Monday, March 28, 2011

Wrong House

Most people, at one point or another, are embarrassed of their parents. I am usually humiliated by them on a regular basis for slapping Grant House’s behind at my birthday party with a ruler, passing gas and blaming it on me in the middle of the grocery store, or asking the cashier at the same store if he feels embarrassed to be bagging “feminine products.” These are the tamer of situations they have put me in. However on this particular evening of the boycotted dance, my father took his embarrassment a step further into mortification. He yelled at me and told me he was disappointed in me for breaking the law.

So let’s back up, because while this was not my first run in with the law (I had a small theft incident with some Bubblicious at age four), I am far from a criminal. In fact, in high school I could have been considered a goodie-two-shoes, Miss. I-don’t-do-anything-wrong. While my mother was highly aware that I was out toilet papering houses, my father, the lawyer, was clueless. (I knew if he knew, I would cease to be.)

After rounding up the traitors of friends who thought it was acceptable to attend Fall Formal, we attempted to cause extreme damage to Casey’s yard. I am talking, T.P., skittles, forks and shaving cream. It would have been the best prank. We even wrote Casey’s name out in the yard with shaving cream. However, there was a major misunderstanding that none of us had looked into. The difference between a street name ending in court and in circle in this case was the difference between trashing Casey’s yard and a stranger’s yard…whoops! (We found this out the morning after.)

Driving back from our mission felt devious and exciting. I was high on adrenaline, then my cell phone rang. My mother, “Come home now!” Mr. I-don’t-break-the-law was furious because I had participated in part of an illegal activity. (I saw you with those fireworks on New Years…illegal!)

As my two girl friends arrived home with me to spend the night, we were greeted by my Dad. “Laurie, where were you?” I simply said, “Out.”

“What were you doing out?”

“Driving with my friends.” (I had learned how to not actually answer questions, but answer them without giving the response we all knew the other wanted. I learned this from him.)

“You are not to vandalize other people’s property. That is wrong, and I am very disappointed,” this, he yelled at me in earshot of my two friends. Embarrassed is meek for the shame I felt for being yelled at in front of my friends.

As I proceeded to the pull out couch in the family room where the girls were waiting, I could feel the tears forming in my eyes. Just before a drop fell to graze my cheek, I heard the noise of an instant message online. Adrenaline06, Richard! Just like that, my shame dissipated and I was ready to talk to him and forget that my friends were around...

I think at the time with this instant message, I truly believed I might not marry Jewish. Because as far as I was concerned Richard wasn’t just nice, he was a perfect boy.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Let the Saga Begin

Following health and driver’s Ed. with Casey, Mary and a member of the Blood gang (awesome or scary?), I followed them up with 11th grade pre-calculus with only Casey. Our already formed, solid friendship, made it obvious that we should sit by each other, I in front of him in the row closest to the door.

In October, my school’s annual Fall Formal dance was upon us. (We didn’t have homecoming because we didn’t have sports because we were an arts school…coolest losers ever!) At this time I experienced what would happen to me at least three more times in my life. With my heart full of joy and happy feelings for Casey, he asked me, “Do you think Mary would go to the dance with me?”

You know that feeling where you fall on your back causing extreme pain and shortened breath? I think it’s called getting the wind knocked out of you. As my stomach twisted into knots and my brain screamed at my eyes to not cry, I did what I had never done before. I held my feelings in, and responded, “Of course; I will help you ask her.” Then I proceeded to the bathroom to try and breathe again. Getting punched is never an easy pain to recover from.

From there we made a plan to put flowers on Mary’s car with a note asking her. (The way I always wanted to be asked to a dance. It’s important to note that I was never asked this way, nor was I ever asked to a dance in high school. But I wasn’t a loser…I don’t think.) There was no question, Mary said yes. She was thrilled and excited. Mary didn’t look at this as winning. We were best friends, not competition. And honestly, as much as I was sad that he liked her and not me, I was just as happy that she was happy. (Maybe not just as, but I was happy-ish.)

Everything was perfect, until Casey accidentally insulted Mary's and my other best friend, Carrie. I didn’t talk to Casey for a week, which was a tough action seeing as I still liked him and we still sat by each other in first period. Mary didn’t go to formal with him.

Instead the three of us, me, Mary and Carrie, boycotted the dance. The night was one to remember, including a fancy dinner, Starbucks and rolling and skittleing a friend’s yard who was at the dance. Later we tried rolling one more house, but that story is for next week. Needless to say, this was not the end of the Mary-Laurie-boy saga. And I continued in my grand pursuit of a simply nice boy.

