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[personal profile] noblwish
This was a story about a first love that ended the way most first loves in Jr. High do -- the wrong things were said, the right things weren't.  The main character grows up ever influenced (for the better, eventually) by his memories of that first love gone wrong.

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This story brought back more memories of teen and pre-teen angst than I care to count. There was the first crush-from-afar, the first crush-from-not-so-far, the first almost-boyfriend, the first if-I-knew-then-what-I-know-now-he-would-have-been-my-boyfriend and, finally, the first unrequited love.  Lest you think me a TOTAL loser (which, let’s face it, I sorta was), shortly after that last one, I finally got it right... a real boyfriend, that is.
 
My mother always said Junior High was Hell on Earth. She began telling me this not long after I started First Grade, hoping to prepare me. She was successful, for the most part. I was ready for the Evil Girls and the Idiot Boys, but I was unprepared for the spiteful teachers or for just how INCREDIBLY, indescribably, stupid the boys truly were. I learned a lot, though – too bad most of it had little to do with Math or Science.
 
I learned that putting ice down a boy's shirt was NOT a good way to tell him you liked him. I learned that, despite this fact, a boy who liked YOU was just as likely to tell you so by “accidentally” kicking your hand and landing it in a splint for a few weeks. I learned that ANYTHING you did to impress a boy had about a 50/50 chance of earning you a trip to the doctor. I also learned that once a teacher realized she had a romance budding in her class, she would put all her energy into destroying it, and all parties involved, completely, utterly and thoroughly. Without Jr. High, I'm convinced Psychiatry would be a non-existent profession.
 
In addition, both then and in the years immediately following, I learned just how detrimental a lack of communication can be to a relationship. Good friends could, with a few well placed looks and several unsaid words, evolve into star-crossed lovers and explode into bitter enemies in a matter of minutes -- seconds, even. And I learned that, despite good looks and intelligence, a young man’s confidence could be so exceedingly subterranean that he would honestly believe a girl he's known for years would consider dating Beavis & Butthead's dumber cousin over him. Ironically, looking back now, I've come to realize just how much confidence makes the man... and that maybe I SHOULD have dated Beavis & Butthead's cousin, after all.
 
Finally, I learned, as did Richie, that it really doesn't matter how a relationship ends so much as what you learned from it. Without all that angst, and without so many entertainingly doomed relationships since, I wouldn't be happily married to a man who loves me (anyway) just the way I am.

on 2008-09-08 05:55 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] squidly-colette.livejournal.com
I once saw Dagoberto read at the Continental Club, and he was fantastic. He used to teach at Texas State, but I don't know if he still does. I know you are busy with school reading, but if you get a chance I'd highly recommend his book of short stories, Woodcuts of Women

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