It was a day of several firsts, and a day that precipitated an ending.
I was 14 and more lost than I'd been in elementary school. Junior High, though it was almost entirely comprised of kids I'd known all my school life, was a sorting hat. And I was ... none of the above. My girlfriends had all seemed to advance so much faster than I was. My body had been too busy adding height and chubbiness to add curves.
I'd sat through at least three 'health' lectures since grade 5, had once even faked having my period and borrowed a pad off someone just to feel somehow 'normal.' I was a girl in a round boys body. And the girls I'd known were all so much older than me suddenly. Cool. Aloof. Independent. Rebellious. Womanly. Everything I wasn't.
So when I got to be included - when they invited me to sneak out and hide in the ball diamond dugouts to smoke a joint with them - there was no possible way I'd say no. There was no peer pressure involved - I'd been aching to be included.
I tried to inhale, and nearly blew it out coughing. They laughed, and I tried to be cool about it. I tried a couple more puffs, but we aren't born knowing how to inhale smoke - it's not a natural thing.
Within minutes I was sick to my stomach. Nauseous and cramping. I went home - one of the benefits of being a book-wormy good girl was the privelege of having people believe you when you wanted to go home sick. I swore I'd never smoke anything again.
That night I finally got my period for real - another first. I didn't talk to anyone about it - the youngest of three teenage daughters and the alumna of so many 'health' talks I was well aware where the supplies where and what to do with them.
It has stuck with me forever after though. One sure indicator of what time of the month is looming for me is a daring recklessness that immediately precedes Shark Week. I take risks and actions that I wouldn't otherwise. I also say things and wish almost immediately I could take them back, but that's a different story.
I didn't try weed again for many years. And I gave up, on that day, trying to hold on to those girlfriends. It was a beginning and an ending. They had gone so far ahead that I could never catch up. And when I looked down that road, it really wasn't where I wanted to be.
When I first discovered The Oldest smoked weed, this was my reference point. If only I'd known how much more serious things can be.