When I was growing up, four elementary schools wound up having to funnel into two middle schools. We basically had to choose which school, and what people, we wanted to be around for the most fucked up formative years of our lives. Sadly, the boy I’d crushed on throughout most of elementary school had chosen a different path and I had to find someone new to secretly love for the next few years. We’ve already talked about my numero uno choice, but there was another boy who sort of sparked my interest. An older boy that sat in front of me for a year of PE. Looking back, this dude was far from attractive but perhaps it was the allure of someone who was 1. Older and 2. So Hot Topic Cool – that I just couldn’t help but crush a bit.
Like my guest this week, Nate Jones, I shared a class with this middle school crush but unlike Nate – I never really said a word to him. He sat in front of me for roll for an entire school year and we probably exchanged five words at max. I was extremely shy and self-conscious and thought, there was no way that someone as cool as this Hot Topic 8th grader would ever want to talk to me! I mean, when you’re in 6th, an 8th grader may as well be 17 and driving themselves to their job at McDonald’s instead of an awkward 14-year-old who can’t do shit.
Fast forward to adulthood and my best friend would become friends with this guy and well, yeah…he still was not cute and that mall goth charm had all but rusted. It kind of made me feel silly thinking back to how I’d acted throughout PE sitting behind him because really, why? Why are we so prone to acting like bumbling fools in middle school when we are around someone we like? It’s because we’re all a bunch of hot messes at that age that I feel make mountains out of anthills when it comes to every single moment in our lives. It was PE and we were classmates. Why did I think just saying “good morning” would’ve led to some tragically embarrassing moment that led me to therapy? It’s just what we do at that age.
I’ll never know what would’ve or could’ve been if there’s only been one middle school option then. Would my elementary crush had just evolved and continued throughout this new chapter in our development, or would I have still gone for the metalhead and the Hot Topic older boy in front of me during the absolute worst class for an awkward fat kid? Yeah, didn’t even get into the fact that the only time I ever really saw this crush was while wearing ill-fitting gym shorts. Oh, middle school, you’re the best and the worst all at the same time.
Nate Jones’ middle school crush tale goes a little different and even delivers a bonus crush that takes quite the turn. Tune in on Wednesday for more on that and until next time, keep crushing it…