Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Love Story: Piece by Piece Part 6

Oh, the summer I turned 16. And you know what that means..... driver's license! The very same week I got my license, my best friend flew in from Louisiana and my parents took us to the beach. I was in disbelief when my dad tossed me the keys and said "Why don't you girls go have some fun." I was driving, baby. My younger sister's friend from Louisiana also flew in to go to the beach with us. I think it was their goal to meet as many boys as possible that trip (teenagers... gotta love 'em) but me? I didn't talk to a single boy that week. I had someone else on my mind.

Erin (my younger sister) had a best friend named Katie. One day, she came home from spending the night with her and exclaimed "Heather! Guess where me and Katie went?"

"Don't care."

"We went to Hunter's house!"

I grabbed her by her shirt collar and pulled her face close to mine.

"You better tell me where his house is right now."

I'm just kidding, that's not how it went. Usually, all my sisters had to do was just say his name and everything went down hill from there. Literally, they would say "Hunterrrrr" and I would force back a smile, leading them to say "Don't smiiiiiile. Don't do it. Awww, why are you blushing?" OR what about the time freshman year when my older sister saw me across the hallway at school and yelled "Heather! My friend worked on the yearbook this year and let me go through a bunch of yearbook photos they were about to throw away. So I got this one for you! Here- it's a picture of Hunter playing soccer!!!"

"BRANDI!!!! Get that thing out of here! Someone will see it! And don't say his name!!!!!!! Someone will hear you!"

I still have that picture. Good thing I married him, or else I would just be a creep.

So turns out, Erin's best friend lived in the neighborhood right next to Hunter's. I'm really not sure how many times me and the BFF drove past his house that summer. Also, my best friend's little brother started skateboarding so we offered to take him to the skate park whenever he needed to be dropped off or picked up. He didn't realize that we were just using it as an excuse to do the "good big sister" thing in hopes of seeing Hunter.

I never did see Hunter that summer. And you know I didn't dare call the phone number he wrote in my yearbook. But I did go skipping into my junior year thinking we'd pick up where we left off. I'm sure you know my extreme disappointment when I realized after the first day that I had zero classes with him. You see, I managed to get enrolled in all honors classes and well, Hunter and school just didn't mix....... know what I'm saying?

Our school was so huge that the two of us really never even crossed paths, but I did notice that Hunter's popularity had made a big peak as opposed to his freshman and sophomore year. But I just knew that it wouldn't effect us being friends if somehow we ever ran into each other.

We certainly ran into each other. I was walking back to my class one day after using the restroom. I saw Hunter coming down the hall towards me. I thought what a perfect opportunity!! I'm finally running into him and there's no one else in the hall but us! I felt nervous, but couldn't wait to stop and talk to him. Then I noticed that as he was getting closer, he still hadn't looked at me. But how could he not see me yet? It's just us two out here! He got closer.... and closer.... and closer when I realized "He's acting like he doesn't see me." I looked at him the entire time and we finally walked passed each other, and all the while, Hunter was staring away.

I was devastated. Hunter had become too good for me.

There was only one thing to do. Add a few layers to the wall around my heart and get over him. Although, I knew he was always going to be in the back of my mind. I started liking this guy 2nd semester who was in my US history class. He was popular, too, so yet again, I liked someone I had no chance with. At least he pretended to be my friend. He even bought me a pack of my favorite gum because he said he thought about me when he was in line at the store. I always fell for stuff like that.

Towards the end of junior year, one of Hunter's friends asked me to prom. At first, I told him no. Prom was not my thing, in fact, I was very anti- school events. But then Erin begged me to go because she thought I would have fun. So I wound up going and found myself smack in the middle of Hunter and all his friends on prom night. I remember when I got to Hunter's house to take 8 million pictures with a bunch of popular people I wasn't friends with, Hunter managed to speak me. "Hey Heather. You look very pretty." My heart did not flutter this time. And despite the fact that I was going to spend an entire night around Hunter, all I could think the whole time was "Why am I here?" I just remember sitting at his house after prom surrounded by kids I had nothing in common with and turned to my date and said "Can you take me home?" We were even supposed to go to a big party and then have a big co-ed sleepover but..... I just wanted to be anywhere but there.

