Throw back Thursday: Our high school love story.

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I’m sure most of you reading already know the story behind how Josh and I came to be but I think it’s fun to write it out and have it saved for when our great grandchildren read my blog (of course they will) so bare with me. 

When I was a 14 year old high school freshman brace face I played volleyball on our school’s Junior Varsity team. Thursday night games were always the best because the guys on the football team would come watch since they didn’t practice the night before their games. Not only did that mean we’d have a loud obnoxious cheering section but of course that meant we got to show off a little too. Regardless of which team you made, all of the volleyball players were expected to be there for all of the matches so during the Varsity games, the JV team would sit in the stands with the other students in attendance and cheer and work on homework.

On this particular night, I was sitting with a few fellow players as well as a couple of older guy friends as I worked on math and socialized a bit. One of my friends had come to the game with Josh, whom I hadn’t really met yet. According to Josh we had met earlier the summer before but I don’t have any memory of that. I don’t remember exactly how he and I started talking but eventually our conversation turned to his older brother and I admitted to him that I had been kind of obsessed with Joe when I was little. You see, Joe had been friends with my babysitter (they’re now married) and I had thought his bowl cut was the cutest thing since Nick Carter. Of course Josh thought this was hysterical and simultaneously teased and flirted with me (something about how he was the better Kistler). Eventually he gave me his phone number and said I should call him sometime but I blew it off because he was a junior and I was a freshman and I thought he was just screwing around with me. I also had a boyfriend at the time. A few weeks later I saw and talked to Josh again but this time he let me know that I had missed my chance as he was currently hanging out with a girl from a different school (typical). And by currently, I mean right then and there as we spoke, he had left her with friends to come try and make me jealous.

A month passed by and during Thanksgiving break, my boyfriend and I broke up. I hadn’t really thought about Josh much so I was caught off guard when, during my lunch period on the first day back to school, the same friend who had been at the volleyball game with him approached me to ask about the break up. He told me that one of his friends was interested in me and wanted him to get the scoop. I can’t remember if I really didn’t know who he was talking about or if I was just acting like I didn’t know but the girl sitting next to me said that it had to be Josh Kistler. Later that day as I walking from one class to the next, I started to approach a group of upperclassmen guys, including Josh, who began to mumble, “Here she comes. Here she comes.” As I walked by, one of them (not Josh) handed me a note. I opened it and read,

I noticed you noticing me while I was noticing you. 

Call me sometime, 

Josh Kistler # 42. 

Ooooh yes. Not only did he include his last name just in case I was confused (although, come to think of it, the kid who actually handed me the note was also named Josh so I guess that could have been a little confusing) but he also included his football number within his signature. This note has become somewhat of a legend amongst our old circle of friends and Josh’s famous pick up line is still frequently recited. I’m so bummed that I don’t have it anymore. But anyway, back to the story. So that night I had a basketball game and decided that I wasn’t going to call Josh. I thought it was ridiculous that he would expect me to call him and I didn’t want to seem desperate. I was also a little shy and insecure and continued to think that he was just messing around with me.

A few days later I was on AIM (omg. AIM. there’s an acronym that no one under the age of 25 knows) and beefschtick42 (yep. incredible, right? Josh’s nickname in high school was Beef. I always forget about that now that we don’t live in our hometown anymore so it’s hysterical when we go back and hear someone call him Beef or Beefy. HA!) messaged me and asked why I hadn’t called him yet. I made up a few different excuses until he finally asked if he could just call me and within a few minutes we were talking on the phone for the first time. We talked for a couple of hours but the only thing I remember specifically is telling him that I liked to read and then smacking myself because I knew I sounded like a nerd. At the end of our conversation he asked me if I’d like to hang out over the upcoming weekend and I said sure. He said he really liked chick flicks (not even kidding – he does), and wanted to know if I wanted to go see the movie Bounce. We made plans for Saturday night because we both had a basketball game on Friday and then hung up.

Friday night came and our school had what we called a “double header”. It was when the Varsity girls team played first followed by the Varsity boys team. I dressed Varsity so I had to sit on the bench during the girl’s game and the same was said for Josh during the boy’s. After the game he asked me if I wanted to go do something but I turned him down because I didn’t want to seem too interested despite the fact that I really was. The next night he picked me up at my house and for the first time in my life, I was in a car by myself with a boy, on a date. It was big time. I’ll never forget that my legs couldn’t stop shaking. Not just shaking but convulsing. He asked me what music I liked to listen to and when I said any music was fine, he turned on Steve Miller Band. We drove to the movie theater and as we got out of his car, he pretended to show me some key chain he had so he could nonchalantly grab my hand. He bought my ticket and for the next hour and a half we sat and watched one of the worst first date movies ever. It was depressing. I remember he held my hand throughout the entire movie and even though I was in pain from not moving for so long, I wouldn’t pull away from him. Afterwards we drove around for a while just talking and eventually we ended up at his house where three of his best friends were waiting. They seemed to be surprised to see me still tagging along and spent the rest of the night trying to embarrass Josh until I decided it was time for him to take me home. I had never had a purpose for a curfew so I wasn’t quite sure of the time I was supposed to be home but I remember when he finally did take me back, it was the latest I’d ever been out. Of course as we pulled into my driveway I was nervous about what was next. I had just had my first kiss about six months before this date and obviously at 14, I was pretty green on relationships. I guess because Josh was older I expected him to be a bit more intense than I had intended but he was a complete gentleman and said goodnight as he pecked me on the lips. I was smitten. And 13 years later, I still am.

And there you have it.

PS. Our children will not be riding in cars alone with the opposite sex at 14 😉 


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