Reading about Jeana’s experience meeting a current crush, I am reminded of my own mortifying experience meeting an Old Crush.
When I was a wee sophomore in high school (literally wee, I was quite tiny), I had an ENORMOUS crush on a senior named Tom. We were on the tennis team together. He lived just a few blocks away from me and sometimes gave me a ride home in his yellow car. His mother had been my 4th grade reading teacher. Tom lived next door to one of my close high school friends/rivals, Mike. Now you see all the ways in which our lives were entwined when I was 16 and he was 18.
Fast-forward 7 years. Tom’s graduated from Purdue and married a nice girl. I’ve graduated from Harvard. I’ve just finished a 6-month stint living in
I was back in the
As I walked into the
“Look, Tom. It’s your little friend.”
I was sure time stopped and those mortifying words were echoing around the room, stopping all other conversations. Even now it kind of affects my breathing just to remember it. I suspect I turned lollipop red although no one has ever been unkind enough to confirm it. I threw on my Southern Lady, Gracious in the Face of All Adversity act, shook hands with Tom, his new wife, Tom’s Mom and Dad, murmured something charming or at least forgettable, and turned to make my exit. Tom’s Mom followed up her first wholly unconscious attack with a second, equally lethal and unconscious, barb: “Honey, you look just the same as you did when you were 10!”
Oh. Right. So much for sophistication.
The only small comfort I took from that whole experience:
1) I did not trip and fall while walking toward them.
2) I did not discover later that there was a big hole or stain on my clothes.
3) There was no spinach in my teeth.
4) Tom looked as uncomfortable as I felt. It may have been indigestion, it may have been sympathy. At any rate, he too failed to enjoy the occasion. For some reason, that helped.