The big drama at school this week on the playground was who’s going out with who. Now, going out seems to be a title. I mean, around here, I wouldn’t be surprised if a “couple” in grades 3 or 4 were up to no good after school hours when nobody’s watching them, but at school, being someone’s boyfriend or girlfriend seems to mean sitting beside each other at assemblies, and saving the last Gusher or piece of gum for them.
I laugh and remember my first boyfriends. I also laugh that between grades 5 and 7 I had more boyfriends than between grades 8 and 10.
My first was Kyle. He was a football player and I was a cheerleader, it was like a match made in after-school-special heaven. I’m sure this all freaked my parents right out. I mean, who expects their 10-year-old to start dating? They kept tight reins over what our dates were allowed to entail. We went on bike rides and one time he even came over to watch “Billy Madison.”
I don’t remember how things with him ended, but I do remember that I was ready to get right onto the next one. My grade 5 boyfriend was Brendan and man, we were like the Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski of Miss Buckle’s class. All I can remember is that when we made Valentine’s Day cards in art class we made some for each other, instead of making card for our parents, like the other kids. And at one point he gave me a blue and turquoise-coloured plastic jewelry box that I still have, actually. The part of our relationship I remember most, of course, is the breakup.
Our class had just begun the gymnastics unit in gym class, and I was stoked. All things bendy were where I excelled, being double-jointed. This phys ed. unit drove us a part. Brendan was a natural athlete who rolled in high grades in every gym unit; sports were a cake walk for him. But when final gymnastics performances were held and I scored higher, he could not take it. Brendan broke my grade 5 hear breaking up with me, all because I was better at doing the splits. To rub salt in the traumatic wound, he ran right into the arms of another Northern Getaway-clad classmate, Michelle.
After Brendan there was Blake and Steven and Michael and Dan and Matt. All were dramatic, and all ended, either me with my face in my pillow sobbing that the world was unfair and boys were stupid jerks, or me making an awkward telephone call to tell the poor dude he just wasn’t cutting it.
Then, as we all know, I struck the jackpot in Grade 10 and started dating the dude who is now the Mr to my Mrs.