June 3, 2009

Firsts

Life is full of firsts - first steps, first words, first days of school, first sex, first jobs. For everything there is a first time. I had a new employee start recently, and that got me thinking about some of my own fairly uncool firsts.

The First...Day Of School. Whenever a first day of school rolled around I remember all the kids around me acting all excited, thrilled by those first few days. They'd catch up with each other, talk about whey they did over the summer. It helped that there was usually no homework those first few days. Actually, any teacher who gave homework during the first week of school was pretty much instantly identified as a colossal douchebag. I, however, was never a fan of the first day of school. I loathed them, in fact. It's not that I didn't want to catch up with my friends but if they were true friends, well, I'd been hanging out with them, getting into trouble with them all summer already. I wanted to know where my classrooms were. I wanted to figure out the teachers and what they'd let me get away with. I wanted to navigate the fastest route between two classes while stopping at my locker without being late. So, yeah, I was boring and liked routine.

The worst first day of school in history of first days of school happened when I moved to Virginia from Texas. Our new house didn't have carpeting yet so I was sleeping on a mattress on the floor. It wasn't comfortable. At least my neck didn't think so. I woke up on that first day, unable to move my head. It was stuck slightly tilted, looking left. And that wouldn't have been so bad had I not just gotten my hair cut for the first time at what I discovered to be a less than reliable barber. So unreliable that I had a bald spot. When I started my first day of school - head askew with patchy hair and visible scalp - I'm pretty sure everyone was convinced that I was special.

The First Day...On The Job. My first gig right out of college was as a cactus of all trades for a non-profit. I did all kinds of stuff - research, communications, web design technical support. After a couple years I got bored (oh, and the non-profit itself was closing so, well, motivation). I interviewed at a software development firm for a very hand's-on technical position. Which I got. I knew several things before I started - I was going to be involved in all technical aspects of the company, running a help desk, helping end users, setting up data centers, running cables through ceilings, preparing for disaster recovery operations. Everything. While my default wardrobe for the day would have been a suit, I was told to wear something comfortable; a t-shirt and jeans were recommended. There was a data center to build. Regardless, I felt like an ass in the orientation and subsequent meet-and-greet sessions wearing a t-shirt while my five new colleagues wore suits and looked at me funny. On the plus side, that's the only time I ever contemplated a suit while at that job.

The First...Uh...You Know...Time. I was sixteen. We were in the basement of a friend's house while said friend's parents were out doing something. It was a planned-for occasion. The evening was, perhaps, best summarized by the oh-so romantic line I delivered in frustration at some point. I can't get it in! It was a disaster. Yet, so was the relationship despite the fact that it went on a good three years after that one fateful evening. And that's all I have to say about that. Except, if you're on the edge of your seats, I did eventually get it in.

Are you a first-lover or are you more comfortable when things settle down? And what are your notable firsts?

Posted by Chris at June 3, 2009 6:19 AM
Comments

First delivery of my children. I literally screamed the entire time. The nurses even called me the screamer. No one said it was going to hurt that much!
By child #2 I was settled down and did not scream.

Posted by: Maribeth at June 3, 2009 6:42 AM

I'm not a first type of person. My childhood had too many firsts, so I crave the security of the settled.

As silly as it sounds, the only notable firsts I can think of right now are the first time I held each of the cameras I've owned.

Posted by: MariaV at June 3, 2009 7:31 AM

I know I loved the First Day Of School - every year. I probably said "oh I don't want school to start" but secretly I couldn't wait for school to start. New classes, new teachers, new schedules.
Only notable first I can think of -- first plane ride. 20 years old to Florida - 2 hours tops. My ears got so incredibly plugged on the descent I think I was deaf for two days.
I'm weird because I love routine, crave routine but I also love new things and new routines.

Posted by: NancyJ at June 3, 2009 8:23 AM

I hate firsts. I am all about the familiarity and routine.

I especially hate first days on the job.

My first sexual experiences were God-awful. I was totally grossed out by my first kiss (the boy had a tongue the size of the freaking Space Shuttle), and the other sexual first--well, I'll just say OW OW OW OW OW and leave it at that.

(I was willing to try again in both cases, fortunately, and things did improve by leaps and bounds.)

Posted by: Elise at June 3, 2009 8:54 AM

When I changed school I really hated the first day because I did not know anyone. I felt lost. However, I did love my other first school days since I knew the people.

The first day in a new job can be all a lie. People are either too nice or too careful to let you know who they are. I take my time to get to know everyone. Try being a temp. Then the first day really sucks everyone thinks you are their punching bag.

The first time I actually made love was at the really tender age of 14. This makes me freaked out about my future children. How early did you guys start? It was with my first love. He was 16. It was sweet and it hurt. Sweet because it was his first too and he was very gentle. I still talk to him to this day. I will always care for him, he was my first love and lover. We were together up to the age of 19.

I post another question to you guys: Do you still remember your first love? If so, do you keep in touch?

Posted by: Masita at June 3, 2009 9:11 AM

When I changed school I really hated the first day because I did not know anyone. I felt lost. However, I did love my other first school days since I knew the people.

