Saturday, May 03, 2008

Cremellos and Buckskins and Spinning The Bottle

Dusty lookalike Cremello

All a bit discombobulated and sentimental tonight after a long-long chat with Clare in some $20 hostel in Santa Monica . .enjoying every minute of it but it made me all sentimental and sloppy and reminiscent and for some reason, Cornelius Vanderzaaag came to mind.

I was 13 and living in Melbourne and had a riding partner called Casey. He tethered his pony, Snoopy, an obliging buckskin , onto any old vacant lot whilst I paid (well my Dad paid) for my pampered pony, a temperamental Cremello to be agisted in the paddock which backed onto our garden fence. It was a new suburb in semi-rural Melbourne in those days. Casey and I went to the same school and were in many classes together but never spoke. On the weekends and during school holidays, Casey and I were inseparable. He didn't have a saddle and rode bareback. I was spoiled and had all the accoutrement's including a rather disgusting velvet lined helmet that my mother made me wear and which I discarded the minute we headed out of sight.

We went everywhere. We took the horses and sploshed in the river, we galloped in hilly paddocks, we trawled through dusty fire trails and clattered through the suburbs. We went up to the local chippy and tied up the horses to the bus stop while we ordered hot chips and sauce.

We rarely spoke. It's funny, there was nothing much to say other than, "Where to?" or "Wanna canter up here?" or "Hungry?". We didn't converse much at all in retrospect. So it came as quite a surprise when one of Casey's friends declared that he had a bit of a crush on me.

He was a handsome boy, Dutch parents, silver blonde short-cropped hair and piercing blue eyes. He had that lovely olive tan that European tourists seem to acquire when down-under. He was a little shorter than me having not yet experienced that teenage growth spurt that alters a boy's physique in the space of a nanosecond.

Then after about 12 months of being in each other's company, he invited me to a party . . my first 'grown up' event. Of course it was late afternoon and home by 8 but I was young. I was so clueless I just thought he was being nice, it never dawned on me that he'd see this as his big romantic opportunity.

So, I was duly dropped off at said party and he greeted me with a rose. Eeuww . . this was my riding partner, my mate, my pal . . .for Christ's sake we smelled like horse sweat and loved it. Ok so the penny dropped. There was only one problem, I had never seen him in anything other than a school uniform or his riding jeans . . the growth spurt was obviously beginning (not what you think). His trousers were at least 4 inches above his shoes and between the hem of his pants and the top of his shoes . . .white socks! Call me shallow and bitch slap me to Tuesday . . WHITE SOCKS . . .in the day, this was not acceptable. For some reason, that split second flash of white and the too-short trousers turned me right off. All of a sudden this sweet boy had become a complete dag, a dweeb, a dork a nerd!

Despite his handsomeness, our friendship, his flashy white smile, he had become someone I was too cool to play with. But play we did . . spin the bottle . . .then in for the kiss . . .It wasn't the kiss that was bad, in fact it was sweet and gentle - it was me . . and him . . and the awkwardness and those socks and everyone cheering and jeering and the thought that it would be the talk of the class at school tomorrow . . when it was really Steven Rodriguez that I had a massive crush on and this little event might jeopardise my chances of a proper snog!

We didn't talk about it after that. We didn't hang out as much and shortly after, I found a real boyfriend with long pants and no white socks. Poor Casey was dumped unceremoniously and I've never heard from him since. I often think about him and what he's doing, where he is, what he grew into . . .Sorry Case, I was a shallow shit when I was 14! I'm much nicer now that I'm 50!
We weren't t0 be the perfect pair but didn't we have pretty ponies!

A Snoopy look alike buckskin


Grannymar said...

Confession time:

I never played Spin the Bottle! I had enough of gangly legs, big ears. noses and knees at home without kissing other lookalike specimens!

In my day the boys wore short trousers showing off those dreadful knees, enough to turn a girl off for life!

Nick said...

I never turned down a girl because of some fashion gaffe but I was certainly a shallow and callous so-and-so when I was young. I remember ditching a lovely young woman quite brusquely simply because I was instantly smitten with someone else who seemed sparkier and edgier. But still, I tell myself she was young and had plenty of chances to meet other eligible blokes. I've no idea what became of her either.

PS: The Cremello is sooo beautiful!

ian said...

I plead guilty to Nick's failings (though I was fifteen at the time). However, I would enter a plea of mitigation in that I was dumped at the age of 14 by a girl of 13 and was very hurt.

I found her on Friends Reunited five years ago and we email most days - though I'm glad nothing ever came of our initial contact, we would have been divorced in a week!

Anonymous said...

You rode horses, turned down a dude because he looked like a reject from a Curly-Wurly factory because of the way he was dressed ... shallowness or what eh?

Ah what am I saying? I called a girl Pizza-Face once so I can't complain ...

Baino said...

GrannMar: I think it's the only time I played it to be truthful . . yep, all the boys were gangly and big-eared whilst we girls were simply goddesses in our own imagination!

Nick: Good for you . . I don't believe it but . . I once told a 'suitor' that I was unavailable 'that' night before he'd even mentioned a date!

Dusty was indeed very pretty. Actually cream with a tiny white star. I sold her to finance my first car but kept in touch with the breeder. She had many little palomino foals and did indeed live happily ever after.

Ian: Hard to be the dumpee rather than the dumper. I've only ever chased up one past flame(not that there were many) he's happily married with two kids so no point going back.

Anonymous: I know . . .awful aren't I. I'm certainly not that way any more. I wouldn't mind betting you have a few colourful phrases up your sleeve!

Babysis said...

My memories of Dusty (thats the Cremello) are endless days sitting on the front with Baino on the back - I was 5. One lovely day, after telling Baino many times that there was a hole up front and her saying "yep I see it" - well I could see it and yep we did fall in it! Happy Days!

I made my mother (Baino and my mother) drop a boy once on my behalf - she did it begrudgingly and swore never to do it again - ha ha I got out of it!!! Yippee!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful horse images! Sad but very entertaining story ;) I always had the next one lined up before dumping the former and a set of groupies who followed me around. Saw them all again at the Reunion and told one if he was alone when 80 to find me! Hhehheee.

Ryan said...

White socks should be barred from existence, apart from with runners. Countless times I've been out with the boys and one of them is wearing black shoes with white socks. Ugh.

Baino said...

Babysis: I'd forgotten that! The boyfriend, not the hole. I remember the hole! I'll be over soon, just being lazy this morning.

Anony: You must have been quite a catch to have all your ducks lined up in a row! I let men chase me until I caught them.

Ryan: I think Otley and Adam are into white sox . . fashion victims that they are! Although Ads' have Billabong written all over them. Cheap knockoff's from Thailand!

Brianf said...

Sometimes I think Baino is my sister from differnt parents. White socks were a serious, "Don't Do", except when wearing sneakers. I use to know all those rules of what kind of socks to wear with what kind of clothes but then I too got old and now don't give a pooplet what color your or my socks are.
By the way the girl I use to ride with whom I blew off as a teenager was named Elisa. Her dad owned the local Fiat dealership.

Baino said...

Brianf: Haha . . you have a virtual left wing socialist sister! Very funny Dr Jones!

My favourite socks are now Bolivian Llama wool. Incredibly daggy (one pair is purple) but I love 'em. That's the benefit of age, as we become more flabby, wrinkly, grey, short sighted and forgetful - a pair of socks is exactly that . . as long as you don't make love with your socks on . .

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