Depends was the first girlfriend I ever had. It was 7th grade and I hadn't quite become the super student who couldn't give a shit and hence was the class clown type quite yet. I was just really dorky, and my entire wardrobe consisted of tight jeans and t-shirts. Most of them were Stussy and Quiksilver shirts, and I thought I was pretty cool, but I wasn't. See picture this funky kid and how smooth he must have been with the ladies as you read this.

Depends and I met in a science class we had together. She wasn't super cute or anything, but she wasn't entirely ugly either, and we seemed to have a good time pretending to pay attention to lectures on photosynthesis and the like. But it was pretty innocent. I didn't really know anything about her other than the fact that we made dumb jokes in science class the way only dorky 7th graders can.

Then at the end of the fall our PE classes unleashed a torture on us that causes a number of junior high kids to break out in a cold sweat: the square dancing unit. Yep, for three weeks, rather than playing football or basketball outside, we had to keep our regular clothes on, go out into the gym in our socks and promenade our partners around for 45 minutes. It sounds terrible. It was beyond terrible. Especially when Mr. Coda decided to put on his Billy Ray Cyrus albums and do the Electric Slide to Achy Breaky Heart with Miss White, the 52 year-old single PE teacher. I cannot adequately describe the horror of this moment.

Anyway, you know how everyone in junior high is already trying to navigate their way through a really awkward period of life? I had that awkwardness compounded by the fact that I was extremely short. Literally, I think most of the girls I knew (and hence the girls with whom I would have been able to at least try to be comfortable dancing) were at the least a few inches taller than me. Except for Depends, who had PE the same hour I did. She and I were about the same height. We realized that this could mutually beneficial for us, so we started dancing together and it was okay, except when we had to switch partners in the square, I always ended up with some beheamoth 5'9" lady as my partner, and they often did the leading. Oh well.

I tried a couple of times to get this other girl to dance with me (who I realize now was really quite ugly but for some reason seemed the hottest girl in the world to my retarded 12 year-old brain), but she usually laughed at me when I asked her, so Depends became something of a go-to girl to the point that we didn't even go searching for partners at the beginning of class. We just went to our usual corner where we did some rug cutting (well, laminated floorboard cutting; it was the gym an all) and that was that. I could tell that she dug my 7th grade action, and I thought it was a kind of flattering, but I just sort of let it go. Not like I knew what to do about it or anything.

Anyway, a few weeks later, when the heavens shined and allowed us to return to our stinky gym clothes (one of my friends went through both years of junior high without washing his gym clothes once) and regular activities, but Depends and I kept up the rapport we had developed. I thought about asking her out, because I guess that's what guys did, but I didn't even remotely have to balls to attempt such a thing, so we just kept chatting in class. Then one day the phone rings, and it's Depends' best friend (one of those towering chicks from dancing, I swear she was 6 feet tall in junior high) on the line calling to talk to me about her. I'm completely embarrassed and totally oblivious to the fact that Depends is on the line also. So this friend and I chat and she convinces me that I should ask her friend out, and when I say "okay," she says "well do it now, she's on the line," so I say something like, um, will you go out with me 'n stuff, and she says okay, all the while her friend listening to the whole conversation. Absolutely mortifying.

Depends and I went to see Hook the next day with her stupid friend and her even dumber boyfriend (who was at least a foot shorter than she was). We held hands for a little while, and I think she wanted me to kiss her, but lord, I surely didn't know how to do that, so I refrained. Then the next day I had the two girls on the phone again -- stupid three-way calling -- and someone determined that Depends and I were to have a little phone kissing. And it had to be a french kiss, I remember. I had of course never done this, but I immediately started thinking of that gross scene in Top Gun where Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis are licking each other and stuff, so I figured it had something to do with that. Over the phone sounded a safe thing too, so at the designated moment, I stuck my tongue up against the receiver and held it there. It tasted like dirty plastic.

Of course, this is the exact moment that my sister chooses to walk into the room and give me one of those "umm" looks that only pass between siblings. She asks what the hell I was doing, and after I explain the situation, she says, "That's not how you french kiss!" and I respond "yeah, I know, but it had to be over the phone, so what the hell else am I going to do?" She seemed to accept this explanation, and all the while I'm thinking "so how do I french kiss someone on the other end of the phone?" But my sister let it go at that and walked out of the room. One of those moments I'll never forget as long as I live. I can only imagine what she was thinking when she saw me licking the phone.

Anyway, the next week in class, when people started to hear that we were going out, I began to get a lot of comments about how l like girls who piss themselves and whatnot. Junior high kids can be really nice and empathetic. Apparently there was a rumor going around that Depends had a little accident at school in the first few weeks and was the target of quite a lot of teasing. So suddenly I was all embarrassed to be going out with her, given the fact that she couldn't control her urges (and there was that pair of jeans that looked like they fit correctly, but had butt pockets in the front and a zipper on her ass. I could never figure those pants out. Were they supposed to be like that? Or did she just have a really weird body that could fit into pants backwards and not have any real problems with it. They were just too weird and people always tried to tell her to put her pants on right. I was also the guy dating the girl who couldn't dress herself).

Three days into this ridicule, just when I was trying to figure out how to get out of this thing (a 7th grade boy cannot be known as the guy dating the pants-pisser if he wants to preserve even a morsel of dignity), our science teacher bestowed the greatest gift upon us ever: a new seating chart. Depends and I suddenly found ourselves on opposites sides of the room. I don't think we ever really talked again. So I guess technically I'm still going out with Depends because we never broke up. Shh, don't tell her.

Anyway, that's the story of my first girlfriend. My dating adventures definitely got off to a rocky start. But withhold the Casanova comments until you hear about the Six-Day Special. She's next, and almost as cool.