How Fang and I First Hooked Up

After my Mexican Fang post, some of you have wondered how Fang, 15 years my junior, a less-literate Mexican man-boy–How did he and I manage to hook up, when I’m a word-loving, nerd-loving oldish whiteish lady?

Whatever this magnetism is that Fang and I have, the more he and I chatted at my friend’s, the more his magical powers pulled at me. On the 4th of July, there were almost fireworks down on the ground when I nearly leaned over and just kissed him out of nowhere! THAT is not like me. Especially since I was consciously fighting the whole thing. I was really not comfortable at the thought of how Fang would react to seeing me naked. My body looks pretty good for my age. But a guy THAT young? What he imagined he’d see and what he would see were likely to be different.

Meanwhile, Fang, who had set his sights on me from the first time he saw me, was running a sneaky campaign to overcome my resistance. He said he wanted to be only my friend–that he had no romantic interest in me at all. (This was mostly so that I would rent a nearby apartment of his brother’s, thereby staying within easy reach.) By the point he came up with this, I had PLENTY of interest in Fang, despite my body/age doubts, and hearing the “let’s be friends” line was a great disappointment.

Turns out he was a big fat lying liar. But why use words, when pictures will do? Here’s your free comic for being such a good post reader!

(Click to expand. Use the back arrow to come back.
If you close the window, you’ll be lost to me–sniff! sob!):

Comic All Sections

2014-02-14–As usual, first version was WAY too wordy. Cut out the ca-ca.

The Paragon

Billy Ryder. Just saying his name silently to myself was enough to reduce me to a useless puddle of drool.

Somewhere in the middle of junior high school, I developed one of those helpless, heart-stoppingly painful crushes on a boy with whom I had never spoken.

“…perfect or excellent…” Pair? Uh… Gone (In Billy’s and My Case).

Billy Ryder. He was extremely tall, lanky, and walked with a very graceful loping stride that really got me—right there, you know?
He wore his straight dark brown hair parted on the side, and it was always falling in front of his eyes, which meant that he always had to reach up and gently push it back, or, even better, toss it back with his head.

Oh, how that got to me!
Of course, his face was cute. But the crush clincher was that he was highly intelligent and well-informed, and oh so soft-spoken. What a killer combo.

But Billy Was More Handsome Than Pretty…

Between classes was a very difficult time for me. That is when there was a chance I would have to pass my paragon.

I was terrified that he would spot me, and immediately detect the embarrassing depth of my feelings for him.
I would spot him coming, miles down the hallway, and immediately avert my eyes, hoping that this would prevent the bright red blush that always covered me when he was near.

It never worked; I’d feel the heat burning my face and even my arms. As he grew closer, I would find it hard to walk.
As soon as I knew he had passed, I would have to stop and lean against the wall and wait for the cold sweat to break out.
I hated being so out of control of my feelings and my body.
And my feelings were utterly hopeless. Me, skinny, ugly, nerdy. He, tall, beautiful, and—already with girlfriend!
Here is the worst part:

Said girlfriend used to have crying jags in the girl’s bathroom about problems in her relationship with Billy, and cry on my shoulder while I offered her sympathy! When what I really wanted to do was take her place…
This is just how pathetic this crush was:

In the summers, when our family traveled by car to Chicago, my heart would race and be broken by every Ryder Rental truck we passed.

Billy WOULD Have Been the Right Move!

The Right Move for ME!

By high school, the crush had not faded one whit. Then: The day of The Fiasco.
We Choir kids are lined up in the hallway waiting to go onstage. Boys on one side, girls on the other. I’m next to my good friend Vicky.
Billy happens to be across the hall from us, so I am doing my very best to be invisible. Then, the most horrible, most awful, most dreadful thing happens:
Billy, my paragon, the most perfect boy for me ever put on this earth, leaves his place in line, walks across that hall, straight up to me, stands directly in front of me, looks down at me from his angel-like altitude, and, smiling broadly–at me–says, “Hi!”.
And what does Ms. Suave, Ms. Always-be-prepared, Ms. Grab-your-opportunity-or-it-will-pass-you-by  do with this golden moment?
You do remember my smooth moves with Chuck “Hot Pencils” in Biology class, don’t you?

