Yearbooks equal crushed dreams and broken crushes.
That's what I just learned.
I can count seven, eight, maybe even nine major crushes I had in high school simply by flipping through the class pictures of the Haverhill High School class 0f 2004.
(Don't worry, this isn't some sort blast through the past of every girl that ever rejected. Nick Hornsby and Stephen Frears both translated that to the creen way better than I'll ever be able to through words on here.)
Really more than anything it's humorous to me to think back to that time.
I was never a very popular person (at least in my own eyes) and seemed to always get the comments from my mom's friends about what a handsome boy I was. No offense to the friends of the family but, this is something you want to hear from the hot blond captain of the cheerleading team, not you mom's mid age friends.
Fuck that, you don't want to hear that from the captain of the cheerleading team. You just want her to make out with you in that uniform.
(Before any of my female feminist friends call me on any of this, we all have these fantasies. Adn it seems to me today, the first thing, aside from an initial physical attraction, that attracts me to a girl these days is more so her ability to hold a conversation with me more than anything else. So you can calm down now. These are all the thoughts of a fifteen/sixteen year old boy.)
The younger I was, the more brave I was. As I got older, I either got smart enough to know that none of these girls I had crushes on would ever go out with me, or I just got afraid of being rejected again. But it's all funny nonetheless. Because all of this would lead me to where I am now.
I remember the first girl. Sixth grade shop class. We were making spice racks. It was a double period. And i was turned down probably a good fifty times before I gave up. But she was blonde and at that moment in my young life the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. I'm not even sure how clumsily I went about it, but it must have been clumsily enough that detracted something. We would pretend we were The Breakfast Club and I was the nerd. And the nerd, at the End of The Breakfast Club, gets to write the letter. He doesn't end up with a love interest at the edn of the movie.
Next girl was a brunette. Learned the crazy logic of the female mind from this one. Went to elemntary school with her in a different town. She moved to our town. Third, forth grade you chase the girls around the school yard, but you certainly don't think anything of girls. Fast forward to the seventh grade dance (incidently the dance I remeber making friends with Ben Goldbaum because I could recite more than "One" by Metallica as a compositon by said band) and this girl, when asked for a dnace by yours truly says, you never danced with me when we went to the old school together. At first I feel bad until I realize...we were in third grade..we didn't have dances. Girls are crazy.
I think I gave up for a little while after that.
Sophomore year. The most beuatiful girl I've evr seen walks into class. Blond hair, gorgeous smile. And she'll want nothing to do with me. She's a football cheerleader, i'm in the band...it's romance never meant to be . Sam Spade monlogues run through my head. I'm not even sure anyone even knew I had a crush on that one. What would be the point of telling? Way out of my league.
Junior year, I get an idea. I will sneak notes into this girls locker and warm the little cockles of my heart. The previous summer this girl sees me at summer time (This is my third year in English with her) an strikes up a conversation with me like we've been long friends forever. My heart instantly melts. It takes me eighteen some odd months to come up with a plan. So I start leaving notes in her locker, anonymous notes of really bad poetry that today I know is bad but couldn't tell you what I wrote back then (probably much influenced however by the fact that I'm reading "It" by Stephen King at the time, and one of the main sub-pots invloves someone giving secret love notes blah blah blah i digress...) but it was probably cheesy and really bad. Your hair is like flowers yadd yadd yadda. Then one day, way after school, as I have dropped another not in her locker, her best friend happens around the corner right after me committing my anoymous crime. I immediately stop leaving notes, and to this day I'm not sure if the friend (who I also developed a crush on...next story...be patient) told her and they put two and two together, but the blond tall girl I had a crush on..never really treated me the same way again...at least in my own guilty paranoid mindtrip.
