Those Teenage Years

17 Nov

Liz’s Tuesday blog got me thinking about my painful teenagehood.  I wasn’t joking.  I was one of those shy, quiet girls.  My goal was not to be noticed.  I was a wall-hugger.  I figured if I stayed close to the wall and tried to avoid eye contact, I wouldn’t attract much attention.

This method had served me well in junior high so I thought I’d continue when I arrived at high school.  It was the first day and I was in English when he walked in.  Pierre Navarro Derek John Robinson was in the house.  He was tall, and good-looking.  I forgot the rules and stared.  We made eye contact, and it was impossible to look away.  He smiled and said hello.  To me.  I managed a wobbly smile and a timid hello.

I was in love.

It’s been a long time.  The details are smudged and blurred.  I don’t know how we became friends.  It was an unlikely pairing.  On the surface we had nothing in common.  Pierre had self-confidence and personality oozing from every pore.  When he entered a room, people noticed.  Once again, let me remind you, I had just spent three years successfully blending into the lockers, not wanting to draw attention to myself.

While my plans for us included marriage and children, Pierre didn’t share my vision.  I was a shy chubbette, but a girl can dream.  By junior year, I’d lowered my expectations.  I was willing to settle for the role of girlfriend.   It wasn’t to be.  Think of it as Brad Pitt spending time hanging out with a boring teacher from Boise, Idaho and you’ve got the picture.  By senior year, I accepted we would only be friends.

I remember going to the drive-in with a group of friends.  When I say group, I’m talking about ten people, perhaps more.  That was the beauty of high school.  We traveled in herds.  We really didn’t go to watch the movie.  We went to hang out.  They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? was playing.  The story was set during The Great Depression.  It was about desperate people involved in a dance contest, trying to win money.  At some point during the film, Pierre got out of the car and called for me to join him.  He pulled me into his arms and we started dancing like the couples in the film.  This drew a few honks from friends and others at the drive-in.

Pierre and I shared many adventures.  There were the times we cruised Sunset Boulevard, the picnics at Recreation and Brookside Parks, senior sneak, the parties in his garage, and my first concert.  He was a cornerstone of my teen years, and in a way, the person responsible for forcing me out of my shell.  There was no way to blend into the background when you were with Pierre.

I was quiet and shy, but beneath the layers there was someone just as crazy and outgoing as he was.  Perhaps that is what Pierre saw when we made eye contact the first day of high school, a kindred-spirit.

It was a defining relationship.  I will always cherish those memories of that tall, good-looking, and oh-so-personable young man I knew.


Posted by on November 17, 2011 in Idaho


18 responses to “Those Teenage Years

  1. A Smith

    November 17, 2011 at 4:52 AM

    And? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Lynn, darling, sweet um, what happened to Pierre? Did you loose touch? Did he go on to rule California?

    When I first started reading the post I stopped three times to double check the author because you and introverted don’t go together. You are this vibrant, shiny, loving person who I didn’t think could ever blend.

    • Lynn Mapp

      November 17, 2011 at 7:21 PM

      Hi A, The last time I saw Pierre was at my wedding. I am sorry to say we lost touch. He should have gone on to rule California. He was senior class president. I was really excited when my class reunion was coming up two years ago. There was a web site. I knew Pierre and I would at last reconnect. There was an area for classmates who had died. Pierre’s name was there. I don’t know what happened to that amazing young man I knew.

      Thank you for those wonderful adjectives.

  2. Liz Flaherty

    November 17, 2011 at 5:29 AM

    What a hero, and what a heroine, too.

    • Lynn Mapp

      November 17, 2011 at 7:22 PM

      Hi Liz,
      He really was a hero. Thanks, I like being considered a heroine.

  3. Liz Fredericks

    November 17, 2011 at 6:29 AM

    Lynn, I think we need to devote a series of blogs to high school loves lost, waned and found. Let me just say – pacing master! “It was the first day and I was in English when he walked in. Pierre Navarro Derek John Robinson was in the house.” Now, we all want to meet your hero – what a fabulous name. Thank you for sharing and I echo A. Smith – the woman you’ve become seems many times removed from a shy, locker-hugging girl.

    • Lynn Mapp

      November 17, 2011 at 7:24 PM

      Liz, it would be interesting to devote a series of blogs to high school loves. The beauty of life is the ability to remake yourself, if you so desire. People forget we have that ability.

  4. Meredith Conner

    November 17, 2011 at 6:45 AM

    He sounds like a perfect hero. The name alone is great!!

    • Lynn Mapp

      November 17, 2011 at 7:26 PM

      Meredith, his name was wonderful and he was a perfect hero. He smiled and spoke to a girl the “cool kids” never saw. Even crazier, he became my friend, and not a fairweather one.

  5. Janis McCurry

    November 17, 2011 at 7:10 AM

    We all have Pierre Navarro Derek John Robinson to thank for the woman we know today. Yay!

    • Lynn Mapp

      November 17, 2011 at 7:28 PM

      Hi Janis, you are right. Pierre Navarro Derek John Robinson was a turning point in my life. It’s hard to blend when you are in the heart of sunshine.

  6. Clarissa Southwick

    November 17, 2011 at 7:53 AM

    What a great example of character arc. I feel a YA novel coming on. . .

    • Lynn Mapp

      November 17, 2011 at 7:29 PM

      Clarissa, you saw the character arc? YA? Ummm.

  7. Mary Vine

    November 17, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    I think it would be a great YA, too. What what you know, girl. Loved reading this.

    • Lynn Mapp

      November 17, 2011 at 7:32 PM

      Mary, YA? Really? I’m glad you enjoyed reading this. It made me smile. That poor insecure girl. That girl didn’t want to be seen. She didn’t know what was ahead, the life she’d go on to build.

  8. Carley Ash

    November 18, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    I remember those bashful days myself.

    • Lynn Mapp

      November 20, 2011 at 6:33 PM

      They were soooo painful. I’m glad that’s behind me.

  9. Stephanie Berget

    November 21, 2011 at 9:00 AM

    A was right. Bright, shiny and loving describe you perfectly. Thanks Pierre. And you’ve gone on to pass it forward. I’m lucky to know you.

    • Lynn Mapp

      December 31, 2011 at 8:22 AM

      Stephanie, I didn’t see this earlier. Thank you.


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