Junior year ended and summer came. I had started to become really close with a bunch of people from my church. I noticed one guy, who was home for the summer from UT, began to give me a different kind of attention. I thought he was really cute, but he made me nervous. After hanging around him a few times, he asked for my number. One night, he called and said "How do you feel about me?" I hesitated. I remember being on the phone thinking he was really cute but I wasn't excited about the fact that he was pursuing me. After I let a long awkward silence pass, he said "I asked you that because I like you." It was the first time I was hearing a boy tell me flat out that he had feelings for me. I was excited, but it felt like someone was taking a sledge hammer to my heart's wall and not even making a dent. I wound up telling him that I liked him, too, and we decided to give things a shot. He was the first boy to take me on a date. We went to Sip of Seattle in Nashville to hear some kid named Landon Pigg (you may of heard of him? I don't know..... he was in the movie 'Whip It' and has had a few successful songs. At the time, though, he was just some guy from CPA singing in a tiny coffee shop.) He asked if he could come over to my house after the the show. I frantically called Erin and begged her to clean up downstairs. She said "Oooooohhhhh, you're gonna get your first kiss tonight!"

Well, I like him, but God, I hope not.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Love Story: Piece by Piece Part 5

We're only half way through this love story..... :) It's been fun getting the responses to it on facebook. And even more fun when Hunter lays down next to me at night and I think about 11 years ago when I thought I didn't have a chance in the world with him. And now, there he is, just laying in bed next to me. I love it!!!!!

As I said before, the second I walked into that classroom and saw Hunter, I had to catch my breath. Then, its as if I started to have an out of body experience that I couldn't control. I felt myself walking straight towards him.
I kept telling myself "Whoa, wait. What are you doing? You think you're gonna go talk to him? You've never said more than two words to him! This is not safe. Turn around and just find a desk and pretend like you didn't even see him."
I kept walking. I walked all the way over to his desk and sat right beside him. "Hi!! So we have directed studies together!" And we were actually talking. To each other.

I, Heather Clark, was talking........ to a boy. And he was talking back.

All those butterflies came rushing back. We really got to know each other that last semester of sophomore year. I had just begun my 'journey' into punk music, and Hunter was already obsessed with it, so we spent a lot of time listening to his cd's together. That was the main topic of our conversations- music. I got a job with my best friend at a coffee shop that year, and on my very first day of work, there just so happened to be a show at 328.

"So are you going to the Ace Trouble Shooter show?"

"They're playing tonight????"

"Yeah and you better come."

"I can't. It's my first day of work."

"Ummmm hello? You're going. You're gonna call in sick and go to this show with me."

"I can't! I don't do stuff like that! It's my first day... I can't just call in sick!"

"You're going. Give me the number. I'll call in sick for you."

In my head- "Oh my gosh. I like him so much and he's asking me to go to a show with him. God, why did you have to make this my first day of work????"

"Dude, I will get fired. I can't go."

My BFF and I did get to meet up with him and his friends at another show at 328 later that semester, though. MXPX, Good Charlotte (before they got big... oh, and ghetto) and Slick Shoes. There's nothing like a punk show when you're 15 years old and in love with a boy who skateboards.

I still have "The Legend of Chin" Switchfoot cd he gave me. We swapped cd's for a week and that was the one he let me borrow. When it was time to swap back, he told me to just keep it because "Switchfoot was too acoustic" for him. Oh man, I just needed to throw that tidbit in there. At least now he knows they're amazing and why they've been my favorite band for the past 12 years.

I noticed one week that Hunter was especially distant towards me. It made me panic because I could only assume he had decided I was stupid and I worried that I had let my guard down for nothing. Then, at the end of that week, something happened.

I had to get the library pass that day to work on a paper because I knew that I would get nothing done in directed studies sitting next to the cutest boy alive. We had just gotten to class and I was standing at my desk, holding the pass. Our conversation went a little something like this:

"Hey, where are you going?"

"I gotta go to the library for a little bit."

"Oh. Well...... I was wondering...... Do you have a boyfriend?"

(in my head) WHAT!!!????!!!! It's ok. Just breathe.

"Uhh, no I guess not."

