Names have been omitted to protect the innocent and unsuspecting gentlemen, and have been replaced with initials. This is a love letter to the quirks and idiosyncracies of every boy I’ve been romantically or semi-romantically involved with.
BR, 3rd grade: Had a little gap-tooth and a white patch of hair on the left side of his forehead; wore a lot of sweatpants made of material that makes swishy sounds when you walk. In 3rd grade, he gave me a ring (that I kept for 2 YEARS) while we were in the library listening to the local weatherman talk about the difference between nimbus and cumulus clouds. I moved away, or else we may have been married by now.
JL, 5th grade: Very short; could grow a full beard as an 11-year-old. I didn’t really like him like him, but he was the first boy who wanted to be my boyfriend after I moved to Washington, and I felt it was important for establishing myself socially. Our relationship was conducted almost entirely over the phone.
TC, 6th grade: Had braces; wore a lot of backward hats; the corners of his mouth gathered spit when he talked. We went to Hoop Dances together (if you know what a Hoop Dance is, you understand how ridiculous this statement is). He was widely considered “cool” by our peers, which I thought was good for my social status, but he was actually really goofy and tried really hard to live up to his older brother’s reputation as a dreamboat.
IE, 6th grade: Very romantic; had a bowl cut and seven siblings; was the only kid my age I knew who had expendable income (from his paper route), which he used to buy me lavish gifts, like a portable CD player. He liked to brag to people that his missionary father had smuggled Bibles into China. He broke up with me to date an 8th grader.
RT, 7th grade: Tall; a very good listener; also had expendable income (from his own landscaping business) which he used to take me mini-golfing at Steakburger. ‘Twas a brief summer romance. He broke up with me over the phone while I was watching Dirty Dancing on TV.
CO, 8th grade: Red hair and green eyes; believed he was a really good basketball player (I was way better); was a chronic underachiever. His parents were rich, so he used their money to buy me flowers and Ferrer Rocher chocolates for Christmas. I broke up with him to date JL (below), then we got back together, then I broke up with him again right before high school started.
JL, 8th grade: “Bad boy”; greasy hair; had an unusual gait, like he was afraid to let his heels touch the ground; always raised his eyebrows incredulously when he was mocking someone (which was often). It was an ill-fated affair inspired by a short-lived desire to be rebellious.