Sunday, October 19, 2008

Say it ain't so, Joe

The summer after 7th grade we moved to a house in a section of Mansfield, Connecticut called Eagleville. For a couple of months before school started, the only person I hung out with was the boy next door, Peter Kitts.

He was a sweet, if a little strange, young man. But I was a sweet, strange, young woman. These were innocent times, 1983, I was 12, he was 13. We offered each other friendship and exploration, both of us having come from different places, neither of us having really fit in before. It was a short, special time where we weren't judged by our peers. We were free to just hang out together and be ourselves.

I had come from a town where I was definitely considered to be on the low end of the social totem pole. I basked in Peter's admiration. He had come to Mansfield just a year earlier from an Ashram. I had never heard of such a thing, and was fascinated. He also told me his real name wasn't Peter. When his mother married his step-father, Steven Kitts, he and and his brother were given the opportunity to pick their own new names, with their step-father's last name. Hence, Rivers became Peter, Leaves became Jimmy. I remember telling him, "What a coincidence, we both have a brother named Jimmy!".

Peter turned me on to soccer, computers, and music totally different from what my siblings listened to. Hello, KISS. He would sing Stray Cats Sexy & 17 to me and change the words so it fit. He couldn't wait until I turned 13 so it would it sound better.

Does this bring you back?

When school started, I was very lucky that I had already met someone who could introduce me to people. Peter had friends at the middle school, and they welcomed me in. But they were all boys. And, eventually in my eyes, they were all geeks and nerds. I craved to be part of the popular crowd.

I met up with one of the popular girls and she and I made fast friends. The more I fell into her clique, the less I hung out with Peter and his friends.

All good things eventually have to come to an end. And they did for Peter and I. By the time I finally turned 13 for him to sing that song to me, we had shared our first kiss, and also our last. I'm not proud of the way I treated him, but I'm honest about it. My 13 year old self saw bigger and better things on the horizon and broke it off with him.

Here are some pictures from that period. This first one is the only picture of Peter and I, in our shared back yard.

Next is a picture from our eighth grade production, Annie. I loved that the music teacher thought to spread the lead around. Annie was a different girl in every scene. I got to sing "Tomorrow" on stage with a live dog.

The rest are 1984 eighth grade year book photos.

Peter and I shared a love of singing. However, after we broke up, we never had anything to do with each other, again. Here we are in a Chamber Singers photo. He's first row, second from right. I'm second row, fourth from left.

Here are the 1984 Cheerleaders for Mansfield Middle School. I'm first row, first on the left. Hello, feathered hair, cuffed jeans, button down oxfords and Dock Siders.

I moved again the next summer. Peter and I never spoke, again. Imagine my surprise when I saw his high school graduation picture in Rolling Stones magazine.

I've followed him for many years, but I have no claim to his fame. I haven't heard a song about me, or us, but I really think he should write one about his first kiss. In the meantime, he was kind enough to friend me on MySpace, but other than replying, "wow, is it really you?", he's too busy with his real life to chat with someone who was a rude bitch to him 25 years ago.

Say it ain't so.

I remember his kitchen in Eagleville looking oddly similar to the one in the video. Also, Peter's friend, Justin, is in the Chamber Singers picture right behind him, but one to the left. Justin is still his friend, from what I read on the internet.


Dr Zibbs said...

For those of you unhep readers it's Rivers's Cuomo from Weezer. Fancy, glad you finally wrote about this. Did he seem really unique at the time? In addition to forming Weezer he also went to Harvard.

Fancy Schmancy said...

Zibbs, he was definitely a strange little dude, with a little hop step because he was born with one of his legs shorter than the other. He was also incredibly intelligent, and musically gifted. He taught himself how to play guitar. He was doing stuff on his computer in his bedroom in 1983 that was way over my head. He also thought he was a ninja.

Vodka Mom said...

holy crap. say it ain't so. (Bloggers are just TOO interesting........)

Vodka Mom said...

i love that he thought he was a ninja. that totally cracks me up.

kate said...

I was feeling very unhip, wondering who the hell Peter Kitt is...but maybe if I'd watched the entire video I'd have recognized him. I admit to being obsessed with the Pork and Beans video.

Dude, Rivers Cuomo was your first kiss? You are a whole new kind of cool.

Fancy Schmancy said...

Kate, sorry if I didn't make it obvious, I hate name dropping. And I didn't know who he was going to be, just who he was then, so no cool points. But thanks!

JoJo said...

Wow, NO idea what you guys are talking about. So this dude is famous now?

Don't beat yourself up over being a bitch in middle school. We've all been there and done less than savoury things to other people at that age.

Fancy Schmancy said...

Jojo, this is their most popular current song, Pork and Beans, if that helps.