Mike was my first boyfriend in high school. He was a senior and I was a junior, he was 18 and I was 16. He was tall, pale, and lanky, with a great smile and a sharp sense of humor. He also had nice hair from what I remember. He carried way too many keys and wore clothes two sizes too big. And I thought he was so cool. He smelled delicious.

We became friends working on the high school theater productions, as you do, and we quickly began dating. He was my first love, I think.

I remember walking with him in the halls, hanging out on weekends, and spending hours on teh phone with each other. He had a car so that made things easier. And we were in a similar group of friends so there was always something to do.

We were each other’s first for a lot of things, but not sex. He was a strict waiting for marriage guy when we dated, grandson of a Lutheran minister and all that. He loved that his Jewish girlfriend was excited about sex things and open to learning with him. In that regard, he was a great first boyfriend.

He drove a Saab from the 1980’s. He did well enough in school, and when he graduated, he went away to a tiny school in Maryland. I visited him once there while we were still dating. He was brewing his own beer in a 5 gallon bucket under his lofted bed in his dorm room.

Anyway, Mike’s mom (the minister’s daughter) was not happy that her son had chosen a Jewish girl. His dad, however, loved telling me about his Jewish best friend from college and the holidays he spent with him.

Mike told me on more than one occasion that he was worried for me spiritually – specifically that my being Jewish was going to send me to hell. When we went to his senior prom, he took a walk in the rain to “call his friend” (aka – pray to Jesus). I thought it was odd, but I loved him and accepted him. I thought his fears about my eternal soul were just a simple misunderstanding that he would come to realize was absurd.

Once, he stayed out later than his curfew and got locked out of his house. He came back to my house in the middle of the night and asked if he could sleep over, rather than waking his parents and facing them. I made him sleep on the floor because I was worried about my own parents. In the morning my mom gave me hell for making him sleep on the floor all night. Go figure.

Mike and I broke up early into my senior year when he came back home to surprise me one weekend when I already had plans. He had snuck into town without telling his parents so he had nowhere to stay if not with me, and was not the least understanding of my plans (I think it was a marching band party and a sleep over with my best friend – ahhh, high school). We fought. We broke up. He stayed at his parents’ house.

Later, like much later, Mike lost his virginity to said best friend, and no, they were not married. I heard through the grapevine that he eventually started smoking pot and lost his extreme Christian faith, married a Jewish girl who wore a black dress to their wedding.

I bet his mom is so proud.

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