He ran over to me, wrapped his arms around my waist, lifted me up, and spun me around. Because I was taller than most of the boys, this was a new experience. And it was fun.


It was our high school graduation, and he was just a friend–a guy I sat next to in a few classes. Other girls got spun in the air and carried over thresholds, but guys always let me keep my feet on the ground. I didn’t want to be one of those girls who got scooped like a toy or handled like a doll, but it had not escaped my attention that a girl’s ability to be carried off corresponded to her ability to get a date.

But sometimes such excitement travels through the air that guys and girls forget who is supposed to get carried away and who isn’t. Sometimes they feel so much joy in the spinning around that they don’t worry about what comes after. Sometimes you get a day like today and years later you’ll still remember the strength in his arms and the blue sky overhead.

Getting dizzy makes me silly.

So, putting fiction aside for a day, what is one perfect, brief memory for you?

5 thoughts on “Spinning

  1. Well, since you are speaking of high school and boys, I am reminded of my high school sweetheart (who went to a different high than mine – I could never get a date with anyone from my high school). I have many perfect memories from the year we went out. I think that was the only year in my youth that I was really very happy.

  2. My moment happened at the apartment of a guy I’d gone out with a few times. Kissing Bob was like kissing my brother, but the promise of free beer appealed. When I walked into his apartment, his older brother was sitting on the couch, one leg slung over the arm, beer in hand, Steely Dan on the stereo. The attraction slammed into me. It was karmic. I knew instantly that I could never go out with Bob again. I thought Dan felt the attraction, too, but of course I said nothing. I made a Herculean effort to include Bob in our conversation.

    A couple of hours and a pleasant buzz later, I was sitting on the kitchen bar talking to both guys, having a great time, when conversation lulled. Dan stood stock-still and looked at me. Then he picked me up, threw me over his shoulder, and took me to the bedroom.

    It was the most thrilling and romantic moment I’ve ever experienced. That moment began a long relationship that ended only after years of periodic separation and reunions. Like I said, it was karmic.

    And don’t worry about Bob. Dan cleared it with him before he took me. The End.

    What is it that has you so giddy today?

  3. You probably remember that I love collecting “perfect moment” stories. Without going into any details, I think the next one is going to be called “The Girl Group at the Back of the Bus.” Somehow, I’ve gotta dig up some photos from 8th grade before I really get started on it. (I’ve had pieces of it drafted for months now.)

    As with your own post, shelli’s, and Sherri’s, I bet most people who try answering your question will think of a “relationship moment.” And it wouldn’t surprise me if most of the rest think of a moment when they were alone.

    Kodak used to have an advertising campaign — it probably was the start of the “Kodak moment” phrase — which featured a singer’s voiceover of a song called, I think, “Turn Around,” while the visuals were still photos of someone at important (or not-so-important) moments in their life, from childhood to adulthood… (And, OMG, someone has actually managed to post one on YouTube. Like the comment says, “A real weeper.”) I think when people think of perfect moments, they have something like this in mind: moments when they picture a camera flash going off, freezing the instant just a microsecond before it changes.

  4. There are a lot, but they are hard to remember without prompting. I’m trying to catch them with my kids, when I am surrounded by hugs or giggles or today’s fairy and supervillain flying around me. Often they are about nature, like that perfectly warm sun, a smell of flowers as you step out the door, the sight of a tree lined street blossoming with Spring, swimming in the warm welcoming Gulf of Mexico.

    Here’s one that popped into my head while reading John’s comment.

    It was around midnight, and I was on a subway train that was waiting to start it’s journey back to Brooklyn. Not so many people on the train, but someone started singing, I think it was “Under the Boardwalk” or some other great motown song. All of a sudden, everyone on the train was grinning, and they started to sing along. Almost the whole train. Then the door closed and the train started moving.

    It only lasted a few moments, but every body went home that night with a song in their heart. A moment of miracle that’s not really a miracle at all.

  5. shelli, I am too old to care anymore, but I must admit that I do wish I’d had a high school sweetheart. But then I might be a different person, and I wouldn’t want that,

    sherri, good karmic story. And yes, Obama has made me giddy. I can’t help myself.

    JES, can’t wait to see the 8th grade snap. I’d add that parents probably have perfect moments with their children (see rowena’s comment). I’ll cry if I watch that Turn Around clip. Motherhood has made me sappy.

    rowena, a lovely moment that.

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