Chapter Five: Stupid Cupid
We’ve all made unsupported emotional decisions. We’ve all regretted unsupported emotional decisions – even if these decisions were made when we were wee babes. This chapter assignment states the requirement that we elaborate on our first crush, but I feel as though simply stating the experience of having a first crush is likely so relatable that it would sound redundant to any reader, no matter how uniquely we all experience attraction.
Such as it is, I will briefly recount my inaugural romantic experiences because puppy love is adorable, however fleeting
and heartbreaking when never reciprocated.
I had a crush from first to fourth grade. Sure, there were some distractions here and there, but this one kid I talked to once in a blue moon kept my attention for four years.
Which is pathetic.
He’s not even my type.
He had these little blond curls – scarily similar to how my hair was when I was a toddler, now that I think about it – and was actually the competitor I spoke about last chapter whom I kept striving to exceed in terms of literacy. He was (and if I’m correct, continues to be) an itsy-bitsy little thing in regards to height, and extremely dedicated to socially-perpetuated male-type sports.
As I stated, not my type.
He was smart, of course, which gave me something to strive for, and maybe I liked him because he was a challenge – which is more my style – but either way, I didn’t choose a boy reflective of who I was even as a six year old to break into the emotional game of tag we all play.
Over the years, many stragglers popped up and popped out of cupid’s range. Some were a little out of reach (a.k.a. perpetually out of my league) so I didn’t even bother, some I admired from afar, and some I tried to shoot as fast as I possibly could. Most were male. As time went on, some weren’t. Gender is irrelevant. I never really managed to have feelings for someone at the same time they had feelings for me; if at all.
If it turns out that something actually clicked, we’d awkwardly sit by each other in class and ignore the other’s presence for a few weeks and then decide it wasn’t really worth a try. If we weren’t in any classes together, we’d say hi during passing time, and sometimes he’d hide in my locker and pop out at me when I opened it to switch out my things. How he knew my combination is a mystery to me.
Many a romantic interest has come and gone, and I’ve ended each and every single relationship I have been honored enough to be in. It’s not something I’m proud of. I don’t know if I mistake intrigue for butterflies, have my standards too low or too high, if I’m so unaware of a debilitating self-esteem issue that I end the relationship with them before they can end it with me, I have no idea. I just know that over three short-term, middle school relationships (if you can even call them that), and relatively longer-term relationships with people who had the unfortunate fate of becoming more invested as I became less, I’m pretty sure I’m starting to understand what I’m looking for. If I find them in high school, I’ll be amazed.
Of course, this sounds extremely haughty, quite pessimistic, and generally negative, especially taking into consideration the known fact that I value positivity over anything else. It may as well be. I may be completely out of my lane, driving seventy-three miles an hour over the speed limit on a one-way street going the wrong way with standards higher than the professional board that decides who can receive a PhD from Harvard.
My mother has told me I have the romantic maturity she had when she was thirty.
I don’t want to date a thirty-year-old.
Not that she’s insinuating that I should date a thirty-year-old.
I don’t want to wake up to a good morning text. The novelty wears out in about three days.
I don’t need roses or a bouquet, like, ever. If you want to give me flowers, pick me some. I love dandelions. Spend your money on something necessary. Like food. God forbid you eat instead of give me a present on a day without special meaning.
I can’t handle P.D.A. You want to hold my hand when we walk around downtown? Cool, great, awesome; but the second you call me your lil’ muffin; loudly; in the middle of a crowded public plaza, before dramatically nuzzling me (to the ground, if you’re tall enough), is the day this lil’ muffin starts crumbling out of your life.
Conversely, if we have movie night, you better bet your bottom dollar I’m going to cling to you like a koala. Cuddling is the bees knees. You can thank Maija for getting me hooked on that. We have platonic cuddle sessions that last for hours so my significant other has to be alright with that, too. If she doesn’t approve of you, I don’t approve of you. She’s like a second mom to me.
I don’t get jealous easily. You have a life. I have a life. We are independent human beings that just happen to fancy each others’ presence a few degrees more intensely than we would if we were a platonic coupling. If I think you’re disregarding your friends to go out with me, you can rest assured that’s when we’ll be on uncommon ground. I need you to be a balanced individual because that means I can be a balanced individual as well.
So, maybe my standards are too high. Maybe I don’t want to selfishly take up another person’s time. Maybe I don’t want them to take up my time while we still incorporate ourselves into each others’ lives. I don’t want a Prince(ss) Charming – I want to help you slay that dragon because you can be confident that I’m not the damsel in distress. I don’t want to be two halves of a whole, I want to find someone who is one hundred percent themselves and won’t apologize for it because I’m the same way. I’d rather come together and make two hundred percent of a couple than just one hundred. Neither of us will feel incomplete. Dependence is not love. Love is independent.