Thursday, July 12, 2007

romancing my history: a small tangent

I don't know many people who credit middle school as the best years of their life, and I am no exception. Aside from my first flirtation with romance, some great stories and two of my best friends to this day, I left middle school with little more than a heavily bruised psyche and a desperate need for a change of pace. I convinced my parents to send me to a private school in another city (one that required driving through the Oakland ghetto to get to - it kept things interesting) and was surprised to find that many of my new classmates were people I'd met my first half of kindergarten before my family moved cities and I changed schools mid-year. I don't know if that distant connection helped me get to know people, or if it was my determination to start afresh, or perhaps it was the wicked cool plaid flannel vest and baggy jeans I'd cajoled my mom into buying before school started, but I found myself part of a tight group of friends from the get go. While we weren't the most popular kids, we were basically friends with everyone, with plenty to do, places to go, and people to crush on. Things were going great, so naturally, I got a boyfriend.

He was gorgeous. I saw him at a spirit rally and set my sites on learning everything about him. It turned out he was good friends with the two guys I'd become closest too (a shared hatred of algebra made for quick bonds and creative note passing) and suddenly we were an item (high school didn't seem to be that different to middle school in this way). But oh, there was a catch. I soon learned from his buddies (quickly becoming my closest confidants - man that can make things tricky in high school) that my new man was just that, a bonafide MAN, whose virginity had been lost the year before to a beautiful older girl. Oh, what a dilemma. I had the biggest crush on this guy, but I had yet to even fully make out with anyone (the majority of my kisses still having been done in the company of numerous girlfriends, for verifications sake, I suppose?) and now I found myself in the big league. This is not to say that he put any pressure on me - sex was nowhere near on the table, and looking back I cannot imagine the patience he had with me as I dealt with this news. The effect it had on me was to stifle any urge I might have to start acting on the ever-present high school hormones we were all juggling, as I desperately feared that I wouldn't add up, that I didn't know what I was doing, that I would be sub-par in my kissing. It is entertaining to think what a big deal this was at that time. For, just as in middle school, our makeouts (or lack thereof), were still everybody's business.

I don't even remember how long this went on for - but it was a number of months - probably close to six, in which we spent lots of time together, got to know each others' families, went snowboarding, smuggled beers up to my cabin with our friends, snuck out in the middle of the night and hung out all the time after school. And all the while, I wouldn't put out. Like, at all.

Oh how badly I feel about this now! I feel for him for putting up with it, and for me and the fear of that contact that I had. It all stemmed from insecurity - from my inexperience with how simple kissing can be, with how basic physical contact works. As soon as his history was introduced to me, I was completely unable to progress naturally in getting to know and be comfortable with him, I simply set all physicality to the side.

I had to tell this part of my relationship history, which in all its awkwardness and immaturity actually had a few moments of true sweetness - but which more importantly paved the way for my first great romance that would eventually unfold. Had I not had to face the consequences of the tension, insecurity and doubt I did in trying to make something work when I had an impenetrable wall I couldn't even define surrounding me, I don't think I would have known how to take such a wall down when I realized I was in love with his best friend two years later.



Blogger Be-zoo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/12/2007 12:01 PM  
Blogger Peter DeWolf said...

It is amazing what effect we, as guys, can potentially have on women at that age. Scary, really.

7/12/2007 1:56 PM  
Blogger Indiana James said...

Imagine me having the biggest in love crush with my best friend and never ever acting on it all throughout highschool because of what I saw in her life. Older, taller, better looking guys... I thought I'd never stack up. Ooops, turns out while talking to her years later and with her being married that she had a crush on me too for most of the time I was head over heels with her. Same lesson there, the other person's history is just that, history. If it was worth it, that history would still be the present.

7/12/2007 10:07 PM  
Blogger Mood Indigo said...

be-zoo - welcome! I love that imagery - my pillow might have to be careful tonight...

Peter - You don't think us gals had the same effect?

I.J. - Well I hope that means you'll never pass up an opportunity like that again :)

7/12/2007 10:36 PM  
Blogger Be-zoo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/13/2007 4:09 AM  
Blogger With Love, Fat Girl said...

Beautiful story, and well written. That said, I don't miss the insecurity of my middle school days... not one bit!

(Oh, and, you might have been surprised by his thoughts on sex, if they ever came up. I too dated someone who lost his v-card at 14, to a much older woman. Not only did he have to wait for years for the second sexual experience, but his own awkardness of that moment jarred him so much that to this day, into his 30's, he refuses to talk about it)

7/13/2007 10:07 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Since you wound up in love with his best friend, it seems like it wound up being a positive that you had such walls up with him. Wow, to think back to being so young and innocent...

7/13/2007 5:52 PM  
Blogger Mood Indigo said...

FG - good point!

Lisa - so young, so innocent (at least in some ways!)

7/15/2007 12:35 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Meghan, this was such a sweet and honest story. Lovely.

7/27/2007 6:48 AM  

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