Perhaps it was the way he socked the other boys who angered him on the ball field. Or when he would steal ice cream sandwiches from Thrifty Drug Store. My good girl Catholic upbringing did not jive with the budding hormones bubbling through my heart for Billy. Each time Julie and I listened to a Carpenters album on her families turntable, arms, legs and head akimbo on shag carpeting floor- my innocent mind would interpret the schmaltzy lovey dovey lyrics into the story of my puppy love for brother Billy. Singing along - willing him to amble through the living room, lock eyes with me - then peck me on then lips! Big dreams I tell ya!

After a few months of irritating Julie with my mooning over her grubby brother, she set up a "make out session" for the Billy and I. For the cozy tryst, the 2 car garage of the family home was decided upon. High above, the gabled rafters had weather beaten sheets of plywood nailed down to create floor space - grubby stained blankets hung on twine for privacy. A perfect hide away from prying parental eyes. Going crazy with anticipation - emotion sliding through my veins like I drank too many Cokes. Having no previous encounters at my oh so tender age I had zero idea of what would actually happen when "Making Out" with Billy.

After 2 tortuous days Julie and Billy's parents finally scrammed, leaving the kids home alone. I ran the three blocks between our homes like a gazelle fleeing a lioness. Arriving sweaty, out of breath with a limp pony tail - Billy and I scrambled up the ladder to our love nest. 
Kathleen Burke, High School punker
with my main punk squeeze, Steve Dyson

In tandem motion, we sat down cross legged onto a painters drop cloth. Without missing a beat Billy reached over awkwardly with one skinny arm pulling my body to the space between us. Leaning in, he planted his lips on mine - with the force of toy trucks being smashed into one another by a 3 year old. Contact was kept for a count of one-two-three then broken apart.  A few seconds passed, Billy smiling with self satisfaction. Then once again, lips smashing together.

By the third round of kisses I realized a few new things: Kissing Billy resembled nothing close to what I had viewed in movies. His skills seemed quite lacking in ways I could not put words to. Secondly, the lead up was way more exciting than the actual act of kissing. Hi macho attitude, the manner which he strutted the school yard, etc - is where the actual attraction lay. Lastly, while I did not like the act of kissing Billy I still totally dug him. Sigh....

By 5th and 6th grade, my choice of girlfriends defined who would be suitable "going steady" boy material. A group of 5 or 6 boys in our grade level were deemed "cute" or "nice". If the boy had a crush on you, he would ask you to "go steady". Usually this was accomplished by notes passed along to your girlfriends. If the boy was a real go getter he would ask to meet you at lunch to "Pop the Question" grammar school style. When you said yes he would then hand you a St Christopher metal hung from a long silver neck chain. Each boy had his own style of metal-this helped others on the playground know who you were "with".

After a few weeks of lame kisses behind the backstop, awkward phone calls about what your mom made for dinner- then the "break up" would happen, with lots of drama. Then your ex boyfriend would work up the nerve to ask one another member of your girl group to go steady. Changing back and forth, in and out like the ribbons around a May Pole. 

Summer before 7th grade and moving on to junior high I became fully boy crazy. So many new faces to pick from! About a month into the new school year my click of girl friends from grammar school began to evolve into  preppies. Wearing little alligators or polo players on their flipped up collared shirts. Calvin Klein cords or jeans, and penny loafers on feet with neon painted toenails. This new stuck up way to dress, snotty attitude accentuated with flipping their feathered hair - would not tolerate a non fashionable "okay" looking, lower middle class adopted trash such as myself. I was made to feel unwelcome. I took the hint with a broken heart, moving my way on up the schoolyard where the "bad kids" hung out. 

Called "China Grove", this area contained some steel benches inside a cluster of very tall trees. Perfect for cigarette smoking between classes. Or to hide during lunch time. Better to hang out at China Grove with the stoners and rocker kids than to wander around crowded halls feeling like a loser, trying to avoid eye contact. 

After showing up at the Grove for a few days in a row, puffing on Salem Lights stolen from my mothers purse - some of the girls started talking to me. Foul mouthed and shit talking about the preppies who we hated, (which helped me feel less rejected and much better). Brazenly kissing their long haired boyfriends, talking about sneaking out to drink. Instantly I fell into place with this juvenile delinquent coven of chicks. Instantly feeling more at peace with these bad girls than I ever felt with the grammar school click.
Even though I look like a BOY
with this awful pixie haircut (thanks mother)
it was around this age
I started digging "Bad Boys".