Blogger’s note: I love Mary very much, and she is still very much one of my best friends, despite every boy in the entire world loving her. Hopefully my NJB won’t see what we all see in her…

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sweet Sixteen

At this point in my love life, I think it’s best to introduce one of my best friends, Mary Marks. Mary is tall, skinny, straight hair, hazel eyes and pretty. She is pretty great, except for the one factor that no best friends ever want to have in common…not just liking the same boy, but liking the same two boys.

It was sophomore year, my 16th birthday party, and I had people over for a round of twister, Chinese food and cake. It was a great night, mostly. Then we pulled out the truth or dare Jenga. (Don’t play this game. It’s always a bad idea. No matter what you find out, you wish you didn’t.) The truth was mine. The question entailed me listing the boys I have liked. As I narrowed the list down to just high school, I recited: Jacob (no surprise), Richard (not that big of a surprise) and Casey Cook (shock).

Mary had known about Richard. We both discussed his dreamy-ness in health class. She had Spanish with him. I had SGA with him. It didn’t seem to bother us that much. But for Casey, who was in our health class, neither of us had discussed liking him.

Note that the problem of us liking these two boys did not surface until the following year. (I don’t think Mary ever saw it as a problem). Either way, that’s a story for next time. For now, let me just tell you a little about the less than greatness that was Casey.

He like the majority of the boys that make up my list had blue eyes and blond hair. He also was also very smart, not in honor society, but he was in all advanced classes. The thing which separated him from the pack, you ask? He play guitar. (No matter what anyone tells you, playing the guitar is a female magnet. So ladies, please stop saying it isn’t. We aren’t fooling anyone.)

I also felt a connection with Casey because his mom and my dad were good friends when they were in law school together. I like to imagine our parents playing bridge one night (they both played bridge together) discussing how they hoped their children would meet and be friends…and be in love. (The last one might be a stretch.)

So at the age of 16, I faced something I had never experienced before. I liked two boys at the same time. Neither of them were my NJBs, but both of them kept me doing well in school. (I know you don’t understand the correlation, but just as I think it’s attractive when a boy is smart, I thought boys thought the same way…I was wrong-ish.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Campaigning For My Heart

Here is the thing, I like driven boys because I fancy myself a driven person. (I call them boys, because I have yet to meet one who seems adult like, and I refuse to think that I am anywhere near being an adult…blech.) When I spot someone who has a perfectionist personality who takes initiative, I am more than just infatuated. I disagree with Mandy Moore, it IS more than just a crush.

So in the spring of my 9th grade year, I began my campaign for 10th grade class vice president. (This was very important to me. At the time I thought my college career and subsequently my future was based on me winning the election. If I didn’t, my world as I knew it would crumble.) I hung my bright neon orange and yellow posters all over the school. “Don’t be sorry! Vote for Laurie!” It had been my signature slogan since I first began my academic political career in 6th grade. It had yet to fail me. (It failed me when I ran for school VP in 10th grade, but got it the next year…the wound still hurts, and it was an extremely dark point in my 16-year-old life.)

As I walked around my school campus the next day, I noticed Richard Burger hanging his posters. He was in pursuit of senior class president. He needed not campaign. His shaggy, dirty blond hair was enough to make all the girls vote for him (and that’s all he needed, since my school was at most 20% male). If I remember correctly, his posters said something about taking flight with Richard…cute slogan; mine was better.

So far, so good? Seems perfect? Well, I saw him hanging his poster right over mine! How dare he? Who does he think he is? Doesn’t he know who I am? RUDE, CRUDE and EVERYTHING BAD! Enraged, I waited until he left the area and neatly removed his suddenly terribly sloppy and ugly poster. I remounted the dumb thing underneath my excellent sign.

I saw him in the halls and shot him dirty looks. I talked badly about him. I wanted everyone to detest him. He wasn’t even running against me and had the audacity to cover up my poster!

The boy didn’t know me. It wasn’t normal to have cross grade friendships. So I decided it was necessary to confront him before we gave our speeches later in the week. I told him, “It was a rude and mean thing to do, and I did not appreciate it.” These were the first words I said to him. He responded, “Sorry. I didn't realize” And just like that, his actions didn’t seem rude. They seemed like a mistake a driven person who really wanted to be great would make. He was smart, also in honor society. And his vividly blue eyes complimented the scruff on his chin and cheeks. And I smiled and forgave him. Just like that, I dropped that what’s-his-face senior and found myself intrigued by everything about Richard.

For the next three years of high school, he helped keep my mind and heart occupied forgetting about an NJB even existing. Well, he and one other boy for the next three years helped.