My Junior High Love Life


This past weekend, I went home to my parents' house to spend some time with the fam. I was digging through some of my old stuff in the basement when I came across this marble composition book collaged with little celebrity cutouts from magazines, stickers, etc. It was my old "spill book" from eighth grade. My BFF at the time, Sue, and I used to pass this book back and forth every few days in school and write notes to each other in it. There were also pictures of us in it, song lyrics we both obsessed over, inside jokes and random "Mrs. Rajul (fill in rapper's last name) and Mrs. Sue (fill in more politically conscious rapper's name)s scribbled, complete with pink hearts.

I leafed through the pages gingerly, excited that I had it instead of her. This was a capsule that contained my youth, my very first insights on love and relationships, and my purest perspective on males. It was before the games I played with Andre, the trust I lost and the pieces my heart shattered into after I realized that love ain't no fairy tale.

As I started to read my entries, I was shocked. It was me. It was the same tone, sense of humor, rants and verbal swoons over men that I project in my current blog. Of course, I have a slightly more extensive vocab, more patience, and more confidence now but still, it was uncanny how familiar this voice was to me. I was crushing on emotionally unavailable boys. I was whining about why I can't combine one guy's personality with another dude's bod.

Are we all just 2.0 versions of our junior high school selves?

I freakin' hope not. I've been through storms since then! I've had two serious-as-death boyfriends, four summer flings, countless semi-relationships, gone to church with his family, endured tragedy and loss, makeups and breakups...shouldn't I be Superwoman by now?

Yea, right. None of us are superwomen, which is why we need to stop looking for Superman. I'll give myself props for knowing that since eighth grade: I never needed "perfect on paper", just someone who makes my heart beat a little faster when he leans in to flirt a little in study hall (Oh please, like you actually studied). Or - in my more grown up version - at dinner.

My point is, we shouldn't dismiss our inner 13-year-old intuition when it comes to love. Yes, there are mortifying moves I wish I could take back from my dating past, but thank sweet heaven - it's all in the past.

As for the spill book, let's just say that if Sue ever wants to run for office, I've got some dirt on her. If not, I still have just enough fodder for a gut-busting wedding toast.