I was dancing fast and furiously to ‘Conga’ by Miami Sound Machine following a second-place win in the big lip sync contest at Faces Teen Night Club in
. I was 15 years old, and wearing a hot pink corset, skin tight black skirt, and black ‘pumps’ as we called them back in the day. All of the sudden mid dance move I felt somebody watching me through the strobe lights and the smoke machine. I turned suddenly and he was standing right in front of me, like a giant Italian mirage. Tampa, Florida
“HELLO”, he shouted over Gloria Estafan.
“HI”, I yelled back.
“May I dance with you?” he asked.
“Yes” I said.
“You will have to excuse me, you are such a beautiful girl and I am sweaty, that is very disrespectful”.
“Um, that’s ok. My name is Lori,” I said.
“My name is Anthony,” he said, taking my hand in his sweat-drenched one as he pulled me close to him.
I had two thoughts:
Dad will be coming to pick me up soon and I don’t want to leave.
2. How old is this guy???
Anthony had a mustache and a perm. He was wearing a button-up shirt, lots of gold around his neck and on his fingers, dress slacks and nice shoes. No wonder he was so sweaty, lugging all that jewelry around.
We did all of the getting to know you stuff over mocktails and loud bass-driven music. He was very intense, and extremely attentive – when he talked to me, he made me feel like I was the only girl on the planet. Also, he was a big guy, like someone other guys would not want to mess with, which at that time was very appealing.
We danced for a few more songs. He whipped and flung me around like he was a professional on 'Dancing with the Stars' and I was, well, the star. He obviously did not want to leave me because he told the guy that he came there with that he was going to get a ride home with me. I was not sure how my dad would feel about giving this “man” a ride home.
|He ain't my teacher - he's my boyfriend.|
“How old are you?” I asked.
“Seventeen,” he said.
When my dad arrived to pick me up I’m sure he was surprised to see I had a new friend. I introduced them to each other and Anthony did this handshake that each member of my family still imitates to this day. It starts way up high by the side of your face and kind of slides in, with a very firm, tight, I AM DAMN HAPPY TO MEET YOU AND I AM AN ADULT feel to it.
I'm sure my dad was confused, but what was he going to do? We gave Anthony a ride home. It turned out he lived in the same sub-division as we did and that he was going to the same high school that I would be starting in the fall. He was very respectful and kissed my hand goodnight, very gallantly, like a knight.
I gave him my phone number, and he immediately called me and we quickly became exclusive. I had worn other guys Members Only jackets before, or their gold nameplates around my neck, but I would say this was my first official relationship. I was a little less nervous about starting my freshman year now…I had a boyfriend! He was going to be a junior - a freshman dating a junior! I had a big Italian-Puerto Rican boyfriend. This was going to be AWESOME.