It’s been awhile since I’ve written a Single Girl Files post – no, not because my “single girl status” has changed in any way, shape, or form – oh Lord, don’t I know it.
No. Mainly, I’ve been steering clear of these posts for two reasons: a) I honestly felt like I had nothing worth sharing, entertainment-wise (it’s rather dry here in Single Girl Land these days, I’m afraid). and b) Because the last time I posted, I think it was about how pissed off I was at people jumping in front of me in line, and my mom lectured me, saying, “You’re going to scare any eligible men away writing about bitter, angry stuff like that!!”
I think I’m doing an effective job of scaring them away, even without my blog posts, but whatever.
In any case. I had a thought this morning.
I decided it might be fun to tell you about my very first “boyfriend”. (I haven’t had many over the years, so I remember the first one quite well!)
My friend Stacy will probably laugh reading this, considering that I believe he might have been her first boyfriend too (the selection of boys in our class was small; we kind of all bounced around between three or four of them for most of our elementary school days. haha!)
Up until I started school, I don’t think I had any crushes on “real” boys, if you know what I mean. Like, I adored Chachi from Happy Days, and I vaguely recall having a little crush on a teenaged boy who I used to see at swimming lessons when I was about four. (I’d only get in the pool if he took me in – oh, I knew how to work it back then, let me tell you).
But other than that, “real” boys didn’t exist until I started Kindergarten. (I spent too much time crying in Pre-K to notice any of those boys, apparently).
Kindergarten was a rough year for ol’ Jill. I hated school, I hated leaving my mom and little brother each morning to get on my bus, and I cried pretty much every.single.day.
But one of the bright spots in my day was him.
A little boy with jet-black hair, dark skin, and the biggest brown eyes. In my mind, I think of him as a little teddy bear. He was such a sweet, kind, friendly boy, and he immediately became one of my best friends.
And oh, how I loved him. As only a little 5-year-old girl can love a little 5-year-old boy.
That’s right. We held hands at recess.
I don’t think we actually really officially called ourselves “boyfriend & girlfriend” until Grade 2, maybe Grade 3. And of course, it was only for a few weeks at a time; we’d always end up “breaking up” over something silly (like the time he called me “baby” in front of everyone and it embarrassed me, or the time I wouldn’t share my snack with him. Surprising, I know.) I imagine that’s usually how elementary school courtships go, though, right?
We had a lot of fun times during those growing-up years.
His family moved away from our town, I think when we were in Grade 6, and I honestly recall it as one of the biggest devestations of my life up to that point. I cried real tears over him. Though he’d only moved about a half-hour away, to me it might as well have been half a world away.
I think I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen him since, and I honestly don’t think we’ve ever spoken to each other.
When I saw him earlier this fall at a function in my town, it was the first time I’d seen him in years. Oddly enough, he still struck me as being teddy-bear-like, although a much bigger teddy bear. So tall, so big. And yet still, the softest, kindest brown eyes I’ve ever seen.
I believe he’s married now, and has children; and yet, when his sister (who I still run into quite often) tried to drag me over to say hi to him, he turned away shyly, and so did I. When I saw her out a few weeks later, she said to me, “I don’t get you guys! He was so happy to see you, he was like, ‘Oh my God, there’s Jillian!!”… and then you both ran and hid from each other! You were his first little girlfriend, you know.”
Oh, I know. I remember. And I honestly don’t know why I got so nervous about saying hi and catching up with an old friend. Maybe because it’s been so long – too long? You know one of those situations, where you think to yourself, “Where would we even begin? I wouldn’t know what to say.”
In my chatting that night with his sister and laughing over childhood memories, she mentioned something about her brother’s birthday, and without even really thinking, I said, “October 6th, right?”
Her jaw dropped, and I turned red as she exclaimed, “You remember his birthday?! You really DID love him, didn’t you?!?”
I laughed it off, and joked, “No!! It’s because your mom used to always bring in the BEST cupcakes on his birthday!!!”
(Fat girls remember these things, yo.)
But truthfully, I don’t think we ever forget those first “true” loves, do we? The first time a boy makes your heart go pitter-patter? The first time your stomach flips with nervousness and excitement? The first time the phone rings, and your mom says, “It’s for youuuuu,” in that sing-songy voice, and then your head starts pounding with euphoria when you realize it’s not your grandmother on the line wanting to say hi, it’s him…
I think we spend the rest of our lives trying to find the man who will do all of those things to us. Those of you who have found yours? I envy you. I really do. Because I haven’t found mine yet.
I treasure that very first boy.
Probably more than he will ever know.