Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Heartbreakers 1A, 2A and 2B

I really thought I was done sharing this series, but I went back and read the entries, and I realize I have a lot more stories to tell.  Some of them are just really hard, especially the more recent ones (which may never get told). I also realize I left out a huge chunk of the heartbreakers from my high school years.  I only mentioned two, and there were many, many more.  The other two hurt worst, but the ones I'll share below certainly didn't do much for my confidence.

I had discovered younger guys before college.  I liked plenty of underclassmen in high school.  I should have learned from those experiences and steered clear of the sector in college.  But it's suffice to say I'm not a real fast learner when it comes to crushes, heartbreak and this mysterious thing called love that I just keep chasing.  Or maybe it's that damn hopeless romantic in me who will just never give up.  I don't know.  Either way, I really wish I could have skipped a few of these "lessons."

These days I'm a one-crush-at-a-time girl (except with celebrities...one is not enough!).  In my younger days, however, I had a regular list of four or five at any given time. I guess I felt like it was kind of a lottery -- the more you play, the better chance you have to win, right?  Well, I've never won the lottery, and I never won the crush lottery either.  That didn't stop me from trying though.  I liked Heartbreaker #1 for seven full years, and I liked him the most through those years, but I did have a few other distractions -- younger men (although they were definitely still boys at that time). My attraction to the younger type began when I was in 8th grade and continues even today, although age doesn't matter as much now as it did back then.

There were three notables in this category, and I had very different experiences with each of them.  I'll refer to them as 1A, 2A and 2B, just to show where they fit in the timeline, and I'll share them in order from worst experience to best.

I swooned for 1A when I was in 8th grade and he was in 7th.  We were band together -- I played flute and he played a brass instrument (I'm not telling which one).  I was never good about keeping my crushes a secret, so eventually people (read: 1A's friends) found out about my interest in 1A.  I recall going to the band room to put my flute away after a concert one night, and two of his friends were down there.  They came at me with the mouthpiece from 1A's instrument, asking me if I wanted to put it to my mouth.  As I tried to get away from them (turning every shade of pink and red possible), I tripped over 1A's instrument.  No, that's not a euphemism, but it might as well have been.  The boys got quite a kick out of this, and I was embarrassed. 

Somehow I got over it (I never believed my mom when she said it wouldn't last long), but I have one other memory of 1A that I won't soon forget.  The summer between my 8th grade and freshman years, 1A ran into my younger brother, and asked my brother to relay a message to me.  The message is so ingrained in my memory, I will never forget the exact wording: "Tell your sister to get over me. I will never go out with a fat, ugly loser like her."  Ouch.  Yeah.  Even though it's been years, and I now realize 1A was and is an idiot, those words still haunt me.  His words still enter my mind every time I meet someone new, and I wonder if they're thinking the same thing.  I don't know why I let him steal my awesome, but it's probably way past time I took it back.

Moving on ...

A step up, but just barely, was 2A. Looking back, I have no idea why I decided I was interested in him.  He had amazing ice blue eyes, accentuated by tan skin and dark hair.  Yeah, he was OK to look at, but he was no Jake Gyllenhaal.  But when you're in a small town, you deal with what's there.  When I fell for 2A, I was heavy in my poetry writing.  I know you can see what's coming next.  And you're right.  Foolish girl that I was, I wrote a poem for 2A, and, at the urging of my friends (were they really friends??!?!?), I gave it to him.  Left it in his locker, of course, because there was no way I was going to hand it to him.  In the days that followed, I waited for some sign or response from him.  It never came, but I did hear plenty from the football team.  Apparently, they all got to read the note and poem in the locker room and have a good laugh at my expense. If I wasn't already a joke with the male population at my school, I certainly was after this.

Fortunately, there is one semi-positive experience from the underclassmen years.

2B was far too nice to say nasty things about me, and he was way too shy to share a note or poem with a room full of guys (not that I ever gave him one).  I actually had a lot more interaction with 2B than I did the other two guys  -- we had a class together, and I got to interact with him plenty during football practice (I was a manager).  On Thursdays, I had to drive 2B from cross country practice to football.  My car was a real P.O.S. The passenger side door did not open from the outside, so I always had to open it for him.  How gallant of me, right?  It was amusing to watch him try and get in my car with his pads and helmet on.  I finally convinced him to not wear the helmet in the car, but he kept the pads on.   

One Thursday during my senior year, I decided to take a chance.  As I we drove toward the field, I asked 2B if he would go to the homecoming dance with me (it was a week away).  His immediate response:  reach for the door handle.  Great, just great.  He'd rather go tumbling onto the pavement than go to a dance with me.   Granted, I was only going 20 mph or so at the time and he was wearing his pads, but still.  He did stay in the car though. I must have grown flustered, and I'm sure I started rambling, almost backpedaling from my invitation.  As we reached the field, 2B didn't dart from the vehicle.  He told me he would "think about it."  I let him have the weekend to ponder it.  Actually, I didn't give him a deadline, but that's what he took. The following Monday, we had an early morning practice.  He didn't avoid me. In fact, there was no awkwardness in our conversation, but he did finally address my invitation. He stammered a bit and finally said, "I thought about what you asked me, and I think I'm going to pass. I just don't like dances, but if I went with anyone I would definitely go with you."  Naturally, I was disappointed, but I felt like he let me down very kindly.  Maybe he didn't mean a word of that second part, but it was nice of him to say it either way.

He wasn't the last nice one I encountered, but guys like him were definitely few and far between.

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