This is the first in a series of posts about the time when I unintentionally dated 4 guys with same name over a course of seven years. And of course how I’m pledging to delete the name from my vocabulary forever. Alright here we go.
But first, I find it important to mention that if my Mother was born a male she was supposed to be named Patrick. I find this interesting because Patrick is a decidedly Irish name. According to babynames.com Patrick means noble. Which is a lovely meaning. And somewhat ironic for my purposes of telling this story. But the point is, the fact that my very conservative Jewish grandparents would pick a name so decidedly un-Jewish as opposed to David or Isaac or Abraham etc is strange. Sometimes I think the whole multiple Patrick thing is an evil cosmic trick being played on me by my poor dead Bubbe.
In preschool I latched onto a little boy, also named Patrick. He had blonde hair and blue eyes and my mother said, “I think you liked him so much because he would follow you around and do exactly what you told him to do.” So maybe its simply retribution from the Patrick gods for being such a bossy preschooler? Who knows.
I met Patrick the first while I was still in high school. He was two years my senior. A high school senior. I was a second semester sophomore. (you’re going to sense a pattern here.) For all intents and purposes I can see now that Pat.1 was very much a rebound from breaking up with a guy I had considered the great love of my fifteen year old life but that’s another story for another day. I was close with Pat.1’s best friend since kindergarten. We all were in the Drama Club together. Of course as groups of friends tend to do in high school we all coupled up in some form or another.
To be frank I wasn’t totally attracted to Pat.1. He was tall, but extremely skinny. He had a weird kermit-type tenor voice and played the Trombone in the marching band. I played the flute but had never really given him any notice, a full two rows behind me with the horns. He wore glasses. He was colorblind, a factor that always annoyed me because my favorite color to wear at the time was red. He was a boy scout and the youngest of three boys. He drove his father’s tan pick-up truck to school though and that was pretty damn exciting.
To be honest I can’t remember much about our relationship. I don’t remember how he asked me to be his girlfriend, or even really the months we dated though I know it had to be the tail end of winter.
One day our little group of friends decided to play hooky and go into Boston for a parade. It was a parade for some sports team and I honestly cannot remember if it was the Red Sox or the Patriots or what. What I do remember is Pat.1 standing behind me and slipping his hands into the front kangaroo pocket of my sweatshirt, pulling my body backward into his as we stood there and watched the parade. Talk about 15 year old swoon-worthy. He had a bottle of Sprite with him, which he had mixed with UV Blue. I had taken the bottle as offered to me, making sure to take sips small enough that collectively they wouldn’t even fill up a thimble but of course I had felt “sooo drunk!! haha oh my god!!”
A few weeks later he was driving me home from play practice. I had the worst cough and my voice was deep and raspy. I could barely talk other than the occasional croak. He wasn’t driving in the right direction of my house but this wasn’t necessarily out of the ordinary, we went for long drives most nights. Singing to Billy Joel or Jason Robert Brown. Talking about anything or everything.
Suddenly he inhaled sharply swerved into the nearest parking lot.
“I need to ask you something”
“Okay” I had croaked.
“Will you go to the prom with me?”
“Are you sure?” I had whispered. Incredulously. Me. A lowly sophomore at senior prom?
He laughed at that, which instantly charmed and embarrassed me.
“Yep. I’m pretty sure I’d like you to go with me.”
“Okay! Will you go to sophomore semi with me? Dan’s already going and Nikki and Kate and Josh.” I knew I was pushing my luck but I figured I had to try.
“Sure why not?”
And then he leaned over and he kissed me. Which was thrilling. Though I spent the entirety of the kiss promising God my first born child if he’d keep me from coughing in this guy’s
who oh my god actually liked me mouth.
After that it was pretty much go-time. I wasn’t allowed to date so we did a lot of group dates. A lot of sneaking out and around. Many nights on the phone where he would tell me all sorts of interesting things, most notably in my memory was the science behind how air conditioners worked.
I would attend many house parties he threw and I would be brave and stick to my guns and not drink. I would sleep over. In his bed on the childhood baseball sheets. He would sleep on the floor like a gentleman. The next morning I’d wash the shot glasses while he made eggs and bacon. It was everything a rebellious 15 year old could ever want.
I would go buy my prom dress. My mother said that my father had to come with me and deem the dress appropriate. He spent a hundred dollars on it and at the time it seemed like the most expensive thing he had ever bought me. I wasn’t thinking of things like Bat-Mitzvahs and braces of course. I hung it up in my bedroom and I stared at it every night.
The night before his first Ultimate Frisbee Tournament I had made him a present. A white frisbee I had decorated with lyrics from all his favorite songs, arranged in a poem, written by Sharpie in a spiral around the inside of the disk. We had gone to the park and attempted to play with it. Looking back I’m sure he was horrified by it. It was probably clear to him that I was in deep, while he stayed the “I’m going to college in a few months” shallow end.
It wasn’t meant to be. I wrote briefly about our break-up here: https://neuroticall.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/one-night-at-victory/
I never went to the prom. Obviously. I don’t remember if he had still offered to take me or not. I never wore the dress. The next year for junior prom my father was pretty pissed. “What do you mean the dress has bad vibes?!” He’d said.
Pat.1 and I actually ended up going to the same college. He should have graduated a few times over by now, but he dropped out. As far as I can tell he’s pretty heavy into drugs and doesn’t really have any direction for his life. He works at a Diner near campus and even though I am truly am over it I always pray he won’t be my waiter anytime I go in there. It’s just depressing to see him, in this total dead end with some pretty obvious coke bloat.
My sophomore year of college I got dragged to a party at his apartment. We had sat in his room and he drunkenly apologized for how he treated me. I had brushed it off and forgiven him until I felt his hands creeping around my waist as we sat next to each other on the bed. I got up and walked out of the room not even looking back for a second.And that was the end of Pat.1.