my awkward valentine

I’ve had some awful valentines days in my past.  Spanning the history of amorous attempts on February 14th these valentines have included awkward kisses, technicolor vomiting, public rejection, cheesy gifts, and an internal blend  of resentment/anixety/and pity. Here’s a quick recap for your amusement dear blog friends:

It was valentines day and unseasonably warm for February in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan so I decided to walk The Spot, the corner store a block away from our middle school to buy an Little Debbie oatmeal cream pie (only .25!) As a sixth grader I was just beginning to experience what relationships look like. Friends were starting to receive their first kisses, to accept boys invitations to sway with them to “lady in red” at a sweaty middle school dance in the gymnasium, and we would prank call our crushes only to giggle and hang up the phone when one of their parents answered.

my sixth grade picture. where to start with the bad fashion trends? the perm? teased bangs? swiss miss sweatshirt? fishing lure earrings?

As you can see from the picture above I was not the cutest girl on the block in 6th grade and I remember feeling self-conscious I walked to The Spot by myself that day. But in 6th grade, when do you not feel self-conscious?  When you’re in middle school, and even sometimes as an adult when you’re walking solo you’ll see another person walking towards you on the sidewalk and have the awkward moment of “when is it too soon to make eye contact/say hello.” You don’t want to stare at the person as you both walk towards one another, nor do you want to avert your eyes to ignore them and seem rude. You both know the moment is coming where some sort of casual social interaction should happen but don’t want to come off as a stalker or as a snob.  These moments are the worst when you see someone you vaguely know and are trying to decide whether or not to even say hello because you’re not sure if they remember you or will initiate a greeting first. You just feel like a tool if you say hello and they ignore you.

That day this mental dialogue of social interactions while walking down the street was likely going through my mind as I saw Jesse Siminski and two other eighth grade girls giggling as they walked towards me on the slushy sidewalk.  They had already been to The Spot for their Little Debbie snack, a seasonal heart shaped Valentines cake that they were munching on as they walked back to school clad in neon down jackets, pegged jeans and loafers with no socks- bangs teased to the sky.  As I neared these cool eighth graders, only a few feet away trying to decide how/or whether to greet them as a lowly sixth grader Jesse swooped down smooching me half on my cheek, half on my lips. “happy valentines day!” he chuckled as I froze in shock, listening to the giggles of the two other eighth grade girls who were watching our interaction.  I was so surprised I didn’t know what to do- I had never been kissed before so did that count as my first kiss? I didn’t really know Jesse, nor did I have a crush on him so what was an appropriate response to his kiss? I didn’t want to seem like a dork to the eighth graders, but it all happened so quickly that my first instinct was to blurt out “yuck!” and keep walking to The Spot.

I can't remember the last time I had a Little Debbie snack, but after writing this post I don't see how I will resist buying one.

They started laughing at me as they trotted away, throwing their little debbie snack wrappers on the sidewalk, and running up the stairs into our middle school.  I walked away feeling confused, slightly pleased that a boy would be prompted to kiss me on valentines day (though I believe Jesse later came out as gay), and wondering if there were any more valentines little debbie heart cakes left at The Spot.

So blog friends, now that I’ve shared one of numerous awkward valentines stories it’s your turn- what was your worst/most awkward valentines day? What Little Debbie snack was your favorite growing up?


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2 thoughts on “my awkward valentine

  1. You’re getting my worst/only Valentine’s Day story. Several years ago, at the last minute, in a hurried and slightly desperate tone, a male friend of mine asked me to go to a Valentine’s dinner party with him that I was already planning to attend (alone, and with no shame). After I agreed, he said, “Great,” and walked away as fast as he could. I turned back to my group of giggly girls, and we giggled about it, but I didn’t think much else about it. When I arrived at the dinner party, I was bombarded by questions of friends, “Where have you been? What? You mean he didn’t pick you up? Didn’t he ask you to come with him? Aren’t you his date for the evening? I can’t believe you didn’t come together.” I had no good answer for them. When we sat down for dinner, I’m pretty sure the only reason he sat next to me is because there were place cards at each place, and ours were next to each other. And during the entire meal, he talked pleasantly with everyone else at the table, but I’m pretty certain he didn’t speak, or even once make eye contact, with me. By that point, the whole thing was so absurd, I just sat back, watched this guy ignore me, talk to my other friends who weren’t ignoring me, laugh to myself, and enjoy the evening.

    Finally, at the end of the evening, I gave him the most innocuous, non-mushy Valentine’s Day card that I’d been able to find (I’d found it before I knew he was going to ignore me all evening, so I figured I wouldn’t waste the card), and wished him a happy Valentine’s Day. He did actually look at me at that point and thank me. And then he left. I found out later that when he’d asked the girl he really liked to be his date for this party, she told him she was going to be out of town. I can only assume that he panicked at that point, and in his desperation to not be alone at this party, he asked me.

    The upside to this whole experience is that every time I retell the story, it gets funnier and funnier and I laugh more and more – so at least I’m getting a little ab workout. 🙂 And, the Valentine’s Day bar has been set so low by this guy, that any future guy who asks me for a date on Valentine’s will only have to look me in the eye to be a better date.

    Hope my story makes you laugh too.

    • Helen- that is a pretty horrifically awful v-day story. Boys can be so weird. It is funny to look back and laugh though isn’t it?

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