Senior year, we're taping the schools TV show. I'm there every week not for the school credit or to learn about the exciting world of TV production, but just to be close to this incredible funny and smart girl who hosts the show. Jesus, I mean that's why everyone was there. Who didn't have a crush on her? She had everything, brains, looks...the ultimate girl for dudes our age. (Except one of the co-hosts. I'm still pretty sure there was something incredibly unhealthy about is Paula Abdul obsession from the seventh grade and...well...i don't know. If he turned out to be gay at our next reunion I wouldn't be surprised. Although some people might say the same thing about me and I 'm fully heterosexual so you never know. I digress again...) The special thig about this crush is it was something I didn't want to give away. It was sepcial because whether she new the attention she gave us was making us short of breath and all dopey, it didn't matter. We liked it. And it was that innocense that was key.
Fast forward a few months. The most gorgeous underclassmen I have ever seen in my life walks past me and starts singing in chorus class like an angel. My friend and I work out a deal where he will ask his huge crush to the prom if I ask mine. I find out she has just broken up with her boyfriend. (This may actually be entirely fictional, but it's how I'm remebering it now...anyways...) I don't know if I'm stupid or self-destructive but a day before I'm goign to ask this girl to the prom one of my best friends finds out her boyfriend can't go. So I offer to take my friend, even though my sights are set on this vison of heaven. My friend says yes. Shit. I done fucked up. Or maybe I was afraid and it was my sub-concious way to keep myself from being rejected. Either way, I went with my friend...another could of would of should of flown with the wind. (Interesting sidenote to this story, a couple of years later I was working with this paticular crushes sister and she came in and one of the women I worked with said she thought I was going to pass out. So apprently, even two years later, certainc rushes can overtake you with out reason or warning.)
So I'm in college. Dating here and there. And again, this beautiful girl walks onto my staff fro the summer. And she's in the process of breaking up with her boyfriend. And one night she comes home from a wedding after locking herself out of her room. And I'm on duty. So it's two am in the morning and 100 degrees out and she looks phenominal and i'm in my boxers and a t shirt. And I open the door and am breathless...she looks amazing. And so I go get my kesy and think about what I should say when I come back, and I decided to tell her how incredible she looks. And so she goes and gets her key and comes back to the room. And we chat for a while and she tells me about the wedding and then strangely seems uncomfortable towards the end of our conversation. The following is the conversation I have with myself when I lay back down:
"Wow, she looked really beautiful tonight."
"That w as really cool that we got to talk."
"She kind of rushed the end of that conversation."
Then sheer terror enters my heart as I realize what I was wearing when talking to her.
"Shit...was my dick hanging out of my boxers while I was talking to her?"
To to understand my embarrasment you had to understand 1)how incredibly hot this girl was and 2) the direct relation of her hotness to the laughter coming out of my friends mouths when I related the story. My friends swore they would not relay any of this information back to the source who I now was embarrased to even look at.
One week after the semester starts, this girl walks up to me and says there's nothig to be embarrased about, she didn't see anything. Strike twelve.
So anyways, this went off in way more of a direction then I intedned. But i guess my point is, crushes lead to not only a special place where things are exciting and secret and special but also a palce of laughter and misunderstanding and confusion. I wouldn't have it any other way though because it's a lsoely unique exeprience everytime you have a crush, whtehr it's enacted on some way or not. And it's always inifnitely better in your head then it could ever be in real life, but aren't things always better and more exciting that way.
I crush a lot. I'm always amazed on a daily basis at the new things that can cause a crush, from intellegnce to looks to je ne sai qua. I've got several crushes right now. Christ, I've developed crushes out of no where on girls I haven't seen for five years that I went to school with for eight years. I may have reacted to any all or some of them in the wrong way at this point. And no matter how much I might think I'm embarrassed by the way I deal with these things, I increasingly find in my short life thus far, that I'm not at all embarrassed or ashamed when people find this stuff out either volunarily or involuntarily.
And while some of the magic might be lost when the crush is revealed, what replaces it is flattery. And flattery may just be that spark that turns the crush into a bomb.
Or at least us hopeless romantics can always hope right?
By Auf Der Maur
Release date: By 1 June, 2004