After getting back from the Outer Banks, I got talkin' to my friend Slant about relationships with girls. It got me to thinking – I’ve had some really “interesting” girlfriends … and even girls I had crushes on. Like for instance, I remember very well the first crush I had. I was in 6th grade, and had just freshly retired my Super Friends lunch box in favor of the more socially accepted brown bag. That’s right, I was starting to become an adult, and quite naturally, Cupid would eventually point his love arrow my way (wait, that didn’t sound very good).
The girl’s name was Kathy, and she had recently moved back to my school district – she was in my Kindergarten class all those years ago (about 6 years ago, actually). I immediately felt a tingling in my heart … all of the sudden, girls no longer had cuties. In looking back, Kathy really wasn’t a knockout … she had dirty blonde hair … so dirty in fact, that she was kept home from school because of a case of head lice … no matter – I still had tingles for her.
Unfortunately, my mom was right in the middle of a run of bad clothing purchases for me – clothes like Uncle Charlie’s and Smacks pants, the fire-engine red Copa 83 and brown Nado Super Primo sneakers – I didn’t stand a chance with Kathy. Somehow, it got leaked to her that I liked her … she never gave me a second look. I was crushed … and I soon realized why they called them crushes.
I remember looking at our 5th grade yearbook longingly at the picture of Kathy. I had the full-blown crush … loss of appetite, even with my mom’s patented peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Herr’s potato chips, Kit Kat bar, and Capri Sun drink. I couldn’t think straight in class, and felt dizzy anytime that I saw her in the hallway. One time, she was walking down the hallway in one direction … alone … and I was walking in the other direction … alone … I thought I was going to pass out … and I probably would have if she made eye contact with me … which she sadly didn’t.
I’m not really sure what I would’ve done if she had agreed to go out with me. Maybe I would’ve met her at the mall and bought her a soft pretzel and possibly an Icee … if I had enough money in my brown soccer wallet. Maybe we would’ve danced real slow together at the middle-school dances that were held 3 times a year. Or maybe we could play kick the can or freeze tag with my neighborhood buddies.
As it turned out, it was probably for the best – Kathy began smoking and drinking in the 7th grade. The closest I ever came to drinking at that point was when my parents allowed me to have a splash of wine with my ginger ale at the dinner table … there was no way I could or even wanted to compete with that.