Wednesday, June 05, 2013

M & C - A tale of youth, love and vandalism


Who are M & C?

I had an assignment this past weekend that took me to Memory Park, and between my in-depth interviews and investigative reporting (all right, in between my hot dog and potato salad) I took a stroll around the park and saw the initials "M &C" carved on a tree trunk, surrounded by a heart.

It got me wondering about M (who I have come to know in my head as Marvin) and C (Constance. It's my head, leave me alone).

Are they happy? Did they marry? Do they have kids?

In my head, this demonstration of affection took place on a warm spring day when their feelings for each other grew so strong that they felt the need to vandalize Mother Nature.

I got to thinking about my own relationships over the years and what steps I took as a youth to demonstrate my love.

Not, of course, my marriage. I have to point out that when my wife and I got married I was a mature man of nearly 30, stable, smart, and all growed up, so the silly impulses of youth did not apply.

I'm talking about the kid who, in elementary school, cut class, hopped the fence behind the playground at St. Bede School, and caught frogs in the creek.

Why, you may ask? Well, as every schoolboy knows, nothin' impresses the ladies like a toad in the coat closet.

Evidently Sister Susan was no lady - she impressed upon me the need to go to the Monsignor's office.

I'm not saying this type of behavior damaged my academic career, but the next year I had the opportunity to strut my stuff in public school.

At Palma Ceia Elementary, I ran with a pretty fast crowd. Our school was like a little resort community, named for the palm trees that lined the campus (Palma), and the graffiti that covered the walls (evidently Ceia is the Latin word for "spray paint can)."

If you looked up the word "cool" in the dictionary, you'd find our names. Really. That's because my friend Patrick worked in the library and used to scribble on all the pages.

Patrick also used to circle what he thought were dirty words, but it turns out he just didn't know how to read that well ("Gesticulate" does not mean what he thought it did).

Impressing the gals meant cruising the hallways during class, a big plastic comb sticking out of the back pocket of your bell bottoms, and escaping a cafeteria food fight without getting hit by mystery meat.

As much as I thought we knew in grade school, it wasn't until junior high that the mystery known as the human female took on a whole new meaning.

It was that from the age of 13 on, every female will forever be a mystery to every man. Any guy who denies this is a down and out liar. Even if he truly believes he understands women and is in control of a relationship, that's only because his girl lets him think that.

So back to Marv and sweet little Connie. Marv, if it's not too late, run. Run fast and far.

You will never know what is going on in that pretty little head of hers and if you think cutting up some tree is the answer, boy, do I have news for you.

One day, you'll be sitting down, watching the game on TV, and sweet little Connie will sit down next to you and sigh.

Nothing more, just a soft, quiet sigh.

And I'll bet you my last dollar, if you don't turn off that TV immediately and take her to dinner you will see just how comfortable a bed the front seat of your pickup can be.

And no frog from the creek is going to fix that.

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