The first day in a new job can be all a lie. People are either too nice or too careful to let you know who they are. I take my time to get to know everyone. Try being a temp. Then the first day really sucks everyone thinks you are their punching bag.

The first time I actually made love was at the really tender age of 14. This makes me freaked out about my future children. How early did you guys start? It was with my first love. He was 16. It was sweet and it hurt. Sweet because it was his first too and he was very gentle. I still talk to him to this day. I will always care for him, he was my first love and lover. We were together up to the age of 19.

I post another question to you guys: Do you still remember your first love? If so, do you keep in touch?

Posted by: Masita at June 3, 2009 9:12 AM

I don't particularly like change, although in the context of "first love" (i.e. love at first), it's pretty exciting. It could be that I'm only remembering the exciting part, given how it has worked out. It was probably a whole lot of terrifying and gut-wrenching. Yes, it's coming back to me...

I am terrible at meeting new people. My good friends are those who managed to (or were otherwise forced to) stick around long enough to realize I'm not actually an unapproachable bitch (thank you friends!)

My first sex was remarkably unstellar, but I recall FREAKING out that I was pregnant for a few weeks (I was not). If ever I need a reminder of the passage of time, I think "what if I was" and calculate the age of that "child". Now: 22 [sigh]

My first marriage seems to have worked out ok!

Posted by: harmzie at June 3, 2009 9:30 AM

I am so much of a routine person. Any changes in mine throw me for a bit of a loop. Same thing with my husband. Yet I always seem to wonder why my son has trouble with change...because I'm an idiot.

Posted by: Jean at June 3, 2009 9:49 AM

I don't like change, so firsts are a no-no.

Posted by: k8 at June 3, 2009 9:55 AM

It depends on the first for me.

My first day on the job here I was so anxious I almost threw up during orientation. Thankfully, I avoided that, because who wants to be remembered as the puker?

But not all firsts are bad. Sometimes they are magical.

Posted by: bad penguin at June 3, 2009 10:06 AM

I'm not big on first either, I get all nervous and wanna puke. I recently took my first bus trip. I was scared out of my gourd! I survived, obviously.

Also? "I can't get it in" will have me cracking up for a VERY long time!

Posted by: Kris at June 3, 2009 10:23 AM

I had a first this past weekend, and only last night was I able to fall asleep quickly again. I was monumentally nervous, but luckily I have enough drive to push myself into situations that my mind knows I'll like and are good for me.

There are some things I want to be the same, like my house and location. Others, I like to see change like the type of work I do and my fun activities.

Posted by: Brad at June 3, 2009 10:46 AM

I hate firsts. Mainly because however I do something the first time, I MUST repeat it in the exact same manner, forever, going forward.

Example, if I walk into a new classroom/job and choose a seat in the first row, third chair back, I MUST sit in that exact same spot for the remainder of the time I have that classroom/job. I know, strange, but my mind craves routine. It even goes for restaurants. I love trying new food, but once I eat at a particular restaurant and pick something tasty, I will re-order that exact same item every time I go there. If I don't want a chimichanga but want enchiladas, then I can't eat at Santa Fe Flats, I would have to go to Los Cucos. IT drives my husband nuts.

Posted by: jen at June 3, 2009 11:14 AM

My first day of juniour high was horrible. 12 years old, new school, new people....but I was just getting over chicken pox! So I still had some scabs and I remember one girl telling me that I shouldn't be there and should stay home, I still don't like her to this day. It's hard enought to start a new school without standing out like a sore thumb.

Posted by: Adi at June 3, 2009 11:20 AM

oh Christ, I HATE firsts. For a long time, I thought of myself as Girl #2 because it seemed like every guy I dated had been with only one gal before me. Beats the heck out of being girl #1, I assure you, because I have been that too. I don't get comfy in a job or a relationship for about three months or so, at least. Firsts suck, unless they're your child's first words or first steps.

Posted by: rebecca at June 3, 2009 11:29 AM

I hate first days on the job the most I am one of the friendliest and open people you could meet and no matter what you feel like some Quasimodo when you walk into a new place of employment. Nobody wants to talk to you, nobody wants to invite you to lunch with them. It's awful.

Posted by: Dee at June 3, 2009 11:42 AM

call me jaded, but at this point in my life i relish the firsts. they seem to be few and far between. i love them, good, bad, or different.
:)maria

Posted by: Maria at June 3, 2009 11:47 AM

Well, I gotta say, I'm kinda split. I'm uncomfortable with change, but having thought about it while reading the comments, I think that's mostly work-related. I have a perfectionist streak, and I get anxiety attacks when I think about doing the job badly. I've never really experienced that, so I don't know where the anxiety comes from.

I loved first days of school. I saw my friends all summer, but would we have classes together? Would the cute guys be in those classes? There was always something to find out.

My uh, first time wasn't bad. Pretty good as they go, I guess. I was 18; it didn't hurt; my at-the-time fiance was more practiced at it than I. It wasn't a planned occasion, so there was no pressure. The next day he brought me roses at work. Things went on for 2 more years after that.

