This Thursday was my friend Kit aka “Bunny’s” birthday. I promised that I would revisit some of our bff-hood as her wedding gift (if you’ll remember, she got married last month). So today, I bring you a momentous multimedia spectacular that showcases some of our best awkardness.
When we were in ninth grade, Bunny and I had some complicated boy troubles. We decided to channel our frustration by making a list of 100 reasons y guys suck (yes with the “y” instead of the real word.) I’m not sure we actually took our own advice, but the list brings the lols nonetheless.
I used “Bootylicious” as the background music, since Kit and I basically wanted to be Beyonce. Sadly, we were short, white and hopelessly suburban. But damn did we try our best.
I’m going to pin this list on my wall at school, in all its early-2000s AOL printout glory. Note the pink font and our fantabulous screennames. Though we wrote this when we were much less cool, I think a lot of the items still hold true today. But in the advent of social media, I feel I need to add one last reason:
101.) Three months after your breakup, though you haven’t talked since that day, they still try to invite you to be their neighbor on pointless and confusing Facebook applications like FishVille.
(Yeah, true story.)
I love you, Bunny! Happy Birthday, and I’m glad you found a guy who doesn’t suck.
At last, we’ve reached the somewhat-chronological section of the diary. Here’s where shit gets good.
By the start of the new semester, I’ve realized my True Love for David B. I’m pretty sure I actually started liking him as early as September or October, but I put off admitting that to myself until now. It’s interesting to note that little has changed in that department. I still follow the same pattern for all my crushes: hate, annoyance, interest, lust, and finally like. This process usually takes months to complete, which is why once I like someone, I’m pretty much in it for the duration. After all, I had to spend weeks figuring out if I’d hit it.
I am sooooo confused! I’m starting to feel the way about David that I felt about Ryan. I really don’t want to have to go through this all over again.
He talks to me all the time, and shows off while I am around. I don’t know what to do! S and S don’t know yet, and I probably won’t tell them. It seems so obvious to me, but I guess they don’t seem to notice.
I don’t want to go through this again, it’s just too painful. But I don’t know what else to do about it. I don’t ever want to have a relationship, or do I? I wouldn’t know what to say or do, though. Stupid Stefanie and Joe are going out (I think). Why do I always fall for these dumb guys?
David B. and I had quite the flirtation. I’m pretty sure it consisted entirely of us insulting each other. I’ve always been a big (ok, more like, 14-year-old girl at a Jonas Brothers concert obsessed) fan of what TV Tropes calls “slap slap kiss” relationships. I am pretty sure this is entirely the fault of spending a large portion of my adolescence watching and re-watching the famous kissing scene between Han Solo and Princess Leia in “The Empire Strikes Back.” There’s really no defending this, except to add that I still think it’s awesome to this day. What can I say? Even nine-year-old me was attracted to bad boys.
David B. was everything you can aspire to love if you are 13 years old and really, really into badassery in all shapes and forms. He was smart, but didn’t apply himself. He hung around with the bad crowd, but not often enough to be labeled a serious druggie. He was snarky and sarcastic, and most importantly, he took great joy in making fun of me.
The first friend to find out about my secret crush was Kit aka Bunny. She was the only person observant enough to figure out the real reason we fought … all the time. (She’s a frequent reader/commenter who is GETTING MARRIED this Saturday! If my dad had done as he was told and brought my big box of writing, I’d be posting the list we made with “100 reasons y guys suck!” Once I go home to Michigan, I am posting it for sure. CONGRATS!)
S and S refers to frenemy Stefanie and another girl, also named Stephanie. I believe I caved and told them about my tortured love affair, probably days if not hours after this entry. I have a big problem keeping secrets, as in, I pretty much overshare all the time. Plus, I needed as much attention as possible. And when you’re an eighth grade girl, having a crush is an instant attention-booster.
David B. and I had three classes together, which meant I saw him four out of five days a week. Tuesdays were the worst day ever, as he did not grace me with his presence at all. He was also in my rotating elective (Art/Gym/Spanish), which will become important later. Art class with David B. was pretty much the highlight of my life.
We did most of our flirting in US History, because he sat at the next table over. Kit, far more confident than I, would always start up conversations for my benefit, as she and David B. were neighbors. I would wait for my moment, and then sputter out some insult about his bowlcut hairdo or misspelled homework. He would counteract with a crack about my glasses or my habit of asking insufferable questions and sharing unnecessary personal anecdotes during class. We had some ongoing joke about him being a hunter that resulted in David B. drawing me a picture of a rabbit. He wrote “To Diane, from David” on it. I kept it forever, like some sacred object, hidden under old book reports in my desk at home.
