Do you ever miss having a crush? In junior high and high school, crushes seemed like the most complicated things in the world. The inevitable “do you think he likes me?” question took on a life of its own with tentacles that grabbed at each brain cell and prevented you from ever thinking clearly again—and certainly not about math.
In class, you’d get lost staring at the lone off-color florescent light. You analyzed every little thing he said, eager to find one small sliver of hope that maybe, just maybe, he liked you. Helping you open your locker meant he cared. Walking to you to class meant he liked you. Giving you his pen because yours ran out of ink meant he kind-of really liked you. And making sure he saw you before homeroom meant you were heading for young love. Hey, we were young and had stars in our eyes.
From Monday through Wednesday, you hoped he would ask you out (because everyone knew a guy didn’t usually ask you out for Friday or Saturday past Wednesday). You dreamed of how he would ask you out, pictured your first date, and fantasized about the first kiss. Walking down the hall hand-in-hand was as big a deal as world peace. And, of course, visions of the “I love you” moment were soon to follow.
Then Wednesday comes and goes with no call, no note, and no date. A little sad, you gathered yourself up and looked forward to next week, then the next week after that, and the week after that. Little did you know the weeks would pass as quietly and regularly as the seasons. You were a good girl. But, the passing weeks didn’t really matter because you had hope—it kept you going.
It was commonplace for girls to talk on the phone for hours and analyze the dreaded "does he like me" question. My friends found the dwelling part both necessary and an annoying obsession, like watching a movie and having to say the lines before they happen. I was their sounding board and I never minded--to me, they weren't obsessing...they were hoping.
For me, it was the wondering that kept me company. I guess it filled a void in a way. It was like picturing how you would have your life be, if you could—like you’re writing a story and you’re the main character.
The only baggage you had involved deciding on what to wear, wanting a boyfriend, going on a date, or getting asked to a dance. And those little flavored roller-ball lip glosses made you feel like the sexiest girl in school. I had the strawberry flavored one.
Life was simple, even though it felt impossibly complex. Back then, the boys hoped for sex. As you get older, men expect it, and soon.
Sometimes, I just miss the simplicity of a crush that goes absolutely nowhere.