Why I Didn’t Date Until College
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!