Okay, so I know I’ve been a bad blogger. I’ve been posting sappy pieces about my childhood or trying to pass off Microsoft Publisher fumblings as a real post. So I know I owe you. In light of how big I owe you all, I’ve decided to pay up in the form of a super-secret revelation. A confession if you will. Are you ready? I’m not. Hang on. Let me take another sip of wine. Okay.
I have never had a boyfriend.
Yep, that’s right. I’ve spent nearly a quarter of a
decade century (I am THE smart) on this planet. And I have spent that time completely alone. Romantically anyway.
So, this isn’t that big of a surprise to you? You’ve read my blog and you’re like, “Of course this girl is single and has been for her whole life. We expected nothing less from someone that has crazy conversations with her Sister and writes pathetic letters to her future husband…” At which point I will call you a jerk. Because I’ve had a crappy day (crappy summer, actually) and you’re kicking me while I’m down. JERK!
So before I get preemptively angry at the things I assume some of you are going to say… Wait…
Anyway. Yes. Big confession. I am that girl. It’s not like I even have the excuse of “Sure, there were boys who asked, but I was a good girl who didn’t date before X age and then I was so busy with school/career” or even “The boys liked me, but I’m super picky. I’ve had the opportunity, I’ve just not taken it.” Nope. No one asked. Ever. So, you know… I’m hot stuff and all of that.
Except. If you’ve read far enough back in the archives, you will probably realize that I already basically told you this secret in my post about getting hit and hot on in the same night. So this is kind of a lame pay back for my lame blogging skills as of late (there seems to be a theme here…) However. My confession has a Part Two. Yep. Big time confessions tonight.
For FIVE WHOLE DAYS in the 6th Grade, I had a “boyfriend.” And Mom, I’m sorry if I never got around to telling you about this and you have to find out on my blog—I broke your No Dating Until Sixteen rule. But I think my lack of Post-Sixteen Dating totally makes up for it. Right?
Okay. So. To pay penance. I am going to sip this glass of wine and take a non-sappy trip down memory lane. I am going to tell you all about Travis.
Travis sat in front of me in science class. He was almost my height (I was Asian Monster Movie tall even back then), a little on the round side (so was I!), and he was nice to me. He would turn around and joke around with me all the time. He had brown shaggy hair and he wore a NOFX hoodie every day. These are the only details I remember.
One day, another boy (also named Travis, although this is really not so much important and confusing. I could change it, but I
like to stay true to life am lazy) came to my table and told me I was so fat that even if I were to stop eating altogether, I’d probably never be thin enough to be pretty. He was a real charmer, this Other Travis. My Travis stood up and defended me. And he took quite a bit of crap for it. So, of course I liked him.
Anyways, my friend did the typical junior-high-who-do-you-like-pestering. I didn’t really like anyone, but I wanted to fit in. And to get them to shut up. So I said Travis. There was a bit of confusion when they thought I liked the oh-so-charming Other Travis. But when they realized who I meant, they went crazy. Before I knew it, I was being dragged across the lunch yard, five girls tugging on my wrists (like I said, I was a big girl and I was resisting, so it took quite a few of them). I can still the feel the gravel shooting out from under my feet as I dug in my heels and my “friends” tugged me along, heedless of my protests.
Then I looked up. Coming at me was another group of girls, dragging Travis. We met in the middle of the yard. Time stopped (yeah right). One of the girls next to him said, “Elise, will you go out with Travis?” He looked anywhere but at me. One of the girls at my side said “Yes, she will.” We were officially a couple. Romantic, right?
That was Thursday. We didn’t see each other after lunch, but by magic (read: through our network of over-zealous and obnoxious “friends”) he got my phone number. That afternoon, he called me. I was making macaroni and cheese (these details are important). My brother answered the phone. His face was precious—he couldn’t believe there was a boy on the other line asking for me. I said, “Hi.” He said, “Hi.” We exchanged monosyllabic sentiments. We were on the phone a total of three minutes. Two of which were basically silent while I stirred radioactive orange powder into noodles and milk. I had never felt so close to anyone before in my life. Heh.
