So tomorrow is St. Valentine’s Day and I thought that I would talk a little about my experience with relationships and being in love.I am nerd. This has been plainly evident to me even before I knew what a nerd was. When I was a child I thought most kids were lame or mean, and then as I hit middle school and high school I realized that it was me who was lame and that… well the mean kids were still mean, but I did realize why they picked on me. But at the time I had no clue, so I was always frustrated and a little confused when the girls that I developed crushes on, and there were more than a few, did not reciprocate my affection.
In elementary school there was Stephanie, Amanda, Jessica, Jillian, and another Amanda. Most were fleeting infatuations that were not much more than me finding a girl pretty for one of the first times and not knowing what to do with that. Some of them were nice and some were not at all nice, I was the chubby kid with long hair and shabby clothes, I had and fairly sheltered home life so I didn’t know the popular music or anything about which show was cool or what kids did with each other outside of school. In short I was a dork,l and was probably rejected out of hand for the sheer embarrassment of being near me.
I did have friends but they were dorks like me with their own quirks and foibles, and I’ll write about it some time, but this post is about the girls of my life. So in middle school, while I was not much more cool, or popular, I did gain a gang of kids that I considered to be my friends, and most of them were as dorky as me. This is when I realized that it did not matter if everyone liked you as long as you liked the folks who seemed to like you. This group of kids did contain girls, it was about fifty-fifty, and became the defacto place where I found girls on which to place my affection. Over the next three years I would have a crush on everyone of them except Jamie who had a mean sense of humour (or possibly was just mean to me, I can’t tell thinking back to it). There was Sarah, and one more Amanda who hurt me the most though she probably does not even remember it.
This was about the time that I began to wonder why I was so undesirable by the opposite sex, I knew I was chubby, but I had met fatter kids with girlfriends. I knew that I was nerdy, but again nerds were not undatable. I never put i together but I did develop serious self confidence problems because of it the I would not begin to mend until high school.
It was in high school in my sophomore year that I had my first girlfriend I had met her through my foster sister, who had come to stay with us, with her bio-brother, the previous year. She went to the same school as me and her friend from school, Stacee, started coming to youth group at our church. I was fifteen, and she was eighteen. A point which I could not fully wrap my head around at the time. This was profound experience for me, she was my first kiss, and a number of other firsts that I will not get into, though I will say that it was nothing that would transmit a disease. (which is a point I would come to be quite grateful for. I my opinion she was a great girlfriend because she seemed to like me enough to let me touch her boobs.
This as you might imagine is no the stuff of romance novels and about three months later I was at a retreat with the previously mentioned youth group, and Stacee was there as well. I was a sleepover event and as thing began to loosen up and we were given some free time to hang out and find rooms to throw our sleeping stuff, I went to find Stacee. I, being a horny fifteen year old, thought this would be a perfect time to find a spot to make out a bit. But as I tried to pull her aside she continually left the room before I could get in a word with her. I asked my sister what the deal was and why she seemed pissed at me. And replied that she was probably still feeling awkward around me since we broke up last week…. This gave me pause. Now to put this in context, over the past three months, I had enjoyed many a make out session, and many a groping. But Stacee for reason I still do not quite understand liked to create drama. There was one occasion when she began a conversation with the statement “I need to tell you something important…I have a daughter”, because I am nearly drama proof and trust in my ability to observe the world around me, I replied “Nnno you don’t” And after a failed five minutes of trying to get me to bite, she explain the that the girl in question was only like a daughter to her in that help played a large part in raising her, her niece.
So when I found out that I had apparently broken up with Stacee, I was mad that I was not let in on this little decision, but I was not really all that broken up about it. I confronted her about it at some point and she swore up and down that we had really talked about this, and in all honesty I can not recall if it ever actually happened but I don’t doubt that I could have had a half conversation with the her, all the while she taking it very seriously and I barely paying attention. At any rate that was my first of the girlfriends I would ever have. And while Stacee was a terrible girlfriend, and admittedly I was not a great boyfriend, it did make me realize that I could be attractive to girls and still be myself. I had gained a whole new confidence, and while I would not have another girlfriend until college, I did take more pride in my looks and was less intimidated by other guys.
So my crushing all but stopped, though I did find girls attractive, when I didn’t ask them out it was more because after getting to know them I thought twice about my affection, or occasionally out of a desire to keep them as friends.
And then I went to college.
To be continued…