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When I was a little kid, I worshiped Josh Lewenthal, now, I couldn’t care less about him, I just need his sperm.
I’ll be the first to admit, I have no idea how to go about getting it, but as my obscenely sexy boss, famed self-help guru Ian Fortune, always says, “anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”
That’s my motto for this year. Starting today, January first, I’m going to believe that anything is possible—that magic can happen. And after thirty-two years of being average in nearly every way, magic will be a welcome change.
Josh and I grew up in a small river town a few hours north of New York City. It’s the type of town that has a Christmas tree in the square, a pumpkin carving contest in the fall, and an ice cream social in the summer. The houses are cookie-cutter cute, the yards are golf course green, and everybody waves hello. It’s a kid-friendly, all-American paradise. My family fit right in.
Josh moved to town with his dad when he was eight. Within days my mom warned me to stay away from him.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because he’s not the sort of boy that nice girls play with.”
“Why?” I asked again. I was in that “why” phase that all kids go through.
“Because I said so.”
My mom was right. I was a nice girl. She dressed me in pink poufy dresses and pigtails to prove it. But instead of listening to my mom I snuck out of the house and went and found Josh Lewenthal. I guess there’s a lesson there. Even when I was little I couldn’t take “because I said so” as an answer.
I found Josh kicking a ball in his backyard. He told me the reason nice girls couldn’t play with him was because he knew how girls got babies in their bellies. To prove it, he smacked a kiss on my mouth. I was terrified for weeks that I was going to blow up like a balloon and pop out a baby. After a month I realized that Josh Lewenthal was full of crap and that my mom had been right.
But that didn’t stop me from idolizing him. My brother Dylan and Josh became best friends. And like little sisters around the world I wanted to do everything they did and be everywhere they were.
When I was sixteen my big sister Leah came home from college for Christmas break. Within days she told me to stop ogling Josh.
“Why?” I asked. I was still in the “why” phase.
“Because if he catches you looking he’ll steal your underwear.”
I didn’t know what she meant. “Why?”
“Because he collects underwear for a hobby and pins them on his bedroom wall. He has almost every girl’s undies in this whole town. He’ll tear them off you and then do things.”
Leah lowered her voice to a whisper. “Marie Johnson said his hands are like an octopus’s. Everywhere at once.”
I was appalled and then intrigued. But, “I don’t think he’ll want my underwear. Dylan is his best friend. Plus, I’m not really into that kind of thing.” You know, being a nice girl and all.
“It doesn’t matter,” said Leah, full of big sister knowledge. “He just has to look at you and you’ll rip your undies off for him. He’s that good. An octopus, Gemma. You better stop ogling him.”
I was skeptical, to say the least.
But six months later, while I was cleaning up my parents’ garage after Josh and Dylan’s joint high school graduation party, Josh told me he’d miss me while he was in New York for college. Then, lo and behold, he stole my panties. Metaphorically, of course.
For the second time in my life, I spent another few weeks terrified that I was going to blow up like a birthday balloon and pop out a baby.
After weeks of toe-numbing worry followed by my period and sweet sagging relief, I realized that Josh Lewenthal was not worth my fascination/worship/idolization, that he was in fact an immature/emotionally constipated user.
I didn’t see him again for six years.
By the time he came back to town I’d been married, divorced, and was long past mooning over fantasies.
I had an apartment in the city and my current (amazing) job, social media marketing coordinator for acclaimed self-help guru Ian Fortune. And I had goals. Lots of goals.
I mean…today I have goals.
Okay. A goal.
And Josh Lewenthal, the man who knows how to make a baby, is integral to my success.
My latest laugh out loud RomCom book
released January 25, 2022.
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