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.
JLJ, 9th/10th grade: Short; sarcastic; jealous; liked to get in fist fights with guys much bigger than him. Our first date was at a Value Village, where we played around with dirty used children’s toys, and then we followed it up with a Super Bowl party held at a church. He took me to my first prom. He was a senior when I was a freshman, and my parents were not fans of this relationship. He went away to college in California and the distance made him even more jealous. At one point, my parents forbade me from communicating with him, but we still continued to sneak around and talk to/see each other on the sly. When my parents found out, I was grounded for like half a year.
CC, 10th grade: Short; wildly popular; eyes got very squinty when he smiled; master of mixed signals. We were on the same cross-country team, and we went to a Dashboard Confessional concert together. One time he kissed me at my house and then immediately slid head-first down my stairs. He was probably not nearly as into me as I was into him. We didn’t really date; I think he just stopped talking to me.
DG, 10th grade: Tattooed; had great taste in music; was enlisted in the army. My mother was impressed by his exceptional manners. We only hung out for three days before he shipped off to Germany, but it was pretty intense. We wrote letters to each other for a while (he was a very steadfast penpal), and then I stopped writing back.
JDS, 10th grade: Lanky; gravity-defying hair; HILARIOUS; liked to intentionally eat gross things before track meets, like a whole pickle (in its juice and everything) or a rotisserie chicken. My whole family loved him and my parents considered him their fourth child. He went on a lot of vacations with us, the most memorable being to Disney World, where he kept us in stitches while we waited for hours in the blistering heat to go on the rides. He took me to my second prom, and it was the most fun high school dance I ever went to. We sort-of dated on-and-off for more than a year, and I was a total, and unjustifiable, asshole to him. Luckily for me, he still deigns to speak to me.
TJM, 11th grade: Longish black emo haircut a la Conor Oberst; had a lip ring and wore girl pants; sang/screeched in a screamo band called A Decade Before Dawn. He once gave me, as a gift, a trumpet that was crushed and then kicked off the stage by none other than Conor Oberst at a Bright Eyes concert he attended. He also nicknamed me Love Pants, and I never understood why. Not much substance in this relationship; I mostly liked him because he was in a band. He broke up with me on Easter.
AH, 11th grade: Very nice teeth; highly non-confrontational (every time there was an argument afoot, he would anxiously get up and leave the room); not the sharpest knife in the drawer. His family were New-Age Jews and I once went to a Passover celebration with them, where I ate unleavened bread and watched the elders perform some sort of cultural tradition that involved ribbon dancing. After getting his wisdom teeth pulled, he got really woozy from the pain meds and as a result, peed in my front yard. He took me to my third prom, and when I didn’t want to date him afterward, he stopped hanging out with me. Later that summer, he and some of his friends put dead fish in my pool in the middle of the night.
JJ, 11th grade: Militant atheist (which was a huge deal to my uber-Christian self at the time); hairy Hobbit feet; would-be Homecoming King; was handcuffed by the po-po once for something completely asinine that I won’t disclose here. We bonded over a shared love for Alanis Morrisette, and went on some really romantic dates in Portland: one particularly memorable date included eating cheesecake at Moonstruck and subsequently dancing in the rain. I chose not to date him because he was an atheist, and still kind of regret it.
AMM, 12th grade: Red hair (my parents referred, and still refer, to him fondly as “Big Red”); only child; rapier wit; was willing to grow a beard in the summer simply because I wanted him to. He took me to my final prom, where we made quite a social uproar by smooching on the dance floor, and my brother’s date had to physically hold him back from pounding his face in. He was terrified of my brother. Whenever I would cry, he would pull a hanky out of his back pocket and wipe my tears away. My parents wanted me to marry him.
Read Part 1 here.