When I was a Young Warthog…

Sorry, title is an homage to my obsession with The Lion King when I was a kid.

But, seriously, to understand how deeply rooted awkwardness is in my soul, let’s take a brief look back. And by ‘we‘ I mean the maybe one random person who blunders into this blog and manages to get this far.

Picture this: bowl cut, thick caterpillar eyebrows, kitten sweaters, chunky, rosy-cheeked, shy and completely, desperately boy crazy.

That about sums up me from third grade through high school graduation.  Oh, did I forget flat chested, late bloomer? Yeah, add that to the list.

In school, all I ever wanted was a boyfriend. My friends all dated. Some of them even dated my crushes. One of them even dated the boy I had sent her to ask out for me (as you did back in elementary school). She came back and told me he said no to me but now they were going steady. I was crushed, but also not popular enough to risk one of my few friendships, so I said it was fine.

Whenever there was an announcement that a new boy would be starting school, I’d be sure to wear my best outfit on his first day. I’d try and get myself all dolled up, and then I’d watch with dismay as I was totally ignored. Now, it all seems ridiculously silly, but my silly, young heart just didn’t understand why I never got the fairy tale story outcome.

In third grade Jason asked me to be his girlfriend, but he’d asked every girl in the whole grade before me and been turned down by everyone. He just wanted a girlfriend so badly. He might have had more luck had he also not done an experiment to see if he could stop brushing one of his baby teeth and let it rot out of his head. He did. It took a while, and he had one little black tooth for a good many months, but he accomplished his task.

I was tempted to say yes to Jason’s dating request, but everyone knew I was the last one on his list, and, with wounded pride, I declined.

In junior high, my cousin set me up with a boy from another school. We made plans to meet up and see a movie, but he kept cancelling, saying his grandmother forbade him from going out. Later, a friend told me that she’d heard that the boy was telling everyone how we were boyfriend and girlfriend and made out and all this other stuff. I never heard from the boy again. He just stopped picking up the phone. My only boyfriend in school, and I never even met him. *sighs*

I was never asked to a dance, and, if I worked up the nerve to ask anyone, I was politely, or impolitely, told ‘no.’

At some point, I decided that maybe I was just an ugly duckling. I daydreamed about one day realizing I was a beautiful swan. I clung to that notion, fantasizing about coming back to my high school reunion looking like a knockout. No one would recognize me. Everyone would be impressed and want to talk to me!

Silly, naive child…


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