Growing up, I was more the kid who got beat up on the playground than the girlie girl. I know, shocking, right? I mean, what’s not to love in a fifth grader who didn’t brush her hair and won an award for Most Pages Read In The School Year? (I believe I got up to around 10,000. I wasn’t messing around.)
Most boys didn’t really know what to make of me. On one hand, I loved sports. On the other hand, I was positive Shakespeare’s romantic leads were my boyfriends (Holla Benedick and Romeo. I love you.). I lived for diving head and feet first into a good novel.
Plus, being a chubby kid with glasses certainly didn’t bode well for my romantic prospects. And of course, then there’s the whole “famous father” thing. Which, contrary to public opinion, did not make me the beloved scion of my middle school. I was instead a pariah to most of my classmates. I remember crying in class. A lot.
My first serious, heartstopping crush was in sixth grade. I won’t say his name for fear of an asskicking, but suffice to say it was intense and quasi-real. Everything about him entranced me, from his VANS shoes to his JNCO jeans, to the 1996 mushroom haircut he sported (oh, GOD, it was beautiful). Every time I saw him in class, my little eleven-year-old heart would flail. I saw him writing with WhiteOut on his backpack and proceeded to ruin my own smart L.L. Bean bag with names of bands I had never heard of, because he’d been writing them down. Needless to say, this crush did not end well. I saw him dancing with another girl at the first dance of the year and was so heartbroken I threw myself on the floor of my mom’s Windstar minivan and sobbed the whole way home. Obviously, I avoided the rest of that year’s dances.
Seventh grade was a banner year for me. I ended up having a boyfriend for about a month! He was another skater boy (or ‘sk8er boi’, what up Avril), but a very sweet one. We broke up when he moved to Florida, but I have a picture of him somewhere in one of my many photo albums. The great thing about him was that he accepted and liked my friends. Note to all guys out there: If you don’t accept my psycho friends, you don’t accept my inner psycho.
In eighth grade, I fell in love with a popular kid. That was such a mistake. He had the personality of a doorknob, but a great head of hair and gorgeous eyes (I’m a sucker for nice eyes, FYI). The closest I got to a connection was asking him to dance at the Video Dance, where they brought in a projector and showed the music videos of whatever song they were playing at the moment. Oh, it was so badass. But I digress. The main point is, he said no, and I spent the rest of the dance sulking on a cafeteria seat, fiddling with the hem of my Limited Too flares and mainlining Diet Cokes and Cheetos while “Walking on the Sun” by Smashmouth blared. Not even Britney Spears could get me out of my funk.
And then…high school. Oh, good god. High school was so bad. Boy-wise, I mean. Going to an all-girls school pretty much rendered me emotionally stunted when it came to men. On weekends, I would go to the mall and suffer whiplash from all the times I would snap my head at every boy walking by. Dances petrified me; the first time I attended one I literally got my ass squeezed (both hands, and quite firmly) and never went back. I managed to meet a few guys and become friends with them through doing plays at a local all-boys school, but nothing ever really coalesced into a real relationship. I did develop a humongous crush on one of them. It was so painfully obvious to everyone, considering I turned bright red whenever he so much as cast one eyeball in my vague direction. He was, once again, a pretty boy, and an athlete. I tend to gravitate towards that type more often than any other. I should’ve parsed that a love like ours would never last, but unfortunately I held on to that crush with both clawing hands until around my senior year, when I decided I simply would stop caring and focus on school.
Then began The College Years. This is where my loathing of all things to do with romance really hit a high point. Although I did get my first kiss in college. It was in theatre class, during a scene study. Sexy, right? And he still reminds me of it to this day.
Senior year of college was the year in which I lost a majority of my weight. You would think that would automatically get me a little bit more attention from guys. Nope. I was a theater major. I did get a few onstage makeouts that year, one of which was with an actor who currently appears in The Secret Life of the American Teenager. By the way, if you’re reading this Austin Stowell, congrats on your success and I hope you never forget when I pinned you to a piano in Shakespeare in Hollywood.
Do you see a pattern here? A lot of crushes. Lots. I’m a little bit of a crush slut. I see someone pretty, I think about what pretty names we could choose for our kids. There hasn’t really been anything serious. And what do I blame for that? Only myself. Honestly. I don’t know of a lot of guys who will go for my byline: Nerdy, socially awkward 25 year old yogini who’s semi-vegan and photographs her food, yells loudly at sporting events, wears far too many sequins, retreats to her room for hours to read and mess about on the laptop in Photoshop, studies world mythology, writes fantasy fiction, and occasionally dances around her room to Lady GaGa. Oh, and I count books as part of my circle of friends.
I am indeed a special brand of weirdo, to be certain.
Then there’s the intimidation factor.
My father, to the untrained eye, is extremely intimidating. He scares a lot of people who don’t know him. To me and my friends, he’s just Dad, the guy who shuffles in and out of the kitchen and tends to eat chestnuts from the jar. But to the potential romantic prospects in my life, he can be either slightly scary or downright terrifying. One guy I was interested in my senior year of college met him and his voice cracked. Another wouldn’t stop talking about the players or the season. But then there’s the other side of the spectrum: men who don’t care that my Dad is who he is, and in fact don’t care about any sports, full stop. That’s not good, either. I prefer a happy medium.
I’ve heard there are many benefits to a dream board, or something you pin your hopes to in order to focus them, making them more easily manifest in your life. For a moment, this blog could be my dream board.
1. Yes I’m a theater nerd but I’m also a sports history junkie. If you know the name Pete Maravich and its relevance to college sports, I will be yours forever.
2. I prefer a quick mind to a body sculpted in the gym. I prefer someone who’s smart. But not overly smart, or elitist. Hyper-loquacious people stress me out.
3. For God’s sake, make me laugh. And not in a ‘oh, this man is such a sad specimen, wait until the girls hear about this’ way.
4. Manners. Open a door. Pay on the first date. Offer me a coat. Stand up when I walk in a room. These are all things guys have done for me in the past and every single time, I turn into a puddle of mush.
5. Love your family, and accept mine for all their idiosyncracies.
6. Like, or at least appreciate, my friends. They’re awesome. And i’ll do you the same courtesy.
7. If you have a tan, make sure it’s from the sun and not a bottle. I’m not looking for Pauly D here. And if you’re looking for Snooki, move on to the next one. This tan is all natural.
8. Be kind.
I don’t think I’m asking for much. Am I?