A Tribute to William

William and I met at a retreat when I was 13 and he was 15. He looked like a cross between the scary kid in Children of the Corn and Ducky from Pretty in Pink. (For the record, he’s better looking than either or both combined). We lived in different cities but didn’t seem particularly concerned about that. 

For a fifteen year-old, William knew what he wanted, had no qualms about getting it, and never went after anything with a lukewarm attitude. He was all in! I think he’s still that way, too!

I recently had the pleasure of catching up with him for a brief time a few weeks ago. It sparked so many memories that I have no doubt that some immensely entertaining moments have been left out. I have had a blast reflecting on the many adventures of William. Some have to do with me, others do not. Regardless, I think everything having to do with William is quite fabulous. I hope William will forgive me for any oversights…or overshares.

I have opted to share a handful of William stories. However, there are many more!

Best/Worst Kiss

William was my third kiss and, now that I think about it, we may have kissed the night we met.  If not, it was the following day. What a hussie! Back to the longest kiss of my life… It felt like it might go on forever. When it was finally over, I was convinced that my lip had been burst by the tooth that William was using to filet my face. I had no doubt that I was bleeding. I was so embarrassed that I had to find a friend to go to the kitchen to grab some ice for my swollen lip. It really was only slightly swollen and there was no blood but, for someone so young and with such limited experience, it was overwhelming.

Alternately, William later told me that it was his best kiss. Ever. Well, for a fifteen year-old. Talk about a complete difference in perspective! It taught me a good lesson that two people may experience the same thing but have entirely different perspectives and opinions.

That was not our last kiss and nor was it representative of his future kisses. But, it was certainly quite a start!

Phone Company Trick

William and I started “dating” or whatever you might do when you live in different cities and might see each other a few times a year. Somehow he had come to realize that he knew a way to outsmart the phone company. (For my young readers out there, we used to only have land lines to make phone calls. And, any long distance calls were assessed a fee per minute that could add up quite quickly). But, William knew a special number he could dial before making a call that would ensure that he wasn’t charged for long distance calls. Brilliant plan for our long distance relationship!

As it turned out, William’s “special” code didn’t actually keep the fees from being added to the monthly phone bill… it just delayed the bill. So, when the delayed bills came, William owed thousands of dollars and had to get a job ASAP to reimburse them. Oops!

I’m Dating a… Drag Queen?

William and I didn’t typically see each other between retreats. So, each time we saw each other there was a little awkwardness. But,nothing could have prepared me for the “strip tease” he and Neil performed the first night of the next retreat. They dressed up in women’s clothes, adorned the make-up and proceeded to perform a  pseudo-strip tease. What was most distressing to me was how much William looked like a girl. Neil looked like the few cross dressers I’ve met (masculine but wearing women’s clothes) but William was PRETTY. And, it completely freaked me out. I kept thinking that I’d kissed that person who looked like a girl and I couldn’t quite cope so I had to leave the room. Took me a while to get over it!

Sexy Lingerie Scare

William and I kept in touch (obviously, since I saw him recently) even after our romance subsided. So I went to Houston to visit him somewhere close to my sixteenth birthday. My cousin was living in Houston at the time so I stayed with her. William and I had a great platonic night catching up and hanging out. At the end of the evening, he handed me my birthday present which, to my delight, I opted not to open in front of him. Thank goodness!

The card read,

I don’t expect to be the person who sees you in this so I hope whoever does enjoys it. Happy Birthday!

I unfolded the tissue in the box which revealed a white lace bra, panty, and garter matching set. My cousin and I couldn’t stop laughing when I opened it. And, of course, I turned bright red. Sadly, by the time I would have considered donning such a sexy outfit, I had already outgrown it. Bummer.

Plane Infiltration

William was dating a girl named Jessica. And, as was his pattern for a while, it was a long distance relationship. She lived in New York. She was upset with him about whatever type of thing a teenage girl might be upset with her boyfriend about. So, he decided to fly to New York to see her. Without a ticket.

This was during that time in our history that my younger readers might not even know existed. Friends, family, and whoever else could go to the gate for flights versus have to have a ticket in hand in order to pass through security. So, William was able to get to the gate of the plane he targeted, no problem. Then, all he had to do was get on the plane. So, he tossed his backpack into the boarding walkway when the flight attendant wasn’t looking. Then, he told her he’d left his backpack on the plane and needed to retrieve it. Next thing you know… he was on! Crazy, huh?

William’s Professional Goals

William and I saw each other at least once a year until I went to college. He even went with me to my prom as my platonic date! Frequently, our long term goals would come up.

I’m going to be a psychologist.

I’d say. He would reply:

Psychologists are screwed up. More than everyone else.

This was coming from the child of two psychologists who definitely felt like he got the raw end of the deal. When I asked him about his future plans, he would reply with two words:

A bum.

You’re not really going to be a bum. What do you really want to do?

Be a bum.

Haha. Funny. Seriously – what do you want to b when you grow up?

A bum.

End of conversation. So, what did William end up deciding to do with his life? He became a research scientist. And, for the last ten years, has been working on developing a vaccine for cancer. 

That is All

William is awesome. I could keep going, talking about the time he tried to teach me to drive a stick shift on his Volvo, the time I saw him naked (accidentally) when I was fourteen, the time he took me to prom, the time he kissed me when he shouldn’t have, and the time I went to his wedding on the wrong night so missed the whole thing. But, I will save those stories for another time. For now, I’ll take a moment to be grateful that he’s still my friend. More than twenty years later…






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