My very first crush was Roger Maris. Elvis was not far behind. But my real, in-person, knew-my-name crush was one of my sister’s junior high boyfriends. I was in the 4th grade, they were in the 9th. He was cute, sweet, kind of shy and I thought he was all that and a bag of chips!
While that teenage love didn’t last long, my crush did. When they were in high school, I swiped Karyn’s yearbooks and hid them under my pillow. I spent hours staring at his picture and daydreaming of the moment he would realize I did, indeed, exist, and that I wasn’t a kid anymore.
Time passed, they graduated. My dad switched from National Guard advisor to the “big Army” and we began to move again. Loves came and went, but I always remembered him.
Fast forward to 2010 and the magic of Facebook. My heart skipped a beat when I saw his name and face. He’d grown even more handsome over the years. I sent him a friend request; he said he remembered me, but I am sure he didn’t. Sweet in junior high, still sweet. Our friendship grew and so did my crush!
Dateline: June 2012, Karyn’s 45th class reunion. Bob had less than zero interest in going so I was Karyn’s +1. My crush and I had been in daily communication for over two years so I knew he was going to be there. I was Cinderella. Cinderella sitting in an oversized chair in an atrium bar at the Embassy Suites in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Cinderella waiting to meet Prince Charming, the man of my childhood dreams. I saw him as he walked in the doors of the hotel and when he waved to me from the glass enclosed elevator, it was if he’d slipped a glass slipper on my malformed foot (I have really ugly feet), making it perfect.
But guess what? Glass shatters. Oh, the pain of unrequited love!
I crawled in my conch shell for a few months as I wrestled with harsh reality: crushes are crushes, nothing more, and by definition are "a brief but intense infatuation for someone, especially someone unattainable or inappropriate". After a few months we were back to being friends.
We are still friends. We email a few times a week. While he's outgrown the cute stage and has gone all the way to handsome, he’s still sweet and kind of shy. He occasionally reads this blog so I don’t want to mention him by name since I’m sure he’s already turning red. No doubt he’s getting quite a kick out of this!
Did I mention he’s sweet?