It might surprise some of you to know that I was a little bit boy crazy in my early youth. Apparently in first grade, my best friend and I spent most of our time at recess chasing boys around and then kissing the ones we caught. I got my first "boyfriend" that year- his name was Brady and I continued to have a crush on him until 4th grade, when he officially asked one of the most popular girls to "go with him." I remember finding out about it at a high school football game and being fairly certain that my life was over.
1st grade Amanda says, "Mom, I don't have time to take pictures- I have boys to chase around!"
Fast forward to 5th grade, which was apparently when I peaked in beauty and appeal to the opposite sex because I had, count them, THREE love interests that year. The first was a boy named Baxter (which is probably too unique of a name for me to be sharing with the internet... oops). He was cute and good at sports and because of that, I looked past the fact that he was kind of a box of rocks.
I don't think I ever told any of my friends about the crush I had on him because in all honesty, I didn't think I had a chance with him. So imagine my surprise when he one day asked if I wanted to come watch his football practice after school. I can still remember the shade of red my face must have turned at the time, but I casually responded by letting him know that I would think about it.
However, I didn't work up the nerve to ask my mom to take me, so I never showed up. I hoped he wouldn't hold it against me, but one of his friends told me the next day that if I had gone to his practice, he was going to ask me to, yes, you guessed it, "go with him." I had blown my chance.
And so I shouldn't have been surprised a week later at a slumber party when one of the girls ran into the house squealing about the fact that she just got asked out by Baxter. I can replay the moment when I found out in my head just like it was yesterday, which is both impressive and sad. It's also impressive and sad to admit that I continued to hold a grudge against her for several years to follow, but that's the way it goes when someone steals your man... whether he was ever really your man (or boy, in this case) or not.
5th grade Amanda; Clearly the appeal was that I started smiling with my mouth closed that year... so mysterious.
5th grade love interest #2 was John, who walked over to my house on an ice day to ask me out. I had a hunch it was coming because it was the week of Valentine's Day and he had put candy heart stickers on my desk that said things like, "Hot Stuff" and "True Love" (which it clearly was).
I agreed to "go with him," but a month or so later while we were riding in someone's mom's car on a field trip to the planetarium, I decided he wasn't cute anymore and had my friend tell his friend that I was breaking up with him. So my heart wasn't the one broken in that scenario, but I thought I'd share it anyway so you could marvel at my maturity.
The final source of elementary-aged heartbreak for me was from a boy named Thad. Yes, I had a boyfriend named Thad. He asked me out while we were watching a documentary about butterflies in class, and even though I hardly knew him, enough people were prodding me to say 'yes,' that I decided to go for it. Plus, his dad and my dad practiced law together, so clearly we had a ton in common already.
We "went" together for almost a year, which is basically an eternity at that age. We talked on the phone and saw each other at school but never once hung out outside of school. In fact, I remember going with my mom to buy him a birthday present- a shirt that said, "Basketball is life... the rest is just details," because hello, it was 1994. We then drove to his house to drop it off, and because, again, I was the model of maturity, I made my mom walk it up to the front door while I HID ON THE FLOOR OF THE BACK SEAT OF THE CAR so he couldn't see me. So amazing.
Things got a little rocky when we went into 6th grade. Several elementary schools fed into the new middle school we attended and I guess there were just too many other fish in the sea, because on Halloween, Thad told me he was breaking up with me because he had a crush on a girl whose first name was the same as the last name of his favorite basketball player (Michael Jordan).
I truthfully didn't like him that much at that point, but it definitely hurt my feelings and put a damper on my Halloween... and my pride. And once again, I continued to harbor resentment towards that girl for the remainder of middle school.
6th grade Amanda- I grew out my bangs that year and transitioned from glasses to contacts... guess I was just getting too sophisticated for him.
Fast forward 9 years and a handful of considerably more intense heartbreaks later when I met Brian, and thankfully, finally found the one who would never break my heart. And here's the part where I cue the playing of "Bless the Broken Road," because...
Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like Northern stars,
Pointing me on my way, into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you...
So now it's your turn: any adolescent heartbreak stories you care to share?