With the new girlfriends came new boys. Wearing AC/DC shirts along with skin tight pants loaded with marker ink depicting skulls, band names with other various vulgarity. Feet adorned with one of two choices: combat or hiking boots - looking stoned and disinterested in everything contained in our  junior high universe. Fake Confidence with a "Don't F%$#@ with me" glare kept the other kids from messing around or trash talking. Eating it up by the gallon, wanting this powerful aura for myself, I set my sights upon Scott M. Possessing shaggy dishwater blonde hair made worse with comb induced split ends. Very tall and skinny: motherless, a true "biker" father. A real "bad" boy fathered by a "bad" man.

Courtship in 7th grade was better. Meeting at the pizza parlor or bowling ally. Pockets over filled with coins to play video games or purchase smokes. Sneaking warm beer to gag on at the park. Hands in each others back pockets while walking the school halls. Attending thrown together stoner parties with the other guys and gals from China Grove -  inside the steep cement walls of a spillway. Making out: feeling a bit slutty going to second base (over the bra of course!) 

After a few months it seemed as if I had been Scott M. girlfriend for a lifetime. Feeling a sense of safety from his toughness, I began to evolve. No longer did I care my former friends dropped me over my breeding and clothing. What others thought of me no longer mattered. At first I copied the other bad girls fashions. Wearing tons of purple. Roach clips made of  feathers hung from my Le Sac nylon purse. Home permed brown hair swept into birds wings stiff with Aqua Net. Creepy old guys started yelling "hey foxy" from their jacked up sedans. I mimicked the others by flipping the men off, yet secretly loved the flattery - too young to understand that any guy yelling at a 12 year old girl from his vehicle was a creep.

When the school year came to a close, my relationship with Scott had worn itself out. Never was I comfortable enough to introduce him to my parents. Scott was not what mom and dad want you to bring home - know what I mean? Always sneaking around. Lying about who, what where and why got old. Hating myself for lying just to get what I wanted. Sick to my stomach  - afraid of getting caught in some situation I could not fabricate a good enough fib to get out of the trouble I had created for myself. Disappointed in my own choices. Stress had taken away the high I got from being Scott's girlfriend.

After the split, I spent my summer flirting with boys of all kinds. No discriminating due to choice in music or foot wear. Toughness or passivity. I figured I might as well get to know every male who took the time to say "hello" at the Bayshore Golf and Games. Sneaking off with a few to kiss, drinking malt liquor or sitting low in green fields passing a joint around - becoming tougher with each awful encounter I put myself in. Chipping away at my self worth. BUT gaining some life experience no adult could teach me.

Three months later I knew I had evolved into a tough chick / bad girl. Attitude flavored with punk rock. Gone was the stoner rocker chick look I had poached from the other girls in China Grove. Bleached streaks of yellow blonde hair hung over my eyes. Black clothing from the thrift store hung off my slender shoulders. Constructing power through my looks over what hurt emotionally.

In concert with my changed persona I still hung around lots of different boys. Now that I had found my individuality, many males would not interact with me. Weak males, preppy guys, most every peer in my age group did not dig my style. Most of those who did fancy me-I did not care for. After Scott, I just was not attracted to passive males who tucked their tails, running from challenges. Guys who dealt head on with life's problems made a positive impression. The more working class the better.

Almost exclusively I was attracted to,  then attached with guys in the punk scene. At parties they would break up the fights. Perhaps they would start one IF say, you stepped on my foot then started to walk away without the apology you owed. Tire goes flat on the car? He gets on his hands and knees to fix it. Much more thrilling to drive to Chinatown in San Francisco to sample tofu sweet and sour pork than go to the shopping mall. Some of my best memories from my high school years have nothing to do with high school! 

I found my own tribe. Within the tribe are the men who were my match in ALL ways. Best sex, most understanding of my introverted personality. Self starters. Adventurous souls who are surprisingly well read or self educated. Do not shy away from protecting who he loves. Even if it means going before a judge and perhaps behind bars. That is devotion. That is my kinda guy!

Volume 2, I will thrill you with tales of Bad Boys through my high school up until my first marriage. Stay tuned by adding your email address to my list. You have my word I WILL NOT sell your address.