I sat in the rear of my 9th grade science class and I felt safe there because I could survey the entire classroom and dissect the sum of its parts (very scientific of me). It was all about perspective and I could watch interactions between students, interactions between students and the teacher; I had a nice view of the entire room. However, that was not by design because our seating assignments were based on alphabetical order and I just happened to be in the back.
Amidst that broad array of students, I became fixated on one particular person that would not leave my psyche alone and that was Diane, whose last name placed her directly in front of me, allowing a spectacular 3-D view of the lovely back of her head and a heavenly Smell-O-Vision scent that completed the hypnotic trance. I probably spent the majority of time looking at the back of Diane because I have little memory of science class. I had become the smitten, ‘Diane monitor’.
Diane had strong, Nordic features, long blond hair, and seemed very mature for her age. I had quite the crush going. I wanted to talk to her but I didn’t have a whole lot of self-confidence about this boy-girl thing and so, for a very long time, kept my attraction to myself. When I applied logic to the equation of she and I, she seemed out of my league, but then I thought that about nearly every girl in school until late into my high school years. Could I possibly be wrong this time?
In league or out, there was something about her that I couldn’t resist, something like a really great dessert that you finally give into because you just can’t stand it anymore, and so…
I wrote the note.
I know what you’re thinking…’not the note, not the deadly ‘cards on the table’ note that represents a Kamikaze dive bomb into hell. Not the note of no return because if this goes wrong, and how can it not, you will end up receiving the biggest social outcast facial in the history of 9th grade science class. Not only will Diane know but all her friends will know as well, and those friends will tell other friends’.
I wrote the note anyway and, worse than that, I delivered it by hand at the end of the hour and walked off to my next class.
Now, I’m not sure you need to know the particulars of the note, since that would elicit pity from the reader for an event long in the rear view mirror, but in general it professed an admiration and feeling for Diane and, ‘how’d you like to hang out?’
(Very long dramatic pause here as 24 hours pass and the next school day arrives with the result)
I was just ‘dead man walking’ down the hall to science class and already kicking myself for putting my puppy love on the line with somebody I didn’t even really know but loved from afar like some twit who lacks a sense of reality. I didn’t really want to go in to that class but it’s amazing how, in situations like that, your legs can keep moving towards danger while every instinct tells you to flee.
As I hit my chair, Diane, with no discernible emotion, turned around and dropped a note on my desk. I stared at the folded plutonium with a measure of dread and caution but I couldn’t let myself open it because, good or bad, I didn’t want her to see my response and with the care of a radioactive technician I slipped it into my pants pocket.
When I finally got out of class and in a secure location I unfolded the paper and read the bad news; she was not interested in me at all and pointed out how dumb it was that I even wrote the note in the first place, and then she let it be known that she had a boyfriend that would pummel me into the ground if I ever approached her on any level.
Now, you’d think that I’d be crushed to the point of despondence but that was not quite the case. Sure, Diane would never be my girlfriend and I had already intuited as much but she had also exposed her nasty side so I immediately lost any attraction to her I might of had, because if she were a reasonably sensitive 14 year-old she wouldn’t have responded by threatening to unleash her big shot/punk boyfriend on me.
But the very best thing about having written the note was that, in the end, I was enlightened as to who Diane really was and, on top of that, nothing earth shattering really changed in either of our lives. I quickly checked her off the list of girls I’d ever be interested in and 9th grade science class went back to being just science class and no more Diane monitoring was necessary.
Sure, I took a wild shot and crashed and burned, but my punishment was some embarrassment that I got past in record time and I, ultimately, figured out that I could take a risk (with the possibility of reward) and the downside was mild discomfort.
So, kids of America, if you’re sitting there day after day pining away after some classmate and you just don’t think you can get over it, take a run at it. You write a note, you (God forbid) talk to her/him, you profess some nutty infatuation, you ask somebody out to share an ice cream sundae, you stick your ass out there and sometimes get it kicked.
The good news is you don’t die; you just get more ice cream and a temporarily sore ass.