Let the Epic Firsts celebration continue! This week we’re celebrating Defiance, the first book for author C.J. Redwine! She has written two guest posts (look out for the other one later in the week) to share with us her personal firsts and her characters’ firsts. Today, she’s sharing stories about some of her most memorable firsts. Want to share your epic first? Play with our new Facebook app!
The first car I owned was a two-door, white Dodge Shadow (they don’t even make them anymore). But the real story is that before I purchased the Shadow my senior year in high school, I had to drive our family’s van. If you’re busy thinking, “Driving a nice little minivan isn’t so bad,” allow me to correct you. Our van was a 1979 Dodge Caravan with black and white horizontal stripes, orange carpeted seats, and a transmission that only worked if you always kept your foot on the gas, even at a full stop. Finding just the right balance between gas and brake was half art and half science, and I was never very good at either subject. Most days, I pulled into the school parking lot, misjudged the gas-to-brake ratio, and announced my presence with a backfire loud enough to be heard across most of the county. So awesome.
First Celebrity Crush:
Before my dad threw our television away when I was in the second grade, I was addicted to watching The Dukes of Hazzard. I used to hold a tape recorder (old school, baby!) up to the TV and record the episode so that my sister and I could then spend the next week acting it out in our living room. And I had a crush on John Schneider who played Bo Duke. I even wrote about him in my little red diary, so you know I was in it to win it. Years later, I taught high school English at a private school in Los Angeles, and my husband coached various athletic teams there. And guess whose daughter was on one of my husband’s teams? That’s right. John Schneider’s. Because of this connection, we were invited to John’s house for his annual Christmas party. I was currently eight months pregnant at the time and felt like the approximate size of the planet Jupiter. My husband and I arrived, John walked forward to greet us, and the first words out of my husband’s mouth were “This is my wife. She had a huge crush on you and wanted to marry you when she was little.” Awkward, FTW.
When I was younger, I honestly thought that my first job would be to replace Wonder Woman. Someone had to, you know? She wasn’t going to be able to spin and shed her clothing like that forever. I’d even been practicing with my holy-cow-awesome underroos. I had a few technical difficulties (usually involving running my face into a wall as I tried to simultaneously pirouette and disrobe), but it was going to happen. Sadly, by the time I was in high school, the world had moved on to He-man and She-ra, and I just didn’t want to be She-ra. I mean, the outfit still rocked, but…she didn’t spin and strip. So, instead, I got a job as a waitress at a retirement home. I worked in the dining hall serving two dinner shifts to the residents, and I learned a few valuable lessons. For one thing, some retired people eat things I wouldn’t touch unless I was starving. Like liver and onions. (Every Thursday!) Or prune juice. (Keeps you regular!) For another, some people take their napkin folding SERIOUSLY. *shudders* And finally, there are some super cool retired people out there who learned long ago to accept who they were, embrace what made them unique, and then live it without apology. That’s a good life lesson, even if it doesn’t involve bullet-proof gold bracelets and awesome primary-colored spandex.
First Mix Tape:
I lived in the era of the Mix Tape. (That totally deserves to be a proper noun. Totally.) We made mix tapes for our friends. For ourselves. But especially, for our boyfriends. I can’t remember every song I put on my first mix tape, but I know it had a few of my favorites on there. Favorites like Richard Marx’s “Should’ve Known Better” (dude had a sexy mullet back then; I know those two words seem like a contradiction, but trust me), Debbie Gibson’s “Lost in Your Eyes” (I once dressed up like her for Halloween), and Bon Jovi’s “Lay Your Hands On Me” (a song guaranteed to raise my dad’s blood pressure every time he heard it). I think I even threw in a little Kenny Loggins (The Top Gun soundtrack was epic, then. EPIC.) for good measure.
Debbie Gibson image source; Bon Jovi image source; Top Gun image source
My first kiss happened on the last night of summer camp, down by the Coca-Cola machine that rested just outside the snack shack. The boy I thought was ah-maaaa-zing took me there (because what girl doesn’t dream of snuggling up beside a brilliantly lit Coke machine?), leaned in, and kissed me. It was short and kind of slobbery. I had to wipe my lips afterwards. Then, we walked back to our cabins. I sort of floated on air for the rest of the night because A BOY KISSED ME!