"I don’t want to mess up our friendship."
Yes, I was that girl in high school. The friend. At the time I actually thought I was a fat, ugly pig… but as I look back at my high school pic compared the the Beautiful People… I must have been wearing Teen-Colored Glasses. Meaning, I wasn’t as pretty as the Beautiful People by a long-shot – but I certainly wasn’t as fat and ugly as I thought I was. In fact, I was only a bit heavier than I am now. Certainly the 80’s hair, fashion and make-up didn’t do much for me – but it looked pretty horrible on the Beautiful People too – so I consider us even on that score.
I was 18 when I lost my virginity. In some ways I am proud of that because when I did it, I was ready for it. But in some ways, I know it happened at that age because I just couldn’t get a guy to date me to save my life. I can’t tell you how many times I got the “I just want to be friends” or “I don’t want to mess up our friendship” speech. There are many variations of it, but it all of them come down to pretty much the same thing. “I just don’t want to date you.”
There was a guy I had a crush on since 7th grade. We became friends around 9th grade. That year I asked him to Homecoming. He went with me, but “just as friends.” Talk about embarassing.
We continued to be friends all through high school, even though he (and pretty much everyone else in our high school) knew I had a crush on him. I even had the pleasure of watching one of my best friends make out with him at a party on our last day of high school.
We stayed in touch during college. An awesome feat considering it was back in the pre-email days. He even came down to Florida for one Spring Break and stayed at my apartment.
Finally, one summer when I was home, we went to an Orioles game together and somehow started making out right then and there. In the middle of the nosebleeds at Camden Yards. I have no idea how it started, except I am sure a beer or two were involved.
So, on and off for the next few years… when we’d see each other and weren’t dating anyone else, we’d end up making out. At the time, it was a pretty satisfying to have finally “won.” I was good enough for him to smooch. And I wasn’t so needy as to have to have a relationship with him. He was just a fun friend with some benefits (for the record, we never actually had sex). However, part of me knows I never meant to him what he meant to me. And he still represents all those feelings to me – so every once in a while I dream about him. And all that rejection comes tumbling right back.
I had one of those dreams last night. It’s crazy how the things you experience as a teenager can feel as real today as they did 20 years ago. And good thing I finally found a man who appreciates me as a friend and a lover.