"What do you mean you guess not???"

"Ok, no. I don't."

I wonder if it's possible for him to see my heart literally beating out of my chest. Crap, I feel my face turning red. Maybe he won't notice.

"Wellllllll... I was wondering if you...... and me............ and you..... and me........ you know......"
As he pointed to me and then himself, back to me and then himself again. But not looking me in the eye.

"What??" I nervously laughed. "You're funny!"

Then his good friend Dave chimed in.

"No, Heather! You should believe him!"

"Oh man..." still nervously laughing. "You guys crack me up."

"He's being serious!"

Hunter still isn't looking at me.

"Ya'll are funny. Ok, I really need to go to the library. I'll see you later!!"

And then I just left.

Heather............... I think the boy you're in love with just asked you out. And you..................................... said..................................... no.

My whole body was numb as I walked to the library. I didn't get anything done. I didn't even tell my best friend. She would have never believed me. To this day, Hunter tells me that it was a good thing I said no because he would have been the worst boyfriend ever. He says "All I cared about tenth grade was punk music and skateboarding. I would have never treated you good." I guess I believe him.... or maybe that's how he deals with getting the shaft :) Just kidding. But who knows? Maybe we would have started dating and he really would have been a crummy boyfriend and I could have possibly never spoken to him again in my life. I can only imagine that the Lord purposefully set up the events that year exactly the way they were supposed to happen.

After that incident, Hunter was a little stand-offish towards me. But at the end of the year, he signed a bunch of inside jokes in my year book as well as his number. I had Hunter Lamb's phone number. And his best friend Cal signed "PUNK MUSIC LIVES FOREVER!!!!!" I also just had to throw that tid bit in there. Cal, punk music only lives in the hearts of 15 year olds forever. When I think about being 15, I think about shopping for thrift store tees, browsing the internet for HOURS in search of the most amazing punk music, finally enjoying school because of my best friend and I think about the time Hunter Lamb, in his own special way, asked me out...............................................

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Love Story: Piece by Piece Part 4

I would say that hitting high school and realizing how badly I wanted a boyfriend is when I started praying about boys. I know that sounds so silly to some people and some may not understand it, but I was coming from a place in which I had built a bullet proof wall around my heart in order to keep from being hurt, but at the same time, I longed to be liked. It wasn't even that I desired to have my first kiss or go on a date, I just wanted a nice boy to sit down in front of me, tell me how much he liked me, and ask me to be his girlfriend. But that was so difficult in my position, considering that I couldn't even look a boy in the eyes out of shyness and fear, meaning that no boy would even have a clue that I liked him, so why would any boy give me a chance?

Back to my story....

That was the first time I had ever laid eyes on Hunter Lamb. I remember stuttering in my own mind. "How....... how have I .............. never seen him before...... in here??????"
There he was in all his skater boy cuteness. Short dark hair, big brown eyes. Baggy plaid shirt over a skateboard company shirt and the biggest, torn skate shoes you've ever seen all glued back together. I think this was the first time I really felt butterflies.

The sad thing is that he doesn't even remember me in wellness. But... Who DID remember me from high school? ANYWAYS.

My friend went on to talk about how everybody called him a goody goody because he didn't do the party thing and had never had his first kiss.

"Really? THAT boy... right there..... hasn't had his first kiss?"

"Yeah, but all the girls talk about how they're going to be his first kiss. He has a twin brother, but they're nothing alike. Hayden's popular..... Hunter isn't really....."

I loved him already.

It was funny because before I ever knew about Hunter, I never heard about him. Then, suddenly, I did start to pick up on girls' conversations (who were popular, of course) in which they planned, almost dreamed, about 'stealing' his first kiss. I knew I had no chance. But I still went along with admiring him from a distance with my best friend. We would sit on the bleachers watching him play basketball in wellness. He would walk past us and so smoothly smile and say "Ladies......" causing us to turn red and then talk for days about how he acknowledged us.

I never did have a conversation with Hunter that year. Then the school year ended and the concept "out of sight, out of mind" kicked in.

The summer flew by and consisted of my BFF flying in from Lousiana, visiting my family in Alabama and late summer nights with my friend down the street.

