This week we are venturing back to the oh so terrifying days of Junior High in all of their awkward glory. Surely you remember those days - when everyone is jockying for popularity, when boys and girls are starting to really figure out that they like each other, but don't really know what to do about it.
Toward the end of 7th grade, this boy moved into our school. I thought he was pretty nice and kind of cute. We started spending a lot of time together, just talking and hanging out, often with a group of other people. At the end of the year, our whole class went to Oak's Park and this boy and I spent almost the whole day together. I realized that I liked him - you know, LIKED him, like, more than a friend. And, as 7th grade girls do, I told my friends who all assured me that he liked me too. In fact, I'm sure there was one of those fun chains where one of my friends asked one of his friends to ask him if he liked me, and I think that by the time it got back to me, the answer was yes.
Well, I must have felt very bold because I decided, probably after hours of consultation with my friends, that I would approach this boy and find out for sure if he liked me. From there, I'm not sure exactly where I thought things would go, or if I had even thought that far ahead - I guess the point was really just to find out if we liked each other.
As luck would have it, we took yet another 7th grade trip (what was with all of these class trips, by the way?), this time to a park, and we were all walking there together. It just so happened that this boy and I ended up walking together, because, after all, we had become pretty good friends. So as we were walking I decided that this was my big chance to find out just what was in store for me. I mustered up my courage and led with this fantastic line: "So, I hear you kind of like me." Smooth, I know. And then I waited for his affirmation.
Imagine my surprise and chagrin when he replied with "Well, you shouldn't believe everything you hear." Pause. Wait, what? He doesn't like me? Oh, the embarrassment! Oh the hurt! How could the friend chain have been so wrong? My cheeks instantly flushed bright red and I stammered something incomprehensible, then proceeded to begin walking really, really fast, so as to put distance not only between myself and the boy but also between me and that horribly embarrassing situation. I do believe I cried my little eyes that evening. Alas, whatever visions I had of 7th grade romance had been shattered.
Sometimes, things happen for a reason. That boy and I recovered from the awkardness of junior high and he eventually became my best friend, then my boyfriend, and finally my husband. If I had dated that boy in 7th grade, who knows what would have become of our relationship. Plus, now whenever we have an argument, I get to remind him (all in good fun, of course) that he broke my heart once upon a time!
Jason and I right after he proposed.