Risking the danger of turning this blog into Total Request Live, minus the screaming girls with homemade signs (though if you’ve got the cardboard and magic markers handy, feel free), I thought I’d tackle a question M. asked me last week:
Did you get crushes in high school? And if you did, did you let them know? And, more generally, how did you feel towards boys and was your weight a factor at all?
Being supplied with the average amount of estrogen for a girl my age, yes, I got crushes. My first was in 2nd grade on a boy fortuitously called Beau. He even invited me over to his house after he saw a picture of me on my grandpa’s tractor. Elementary school boys love a girl with a tractor. My next crush was on a smart, black-haired, green-eyed boy in 4th grade named Stephen, who in retrospect was obviously gay. Really, would any heterosexual nine-year-old boy refer to John Stamos as a sex symbol? But at age nine my gaydar was not yet fully developed. Honestly I think I’m still missing a few vital components for the system. Both Beau and Stephen knew me before I got fat, so I obviously had no fat issues in my pursuits of them, which honestly weren’t that aggressive. At that point the most serious my peers got was saying they were “going together,” which strangely didn’t involve much going anywhere except to the lunch hall and back or maybe once around the playground.
In middle school I had a crush on an adorable, smart-ass named Matt who had a raging case of acne. He however was on a different team then me, and no, that’s not a reference to sexuality. Our school split each grade level into three teams with kooky names and you would only have classes with people and teachers on your team. I only saw Matt at Quick Recall practice and one time when I delivered a note to him from the office and I think he maybe might have smiled at me. He totally smiled at me! Do you think he smiled at me!? I had started to put on weight by this point, weighing probably 160 pounds and not yet being fully grown. Due to my lack of access, my weight and just my general timidity, nothing ever happened with Matt.
In high school I had a crush on a slightly anti-social, yet artsy guy who created a cool commercial for the school play that played on our closed circuit morning news. He also read women’s magazines. I found this odd because disregarding the year or two I read Jane, I have never read women’s magazines and I was a women, still am a woman too. No, I don’t think he was gay. I think he was trying to gain insight into the female mind.
There were a couple crushes in college too who will remain nameless because I never underestimate the power of Google. If I’m going to tell a guy I was crushing on him, I’ll do it in person after I’ve had a couple Jell-O shots and not by hoping he Googles himself one day. They included my roommate’s goofy computer science classmate with a thick southern accent and the guy in my linguistics class who would have looked better without the beard but had a very melodic voice.
It’s pretty pathetic to admit this, but it seems I was most aggressive socially when I was in elementary school, because I never really went after any of the guys I had crushes on past that point. I’m sure being fat had something to do with this. It’s easier to take a gamble when you’ve got a good hand and being fat typically isn’t considered a royal flush in the dating world.
But I am hesitant to blame any dating deficiencies solely on the weight. I suspect the still common social convention that men should be pursuers, not women, influenced my passive nature. When you’re as fat as I was, you don’t get pursued too often, unless you’re fleeing the scene of a crime or you go poking a wasps nest.
You should also factor in that I am a loner by nature. My mother tells me that my Kindergarten teacher was a bit worried about me because I didn’t play with the other kids, instead I’d just sit and watch them play. Maybe I was just honing those keen observational skills that make me the writer I am today. I recall being so fed up with the boys and girls at my lunch table in elementary school that I actually wanted to be sent to the punishment seat, which was a lone desk over in the corner. Punish me! Punish me! I hate you freaks! I would have loved to have eaten lunch on my own and not with my dumb ass classmates. (Confidential to Eric M00dy: Die, you little punk ass bitch, die!) I think I’m just not wired to be as social as other people. I’m not building mail bombs in a shack in Wyoming, especially since it would be difficult to get an Internet connection out there, but I do enjoy having lots of “me” time.
Also, I am just a chicken shit when it comes to dating and meeting new people. Yeah, I’m shy and a loner by nature and not a total knock out, but I’ve got to admit I’m a coward when it comes to mingling or making small talk, be it with men or women. I don’t know if I’m a coward because of those reasons listed above or I’m just naturally scared of new people. Either way, I know it’s an issue and it’s one of the things I’m working on improving about myself besides my weight. As my mother always says, I’m a work in progress. With a little more work I’m sure I’ll have a serious relationship someday. I mean, I’m totally awesome. Who wouldn’t want to date me? I just need to find someone worthy of me. Hopefully they’re hiding under my couch and I won’t have to actually, you know, go out and find them.
So, anybody else got any requests? I can’t promise you I will actually answer your question, but if I have something to say about the topic that isn’t too embarrassing or private, I might blog it. I might blog it even if it is embarrassing, but only if you send me some cookies. Bonus points for snickerdoodles.