15 years old, sophomore year was quite the transition. I decided I would participate in a school sport, but definitely not one in which students would actually come out and support. What better sport than cross country? Who comes out to watch the 5k's? I mean, I was just so shy. I also had a big falling out with my best friend from down the street. She started dating a guy who wasn't exactly the best influence. The more different we became morally, the more we were driven a part. She finally told me that we couldn't be friends anymore and blamed it on my cross country schedule. It absolutely broke my heart, but lead to being introduced to a girl in my world history class. She was crazy, silly, so not shy and everything I wasn't. We became inseparable.

I don't remember much about the first semester of sophomore year. There were boys that I thought were cute, but none worth dreaming over, ha ha. All I remember is walking into my new directed studies class second semester and having to catch my breath because, well, what do you know, there was Hunter Lamb.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Love Story: Piece by Piece Part 3

I failed to mention in my last post that upon moving to Louisiana, I discovered that I was painfully shy, so you can imagine, all the more, the shyness that came with my transition into teenage-hood with the move to Tennessee. I always knew I was shy, but it didn't show in elementary school because I had been there for five years and was friends with everyone, but being completely out of my comfort zone brings forth a high level of bashfulness in me.

I started my life in Franklin by finishing the last month of 8th grade at Page middle school. I was instantly befriended by a girl who lived just down the street from me, which lead to making friends with the rest of the neighborhood kids our age. We all hung out for the entire summer, and I became particularly fond of one of the boys who was really sweet to me but I didn't dare flirt with him, especially because my best friend had confided in me her feelings towards him. However, (of course there's a 'however') he was not quite the goody two shoes I was. He smoked. He stole wine from the model homes in our neighborhood. He smashed the neighbors' pumpkins at halloween... I'm sure the list goes on. I had a huge sense of being torn because I liked him, but I didn't want to like him. I will never forget, one day we were all headed home from hanging out and he decided he wanted to walk me home. The second that everyone else was out of sight, he threw his arm around my shoulder and we started the walk up the hill to my house. "So.................." he said. "Wanna make out?"

You can only imagine the pitter patter of my heart after hearing those words. Not out of excitement, but out of SHEAR TERROR. What can I say, boys scared me.

"Uuummmmm, haha, NO."

"Come ooooon. Let's just go in one of these houses being built."

"I gotta go, bye!"

And as my story continues, you will notice that this is how I regularly dealt with boy situations.

We still hung out for the rest of the summer, he was still kind to me, and I still crushed on him. But I kept a very safe distance between he and I.

Then there comes the big first day of high school. Oh, Centennial High school. I made best friends with another girl pretty fast that I met in wellness. She was boy crazy- but freshman girls are supposed to be boy crazy. I was the opposite of a normal, typical teen girl starting her freshman year. But anyways, her boycraziness was fun. I went right on along with all of her crushes and we would write letters back and forth every day: "So and so said hi to me today! So and so looks soooo cute today! I love so and so!" Whoever she was liking at the moment, well I liked him too.

And then one day...........

We were hanging out on the bleachers in wellness and she's just sitting there talking and talking about this boy and how cute he is and how much she likes him. Finally, I'm like "WHO are you talking about? WHO is Hunter?"

She was surprised. "Heather, are you serious? He sits right next to me in class...." and pointed over to him.................................

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Love Story: Piece by Piece Part 2

My family moved to Mandeville, Louisiana the summer after 5th grade. Talk about a completely different brew of people from Chalkville Elementary. After starting 6th grade, I realized my innocence. I walked into my first day of school wearing lacey socks with white Keds and a flowery Levi's shirt on. You were nobody if you didn't have Dr. Marten's. You were nobody if you didn't have an LL Bean book bag (with your initials on it, of course). You were nobody if you didn't cuss and you were nobody if you didn't have a perverted sense of humor.

Well. I was nobody.

All the girls in my class liked Jeff. Jeff carried an LL Bean bag. Jeff wore Dr. Marten's. Jeff cussed. Jeff managed to use the word "titties" every five minutes and Jeff was a rebel. Not only did he get in trouble on an ungodly basis, but he stole everyone's pens (remember when having 'cool' pens was the thing in school??). I hated Jeff.

