Charming, but single

A journal in dates and drinks

Memories ... of the way we were

I was reading a post over at Serially Single and it reminded me of a moment from high school. I felt compelled to share. (And I hope she doesn't hate me, because I'm not trying to insinuate that her situation is high schoolish, just to highlight the whole cycle of dating and how we all feel the same damn things over and over again.) I was 14 years old and I was a freshman at an all-girls high school. Each week we got all prettied up to go to football games for our all-boys brother school. Afterwards there were sometimes dances or parties at either school. Given that I couldn't drive, these events were my only real chances to meet guys, as my parents were still hopelessly overprotective. (They wouldn't even let me hang out at the mall with friends. As if!) A rush of nervousness came over me in the weeks before Homecoming. I had to get asked. I was convinced I would have to transfer to another school rather than live the humiliation of not going to Homecoming my freshman year. My friends (and pretty much every girl in the freshman class) felt the same way. It was as if this one event would define us for the rest of our social lives. I begged one of my guyfriends to help me get a date. He already had one, but he promised he would send any dateless classmates my way. About three weeks before the Big Dance, my friend pulled me aside during the football game and said he wanted to introduce me to someone at the party after the game. I was so nervous, I thought I would die. (This is a running theme throughout this and most other stories from my high school years.) We met after the game and after a few minutes of the most awkward conversations I've ever had in my entire life, he asked me to dance. As we clumsily rocked back and forth on the dance floor (because ballet classes do NOT teach you how to slow dance), he made me happiest little 14-year-old girl in the world. Literally ten minutes into knowing me, he asked me to Homecoming. I didn't care that he was barely my height. I didn't care that we had nothing in common and very little to talk about. I didn't even try to play it cool. I just said yes immediately and after the song I told pretty much everyone in the whole damn world that I had a date to Homecoming. I wasn't going to have to change schools after all, which was a plus. I spent the weeks before in a constant state of terror -- what would I wear and what would I say and, oh dear God, what would I do if he didn't kiss me. I spent the three weeks poring over old issues of Seventeen and Sassy magazines for kissing tips and tips on how to look cute and what to say and what to wear and what to do if he tried to have sex with me. (Because, seriously, all I'd heard about in sex ed and health was that the boys in high school were going to try to have sex with me and I had to do all that I could to remain untouched and virginal. I had to be prepared to stay chaste.) Now, it wasn't as if I had never kissed a boy before. My sixth grade boyfriend had not only kissed me, but he'd told me that he loved me and sent me flowers on Valentine's Day. (Now, why the hell did I let him get away?) But I wasn't content to have my only romantic encounters be with another 12 or 13-year-old -- especially one who was a wimp and told all of the other boys in the sixth grade that we had kissed even though he had promised that he wouldn't tell anyone. (And everyone teased us, like kissing was a bad thing, but that all went away when he went to a new school the next year. Not because of the kissing incident.) I was obsessed and this self-inflicted pressure to lock lips only made my 14-year-old life more unbearable. My mother made me a blue dress with a sweetheart neckline and I wore black velvet flats (so as to not be taller than my date) and a black velvet choker with a heart on it (I was a wee bit obsessed with chokers in the early-to-mid 90s) and matching earrings. I had my hairdresser fix my hair and she made it huge and curly and teased it up so high that I didn't think it would ever come back down. It was 1994 and I thought I was so hot, even though us freshwomen looked about 10 years old compared to our senior classmates. I barely ate at dinner and I barely spoke to my date all night. I was so nervous that he didn't like me, but as we made our way through the tables and chairs and bodies to the dance floor, he grabbed my hand and held on tight. At the time I thought I would die of happiness, but I think he was just worried he'd lose me in the crowd. Either that or he was just as scared as I was. After the dance, a few of us hung out until 12:30 (as late as I'd ever been out in my whole life) at my friend's house, until my date's mom came to bring us home. I slyly slipped a mint and reapplied my lip gloss. His mom tried to chat us up the entire ride home, but I was so nervous that I couldn't speak. In just minutes, he and I would be alone and he would kiss me. I just knew he would. And I would kiss him back and then when all of my friends asked about it at school on Monday, I would blush and they would know and I would be one of the cool freshmen who had totally made out with a boy instead of one of the loser freshmen who had never been on a date. (Mind you, I went on my first "date" and got my first kiss at 12 or 13, so this was a moot point anyway.) His mom parked at the end of the driveway and he walked me to the back. We walked slowly and he held my hand and I felt faint. He told me he'd had a good time and smiled. And nothing. I smiled back and slid the key in the door and everything felt like it moved in slow motion. As I turned the knob, I could feel something welling up in the pit of my stomach. I went to step inside and he said my name and I turned around and he grabbed me and gave me the most odd clumsy hug I've ever had. And then he all but ran to his mom's car. I went inside and closed the door and leaned up against it in the dark, in my best totally crushed 14-year-old Angela Chase wannabe pose. He hadn't kissed me. And everyone would know that he hasn't kissed me when they asked me about it on Monday. I wanted to die. But I didn't. I survived, even though Homecoming Date hadn't kissed me. He never did. I went to another semi-formal dance and on several dates with him, and he never got up the nerve to do it. I was friends with one of the "bad" girls freshman year, and we even arranged a "movie watching" night and rented some dumb Pauly Shore movie specifically so Homecoming Date would make out with me. Still, nothing. I am certain mine is the first boob he ever touched, though.

Charming, but single is 25 26 27(!), lives in the Southern part of the U.S.A. and likes both her drinks and her boys tall. E-mail (listed below) her and she may respond. You can also IM her in AIM/AOL. (If she ever remembers to sign on.)
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Former taglines of this blog: "A Journal in Dates and Drinks" and "A Dateless Journal of Drinking."

Those Particulars
Some Backstory
Memories of the Way We Were
Updates and Towel Snapping
One Year Wrap-Up
Just As She Is
An Open Letter to Myself
After 26 years, she HAS learned something
An Open Letter to the Men Who Message Me Through Match
Sharing a smoke

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