My first day of high school was kind of freaky, because I knew only 2 people and they were upperclassmen. I had received my classes in the mail, so my Mom and I went up and chose my locker based on where my classes were, so I had to walk by it pretty much every time I changed classes. We walked the halls (outdoor campus) and sussed everything out. So I felt OK on the first day. Except for my lame outfit. And then, horrors, a girl in a spirit squad uniform turned around in 6th period and asked for a sheet of paper to take notes on and all I had was PURPLE NOTEBOOK PAPER!! What would she think of me? "Cool paper," she said with a smile, and we've been best friends for 21 years.

Posted by: Brooke at June 3, 2009 12:21 PM

I hate firsts...give me routine and comfortableness please. I'm too shy in unknown situations. I always panicked big time right before school started.

Posted by: diane at June 3, 2009 1:00 PM

I tend to not like firsts too much.

First days of school- well, I preferred to be settled in.

First day of first my first job, though, was awesome. I was a cashier in a grocery store and they sent me upstairs to watch some cheesy training videos. I was the only one upstairs and there must have been a meeting beforehand because there was a whole table filled with fresh cookies from the deli!

First sex was unremarkable.

First apartment was pretty awful. And I stayed there for 4 years.

First husband was horrendous.

First kid is fabs, but will remain an only.

Posted by: jessica at June 3, 2009 2:34 PM

first time...um...MY WEDDING NIGHT!

Posted by: ali at June 3, 2009 3:49 PM

Haha! My first time was a bit like that. Well, in the ... navigational difficulties.

I hate firsts. Hate them. I like routine and certainty and feeling established and having people know exactly how I take my coffee. Am very boring.

Posted by: Andrea at June 3, 2009 4:36 PM

I think everyone has, um, navigational difficulties on that first time. If they didn't? I'm not sure I'd believe they'd never done it before. Heck, I've had navigational difficulties on the first time with a new person. And now I've totally overshared, so I shall be moving along.

Posted by: Dawn at June 3, 2009 6:27 PM

first flight on the job as a flight attendant was much like gwyneth paltrow in "a view from the top." i literally clutched my jumpseat and screamed in my head both "WE'RE GOIN DOWN!" and "OUR FATHER! WHO ART IN HEAVEN! HALLOWED BE THY NAME!" you get the point. to this day i still freak during take off and landing, lucky for me i don't have to fly as much now that the kids are around.

Posted by: SUPAHMAMA! at June 3, 2009 10:26 PM

I hate firsts. I worry about things way too much. This summer I had to do an internship. It's required for me to graduate. It's the first time I have needed to make a resume that wasn't just for school and actally needed to be good and would be used. This was my first interview. It is my first job type thing. I freaked out way too much about interviewing. I got the internship (at a police department). Although it's an unpaid internship so I think it would be hard for them to come up with a reason to not have an intern since i'm working there for free. On my first day I was really nervous. I definately worry more than I need to because everyone is really nice and awesome and not all serious scary cop people.

Posted by: Zandor at June 4, 2009 6:48 PM

It kind of depends, right now I am in a new phase. But I can only sort of handle one kind of change at a time...

Posted by: Nat at June 6, 2009 9:06 AM

First days of school were generally an exciting time - I was lucky enough to go k-12 with a small group of the same people...The first day of law school was cancelled by a hurricane. In Massachusetts.
First day on the job - most of those were a mixture of excitement and nerves. The first day of my first business trip - I sloshed coffee all over my boss (not my fault - someone had unscrewed the top of the cream pitcher at Starbucks and it fell into my very full cup). He was cool about it - just left his jacket on all day.

First time - er - I'll go with unremarkable.

Best first story - I managed the baseball and soccer teams in high school so I continued this path through college. I had to leave early for my freshman year to start with the soccer team - so I was pretty much the only female around 30 or so guys. No biggie, I thought. Well - on my first full day alone with them - I had to set up shop in their locker room to hand out the locks and combinations. Thought I would be smart and set up with my back to the room - they would be changing for practice. About 5-6 minutes into the process - the senior captain called to get my attention and something told me to be prepared. I turned around and the majority of the team was standing there with their drawers around their ankles. All I did was ask what he wanted - if I reacted any other way - they would have acheived their goal of embarrassment...That very hard to do with a straight face - he fumbled words for a few seconds and then I burst out laughing. Best thing I could have done - they all scambled to pull up their pants and I was laughing so hard I cried by the end. Anyway - this was long - but over the next 4 years, no matter how hard they tried - they never "got" me.

Posted by: Sue R at June 10, 2009 10:11 AM

THE first time... . First boyfriend, second relationship go. Lasted a few years. I was 15, he was 17. Not his first time. His family was out. His grandmother came home early. I had to run naked down to the basement and hide.
Three days later at school he told me he'd been seeing someone else.
He did things like that a lot.
Why did I allow him in my life exactly?
Ah, yes. Naivete.

Posted by: Karen at June 11, 2009 4:26 AM

omg you are hysterical. I am not a person of firsts, I will admit. I much more prefer when things get a bit more comfortable. But the odd thing is that I always look back at the firsts with such nostalgia, even though actually being in that moment wasn't pleasant at all.. kwim?

Posted by: La Petite Belle at June 16, 2009 2:53 PM


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