The first boy I remember having a crush on was named Greg. I can’t remember his last name. My mom was a single mom and she worked long hours so I was relegated to after school care 5 nights a week. That’s where I met Greg. My best friend Laurel and I would hang out with him in a corner of the playground, under the “tower” making “soft sand” on our jeans. Also, we played tag. A lot. I remember one day Greg took off his shirt and showed us how he could flex his pectoral muscles. He used the word pectoral. Then he wanted us to try. I knew that was forbidden… It made him seem dangerous that he would even ask. I was maybe 10.
After Greg there was Armando. Or Arman. Something like that. He lived in the same apartment building as we did. Not far from where TheBoy and I live now. I used to roller skate (roller skate y’all! This was before those newfangled roller blades) on top of the roof of the recreation center rocking out to my Beach Boys tape and hoping he’d come out and talk to me. I used to envision running in to him in random places. Price Club. Safeway. On the way to school in the mornings. He was older than my 10 years or so, maybe 13 even, an older man. My dreams of him were shattered when we relocated to Texas.
But never fear, he was soon replaced by Ross. Red headed and athletic. Popular. He was one of THE coolest guys in the 5th grade. I mooned over him, wrote Tiffany loves Ross, combined our names, and practiced my signature (in case we got married – it SO could have happened!) over and over and over inside my school notebooks. I would position my group of friends in the cafeteria near him so I could stare. I never spoke to him though. Not once. My friend Kathy Ann told our friend Tony to tell Ross that I liked him. I was so embarrassed that I avoided him like the plague after that. I doubt he would even remember my name.
I never really got over Ross but there were other boys that took his place. I briefly had a crush on my friend Tony. He was funny – the class clown. And he wore glasses. That was the beginning of my infatuation with men in glasses I think. But as much as I tried I could not get past the fact that he was my friend. Also, Kathy Ann had a HUGE crush on him and she was one of my best friends (because y’all know – I had like 14 “best” friends). Even then, at that early age, it just simply wasn’t acceptable to be attracted to the same boy as your friends. I wonder if Kathy Ann ever told Tony how she felt. We were pretty inseparable for a time.
Andy was a quiet boy in my class. I didn’t have a crush on him as much as I was flattered that he had a huge crush on me. He drew me a valentine of Rambo (yes that Rambo) saying “Yo, Tiffany be my Valentine.” I think he had his Sylvester Stallone movies confused… My mom still has it. He rode my bus home – lived in the same part of town as me. My friend Alexis and I would sit together in the seat one in front of his to the left and talk about the social implications of me “going out” with Andy. He wasn’t popular but he wasn’t a total loss either… I think he asked me “out” every day for months. He was so sweet. I wish my younger self had realized that a nice guy is always better than a popular guy. I kind of strung him along.
I think Andy gave up on me when I agreed to “go together” with Will. Will was tall, one of the biggest guys in our 6th grade class. I, of course, have always been petite so he positively towered over me. I liked it. I would pretend I was “stuck” on top of the monkey bars (because that’s where the cool kids hung out – on top of the monkey bars) and he would walk by and lift me down. He always kept his hands on me a little longer than was appropriate. I liked it. He was supposed to have been my first kiss too. It was all planned. I was moving (AGAIN) back to California and the big kiss was going to happen on my last day of school… Unfortunately my mom came to pick me up earlier than expected and I couldn’t find him when I was running around saying goodbye. I never saw him again. But oddly when we got to our new house here in California, the street across from us shared his last name. That house is the longest I ever lived in one place (almost 7 years) and I always thought of him when I saw that sign.
The first boy I had a crush on when I moved to California was Justin. He and his sister Tracy were visiting their father who lived down the street from me. They were my only friends that summer. We were pretty much inseparable. Tracy and I were buddies, she was a year younger than me. I think she knew I kind of liked her brother, who was a year older than me. One night after watching movies at their place I made Justin walk me home – 3 whole houses away. We held hands. About half way home he stopped and pulled on my hand. When I turned around he hastily planted a peck on my cheek. Actually he kind of missed my cheek and kissed more of my ear than anything else. I blushed and he ran off. It was my first kiss. It was our only kiss. We kept in contact for a long time but I’ve lost touch with them now. I think about them all the time.
When school started in the fall I went to a VERY small school (there were 5 people in my class y’all – that’s SMALL) so my options were limited. Very limited! I briefly had a crush on the boy that has ended up being the best “older brother” I could have ever wanted, Shawn. I even called my friends back in Texas and told them all about this really cute guy in my class. He reminded me of Zach from Saved by the Bell. Seriously. That crush lasted less than a week, the friendship is going on 15 years. He’s happily married; his wife is beautiful, I love him still – as a sister. Albeit a long lost sister who is horrible at keeping in touch.
The first real crush I had at school that year was a boy named Ben. Dark haired, intense eyes. Unfortunately for me, he liked my friend Jeunee. And as I’ve stated before, I just don’t go there with boys my friends like, used to like, dated, used to date, nothing. Off limits. Also, he had a slight anger problem I think. Or maybe I just made him angry. He threw a chair at me. I can’t remember why. After that he left school. I wonder what ever happened to him. I don’t’ think Jeunee ever forgave me… She blamed me for him leaving school.
There was a boy named Jon who was the younger brother of a friend of mine from Sunday school that had a crush on me. Of course they moved to Oregon or something… I thought about him a lot after they moved. He was quiet. And younger than me – 2 years younger. It happens in a school with so few kids. There was a time that all the 7th grade girls had 5th grade “boyfriends”. It seems weird now but it wasn’t then.
After that I “went out” with this boy named Dante. His family owned a grocery store type thing. He gave me roses for my birthday – one yellow, one red. He said they reminded him of a cheeseburger. He dumped me when another girl transferred in - Brie. She was an 8th grader… An even OLDER woman. And she was prettier than me. I don’t say that to belittle myself. She just was. I knew her for a long time after that but we never became friends. I think it’s because of Dante.
Dante was the last of the crushes. The last of the boys I attribute to my girlhood.
The next boy I “dated” was actually the first boy I called “boyfriend”, the first boy that told me he loved me, the first boy that broke my heart. He was the first boy that made me feel special. He scared me. The feeling that I had for him were so intense and I was so young. We were so young. Every boyfriend I had after him (with the exception of TheBoy) has been analyzed and measured against him. Against those feelings. I was so naive.
I think he deserves his own entry someday…