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Young Love

April 23, 2012

March 13th, 2012 11:07pm

So there is this boy. Yes, there is a boy. E – that’s what I’ll call him.

The first time I met E, I thought, well what a nice guy! Well-mannered, well-spoken, poised, had the kindest smile, and tall. I didn’t really give him much more thought than that. After all, he was a friend of a friend, and we were just acquaintances. We sat together in class and would exchange a couple of words before and after lecture – that was as exciting as it got. But just when my interest was beginning to peak, I was confronted with unwelcoming news: he had a girlfriend.

Well that’s that, I thought. For the weeks that followed, I didn’t give him much more thought. No use wasting my time right? But for the past week or so, I have realized that it has slowly began to creep back into the corner of my mind. Last class, I came home telling M, my roommate, about how nice he was. Not just nice as in, how kind he was. But also nice, as in how wonderful – how pleasant he was! Today, I came home and told M that he “is just so wonderful! He’s just so nice – but oh, he has a girlfriend! Oh – oh, but he’s just so nice. You would love him if you met him”. To that, she replied, “No I wouldn’t”. I said, “Well you would love him for me!”. By this, I meant not that she would “love” him just for me, but instead, that she would know how much we match and would love for us to get together!

Anyway, at one point during class today, I suddenly felt a craving for chewing gum. So I put my pen down and went digging in my backpack. Lo and behold, I found a half-filled package of Stride Double Layers – my fave long-lasting gum (literally, it lasts for hours!). I thought about pulling it out of my bag and offering E one, but I stopped and thought about it. You see, I tend to have this habit of… well giving guys things when I like them. It’s funny really; it’s sort of like I’m bribing them into liking me.

I started to notice this habit last year. When I lived in residence at the University, I baked a lot, and not just because I liked the act of baking. Second semester, I even took a baking class at the student building on campus. Anyway, so like I was saying… I used to have a thing for this guy who lived across from me on the floor – let’s call him M~. Now let me tell you, he really liked my cookies (which I quickly figured out after the first time he wandered into the common room asking what that wonderful smell was). From that point on, I probably baked cookies on a weekly basis. I even remember one day, after having baked the cookies, I opened the door and held the plate of cookies out in front of me. I don’t really know what I was doing, but I think I was hoping that he would smell them from his room and coming a’knocking. Well, eventually, I grew tired of it. I was like the mother on the floor who baked cookies all the time. Needless to say, it didn’t work out between Cookie Boy and me – I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. But thinking back about it now, it was definitely a good thing nothing ever happened between us. I didn’t even like him for him. I just liked that he was quiet and so mysterious-like.

This just about sums up what happens when I’m infatuated with someone (which basically used to be all the time).

In high school, I would always offer my notes to boys whenever they missed a class. I’m thinking back at it now and oh God, I used to collect handouts for boys when they were absent, and I would collect them without being asked for the favour! Oh man, they must have thought I was really strange. Sometimes I think back at all the things I used to do around boys I liked – I’m embarrassed thinking about them now. I remember how back in grade 7, I had written a love letter to this boy I liked. Now, he’s a great friend who occasionally teases me on the contents of that letter. You know, I never really knew how crazy I was around boys until last summer. Of course, my roommate M had always told me how frantic I would become around boys. Last year, whenever we would ride the elevator in our building with members of the opposite sex, I would become all frazzled, nervous, and my voice would raise about two octaves. She would tell me this all the time and I mean, I knew some part of it was true, but I didn’t know how true it was until I watched a video of myself.

You see, around this time last year, the Psychology Department here was conducting a social psychology experiment on relationships. We were to be paid $5 in cash and given a $5 Amazon.ca gift card for participating in a speed dating event. M was eager to go and I thought, hey, this will be fun. So we went and it was fun. I’m glad I went because it taught me how to engage and make new friendships. But there was a video. There was a video! Of course, most of the video was just the team describing the results they found, and blah, blah, blah. But within the video, there were clips. You name it, pan-shots (all of which I’m in the background), close-ups of people switching tables, and a close-up of a conversation between a couple. Of course, that close-up of a conversation between a couple just had to be me frantically squealing at a boy. (It’s on YouTube, go find it yourself.)

I remember that video being posted on my Facebook wall (back in the day when I was on-again/off-again Facebook – though I’m completely off Facebook now for good! Have been for quite a long time now). I didn’t know what to think – was it mortifying or just plain funny? I decided that it was a bit of the former, but much more of the latter. Surely, a bunch of my friends had watched it and all laughed, and I couldn’t help but laugh too. I was embarrassed, but my sense of humour took over and wanted to show everybody just how ridiculous and funny I was.

Anyway, after watching that video, I finally realized what M meant when she said that I tend to “get crazy around boys”. I don’t really anymore – maybe it’s because I’m living in the secluded comfort of my apartment, where I hardly see any boys. (But trust me, I can hear them from upstairs. Especially on game nights – they are just screaming and jumping up and down.) I miss the thrill of liking someone – the thrill of crushing! It’s just so exciting! But I really don’t get that anymore. Maybe it’s because I’m tired, maybe it’s because I don’t have time – maybe it’s because I don’t want to “deal” with relationships right now. I mean, I still love my guy friends very much. (In fact, I’d much rather hang out with guys than girls – I love to be “just one of the guys”.) It’s so strange how much I’ve changed. I was that little girl who was always trailing behind boys. Now, I’m just an old woman trapped in a 19-year-old’s body.

All this, I was thinking while still staring at the packet of Stride gum in my backpack.

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