I was crushing hard. The school work was easy. “Wait til you get to high school,” every teacher told me when I complained. Consequently, I spent most of my year reading under the desk and thinking of new outfits, new insults and new fantastic ways to wear my hair. I had a plan to win David B’s love. All I needed was the perfect moment of execution. Unfortunately, there were no hyperdrives to malfunction, stranding us in space for months at a time, forcing us together in confined engine rooms. But hey, a girl can dream.
Today’s entry reflects on the tumultuous events of seventh grade and how they have ruined my life.
The short version of the story is that I had a huge girl-boner for Ryan since the sixth grade, and to show my love, I decided to write him a poem and give it to him during the Groundhog’s Day Dance. (We weren’t allowed to have a Valentine’s Day Dance, because our principal thought it would “encourage dating.” But I think invoking fat, furry animals in this story makes it even better.) Needless to say, it did not end well. Avoidance and extreme awkwardness followed, and I continually referred to this day as “the worst day of my life.”
This groundhog is mad that Ryan didn’t understand the subtle beauty of Diane’s poetry.
It’s drawing closer to the anniversary of the Grounhog Day Dance, and the terrible bout of depression that followed it.
The world seems so changed since those long-ago days when all that mattered was a certain person and my friends. Everything seemed like a big party, and when it all ended, I had to clean up the ruins of what had happened. Now that I have confidence and a niche in the round of life at (My town) Middle School, the months have flown by. But in the quiet, I remember the world that used to be. But had none of this ever happened, I would not be who I am today. Here are the events that changed my life.
- 6th grade class
- meeting Ryan
- <3ing Ryan
- found “Gundam Wing”
- reunited w/Emily
- met J, R, B
- Me Today!
So everything has somehow lead to who I am now. But I wonder what would have happened had I not done one of those things if I had been in another class, where would I be right now?
Oh lord, maudlin Diane is maudlin. I love when things that were once tragic become hilarious in retrospect. I also love that I credit “Gundam Wing” as bringing me out of depression. However, I will always believe in the Power of Being a Fan, which is to say that being a fan of something (be it a movie or TV show or god forbid, anime) has helped me through some of my toughest times, as well as lead me to meet some of my greatest friends. Being a fan is a lifestyle, and it’s one I’ve had since the fourth grade, when my mom rented “Star Wars” for me.
Another hilarious sidenote: I have no idea who J, R and B are. I have a theory that those initials must be my friends Jessie, Rebbeca and Brittany, but it’s pretty weird that I would have credited them in this life-changing events list, considering I barely spoke to them before or after that year. I do, however, continue to have a friendship with Rebbeca (Becca). She’s still awesome, despite the fact that she apparently wasn’t invited into my ideal fantasy world.
I believe the Worst Day of my Life was a landmark occasion for one reason: it was the first time during my love life where I realized — moments too late — that I’d made a Terrible Choice. The second I gave Ryan the poem, I knew I shouldn’t have done it. (I believe I gave it to a friend to give to him, truth be told. That’s how we did things in eighth grade: note-passing style.) Right away, the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach told me this was a poor life choice. I’ve grown to remember this feeling, and I think every time I make one of these decisions, a little part of me remembers standing inside a darkened gym at four in the afternoon, watching helplessly as my feelings traveled toward their intended target on a piece of notebook paper.
I would remember this moment throughout high school, when I turned down a boy I actually did like because I didn’t know he was asking me out. I would remember it when I did my second and third confessions of love, both of which involved the internet instead of notebook paper. (One of these was to a gay man, so I’m not sure it was a total fail, just more of a “sorry, your genitals are on the inside of your body.”) I would remember during my freshman year of college, when a tiny lie grew out of control, and I found myself creating elaborate deceptions to get out of seemingly simple situations. I would remember this summer, when I tried to resuscitate a relationship that was already dead.
As funny as my 13-year-old self seems today, it’s disrespectful to deny the pain. Pain is something that’s irrevocably honest, no matter how hilarious its packaging. I won’t pretend that, almost ten years later, I handle romantic rejection and sadness any differently. In my heart, I’m still the same girl for whom friends, chocolate and a great hour of television heals all wounds.