I remember sitting in my 7th grade science class, absent-mindedly chewing the end of my number two Ticonderoga pencil while my teacher droned on about cell tissues when it suddenly occurred to me:
Eh mah gawd. I wonder what my future husband is doing right now, I thought self indulgently as I scribbled my self-given nickname across my notebook’s lined paper.
Ace. Ace. ACE. Ace with a little star at the end. Scribble scribble scribble.
My dad and mom let me get ACE on the back of my soccer jersey last summer because I scored a goal on another team this one time. I vaguely recall scoring the goal, only because I wasn’t sure how to celebrate at the time. So naturally, I did what any other child raised by hard core Bon Jovi fans did- held my middle and ring fingers down with my thumb, raised my hands above my head and yelled, “rock on, dudettes”.
Yeah. I got first choice of frozen grapes during half time.
“So this little guy here is called the mitochondria,” my teacher repeated as he squeaked his dry erase marker across the whiteboard in front of the class. “Anyone heard of this before?”
He looked around hopefully.
I rolled my eyes. Like hell-ooo? Didn’t everyone know it was that weird bean shaped thing? I went back to daydreaming.
Would he have blue eyes? Brown hair, maybe? Perhaps he was kinda like that one dude in the Meg Cabot book I just finished. Drrreamy! ❤
I continued to doodle stars around all the “Ace”s I’d scrawled across my notebook page. I looked to see if my teacher was paying attention to my desk in the back of the room. Slowly, I reached into my backpack until my hand brushed against the hard outer cover of my diary. The mitochondria could wait. I had to figure out how many days I’d liked my crushes for.
There were currently three of them I was keeping tallies on; Mason, Alex, and Kyle.
Varying in height, hair color, and age, all three only shared two things in common:
they were white as f*ck and didn’t know I existed (Wisconsin probs, everyone is varying degrees of fourth generation German or Scandinavian).
I flipped quietly through my diary’s crisp pages and huddled over my desk, shooting warning glances at my desk neighbor that clearly meant back awf.
By warning glances, I really mean it probably looked like I was trying hard not to sh*t my pants while painfully grimacing at poor Jenny Parkins only three feet to my right.
This was pre-Lactaid, but still.
December 11th, 2005 8:45pm, I thought. No…December 18th, 2005 7:47pm…no…yes! Finally! December 22nd, 2005 3:56pm!
“Alas!” I exclaimed as I stroked my beard.
Christmas break is almost here. Volleyball wasn’t bad except I gotta gripe man. The score thing after sucked. I had this dream last night though where (ew!!! Lol!!!!) I made out with Alex. I woke up french kissing my pillow…LOL [YUCK!!!]. It’s been 264 days or basically 8 monthes & 22 daze since I first started like him he’s is so hott ALLI IS COMING UP THE STAIRS…wait she’s gone now. But yeah. Mason wuz my homeboy for like…8 monthes and 14 daze. Lol. Anyway, heart u! Ace~
*Yes that is a real entry*
But hmmm. I just saw Alex in the hall today before third period and I think he noticed me, I thought to myself as I slowly closed my diary and shoved it into my backpack. I mean, I’d dropped my water bottle and caused a scene where my friend ended up tearing her pants against the lockers, but still?
It had been 8 monthes, with an “es”. GASP! That was longer than Mason but shorter than Kyle (little punk only lasted 246 days).
Well, fast forward ten years and Mason now has a cleft palate, Alex is somewhere off in Slovenia, and Kyle is living in his parents’ basement playing video games. It’s now been over a decade since I’ve had a crush on these three pubescent, zitty, little boys and I have yet to call them up and tell them I liked them each for two hundred and some odd days back in middle school. I’ve never told them, quite honestly, and I don’t think I ever will. I’d rather just talk sh*t about them on a low volume blog post via my WordPress site instead.
So what’s the point?
I’ve been on Earth for twenty-three years, eight months, and some odd days and I still get those fleeting thoughts wondering what my future husband is doing at this given moment. I used to think to myself, oh golly gee, I wonder what I’ll be doing with my boyfriend in like, ten years or twenty years from now maybe we’ll be doing brunch somewhere together somewhere in a big city like Green Bay, Wisconsin. BUT, girls in middle school, high school, college, and even now:
You don’t need to be defined by whether you date or not. Either way, you’re much more than who you’ve dated, who you will date, or who you’re currently dating.
But anyway, back to our feature presentation, as we’ve just left Kristin as a little hopeful, wonder-stricken teen.
Young Kristin was quite the card, she was quite the little dreamer! I pictured myself floating gracefully across the gum strewn sidewalks with my Kohl’s clogs, boyfriend in tow twelve years from now. Great things were in store! My family would be so proud!
