When I was 16 years old I dated for the second time. That is, if you could call it dating. I would see James around school and I thought he was cute. At private school we all had a dress code and James always looked smart. He wore a jacket and tie, along with the rest of the boys. I never said a word to him, but I was cheeky and made sure to catch his eye every chance I got.
I made sure to laugh extra loud around my girlfriends, flip my hair and then look his way. He didn't catch on, and that annoyed me.
That is until we had our spring dance. My hair was short and curled, and I wore a long floral dress. It was a twirly dress and I felt like a princess who was on a mission. My mission...get that boy to notice me if it's the last thing I do. Mind you I had never said two words to him. I had no idea what kind of person he was, but at sixteen, I didn't think about that kind of stuff. He was cute and that was all that mattered at the time.
As the night progressed I became more and more frustrated because my attempts at getting his attention were all for naught. Finally I couldn't stand it anymore. So I marched right over to him and asked him if he wanted to dance. He looked at me with a blank face and flatly said "No".
I was mortified and furious. How could he not want to dance with me? I wore my best dress! I curled my hair! I was prettier than he was handsome! How dare he say no.
Little did I know it, but even though I got shot down for my bold move, he finally noticed me.
After that, whenever I saw him at school he started making a point of saying hello to me. I decided to forgive his rudeness and let him fall all over himself to win me over.
Eventually we started dating. But I was a foolish sixteen year old and learned the hard way that looks aren't everything. He turned out to be a very sappy boyfriend and a lousy kisser. I remember hanging out by our lockers as we waited for the bus and he leaned in expecting me to pucker up, but instead I turned to give him my cheek. I found myself cringing inside whenever we would hang out. So, I started plotting ways to break up with him. He on the other hand was oblivious to my coolness. Inside my conscience was starting to get the better of me. This was all my fault. If I hadn't been so rash and gotten to know the guy, I would have learned he wasn't my type. (As if at sixteen you could have a "type".)
Then one day he did the unthinkable. As we were getting ready to leave school he said "Did you get it yet?" "Get what?" I said. "Oh, I guess you didn't get it...don't worry you will soon." He said with a great big dumb grin. My stomach churned. I didn't want anything from him. I wanted to break up with him! And now I felt like I was getting in over my head.
I sat on the school bus wondering what in the world he got for me. When I got home my mother was all smiles. "Guess what?" She said brightly. "You've had some flowers delivered today!" "What?" I said. "Yes, look here." And she led me to the kitchen and there in a box lay six of the most beautiful long stem red roses I had ever seen, along with a note from James. I don't remember what the note said, but I do remember that it used the word "Love". I immediately burst into dramatic tears. "Oh, I don't want them!" I wailed. I was Little Miss Drama Queen to the max. "I can't believe he did that! What is wrong with this guy?!"
My little sister who was looking on was totally perplexed. She was in Middle School at the time and was elated for me that her cool big sister got flowers from a boy. I will never forget my mother and sister looking so happy for me one moment and completely clueless the next. I was so upset, I didn't want to touch those pretty flowers. I didn't even want to look at them. I ran out of the kitchen crying and headed for my bedroom.
After I composed myself, I called him and awkwardly thanked him. He was very proud of himself which made me feel so guilty inside. I told myself that I had to hang on. I couldn't just cut this guy loose after such a thoughtful and tender display of affection.... I held on for a week.
Thankfully, it was the very end of the school year and James was moving back to Michigan, or Illinois or someplace like that and we would have had to break it off anyway.
I've received flowers from guys since then, but never received them by mail, like that again. But this is what I will do, should I ever find them at my door step some day. I will pick them up, close my eyes, smell them deeply and then I will say to my grown-up self, "Chill out."
She's Having a Baby
4 years ago