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Uncouth Youth

I met this guy when I was 14ish. He lived in Canada, was a couple years older than me, and of Italian descent. He had a beautiful Italian name, and a beautiful Italian face framed by curly brown hair. He looked like Robert Downey Jr. in the movie "Only You", and that movie was like crack for me when I was a teen. Anyway, I was utterly smitten with this boy. He was also rather charming, though it didn't take much to charm me as a 14 year old. I was supremely capable of making up for what he might've lacked with my imagination. I harbored a crush for this guy for years, building him up to be quite the romantic hero in my mind.

He served a mission for the LDS church, and the missionary training center (where all new missionaries must go) was near our home in Utah. So he came to stay with us prior to his going into the training center. I remember the day he was to go, he and my family came to pick me up at school so we could all send him off together. I can still see him, leaning casually against the wall, dark suit and shades, the large glass window behind him rendering him a dashing silhouette. I was breathless at the sight of him. Later, sitting next to him at said training center, I got one of those itchy throat attacks right in the middle of some religious schpeel meant to warm the hearts of the new missionaries and their families. I tried to suppress the coughing fit, but if you've ever had an itchy throat attack, you know that's like trying to stop an avalanche. Your eyes water, you sneeze, you feel a bit chokey. It's really not cute. All my mom had to offer was a large gum ball. It's a mystery why she happened to have a gum ball in her purse, but in my desperation I wasn't asking questions. So imagine me, large wad of gum in my mouth, tears streaming down my face from the coughing fit, trying to act cool. Not exactly how I wanted him to remember me,and thus I learned that life is not like a romantic movie; more like a tragic comedy.

Fast forward a few years, he'd come to visit my family, and he looked different. He was fuller, older...just different. I'd also gotten the sense that his mission had made him a little self-important, though I don't hold that against him now. Most 19 year old boys feel pretty self-important, especially when spreading the good news of "Christ's restored gospel." So I sort of forgot about him after that, but I've always wondered what happened to that guy. My Italian dream boat with the lyrical last name. He'd probably laugh to know that there is a rock somewhere in my backyard with his initials painted next to mine. I've kept the thing around because it tells me a whole story of my past on one little rock. Oh, youth. So uncouth.

(Hat tip to my friend Cydnee for reminding of the word uncouth. Such a good word.)

Last modified: 2019-04-22 11:40:49


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Name: Heather (346 weeks, 6 days ago)
LOL. What a great post of long ago unrequited love of our uncouth youth! Love it, Hillary!
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