Well, high school came, handed me braces, and kicked me in the groin a little but I still persevered past the person my freshman yearbook photo portrayed me to be (lol, yikez). But still, no boyfriend. Maybe what I needed was a guy who was older than me, more mature than the horndogs who I was growing up with!
God bless, I was able to find that much-wanted boyfriend through volleyball.
Well, “he” being volleyball itself. Lol! ❤
Like any other hairy-armpitted, arm shaving, sixteen-year-old virgin, my parents had me join a year-round sport in hopes I’d find some friends to distract me from my teenage angst about the impending Iraqi War. It was either that or do crystal meth in my basement with my cool but kind of creepy next door neighbor.
Volleyball it was!
Countless hours later, I emerged as a semi-human, semi-lesbian looking weirdo my senior year. So what if the only fling I’d had was with another girl who now denied everything? I had a ❤ BOY ❤ taking me to both Homecoming and Prom! How blissfully “normal”!
After texting back and forth, exchanging flirtatious winky faces and accidental T9 auto-corrects from my totally sick Motorolla Razr, I found the whole “talking to a boy” thing to be a lot of pressure. I had too many volleyballs to hit, too many digs to be dug, too many long, romantic car rides to practice an hour and a half away. I couldn’t juggle talking to a boy as well! The dream of seeing myself walking down the street with a boyfriend seemed to fade slightly as I’d tie my shoes before practice after school almost every day.
This led me to college where I was delighted to see more human boys all over the place. By golly, some of them seemed to like me too! I had shed my braces, dyed my hair a few times, learned some time management skills, and wore horribly short dresses to bars that I could’ve purchased for my kid sister. This would get me that long-awaited boyfriend! My friends around me seemed to find humans they liked, and don’t get me wrong, I did too, but nothing seemed to work out beyond the whole “well we both think each other are totes hawt” deal.
So the big question Oprah definitely has for me, “where are you now, Kristin?”
I’m here. I’ve never had a boyfriend, but somehow I’m alive, by golly! If I can do it, you can too! I will however, reserve the right to b*tch to my friends about this any time they unwillingly lend an ear.
I must confess, it’s hard to see all these young women around me worrying about the future status of their love life like I used to back in my old 7th grade science classroom. We sometimes can try to determine how to finagle where we’re going to find our significant other who can propose within two or three years of meeting us, set a date a year beyond that, and god willing, settle and have children after that as well.
There’s nothing wrong with dating, there’s nothing wrong with not dating. What I’ve noticed in my past behavior is the urge to date only because everyone else was doing it, not because I felt ready or like I truly felt a connection with another human. Don’t get me wrong; there had been moments where I thought, “this could be it! I could come home for the holidays and show off this guy to my family and brag about what a catch I’d had”, but they were few and far in between.
Some part of me wishes I could go back and tell myself not to try too hard, to settle back and not take life too seriously. Some of the happiest couples I’ve met just started out as casual flings that turned into something much more, while others started off as friendships that grew into ❤ luv <3. The other part of me is glad I’ve been the old celebate hag (sarcasm, obvi) I have been because EH MAH GAWD I am just learning so much about myself, like how quickly I can down a McGang Bang, or how many shots of tequila I can do before I never want to see that stuff again. It’d be rewarding either way.
So what I’m trying to say is this:
When it comes to relationships, boyfriends, girlfriends, and whatnot, there’s value in just respecting where we’re currently at, whether it be single for twenty-three years, or dating someone new every two days as long as you have respect for yourself and others. Things will fall into place, you just have to trust this. Don’t force it. It’s like taking a big dump, right?
My 7th grade self didn’t realize this as she scribbled tally marks in her diary with the amount of days she’d like her crushes for. She pined away, longing for relationships she genuinely wasn’t ready for at the time and yearning for the idea of a boyfriend. I wish I could’ve told her everything would work out fine, and that she’d be fine either way, but I know she’d find this out in a decade anyway.
Through my many years, I’ve been sort of embarrassed that I’ve only been on one date in my life, thinking it was something to hide or not mention to others. Until recently, I haven’t thought of it as something I could use as a way to determine what I want out of life. This in mind, I think you’ll be able to use your lack of relationships, or even past and present relationships to determine what you’d like in the future for yourself. It’s a great learning experience either way, but just remember: it’s not worth writing over three hundred pages of pure angst in your diary over, especially when your sister can find awkward entries you’ve written and then proceed to never let you live down the fact you woke up trying to make out with your pillow.
Just some food for thought and words of advice.