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Why I Didn’t Date Until College

August 2, 2012

Every now and then, people are shocked to find out that I never dated until college. Were there just no good guys at your high school? Did you read I Kissed Dating Good-Bye? Was Jesus your boyfriend?

No. Let me illustrate it for you.

In fifth grade, there was a dreamy boy in my class named Alan. Now, when I say “dreamy,” picture a tall, skin-and-bones prepubescent with Zach Morris hair – blonde, slicked back on the sides, tousled on the top so his bangs made a “C” on his forehead. Alan was also the fastest kid in my class.

Now, the reason I didn’t mention a thing about his personality is precisely because I can’t remember a thing about his personality. Frankly, I was the most straight-forward child that ever existed, just scanning the horizon for facts and figuring life out based on gathered information.

Fact: All my friends are developing crushes this year.

Fact: These crushes are usually based on cuteness and/or sports skills.

Fact: I do not have a crush and I need one based on the above. I pick Alan.

(What? No one else decided who to crush on like this? Did I tell you I gave myself vocabulary quizzes out of the dictionary for fun?)

So, here I am with my fact-based crush on Alan, and he doesn’t know I exist because I am very, very quiet and plain and unnoticeable. I devise ingenious plans to make him notice me – I get a drink of water at the same time as him at the adjoining water fountain, I sit five places away from him at lunch, I ask a friend to ask him if he wants to play jump rope at recess. Can you believe the boy still called me “Audrey”?

But one day, the perfect plan fell into my lap. In the form of a rookie card.

Oh yes, you remember. Baseball and football cards were all the rage in 1996, and the military police would ride their bikes around my Army-base elementary school and pass them out. Mostly they were B-lister players, but every now and then, there was a real gem.

And I got the gold that day, Brett Favre, and everyone wanted it – especially Mr. Alan Athlete.  All the boys are at my feet, begging me to trade cards with them. 

Fact: Whoever gets this card will love me forever.

Fact: Alan wants this card.

Using my facts, I suddenly turn from quiet girl into coy-and-flirtatious girl (or so I thought). I claim I have been looking for this card forever, and my lie is immediately given away when I pronounce his name “Fav-ruh.” I give Alan a half-smile and said, “You can’t have it.” Only it didn’t sound flirty. It sounded serious and straight-forward. So all the boys let out a group, “Awww MAN!” and return to their desks. I had them in the palm of my hand.

At my desk, I take my pen (which we are finally allowed to use this year) and WRITE ON THE FOOTBALL CARD my coy-and-flirtatious love note: “Here you go, Alan.” I debate inwardly for a long time over how to sign it. “Love” seems too committal and forced. A heart shape instead? “Sincerely”? I settled on a dash: – Aubry. When no one was looking, I sneak it into his cubby hole. He will love me forever.

A while later, Alan goes to retrieve something from his cubby, and there on top is the coveted football card! He is shocked! Disbelieving! So happy! He turns it over to inspect it, and his chin drops almost inside his throat. His eyes are bugging out, which I interpret as, “Aubry! What a wonderful woman! I’m SO going to chase her when we play kiss-chase at recess!” Then his friend comes over, excited that Alan has the card, and Alan shows him the graffiti on the other side. The kid is much more verbal than Alan, and yells out, “Are you kidding me! What a doofus!” Alan’s furious and futile attempts to erase the pen commence, and then he tosses the card in the trash.

Fact: It’s not okay to write on awesome football cards.

Fact: I’m going to need a new crush, as this one is a bust.

I’m sure I don’t need to connect the dots for you. This is why I didn’t date until college.

Please share your embarrassing crush stories!

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. Tim permalink
    August 2, 2012 4:00 pm

    “What? No one else decided who to crush on like this?” I totally did! Never worked for me either.

    I failed at romance for so long that my standards by the time I got to college were that I’d date any young woman who said yes when I asked her out. Not that there weren’t a couple girlfriends in high school, but they were both very short-lived relationships.

    My earliest date was probably Sophomore year of high school. This girl and I were on student government together Freshman year. I knew there would be a homecoming dance at the start of the next year, so as soon as summer started I called her up and asked if she’d go with me. This plan was genius. If she said yes, then I had a date. If she said no, it happened when school’s out and no one would be able to tease me about it in the school hallways the next day. She said yes. The dance was months away, so now all I needed to do was hope she remembered by the time it came around.

    Happily, she did. I picked her up (my older sister drove us) and we went to the high school multi purpose room for the dance. She had the first shift in the snack booth so I went with her. She suggested after a while that it would be OK for me to go dance with someone, so I went out to find some friends.

    Later, I went back to the snack booth where she and a guy were talking. I said hi and went back to my friends. Her shift ended and I walked over to see if she wanted to dance. She said yes. After the dance she wandered off to some friends. Later I saw her with that same guy. They were holding hands.

    Explaining later to my sister why we did not need to drive my date home was a bit awkward.

    Awkward is a good way to describe my romantic efforts. I got better at it in college but I’m still a doofus sometimes, just ask my wife.

    Awkwardly,
    Tim

    • August 2, 2012 5:58 pm

      Haha…Tim that stinks!!! Too funny.

      • Tim permalink
        August 2, 2012 6:29 pm

        Good thing my wife missed all those awkward growing phases. We didn’t meet until my third year of law school. I was about your age by then!

  2. August 2, 2012 4:44 pm

    Three words: truly, madly, deeply. Read about my most embarrassing crush moment in the third paragraph of this post: http://gradcool.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/where-the-heck-to-find-help-with-grad-school-applications/

  3. Terra permalink
    August 2, 2012 4:52 pm

    This made me laugh! I don’t think you are alone at all but can’t believe you let something that happened in 5th grade shape your thinking for the next 7 plus years! :).

    • August 2, 2012 6:03 pm

      Its not so much that it shaped my thinking. Its more that this is a snapshot of some serious Awkwardness that took a long time to grow out of, haha.

  4. David Pearson permalink
    August 2, 2012 5:39 pm

    This is the most adorable thing I’ve read in a long time. :)

    Was this at Lamar? I don’t recall an Alan being in our class.

  5. Angie permalink
    August 4, 2012 11:44 pm

    True Story: several years ago, I had a crush on someone I had seen while out & about with the girls several times. Okay, this is going to seem like an abrupt subject change, but it all comes full circle, so just bear with me. I’m at work one day & one of the girls I worked with who was kind of the mother-hen of he group noticed I kept scratching my stomach. She asked to take a look at it & it looked like poison ivy…except I hadn’t been outdoors recently. As such, she warned me to go to the doctor to rule out shingles. So I go. And it’s SHINGLES, awesome!! In case you don’t know, shingles is just the chicken pox antibodies, from when you had it when you were little, sort of re-awakening in your body. But this time around, it doesn’t look or act like chicken pox anymore, so I guess that’s why they give it a different name. Okay, time to bring this full circle. Chicken pox is a form of HERPES, and therefore, so is shingles. I get to the pharmacy with my prescription for VALTREX (we all know what that is because we’ve all seen the cheesy tv commercials for it). Hand my Rx slip to the pharmacy tech at the window & guess who it is!! Yep, none other than my crush.

    • August 5, 2012 6:52 pm

      This one made me cringe!! LOL. All these stories are terrible. :) I’m not even going to share, because my most embarrassing crush story was in COLLEGE. Still makes me want to die, its ridiculous, lol.

    • August 7, 2012 4:49 pm

      That is HILARIOUS and AWFUL and cringe-worthy!!! Ahhhh!!!

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