Back in Time With Slime Revisiting their first date five years ago, middle school sweethearts Maricarmen Anducho and Alex Gomez reflect on their lasting relationship

Silly crushes and week-long relationships were a staple of many people’s middle school experiences, with many ending in a breakup after a couple of weeks. That’s certainly not the case for PRHS sophomores Maricarmen Anducho and Alex Gomez, who have been together since 6th grade, almost five years. They agreed to go on a date with us reporters, as we sought to document a not very blind date for this month’s feature. We set them up in a re-creation of their very first date, complete with a 5 year old trend, iconic snacks and a park scene in downtown Paso.

The start of this sweet relationship was at Lewis Middle School in 5th period math class, where they sat together and instantly were interested in each other. They became friends, and soon went on their first date in October of 2019.

Downtown Paso Robles was host to this new relationship five years ago, but of course provided fun with its small town charm. The couple visited Park Cinemas where they watched The Nightmare Before Christmas, a spooky movie that involves a Halloween and Christmas clash when the pumpkin king, Jack Skellinton, wants to be Santa. Next was Good Times Cafe, just down the street: an old fashioned diner that has since closed, and they enjoyed the classic milkshakes and comforting atmosphere. The attraction began to grow on this outing, as they got to know each other on a relationship level rather than just being platonic friends. As the two viewed the other in this new light, their first impressions were that they were comfortable with the other, making it easy to hold a conversation while also having a quality laugh.

This date set the stage for Anducho and Gomez’s relationship, leading them to where they are now, nearly five years later. To reminisce on these fond memories and make some new ones, they revisited the scene and reflected on what has made their relationship long lasting.

Gomez plays soccer through school while also playing club soccer for Dynasty outside of school. In his free time he likes to go to the gym, sleep frequently, and go to the field to improve his soccer skills. Anducho is interested in cosmetology (specifically makeup). Her skills are obvious by her elegant look, and she shares that she will sometimes do her friend’s makeup when they ask her. She is also vigorously involved in AVID and therefore does a lot of community service, including childcare. She is also a member of the MECHA club, where they plan events and help newcomers to stay on track.

Anducho stretches the slime into a manageable texture

As many may remember, slime, that sticky craft made with household items that was all the rage back in middle school, with students constantly making new types and trading among themselves. We had the couple try to make a 2024 version of slime together, giving them glue, activator, a bowl, and a warm picnic in the park. They instantly got to work, mixing the ingredients to try to get the perfect consistency.

Anducho helps Gomez by adding contact lens solution

Anducho had a strong start, with her pink slime becoming stretchy and malleable, but Gomez struggled a bit, adding so much dye that his slime’s texture was ruined. Anducho laughed and comforted him as she tried to help as she added more contact lens solution to assist the slime to become less sticky. “You can see who’s the brain of the relationship,” Gomez commented after comparing his slime to hers, giving an inside look to their cute dynamic.

While they worked, attempting to add the perfect ratio of shaving cream to lens solution, we asked about the key to their relationship lasting so long. “I would say communication and just being open with each other,” Gomez shared. Anducho agreed that frequently talking between them really helped them have their best relationship.

The couple playfully stretches the too-sticky slime between them

After their semi-failed slime activity from it being almost too sticky to touch, they set it aside and moved to the next activity. An hour into the date, the iconic bell tower on the corner of Park and 12th rang out, interrupting the interview.

But the bell marked the beginning of many’s favorite part of the day: Lunchtime! In honor of going back in their relationship, we pulled out a classic middle school lunch: Pizza Lunchables. The couple exclaimed happily when we revealed them, and immediately began assembling their mini pizzas with the provided ingredients (sauce, cheese, pepperoni), and sipped on their Capri Suns. They playfully fought over who got the pepperoni one, and eventually compromised with a candy trade, which is pretty spot on for “middle schoolers”.

Let's dig in! The daters open their fun lunch activity

While they ate, the couple shared that they go on frequent dates, many taking place downtown at Street Side Eatery, “I have to convince him to eat somewhere else.” Anducho said, joking about Gomez’s favorite place to eat.

They reflected on how far their relationship has come since those sixth grade days, and how they have changed with each other over the years, “I feel like it kind of switched a bit,” Gomez remarked, thinking about their old personalities, “I used to be really shy and now I’m pretty outgoing - [vice versa with Maricarmen].”

When asked what their favorite thing about each other was, Gomez’s response was that Anducho is super supportive, to which she admired his respectful and understanding character.

Growing up can be overwhelming, causing us to wish we could regress back to our playground and finger-painting days, without the stress of high school and responsibilities. But there are some things worth growing older for: like driving, said Gomez and of course their lasting relationship, which has certainly stood the test of time.

The couple’s eighth grade PE teacher had told them they wouldn’t last, to which Anducho laughed and exclaimed, “Look at us now!”