Being 29 is tough. Really tough.
I have to deal with bills, dishes, the mortgage, my biological clock, a car payment, and cleaning up after Hubs.
(Okay, Hubs has to continually clean up after me, but whatevs.)
My point is, sometimes the regular day-to-day operations of life can seriously drag you down.
I mean, how many times in my life will I have to put the towels back up on the towel rack? How many times will I have to write a check to those horrific student loan people? It just gets to be a pinch too much sometimes.
And then I think about where I could be in life right now. I could be back in 5th grade with weird braces, stringy hair and an ESPRIT shirt.
Now that would be horrible.
This weekend I asked my oldest step-daughter if she had any crushes at school. She told me about a few boys that have recently caught her eye and...
I was back in Mr. Overstreet's 5th Grade class, looking at the love of my life.
He had black Nikes and a cool hair cut. And liked to run. That's really all I remember.
(How truly amazing he must have been for me to recall him in such accurate HD detail.)
Anyhoos...so, I was in love with him. I suppose it wasn't a great mystery why. In my class of 17 students, there were approximately 9 boys, two of which smelled like rotten spaghetti squash. You do the math.
I remember I had been pining for Levi for approximately 3 months when I heard that he was "available."
(And by available, I mean that he had managed to beat Super Mario Brothers, so his thoughts were no longer preoccupied with warp levels and flower power.)
It was no secret, my love for Levi. I stared at him in the morning, sat near him at lunch, and prayed to almighty Jesus to be his partner during square dancing in gym class.
(I know, square dancing? Sweaty 10 year old's who forget to bathe every night? Bad idea.)
One afternoon, our class was assigned a project that required our breaking into groups. You remember the drill, I know you do.
The poor teacher stood up in front of the room spewing off the same instructions as the last time.
"Count off by three's, everyone! Erin, you're a 1, so Tanner, that makes you a what? CORRECT, you're a 2! Jessica, 3. Then we start over, Aaron you're a what? No, not a 2. Pay attention and get the glue out of your mouth. You're a 1."
And so on.
I ended up in a group with two other girls, and Levi was placed in a group with two other boys. Rather than focusing on the assignment, I instead channeled all my energy into burning a sizable hole through the back of Levi's head with my 5th grade bedroom eyes.
And then it happened.
One of the boys in Levi's group got up from his desk and approached my table. DUUUUUUUN DU DUN DUN DUNNNN!
The boy informed me that, in case I didn't know, Levi had a HUGE crush on me.
(HOLY SHIT HOLYSHIT HOLYSHITHOLYSHIT)
However...he was too scared to do anything about it.
The only way Levi would go out with me was if I personally asked him out in front of his friends, thus proving my reciprocated crush.
(Where we were going to go when we "went out", I have no idea. The playground? The bus stop? Our date options were quite limited.)
I sent Message Boy back over to his table to consult with my friends.
Should I go for it? Should I ask him out? Clearly he was obsessed with me or he wouldn't have sent Message Boy over. We all unanimously agreed that I must do it.
I straightened my tight-rolled Z. Cavaricci's (okay, I'm lying, they were Gitano's) and gave my bangs an extra fluff. Thank God I had worn my hot pink Hypercolor shirt that day. I was bangin' hot.
Nonchalantly, I strolled over to Levi's desk. He sat there, looking back at me expectantly.
"Hi, Levi!" I said sweetly through my mouth of metal.
"Um, hey," he replied. "Sup?" God, he was adorable.
"Well, I wanted to um, a-ask you something real quick," I stuttered, rocking back and forth from heels to toes.
He stared at me blankly.
"Will you, um, go out with me?" Oh my God, I did it. I asked.
Then, Levi did something strange. He began to laugh. Loudly. As did the rest of the boys in his group.
"No I won't go out with you!" he exclaimed, snorting with laughter and high-fiving his weasel messenger. "I can't believe you got her to ask me, man!"
I stood there, my mouth wide open, incredulous. Then, shoulders drooping, I awkwardly returned to my group.
There was no way to hide it. In a class of 17, Twitter up-dates weren't exactly necessary to spread news. I had dared to ask a boy out face to face, only to be turned down...and everyone knew it.
It still pains me to think about that day. I can't imagine my daughters going through something like that in front of their classmates. Grade school is tough. It can chew you up and spit you back out in the blink of an eye.
The best thing to do, I've found, is grow up and get relatively attractive, and hope the dude that broke your heart finds you on Facebook, and asks to be your friend. Then you can say, "HELL NO! I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU EVEN ASKED ME."
(Not that I think about things like that. No - not me.)
I think the saddest thing is, it happened again two years later. But that's another story for another day.
Now that I think about it, I sure hope Hubs didn't marry me on a dare...