I don’t remember the moment when boys went from having cooties to being cuties, but my best friend in grade school and I talked about boys all the time. It was the same boys over and over because we lived in a tiny town, but we were able to talk for hours about basically nothing. We passed notes during class trying to figure out how to get them to like us. We experimented with our hair. I stopped wearing my glasses. We played sports. We said funny things. From what we saw on TV, we were pretty sure we were doing everything right, but the boys just weren’t interested. Yet.
That turned out to be a good thing because we had no idea what we would’ve done if they actually responded to our “flirting”. We didn’t actually want boyfriends. We didn’t dream about our weddings. I loved my Cabbage Patch kids, but I didn’t want real kids to take care of … they’re so needy. Even at a young age, it was just about getting the date with no real expectation that anything more would come of that. It was then that the Queen of First Dates was born.
It seemed like you had to spend all of your time with a boyfriend, and why would I want to do that? They weren’t as fun as my best friend. He didn’t want to spend hours learning the dance routine to Thriller by watching the video over and over and over again. He didn’t want to play “School” where we pretended we were teachers as soon as we got home from school (Nerds!). And he definitely didn’t want to talk about how awesome the New Kids on the Block were. But Julianna wanted to do all of these things. Until she moved away.
Nowadays, that doesn’t sound as tragic because you can text, FaceTime, Facebook, SnapChat, etc. Julianna and I wrote letters and put them in the mail. Do you know how much happens in a week for a girl in junior high?! It was impossible to keep up with all the exciting things that were happening in my small town. We tried to stay best friends, and wee even met up for a New Kids on the Block concert one Summer, but eventually we drifted apart. We haven’t spoken since, but so much of who I am today is because of the time I spent with her.
Five Love Lessons From A Teenage Girl:
* It’s okay to make the first move … sometimes they just don’t know they like you yet
* Be your true self
* Find a boy who thinks you’re funny
* Become best friends, but never ditch your friends
* Compromise, but never settle
What lessons have stuck with you since you were a kid? Check out more stories from ChicagoNow bloggers who also wrote about a childhood friend they lost touch with as part of our Blogapalooz event this month.