Thursday, July 05, 2007

Childhood notions

Maybe it was all those Disney movies about happy endings or maybe it was one too many romantic comedies, or perhaps it's just in my genes, but I think I had an overly romantic notion about love in the past.

In the early years, I can recall many boys with whom I played chase - Shawn, Robby, Carl, and Donald. It's funny to think about all that time running around the school playground or neighborhood parks trying to get away. If and when the boys caught the girls, what were they supposed to do next?

Donald was the smart, cute boy who lived down the street from me. We were in the same third-grade class. I'd always catch a glimpse of his house every time I went to Sister's house to play. She played chase with Donald's younger brother Brian. My obsessiveness about boys probably started then.

I remember listening to one of my favorite singers at the time, Olivia Newton-John. She had this old song that I absolutely loved, "I Honestly Love You," that felt totally appropriate for what I wanted to say to Donald. I'm not sure, but I think I once wrote down all the words from the song and dreamed of sharing them with him. Boy, that would have freaked him out!

For a couple years in high school, I had a crush on this sweet boy, Chip. We worked together as library volunteers. I was always excited when we overlapped shifts. He was a genuinely nice guy and we enjoyed chatting together as we shelved books. He'd play little jokes on me like pushing out a book in my aisle that I'd half to pick up and reshelve.

I wasn't exactly a mature teenager. I had no experience with boys and didn't have the greatest communication skills (and still don't). There was no way I would ever do any asking out or overt flirting. He wasn't exactly the outgoing type either. His religion, I assumed at the time, would not allow him to be interested in someone like me. (Oh, how many times I assumed being Asian prevented people from liking me.)

He stopped working at the library before senior year. Still, we'd say "hello" to each other in the hallways. I missed talking to him. Several months before prom, a new song on the radio instantly caught my attention, "Make It Real" by the Jets. It focused attention on how I felt about my situation with Chip. The song is a very cheesy 80s, one-hit-wonder, that just seemed appropriate, especially since they were the same religion as him.

I obsessed over this song for weeks. I thought about how much a like him and wanted him to know. Part of me hoped that maybe I could have the happy ending of going to prom with him.

The silly, foolish, and romantic part of me typed up the words to the song one day. I folded the paper in such a way that it made a ring. On a not-well-thought-out whim, I added left the song hanging around the antenna of his car and said that I'd meet him in the student parking lot the following day if he wanted to know who I was.

I took a bathroom break out of my class that next day and sat between two cars a few away from his, hidden from view. I really didn't know if he'd show. The cars were parked in such a way that he didn't notice me as he walked past. I was nervous to pop my head up but felt obligated since he had bothered to come.

I'm sure he was disappointed to find it was me. He was nice enough about it, not saying anything mean or improper. His friends had actually discovered the note first and made fun of him. The girl he had a crush on was someone in his English class. I knew her from another class and guessed as much as he that she probably was not interested in him (and barely knew him).

It's probably one of the more bizarre choices I made back in high school. At least, the person I had to face was polite and nice about it. I still can't believe I had such nerve.

My real question is why I get so wrapped in boys? Sure, it's fine to have those crushes and cases of puppy love. Where did I get these wild ideas from? How have these habits shaped who I am and how I approach relationships with men? Sometimes I worry about how I process my emotions and react to them. The intensity can be unhealthy and painful when there are things end badly.

These days, I will admit to imagining, fantasizing - silly, crazy things like this, but I never act out on anything. Am I a little crazy or do most girls go through a phase like this?


Anonymous Writer said...

I think most girls go through this phase...and some of us never grow out of it, but at least we stop acting on our impulses.

I used to do that, too --- associate certain songs and their meanings to certain guys.


Why are we having so much trouble finding someone to settle down with?

Don't worry...I'm not really expecting an answer. I'm just feeling frustrated and maybe a little lonely today. awful does that look? The word "lonely."

It's like admitting to some really horrible disease or something.

Y. said...

I used to take more chances on guys when I was younger. I actually wince nowadays when I think of some of the chances I took then. I don't think I'm nearly bold enough to take them now.

zerodoll said...

i think it's better to be grounded in reality and take a chance, than to do something crazy and take a chance. what you did in high school was not crazy, insofar as he had shown some interest, it seemed.