Looks are Deceiving – A Southern Souls Story


Above: Tupuivao present day and at age 17.


Southern Souls is a story-telling series that offers a personal look into the lives of people around us, showing that all souls can relate to one another through our laughter and tears, successes and failures.

“When I was 16, I could pass for like anywhere between 28 to 35. I was about 6’4, 200 pounds. Kind of made my personal life a living hell. Think about it this way; you’re 16, you look like you’re 30, you go up to a girl your own age and she thinks you’re some old pervert and takes off running. You go up to someone that’s older, hit it off, here’s the problem though; you can either lie or you can tell them that you’re 16, 17, 18 and guess what happens with this nice, older lady? Gone like the wind! So, sometimes you just gotta fight your battles and choose your lies as best as you can, especially when you’re 16. I lost my virginity in Spain. It was a one night stand. The drinking age in Spain is 18. Even though I was 16 back then, you could go to a bar, go to a club and as long as you didn’t act a fool, you can have a drink. So, there I was with some friends on a typical Saturday night, going out to the bar, the club and saw this woman… and she looked at me. Of course you’re 16, you don’t know what you’re doing. So, you just, you know, the little, weak wave across from the bar. I honestly can’t remember if she came up to me or I came up to her or however that happened. We started talking. So I pulled the ‘I’m an American, and I don’t speak Spanish.’”


For the record, Tupuivao was born in Germany and spent part of his life in Spain. He speaks Spanish fluently and didn’t become an American until the age of 9.


“Of course, she was a Spanish lady; 25 to 28. Her English wasn’t good either. So you know, ‘no habla Español.’  I was doing that. I guess that’s probably why at no point, you know, my age doesn’t really come up. We had a few drinks. We ended up at her place because, of course, we ended up at her place; I was 16. I kind of like indicated in my fake, non-speaking Spanish way that I lived in another part of the city that was that was kind of further away. I remember going there and of course it blew my mind because I’m over there like, ‘Oh my god, I’m doing it. This is happening.’ And I don’t care what any guy says, the very first time you’re doing it, that’s the only thing running through your head. Then, I kind of went about my way because again, I’m not gonna stay until in the morning where it’s daylight and maybe you know, she might see my baby eyes. Club lights make people look different. So I at least had the common sense to know that you know, maybe daylight would not be my friend. I left and never saw her again. I lost my virginity to someone I lied to about my age and my speaking abilities. But hey, I got laid!””