When I was 13, I was ... well, not the delightful mix of adorable and sexy that I am now! I was scrawny, had crooked buck teeth, and giant cheap glasses. Bad haircut, ill-fitting clothes, the works. I was the stuff coming-of-age movies are made of - the "before" scenes, anyway.
My family is religious, and for whatever reason we were going to a church in a neighboring city rather than in our own. This meant I didn't go to school with any of my church chums, so it was like having two separate worlds. I'm pretty sure that when I had boyfriends at church and talked about them at school, people assumed it was the equivalent of a pasty nerd boy talking about his "Canadian girlfriend." "Yeah, suuuure you have a boyfriend. Uh-huh. We totally believe you... NOT." (what? this was also back when Wayne's World was awesome.)
This story is going to tell you a couple of things... first, that my boy-induced retardation started at an early age, and second, that my current issues with dating have an old seed.
I had a massive crush on this boy, N, at church. He was tall, skinny as all hell, tan, and had long hair. I obsessed over him, but he had no interest in the scarecrow-lookalike girl gazing adoringly at him from the next pew. Then one day N brought his best friend Greasy to church. I call him that because as my brother was so fond of pointing out, dude had greeeeeasy hair. But at 13, looking like I did, who was I to be picky? He had horrible acne, but he was tall, sandy-haired, and most importantly: he liked me. This made him the most beautiful boy in the whole world.
He asked me out. In those days, "asking out" just meant "hey be my girlfriend." I wasn't actually allowed to date until I was 16. Since we went to different schools, couldn't drive, and I couldn't date, our entire relationship was holding hands at church and talking on the phone every night. When he told me he loved me after we'd been "going out" for about a week? a few days? I was thrilled to little ugly-duckling-bits and said it right back. I mean, that's what people DO in relationships, right? And I was IN ONE.
Greasy told me he'd lost his virginity when he was 9. He told me he wanted to sleep with me, and hold me. I thought he was so worldly and experienced, so I should just do or say whatever I needed to so he would think I was, too. I, um, didn't do a good job.
The first time he kissed me... well, okay, the first time he tried to kiss me was mortifying. We were standing on the side of the church building. It was night, after evening services, so we were lit only by the giant safety spotlight on the corner of the building. We were facing each other, probably only a few inches apart but in my memory, there was at least a yard between us. He learned forward, eyes closed, lips pursed, ready to plant that baby on me...
...and I leaned back in terror.
I vividly remember his face, and my automatic reaction to pull away from it, and feeling scared, then completely embarrassed. There was a little girl - N's younger sister - hiding around the corner watching us, and she burst into giggles. He looked upset. Oh god, I ruined it. I will be alone forever. I'm going to die alone with 100 cats, never kissed.
Oh wait. He's trying again. *smooch* ...okay. That wasn't so bad.
In 3 months of "going out," we broke up 3 times. One time, we were split up for all of a day and a half, and back together for possibly 2 days before splitting up again, this time I believe for a whole week. Sometimes I would call his house, and his mom would tell me he was out with N and Amy. I figured Amy was N's girlfriend.
Nope. Amy was Greasy's girlfriend. His school girlfriend. The one he, you know, did stuff with. Ohhh, I was crushed when I found out. I cried. His solution was to offer me his friend Freckles' phone number, so he could console me. I'd met Freckles a couple of times when N brought him to church as well, and somehow it didn't occur to me that it was REALLY FUCKING WEIRD that Greasy was giving me his best friend's number while breaking up with me.
So I called him.
Another story for another time... yep, I totally went out with Freckles next. WHAAAT.
Boy-induced retardation, people. I think it should be registered as a real disease.