There was a kid in my class named DJ. DJ was extremely overweight, extremely shy and extremely uncool. I will never forget the crushed look on his face when he realized that the gold pen his dad gave him had been stolen.

Did I mention all the girls liked Jeff? And did I mention I hated Jeff? Just checking.

So one day, I made it my mission to get DJ's pen back. My class was lining up to go to the library and I constructed a plan with my best friend to line up at the very end of the class and sneak back into the classroom. I was going to go where no man dared to go. I was going into Jeff's stupid little LL Bean bag to get DJ's pen.

I was TERRIFIED. The class marched away and I dashed back into our room. Shaking, I unzipped Jeff's bag and, with wide eyes, pulled out the largest ziplock bag you can imagine.......... just full of pens. I dug around for the gold pen, found it, placed it back in DJ's desk and me and the BFF ran to catch up with our class. With my heart beating completely out of my chest, I looked at her and said "You will never tell anyone of this......"

All that to say, Jeff left quite the bitter taste in my mouth. Now, not only did I refuse to show feelings for a boy, but I had decided boys were, yet again, stupid.

Seventh and eighth grade rolled by with me being the biggest dork and admiring boys from a distance, but refusing to talk to them. Things felt safer not being friends with boys. Yeah, I had my crushes... I liked Brian. My friend bought me a necklace that said "Brian" and I remember opening it, feeling mortified, convincing everyone that I would never wear it, and definitely wore it under my shirts. Every day. Brian asked me to dance with him at the end of the school year dance in 8th grade, and even though I liked him so much, I would have rather died than dance with him.

Then we moved to Franklin, Tennessee and I was safe from the Brian saga and of worrying that he would ever find out I liked him.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Love Story: Piece by Piece Part 1

This is completely random, but I'm doing it anyway. Not like anyone cares to read my "love story" but I'm just gonna go ahead and 'document' it :)
So this is the story of how the Lord strategically placed Hunter Lamb in my life. I'm going to post it in pieces just because I don't want to be writing for hours. I will try to post everyday, but if not, at least every few days.


His name was Russ. We played together every recess- just the two of us- no one else. It was the same game every day. He was the puppy dog, I was his mommy. We were best friends and I "loved" him. Or so I wrote in my kindergarten phone book. But what does a 5 year old know about love?

First grade, I decided boys were dumb. Tommy elbowed me while we were watching Disney's Robin Hood, so..... I hated boys.

I liked Jonathan in the second grade, but he liked my friend Megan. I knew she was prettier than me, so I excepted Jonathan as a friend.

Third grade, I was head over heels for Michael. My mom thought he was the cutest boy ever, too. Turns out, he grew up to be a real champ. (Are you picking up on my sarcasm? 'Cause I'm laying it on pretty thick. Shut up, Richard.)

I had about five best friends in fourth grade, so there was no time to fit in a crush. However, I did get a little jealous when I found out John liked one of my best friends... despite the fact that I called this boy "baboon butt" (yes, to his face) because he wore blue duckheads almost everyday.... I didn't even like him. I was just jealous.

Fifth grade was my first big crush. 'First big crush' as in, the boy you thought about day and night. His name was Philip. My best friend finally got a boyfriend, so I thought what better time to talk about boys now? I slept at her house one night and confessed to her for the first time about my crush. We laid in bed giggling and before we turned the lights out, I said "You dream about Jeffrey and I'll dream about Philip." That monday at school, our class was coming back from the library, lunch, the gym, who cares, and I remember walking up to a scene straight out of a movie. My entire class was in a circle and I could see Jennifer in the middle talking. As I walked closer, her eyes jutted over to me and my whole class turned around. Almost everyone at once ran over to me yelling things like "You like Philip??? You said you wanted to dream about him????" And I just saw Philip staring away. To this day, I'm still baffled as to why someone would do that to their best friend.