Yup. You Guessed It.

That’s right.

The first thing I do is cast a panicked look at my friend Vicky, thinking “Surely, Billy must be talking to Vicky. He can’t be saying ‘Hi’ to me.” But Vicky’s back is turned.
Once I realize this, I totally freeze. That’s right. Like a deer in the headlights.
The nightmare I always imagined would happen if Billy ever spoke to me is exactly what does happen:

I am unable to move, or say a single word.
Billy continues to stand there for some moments, looking puzzled. Then, he turns around and goes back to his place in line.
Billy was the student who organized our school’s first Earth Day, adding social consciousness and leadership strengths to his long list of attractive qualities. This rubbed in painfully the gem I had missed out on.
Someone told me years later that my paragon, Billy Ryder, had had a crush on me during those years!

I find that very hard to believe. Wouldn’t it just be so sad if it were true?
Stupid teen years.
Note: No names were changed to protect the innocent. So, Billy, or perhaps Bill or William now, if one of the readers of this blog (Shout out!) happens to be six degrees separated from you, you may finally learn of the awe you inspired! (I think I can feel your virtual cringe from here.)

My Mexican Fang

Me: Old (mostly), white (mostly), raised in an upper-middle-class neighborhood (me po’ nuff sho’ nuff now, though).

So what the HELL was I thinking when I hooked up with a “BROWN PRIDE”-tatted Mexican FIFTEEN YEARS younger than I am?

(Yeah, I know what you’re thinkin’ I was thinkin’…with.)

Oh, and not just hooked up…I love the dude! Jeez, Louise!

Fang-boy is loud, ignorant, bossy, ignorant, sexist, ignorant, racist, ignorant, sexist (did I say sexist and ignorant yet?)…

Oh, and I mean SEXIST!! Really, really, OFFENSIVELY sexist! The man is a f#cking NEANDERTHAL!! (We’re workin’ on that.)

Not Fang. I think Fang’s tat is racist, BTW…

We have NADA in common. I don’t even speak Spanish (except como un bebe).

And, like many L.A. Mexicans, Fang only THINKS he speaks English–he’s lived here practically his whole life–but his brand of English has about 100 words in it.

I’m constantly having to define for him everyday words and expressions, like explaining that I was using sarcasm–although he uses irony and sarcasm and the like in Spanish to me; e.g. In mock anger: “Que vamos a hacer contigo!”/”What are we going to do with you!”–right before he shows me, in a way that makes us both very happy…

Yeah. Like This.

When I say Fang is ignorant, I mean of more than just English vocabulary.

He paid no attention in school because when he came here as a young boy, all the other students called him “Beaner” (all but one, who became his best friend), and the teachers were unkind to the little brown import, as well (all but one, but that’s for another post).

I also think Fang is dyslexic, which certainly didn’t help. So–next-to-no schooling, and, since school, the typical seven-day work week of the hard-working Mexican man. Not much time for learning much about anything, except his trade.

So, it’s not just language we don’t have in common. We can’t share films or television programs or books, or history, or science.

I love wordplay, love making puns and stupid language jokes, and Fang just can’t “get” what I get. Add the culture gap. And then there’s the huge age gap on top of it. And the gender gap on top of that, of course.

Good grief, even in the bedroom–or kitchen or wherever–we are still working out compromises! Although give credit where it’s due: Fang’s sexist bossiness has not always been entirely unwelcome (something this feminist never would have suspected about herself!).

We’ve never even shared a meal. I’m an everything-organic rice-only almost-vegetarian. Watching Fang gnaw away on chewy, gristly strips of beef is enough to make me barf.

I sip a half glass of wine occasionally. Fang? Tecate by the truckload. And just TRY to get him to use a coaster!

Let’s face it. We are just not meant to be together.

And yet…

Some of you may be old enough to remember the little Scottie dog magnets, one white and one black, that you set on top of a table and slowly pushed toward each other until, suddenly, they RUSHED together with a !!CLICK!!

That’s Fang. That’s me.

I’ve told him I wish I could quit him. He’s told me the same. But–at least for now–we need each other.

