It may be shocking to know, but I was not the most popular girl in the sixth grade. Actually, I didn’t achieve any kind of popularity until I was in college and started hanging out with theater nerds. If that doesn’t tell you all you need to know about me I’m not sure what the hell to say because I’m really lazy, and this typing thing is making my fat cocktail sausage fingers all sweaty. I might short circuit my keyboard at any moment.
Although my personality alone was enough to repel most boys, in the sixth grade I took that shit a step further by dressing like an old lady, and I had the most ridiculous mullet the nineties ever created. The best part? My mother had picked my hair cut. It was an homage to Reba McEntire. I didn’t even realize we were die hard Reba fans. Now I knew. Now I knew. I closed my eyes every morning and pretended it was a throwback to 80s Prince, shook the tears off the ends of my stringy mullet, and went to school. That’s what Prince would have wanted. We can’t all be beautiful ones.
For all the ball of trash that I was in the sixth grade, my parents made a rule that I could not date until high school. Yeah, I’m not sure who they thought was jumping in to demand my hand before high school. I still played with Barbies everyday after school. The girls in my junior high must have been eating some kind of growth hormones that my parents refused to buy because they all looked like they were already in high school with their real bras and clothes from the junior miss section. I was wearing the training bra my mother bought one day on a whim, and clothes that still fit from the previous year. The previous year being fifth grade. Meaning elementary school. I was still wearing clothing from the children’s section. We didn’t waste. While I was wearing a training bra full of wishes and sadness other girls had actual boobs. So, yeah in junior high, boobs trumped all.
Then one day, a miracle happened. One of the boys from my class, for whatever reason started paying attention to me. It should be pretty obvious by my story up until this point that I was ignored by boys completely. He was the cutest thing I had ever seen. He had glasses and a mouth full of braces. Orthodontia was a thing for me, don’t ask I can’t explain it, but in my dreams my ideal boyfriend had glasses and a lisp from a mouth ladened with braces. He went a step further by having a name full of alliteration. I was smitten. He was a dream and I was obsessed with him. I had thought maybe he was paying attention to me because I’d been caught staring at him wantonly, and he was sizing me up to see if I a threat or not. I had taken karate for a year so, I could see where I was a little dangerous. But then he started talking to me. What the actual crap was this? Boys only talked to me to ask for pencil, or to tell me to move out of the way. I just kept waiting for him to say GOTCHA, BITCH! Trip me, and run away holding hands with a much prettier girl with actual boobs. It never happened. He just kept talking to me and walking around with me. Other boys would push him into me, and go “OoooOOOoooh”! It was the best. The junior high equivalent to something serious.
It all came crashing down the day my cousin told him that I couldn’t date. I never thought that rule of my parents would ever come into play. During our usual walk around the playground he got that serious tone in his voice and said he’d heard that I wasn’t allowed to date. Damn that cousin. This was probably the only boy in the world who was brain damaged enough to think I was a catch, but not enough to, you know, hurt him and she had to ruin it. I was going to end up alone for the rest of my life. Since I have a horrible poker face and can’t lie I fessed up and said it was true. Oh, boyfriend! How close I came. He said that was too bad because he really liked me, patted my shoulder, said I had to respect my parents wishes and walked away into the distance of the playground to play football with the other boys. First off, any boy says “you need to respect your parents’ wishes” gets my undying love, and he did. I can neither confirm nor deny whether or not I stalked him through the halls our seventh grade year. I cannot. He was a freaking dreamboat! Second, he gave me a conciliatory shoulder pat. Other than shoving me to the ground, no boy had ever touched me, and I’m not saying that was the best moment of my life….but it was pretty damn close.
Ahh, and so ended my first crush. I mean, it wasn’t technically over because we had classes and stuff together the next year, but we were on a new campus and the girls were even more grown up and my training bra of sadness was even more pathetic. He got a girlfriend with a huge rack and I finally broke my Barbie habit. Everybody won. Yay!