Boys Just Wanna Have Fun

My Real Memoir

Absolutely Devoted to Happy Diversions. That was pretty much my credo at age 16. Just as my OCD had emerged in my pre-teen no-stepping-on-cracks years, my ADHD emerged full-blown during my sophomore year in high school.

The rules of grammar bored me, and yet I used them perfectly, my teacher noted, in my highly analytical book report of the science-fiction novel A Means to An End by Arky Temelhoff. Which I’d invented, by the way, along with the author’s colorful name–not because I hadn’t read any books (I was always reading), but because it was more fun making one up.

The rules of Spanish bored me, too. Result? I had to repeat the class that summer. Boring! And yet, while visiting a stunningly pretty girl in Barcelona a decade later, I would absorb un gran cantidad of Spanish in just three days! Reason? I had a motive…who happened to have beautiful blue eyes!

Ditto the rules for driving. When my anal-retentive behind-the-wheel DMV examiner asked me to execute a “turn-about,” I asked if that was the same thing as a Y-turn. It was, but he failed me on the spot for “not knowing the correct term.” To which I snarked as he and his clipboard exited the car, “Do a lot people have terrible accidents because they fail to announce that they’re ‘now engaging turn signal’ or ‘now compressing brake pedal’ while they’re driving?”

I did finally get my driver’s license. Master had presented Dobby with a driver’s license and Dobby was free! At which point I also surrendered my canvas handlebar bags and ceased to be The World’s Oldest Newspaper Boy (although I’m pretty sure I still hold the Guinness record). Seven years–the longest I’ve ever kept any job.

Things I was devoted to: Drama, of course; I was proud of the fact that our school’s play productions had gained statewide attention (we’d hear students at one-act play competitions say, “Oh, no, they’re here!”). I was devoted to music and planned to start a singing duo with BF Jeff (see pen pal letter above), even though I didn’t think I could sing “worth beans.” I was devoted to doodling, too, and soon became our school newspaper’s official cartoonist.

But most of all I was devoted to girls. And even though I had an unofficial girlfriend, we both continued to date other people—strictly for proper scientific comparison. In fact, one girl seemed quite promising.

Martha had just joined Drama. She was smart and, unlike me, focused, with an A in every class. She also had a winsome smile and alabaster skin. So I withdrew the last of my paper route money, borrowed Mom’s Falcon (the car, not the bird), and drove us to Hollywood for dinner and the ultimate romantic movie, Doctor Zhivago! And afterward…when we kissed…

Nada. Zilch. No spark. We wouldn’t go out again until a year later.

But, oh, what a difference that year would make.

My Real Memoir is a series. To read the next one, click here.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Boys Just Wanna Have Fun

  1. Pingback: I Grew Up at Disneyland! | Mitch Teemley

  2. Belinda O says:

    I had ADD myself (still do) and struggled so much! I wish I knew then what I know now. Anyway, I enjoyed the whole of your piece!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Phil Strawn says:

    Maybe I had the same afflictions? I was interested in a few classes, history, speech and drama, and creative writing. The rest of the school curriculum was foreign to me. To this day, I have yet to use geometry or algebra; they should have taught us how to balance a checkbook or negotiate with a car salesman. I graduated in 1969, so my high school experience was a bit different than yours, or maybe not. Me playing in a popular rock band helped my cause, whatever that could have been. Good read, Mitch.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. It sounds like you had lots of fun as a boy – a kind of “Leave it To Beaver” childhood! I always love reading your memories and your pen pal letters. Have a good Tuesday, Mitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jboelhower says:

    Great post, like going back in a time machine! Loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Drama brought out the creative beast in you so you had no focus left for academics. ADHD-Academic Deficiency Highly due to Drama.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nancy Ruegg says:

    We did Arsenic and Old Lace too–such a great script, even for high schoolers. I was Student Director on that one. Must say, your set looks amazing! Were you Officer O’Hara?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My dad had a Falcon. It’s the car I learned how to drive on. (Three-speed manual on the column.)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Such a good point you’ve made, Mitch. If a student isn’t interested in the subject, they’ll likely not do very well in it. That’s where my high regard for excellent teachers come from. They take the mundane and make it interesting and that’s a superpower right there. I loved how cheeky you were after your driving lesson. I don’t know what a Y turn is? Is it like an Aussie U-turn?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. C.A. Post says:

    Hmm, looking forward to reading what a difference a year makes! 😉
    ❤️&🙏, c.a.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: The Year I Exploded | Mitch Teemley

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