It’s over a year we’ve been dating, and I still thrill when I hear his ringtone. And his voice is sexy as hell.

The man is a pig, really. But he’s my pig. And YOU say one thing against him, I smash your face in.

And Don’t Think I Can’t Do It!


Blacks and Hispanics (not only Latinos) are included among my prior dates and boyfriends. Fang, however, is my first Mexican(-American) boyfriend.

Begrudging Second Addendum:

Ignorant he may be, but what does that make me? Fang has the very irritating habit of being right over half the damn time…(but since he’ll never read this, he’ll never know I admitted it!)

Hot Pencils

Hot, Hot, HOT!!  Is There Anything Hotter?

Chuck sat next to me at a lab table in ninth-grade Science class.  He was one of the most handsome boys in the school.  He had deepset large eyes, a lovely angular elfin jaw with a cleft chin, and wavy, shiny brown hair that would feel like silk in your fingers—you just knew it.  He was a star on the football team, and, on top of that, he was kind, smart, and funny.

The Handsome Bird, Native to the Philippines. Chuck Looked Nothing Like This.

The Wrestler Known as "Handsome Johnny". Chuck and Johnny Shared Only a Species (If That)

I was a well-defined member of the nerds:  Ugly, skinny, tall, flat-chested, and considered highly intelligent.
Therefore, Chuck and I got along extremely well because there was absolutely zero sexual tension between us.  I, who was paralyzingly shy, felt no shyness whatsoever with Chuck.   I figured that I wasn’t even a girl to him:  I was just a lab partner.

Bet You Thought This Was a Guy

We had a blast that year.  Mr. Call droned on and on, managing to make my favorite subject, Biology, into the most boring topic imaginable. 

Chuck and I would pile up all our textbooks but one which we leaned against the pile, making it a ramp.   We decorated the sides of pieces of chalk and pencil stubs by writing slogans on them:  “Maserati Master”, “Rolling Racer”, etc.   Then, we rolled these nubbins sideways down the ramp, like the Hot Wheels toys, only, of course, we called our version Hot Pencils.   

Take One Ramp...(Minus Chair and Rider)

Pencil Stubs

…Add a Few Pencil Stubs, et Voila!  Teacher's Dirty Looks Forgotten!

It may sound dumb, but our races got pretty spirited—money even exchanged hands at nearby tables.  Once in a while, when my unladylike cackling got out of hand Mr. Call would ask us to tone it down, but other than that, he let us be.
Weekly, the class had a test.  After each one, Mr. Call would read each student’s score aloud.  When the year began, Chuck’s scores, like most of the other football players’, were in the 70s.  As the weeks went on, though, they began a steady rise.  Soon, he was earning high 90s marks, just like mine.

The class began to snicker and openly accuse Chuck of cheating off of me.  I am thankful Mr. Call clarified aloud that Chuck and I were getting different questions wrong. It never occurred to me that Chuck was trying to raise his grades in order to prove to me that he was intelligent—I had always known he was. 

When Chuck began to compliment me–on my clothes, my shoes, my hair—I still didn’t get what was going on.  At last, I couldn’t help but tumble:  One day, just as the bell rang for the end of class, Chuck turned to me, and, very bravely, I now realize, he reached over and gently took hold of my left hand with his right.


Like This, Only Less Attractive and Smiley-Like

I didn’t know what to do!  Here was this wonderful boy, someone I laughed easily with, someone any girl would love to have as her boyfriend, and he was asking me to be his girlfriend!  All I could think was “He’s been confused by the fun we have in class—he doesn’t know what he’s doing—he’s making a big mistake!  He’s on the football team, for crying out loud!  I won’t fit in with his friends!  Everyone will make fun of him!  He will be sorry!  He will be embarrassed!”

By © 2010 by Tomasz Sienicki [user: tsca, mail: tomasz.sienicki at] (Photograph by Tomasz Sienicki (Own work)) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Non-Hot-Pencil-Bodied Geek I Looked Like and Felt Like, Back Then (Or An Example of Terrible Hot Pencil Road Rage)

At the lab table in front of us, Chuck’s friend Michael was watching, waiting to see what would happen.  He had a ringside seat to observe as I, also ever so gently, reached over and disengaged Chuck’s hand from mine.  Then, I just stood up and walked away.