Friday morning, our class was scheduled to go to an awful play about Thomas Edison in the next town over. Okay, so we didn’t know for sure that it would be awful, but we were suspicious. And we were not disappointed in the least. I sat near the back of the bus with my friends. Travis sat with his buddies up front. For the first (read: only) time in my life, I was THE TOPIC of discussion for my classmates. We were THE COUPLE of the moment, even separated as we were by a bus of smelly preteens. Looking back, I think the fascination stemmed from the fact that I was a wallflower and he was a loner, not from the fact that we were innately fascinating, but that’s water under the bridge. Whatever the reason, our friends orchestrated the seating arrangements so that we got to be next to each other—our teachers were usually wise to the couples in class and tried to separate them, especially during times when the room would be dark, but they never even thought to suspect us.
The lights dimmed. The curtain lifted. I felt all of my classmates’ eyes on us. Other Travis was sitting directly behind and above me in the tiered seating. He made kissing noises in my ear. I got angry. And underneath the anger, I was embarrassed. I didn’t want to kiss Travis. But I even more didn’t want to be UNCOOL. I couldn’t not do something. So I reached over and grabbed My Travis’s hand. In view of everyone. That shut him up. Actually, it shut both Travises up.
And it was nice to hold someone’s hand. It didn’t matter that the hand was kind of cold and clammy and limp. Or that I had no real affection for the boy attached to that hand. I was daring. And bold. And COOL.
As I said, the play was awful. We all mocked it in voices just low enough to keep the teachers from coming over (actually, I think they could hear us and just agreed with us enough to avoid making an effort). It was so boring that I slumped down in my chair and almost fell asleep. Aware of the eyes on us, I decided to really go for it. That’s right. I did it. I rested my head on Travis’s shoulder! SO DARING. SO BOLD. SO. COOL.
When the play ended, we praised Jesus and piled back on the bus for the ride back to our town. I was finally comfortable enough with Travis that I sat with him for Fifteen. Whole. Minutes. During those fifteen minutes, he seemed more interested in his finger skate board (remember those?!) than in getting to know me, but I pushed on valiantly. I tried to talk about our hobbies and I think he talked about lighting things on fire. I’m not sure. The only thing I distinctly remember was that we were talking about our families when he suddenly offered, “My parents are thinking of putting me up for adoption.” I thought he was making a joke, but he was so matter-of-fact that I knew he was dead serious. I had no idea how to respond to this. I just looked blankly at him. Then he said, “HEY! Just because I do bad things doesn’t mean I’m a BAD PERSON!” And then wouldn’t talk to me anymore.
Well, as fun as the romance had been up to that point, a tiny alarm bell chimed in my ear as I scurried back to my friends. From this advantageous viewpoint a dozen years later, I can tell he was a hurting kid who had a bad home life. But to my twelve-year-old brain, all I heard was, “I HAVE ISSUES! RUN AWAY!” We didn’t speak for the rest of the day.
The weekend was a holiday (I can’t for the life of me remember which one), so we had the Monday off. I spent the weekend doing normal stuff, not really thinking about Travis. He did not call. On Tuesday morning, I realized I was dreading seeing him at school. I was pretty sure the coerced “asking out” ritual we had participated in and proving-we’re-cool-hand-holding we had done were not the recipe for a successful relationship. So I did the only thing I knew how to do at the time: I wrote him a note and shoved it in his locker.
Yep. I’m that girl.
I lost track of him in the shuffle of classes over the next six years. When we graduated from High School, he had an electric blue Mohawk and was still wearing the same NOFX hoodie. Every day. He told my friend Mary once that he remembered me, but all he said was some girls forced him to “go out” with me for a few days in 6th Grade. Funny, that’s exactly how I feel about him. Maybe we should get back together?
Okay, so now I've spilled my guts. It's your turn. Tell me about your Middle School "romances" or your first loves. Tell me about first boyfriends or peer pressure. Tell me something embarrassing and incriminating. I hate feeling alone in this. So I'm dragging you all down with me.