I turned 13 in January of the 8th grade.
My mother forced me to throw away my red hooded sweatshirt that had been my primary central wardrobe piece for the last four years. Reluctantly, I agreed. She also made me throw out my pink flowered pedal pushers that I had worn with that red hooded sweatshirt because they were stained, holey, and a tad too small.
She bought me a tube of lipstick, the color was "Persian Melon" and I started wearing a little of it when I was 13. There was a boy in my class named Richard Banks. Although I didn't "love" Richard, I did think he would make a great boyfriend for me. (I "loved" Elvis Presley and would have married him immediately if he had asked but as luck would have it, he didn't.)
Back to Richard Banks. He had curly hair and he was tall for a kid his age. Oh, and he had a German Shepherd dog who he walked around the neighborhood every day.
Being a smart cookie (even at 13) I realized that the indirect approach might work the best. For the next six months, I stalked Richard Banks. Every place he went, I showed up. I ignored him completely of course, but I was everywhere he looked. This took some doing, I'll tell you.
Walking past his house 15 or 20 times a day worked pretty well so I could figure out Richard's schedule. To change things up a bit, sometimes I rode my bike. Most of the time, I did this alone, but I preferred to do it with a friend so we could laugh and screech loudly at each other outside his house. (See, that was to show Richard what a fun girl I was.)
It was the last week of school. I was beginning to realize that if I wanted to make something happen with Richard, I was running out of time. I planted myself outside his house and waited until he walked out with his dog. Being quite clever even then, I said something exceptionally witty, "I like your dog." Richard mumbled "Thanks." Actually, I was terrified of his dog, but sometimes you got to do what you've got to do.
I reached my hand out and patted the German Shepherd on his big head. He sniffed my crotch. I came up with another great line of dialog "Where are you going?" Richard said he was walking down to 87th Street. I said "Great! That's where I'm going!" and walked along beside him.
We did talk a little bit about school and going to high school the next year. Or, mainly I talked. We got to my house and I said "Okay, see ya!" And Richard replied "Okay". I took that to mean that he probably liked me a lot.
So I went back the next day to wait for him to come out with his dog. He came out by himself and said "Do you want to come in?" Did I? Did I? Well, of course I did! He was watching tv and the dog was sitting in front of him. I sat down next to him and hoped he couldn't hear my heart pounding.
Richard put his arm around my shoulder! I thought I would faint. Then he leaned in and kissed me on the lips with his closed lips. We sat like that for about two minutes and then broke apart. I said, "Uh, well, I have to go home now." Richard replied "Okay." As I walked home, I had to shake my head. That was just not what I expected from romance at all!
Richard started walking past my house every day after that, but I never went outside when he was there.