Wednesday, April 1, 2009
The Moose and the Surfer Girl
With the purchase of our new car in December, we got the added bonus of free satellite radio for a few months. I found myself enjoying the ability to tune into music exclusively from different decades or genres at my whim. It was certainly a pleasant diversion from the constant drone of 680 News here in Toronto with their continuous weather, traffic and stock reports I have been stuck on lately (I'm a glutton for punishment I guess). I think my favorites are the 60's and 70's stations as I always enjoy a trip down memory lane while I'm sitting in traffic or gunning it through a yellow light. This tripping down memory lane thing has been a bit of a theme with me since I turned 50....a few months ago. The old school music combined with the commercials for Montana's put me on this road nearly every day lately. What do the commercials from Montana's have to do with memory lane you ask? You did ask, didn't you? For those of you who have not heard or seen the ads, there are a couple of animal head trophies on the wall of the restaurant that speak to each other. One is a deer head and one is a moose head. The voice you hear coming from the moose head is a voice I know. It is the voice of an old high school boyfriend. No, it doesn't just sound like him - it really is his voice. Now, I'm not sure where Montana's got the huge advertising budget, I just know they did and these commercials and a few variations of them are on constantly. Hence, this deep FM voice from my past jerks me to attention - sometimes more than once a day. There is always a radio or TV on somewhere it seems. More than 30 some odd years have passed since my heart was a flutter for this guy. For a long time, I rarely thought of him except the few times he would appear in a TV commercial for Canadian Tire or an episode of The Red Green Show, but now he is in my car, my kitchen, my family room....every day! I don't like to dwell in the past too often, but this talking moose head keeps taking me back to my 15th year over and over and over again. Back to a time when I wore bikinis and drew hearts around his name on my notebooks. I had a huge crush on him. He was a year ahead of me in high school. We started dating a bit when I was in grade 10 and I'm pretty sure he is one of the reasons I switched high schools after that. I wanted to go to the same school as he did. He was a big fan of The Beach Boys and I wanted to be his Little Surfer Girl.(OK - so Lakeside Park wasn't exactly the Pacific coast, but we had great imaginations). So today, when Brian Wilson's classic song came on my 60's station - I was back there again even without his moosey musings. We went to a least one formal dance together - you know - the kind where he brings you a corsage and you're hepped up about it for weeks? He was always the funny guy, a real comic - likely what drew me to him in the first place and as it turns out, he still is I guess. Once, he went to Florida for the March break with the "boys" and brought me back a silver Palm Tree charm for my bracelet. I still have it and still remember how sweet I thought it was for him to have thought about me while he was away (coming home empty-handed would have been a deal-breaker for me - he was no dope!). We saw one of my all-time favorite movies together - The Way We Were. I thought it was one of the most romantic movies I had ever seen, and still do. That night, when he kissed me good night, (before my father turned on the porch light), we were Hubble and Katie...in my mind anyway. Some of my memories are getting kind of foggy and I don't really remember the details of why we stopped dating (possibly a girl named Honeybee Cooper) except that I do recall I carried a torch for him for a few years after that. Once, when I was working on a photo assignment for the Ryersonian (the Ryerson School of Journalism newspaper), I had to cover the Gemini Awards or the Dora Mavor Moore Awards, I forget which, and I saw him in the crowd. He had been nominated for an award. I was surprised to see him and he had a pretty blond girl on his arm (maybe the girl he married) and I made sure he didn't see me. I think I may have had a wee case of the green-eyed monster, so it was probably for the best. That was the last time I ever saw him in person. I actually made contact with him recently on Facebook. I sent him a scanned photo of our "formal night" reminding us both of what we once looked like - he was a tad alarmed but amused at the same time and it felt good to say hello to my old flame. Oddly enough, he named his daughter Emma too - at least we would have agreed on one thing had our paths not led us in different directions. It was a far more innocent time. A time of hand holding and awkward first kisses. I wonder if my daughter will experience young love like I did and will she find someone special to keep tucked away in her memory bank. She'd be lucky to find a boy like my Montana's Moose. Just hope whoever he is, he appreciates his little Surfer Girl.