I don't recall exactly when I first noticed that boys were good for anything other than leg-wrestling, competing in "dirty neck" or cussing contests with, beating at tree-climbing or a myriad other activities where I could out-do them. It was probably around my tenth year, when one of them told me that my hair reminded him of a rag-mop. That hurt! I realized that I had started to think that certain boys in the neighborhood were kind of cute! Soon afterward, my long, blond, out-of-control curls (I'd pay a fortune for that look today) were cut to a short bob, at my request, by my Aunt Lola, a hair-dresser who was visiting from Nampa, ID. I started, in earnest, after that, to keep it clean, shiny and combed. I wanted to be seen as someone other than a tomboy........I was a girl, after all. I was an early bloomer, so before I had reached my twelfth birthday, I was in full-blown puberty, growing boobs and everything that goes along with it, including some unfamiliar stirrings in my heart about how a girl feels about a boy.
During fifth and sixth grades, I was "in love" with Eddie D., who lived on the other side of town and was bussed to the school we both attended. He was soooooooo cute, with straight, brown hair, standing up in little spikes in front, big blue eyes and, he had the most adorable freckles on his nose. It was Eddie who started me on the road to caring about how I dressed and looked. I had to work to get his attention and I believe it may have been successful to a degree.
I do believe that it was a love/hate relationship for him. Boys of the Fifties, at that age, did hate girls, you know. However, that didn't stop him from always making his presence known to me by sending notes, chasing me at recess, or teasing me mercilessly. He would never admit it, but I know that he was as enamoured as me. He finally proved it, when, on our last field trip, in sixth grade, he ran over to me and gave me a peck on the cheek. He turned, running away, and got on the bus, leaving Grade School and me forever, to enjoy the Summer before we all went off to Junior High, in the Fall. My little girl heart was broken because I knew he would be attending a different school than me. That peck on the cheek and ache in my heart lingered for a long time that Summer. Ain't love grand?