Saturday, February 12, 2011

Lessons in Rejection for Valentine's Day

My first romantic interest in a boy occurred in the first grade. I rode the school bus with a sixth-grade boy who was tall, thin, had a dark complexion and always seemed to wear white t-shirts. His name was Lance. And I was smitten.

Considering I saw Lance almost every day of my elementary school commute, I made a point to sit next to him often and eavesdrop on all his conversations. After several months, I finally got up the nerve to interact with him. Being a first grader and unaware of how to act around boys, I found myself shyly talking to him and for some reason, sometimes pretending to be a puppy. I guess I thought since my own dogs were cute, he would think I was cute -- if I acted like a dog.

I have no more memories of our relationship. I can only assume why.

The following year, I fell in love again. This time with the neighbor boy. His name was Ryan and to this day, I swear he looks exactly like the kid from Rookie of the Year:

     {source: MovieMike.com}

Since my love shared the same name as my brother, everyone just called him “Older Ryan,” which I suppose is better than being called “Neighbor Ryan.” Although he was ten-years old at the time and I was seven, I was certain I could win his favor and help him to fall in love with me.

There were several defining moments in our relationship that would prove otherwise.

One of those instances occurred when we were playing baseball in my yard. My brother Ryan and Older Ryan decided to name their baseball team the A’s, in which case my younger sister decided our team should be called the B’s. The A’s were up to bat first and I was playing first base. Older Ryan’s first hit went straight towards the pond and had the makings of a home run. He was rounding first base on his way to second when I saw an excuse to playfully flirt with him. I grabbed on to the back of his shirt and pulled as hard as I could to stop him. Seeing that this tactic was getting me nowhere, (and only a seven-year old could explain why I did what I did next), I put his T-shirt in my mouth and latched on with my teeth. He kept running, and I kept dragging along behind him, arms and legs flailing on the ground. That is, until the force of his pulling actually ripped out one of my teeth and I started gushing blood all over his t-shirt. Not only was he disgusted by all my chomping and bleeding, but I never even found the tooth so violently taken from me in the name of love and therefore received no visit from the Tooth Fairy. It was a low point on many levels.

I wasn't ready to give up on Older Ryan though. A few weeks later, he came over to shoot BB guns with my brother in our backyard. I walked over to where they were targeting several Folgers cans and I tried to show Older Ryan my rabbit and tell him a really interesting story about what I normally fed her. Not surprisingly, he completely ignored me. Maybe it was because I looked like this:

schoolpic 
{Source: My mom makes me wear srunchies}

Still unwilling to face defeat, I walked around the back of our house and decided if I was going to be noticed, I was going to have to try a lot harder. Again, only a seven-year old can explain why I did what I did next, but I walked directly in front of their targets and started yelling my story about my rabbit a whole lot louder. That is, until all the breath went out of my lungs because Older Ryan shot me. In the stomach.

Some relationships just aren't meant to be.

Psychologists say our very first memories say a lot about who we are and what we care about. Likewise, I would imagine our first memories of love say a great deal about what we will value in the future. Not surprisingly, I married someone younger than me. When it came to my relationship with Andrew, I never pretended to be a puppy. I never walked in front of his targets while he was shooting (and he really does have to shoot guns a lot) and I never latched on to his shirt with my teeth while we were playing any type of sporting event.

I believe this is why things have worked out so well for us.

Though I did try to show him my rabbit once.

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Psychologists also say we don't always learn from our mistakes.

Happy Valentine's Week.

10 comments:

Karyn said...

Seriously? Jeeze Lynds, you are just such a loser. Way to bounce back, though.

At least I always acted honorably around my first love, Captain Kirk.

Carmen said...

You were a daring young girl; I was resigned that my elfen-eared grade two crush, Sandon, was out of my league because he was a year older than me. Therefore, he was Amy's.

Jenny said...

Thanks for this hilarious story. I'm lolling and almost crying while pictures your now twenty something self being dragged around a baseball diamond.

Amanda said...

You were adorable... and bratty, but I think it's cute.
I didn't learn to talk until I was about 12, so my elementary crush stories are kind of different...

Nakesha said...

HAHAHA! I JUST DIED!!!!!

Young Ryan said...

Freaking awesome. Your unrequited love notwithstanding, those are fantastic memories. Also, its important to note that your self confidence has to be sky high now to be able to post that picture of yourself. Either that or you remain as masochistic as ever.

Audrey said...

None of this shocked me, (is that weird?) but all of it made me laugh hysterically. I specifically love the part about you yelling out your stupid rabbit story. What were you honestly expecting them to do? You are the best. I freaking love you.

lyndsey said...

Karyn, if by Captain Kirk you mean Little Foot, then yes, I totally agree.

Carmen and Amanda, thank you for your unrequited love stories as well...though I'm sure yours were slightly more graceful.

Ryan, I'm certain I have no idea what you mean.

Jenny, I suppose it's not too far-fetched to imagine I would still do that now (though I think I would be able to stop him this time).

Nakesha and Audrey, you both have great laughs so that makes me happy.

KeriAnn said...

wow, thanks for the laugh. seriously, this brought me so much joy.

Joshua and Mallory said...

I have been meaning to tell you that I read your entire post out loud to Josh while driving home from Portland. Mostly because he began to question my mental health as I was wheezing from hysterical laughter every few seconds.

This story was epic.