The next day, I acted as if nothing had happened.  Chuck had no choice but to act the same.  How difficult those growing up years can be!

A few years back, I tried to find Chuck in an online high school directory.  I failed.  I wanted to write to him, in case he remembered that incident, so that I could offer him a many-years belated apology for my awful, if unintentional, cruelty.  And maybe, just maybe, I wondered if Chuck was currently unattached…  (Yes, pitiful, I know, but don’t say you’ve never had one of those moments!)

Chuck, wherever you are, thank you for being so sweet and brave, and thank you for the boost your compliments gave me back then.  I wish I had been secure enough to grab the opportunity of knowing you better, but I’m glad I got to be your Hot Pencils partner.  It was a joy.


Attention to Detail (The Butter Story)

I never get to just butter my toast, ever again.  And if he knew this, my ex-spouse would be very, very happy.  (I almost didn’t write this for that reason alone—but shouldn’t I be long past caring about his feelings?)

Buttered toast and a cup of hot tea.  Perfect for lounging on the couch with the perfect book.  Or with Saturday morning cartoons.  (Do they even still have those?  Netflix will do.)  I used to just love the ritual of spreading the butter on that crispy toast, looking forward to that first bite.

But that was before I was married.  By the time my marriage ended, this one-time feminist was reduced to craven panic at the fear of leaving breadcrumbs in the butter.  Breadcrumbs.  In the butter.

Oh, my aching Christ.

(Dear God, please just let me have that one—it really is called for, here.)

Each crumb, apparently, was highly significant of my failure as a wife, parent, and person, for I was roundly criticized by my spouse, and my sons as well—even before they were teens—if one tiny crumb was left behind.   How low can one person’s soul be crushed, that I would:  a) Feel guilty for the serious life violation leaving crumbs in butter, and b) Allow my own sons to belittle me for a triviality?

But of course, I did not allow this.  My spouse did.  He put forth concentrated effort to train them in this and all other criticisms of me.  One day, when my second son was only a toddler, he told me angrily that he had just overheard my spouse telling my firstborn of an entirely fabricated malicious act I had supposedly done.  My second son said “I was there with Daddy and you that time, and you didn’t say or do what he said.”  He added, “Now I know who the real liar is!”.   What a sad thing to hear your little boy say.

Gosh.  I may not have been a liar like my spouse, or evil like my spouse, but I certainly had my faults, and chief among them was stupidity.

It never occurred to me—not once—that this piece of human feces had been making up similar lies prior to this, or that he would continue to do so.  Or that the end result of this would be that the boys I loved so well who loved me back, and whom I parented so well and who thrived by it, would grow nonetheless to hate and resent me.  In later years they would report to me things I had done and said which had never occurred.  They would love their father and trust him in all things over me, even while agreeing that he is a liar and a cheat and out to win contests at any cost.


These now-adult boys are now solely his children—he has, effectively, erased the effects of my good start to their moral centers—and so they now admire him for these qualities, and consider my naivete and my goodness to be equivalent weaknesses of mine.  Although they don’t believe I’m really all that good—they don’t remember the good years; only the couple after the abuse had turned overt and physical and my resentment and depression boiled over into anger at the world around me.  These bad years proved to them the truth of the picture good ole’ Dad had always painted.

But, back to that forever-rancid butter.  It wasn’t until after I had filed for divorce and was living alone that I noticed:   My spouse-free butter was practically crumb-free.  Because I have Asperger’s (autism-lite:  think “smart, but dumb”), this is what happened:  “At last!”, she exclaimed with pride, “I’ve finally learned not to leave crumbs in the butter!”  But after a few moments of puzzlement (i.e. How did this effortless miracle occur?) I figured out that I had not magically evolved into a Master Butter Handler.  The key to the mystery was much simpler than that:  All those years, my spouse had been purposely seeding our butter with crumbs when no one else was looking, and blaming the mess on me.

Clever boy.

(Excerpt from my book “The Thief”)

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