So from that point on, I decided I wasn't "like-able" and that NO boy would EVER know if I had feelings for him. I built up a wall around my heart that was a million feet high and a million feet thick. I would never be hurt over a crush again.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hunter and I really, really, really needed to get away for a few days- just the two of us- so we did..... We went to Chattanooga, a place that's such a short stinkin' drive, but such a fun city. We loved our trip! I've been to Chattanooga so many times (even lived there for a year) and visited with Hunter before, but for the first time, we really did a lot of research on the city. We realized what a historic city it is and that pretty much every place in it is on the National Register of Historic places.

and so begins our adventure :)

So if you don't visit at least one of the following places: Ruby Falls/Rock City/Incline Railway while you're in Chattanooga........ then I'm not really sure why you visited Chattanooga.
Ruby Falls is old (duuuhhh) and really cool. It opened in the 20's after a man discovered the waterfall while digging an elevator shaft to open the cave to the public.

The waterfall is 2,000 or so feet under ground. Pretty cool!

When you're done with the tour, you wind up on top of the building with a really cool view of the city!

When I was 18, I went to UTC and worked at a little BBQ place called Bone's Smokehouse. I chose to work there because it was waaaayyy off the beaten path and I knew I would never run into classmates there. Just so happens that the food.... is...... AMAZING. Me and Hunter always go there when we're in town.
The fried pickles are probably the best I've ever had.

This is a cool view of Lookout Mountain we had from our hotel room....

RC Cola and Moonpies are a big part of Chattanooga's history.
So eat some while you're there...... it's nostalgic.

We always visit Urban Rocks when we go to Chatt. This is us ready to do the hardest boulder problems we've encountered. Urban Rocks means business....

Here's our hotel! It was sooo pretty aaannnnddd historic (duuuhhh). It was built in the 20's and all the original decor is still there. I loved the vibe inside- you really felt like you were part of a high class society right smack in the middle of a black and white film.
We also freaked a little when we read that the hotel was haunted... before it was built in the 20's, a hotel stood in the same exact spot during the 1800's. It was used as a military hospital during the civil war and later burned to the ground in a fire. The hotel was rebuilt and for whatever reason, room 311 is infamous for being haunted. Apparently murders/suicides/lots of strange things have taken place in that room and people book room 311 years in advance, but can rarely make it through the night before checking out.

When we first got to the hotel, we were surprised at how original everything was kept. Hunter kept saying "I feel like we're in Tower of Terror!!!" Here's the old phone booths. Legend has it....... they're haunted.

The main lobby

The old news and cigar stand. Legend has it....... it's haunted.

The entrance to the famous Silver ballroom.... which I hear...... is haunted.

I love the old piece above the elevators..... which apparently..... are haunted.

Even the cool old mailbox is still hanging on the wall.....which we were told..... is haunted.
I just made all that up. But our hotel really is known for being haunted-- which freaked me out--- even though I don't believe in ghosts at all......
Sad to check out of our hotel, but ready for more adventures.... like taking a river tour on the Southern Belle!

Then we went to the zoo, and to our surprise, Wednesdays will cost you a big fat dollar to see the animals! We were pretty excited....
This is the silhouette of a bird that was making me laugh...

I love it when they let peacocks roam the zoo

My most favorite exhibit was the prairie dogs. If I could, I would have one as a pet because they were unbelievably cute. But they're probably dangerous and make horrible pets so instead I just named all of them to make believe they were my pets for 30 minutes.... which was a bad decision because it just made me become attached to them and want to spend all my time at the zoo staring at them.... which did not make Hunter very happy......
This is Martha. She's enjoying a delicious leaf.

This is Wilfred. He just got done digging a hole...

This is Mr. Tuttle who is also enjoying a leaf.

This is Franny.

Mr. Tuttle and Franny are married.

He doesn't get a name because the zoo keeper told me if I pet him, he would bite me.

Despite the fact that this little guy looks timid and scared that I'm going to shoot him, he is called a Dracula deer and has sharp, pointy teeth..... I'm not even making that up.
I loved this guy

Then we headed to Northshore and had some amazing hotdogs and ice cream.
The hotdog place had really cute decor!

Hunter was so convinced that the man behind me was one of the Lost boys from the movie Hook. But he was too afraid to ask him..... anways, look at that tub of ice cream!

All in all, our mini get away was awesome! We gained 50 pounds, took in a lot of history, saw some really cute animals for $1 and did really fun activities. I love adventures like that with my best friend :)