Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My First Love Letter

Ok... Unless you were following me on MySpace back in 05 this story is new to you.

I went to a catholic grade school and my very first crush was a boy in my first-grade class named Joey. Joey was a troublemaker. He was always being sent home with a note pinned to his chest for his Mom, and this made me love him even more! He rolled his sleeves up and slouched in his seat. He ate paste on a dare and would always say “Yeah” during roll call instead of “Present.”

One day, someone stole my crayons from my desk. I immediately started crying because my mother had so meticulously printed my initials on EVERY crayon to prevent such a misfortune. Joey, taking pity on me, offered to share his crayons with me. I was so thrilled, I pretended not to notice the tiny “NM” printed on the paper wrapper of the Cornflower Blue Crayola.

Finally, I just couldn’t take it any more. I HAD to profess my love to Joey even if it meant that he might punch me in the stomach as I’d seen him do to other girls. I decided the best way to avoid physical harm was to launch a covert operation. I would write him a love letter!

“A Love letter! Perfect,” I thought to myself, “I can drop it on his desk near the end of the day!” I figured that the end-of-the-day confusion would allow me to place my missive of love on his desk and have plenty of time to get out of the way of any stomach punching.

That night, I spent agonizing hours hunched over the dining room table carefully constructing what was to be my opus of love. To this day, I have no idea what I wrote on that spiral-bound piece of notebook paper with my #2 pencil but I’m pretty sure it went something like this:

Dear Joey,

I love you.

If you love me, check this box.

After slaving over this soul-bearing note, I realized my mistake... I had written it on plain notebook paper! Love notes of this magnitude aren’t supposed to be written on plain notebook paper! What could I do? Re-writing it on stationery was out of the question. I was a lefty and a horrible printer. I was actually supposed to skip first grade but only if I learned to print legibly. Lucky for me, I refused to practice that summer or I never would have met my Joey.

The only viable solution was to make the note look better somehow. It needed a decoration of some kind to convey exactly how much Joey meant to me.

Seeing that my crayons were gone, I decided to remove several of the jagged strips of paper from the spiral in my notebook and tie them around my note, wrapping it up like a present... a small... crumpled up... wad-of-paper-like present.

The next day at school was a blur. I spent the entire day checking the pocket of my cardigan to make sure I hadn’t lost the note. I didn’t even participate in singing “Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes” for fear that it would fall from my pocket.

Finally, my moment came. As everyone in my class was getting ready to leave for the day, I executed my plan. I stood up with my trusty #2 pencil and went to the sharpener. This way I could survey Joey for the perfect opportunity (when he wasn’t punching people in the stomach) to make my move. Just as I ground my pencil to a stub, my moment arrived. Our teacher, Mrs. Smock, reprimanded Joey for horsing around and he was now sulking by himself with his head resting on his Evel Knievel backpack.

It was now or never... My palms were sweating profusely as I casually tried to stride past Joey’s desk. I reached in my pocket and deftly palmed my precious note. You couldn’t quite tell that the strips of paper had been tied into neat bows anymore because I had been squeezing the note all day, but I was sure that Joey would understand the painstaking amount of time that I had put into this note all for him.

With all the skill of a superior note-passer, I flipped the note out of my pocket and on to Joey’s desk where it gracefully slid and came to a stop just underneath Joey’s sulking eyes.

I did it!! With the delivery complete, I ran back to my desk so I could watch Joey’s reaction to my very first love letter from a safe distance. My mind’s eye was filled with endless afternoons of building Lego mansions together where our combined families of Fisher Price Little People would live happily ever after.

My reverie was suddenly broken with a shout.

“Hey!” Joey yelled as he stood up from his desk, my note grasped in his hand.

The entire room was suddenly silent. Joey’s outburst commanded everyone’s attention. All eyes were on him as turned, red-faced and angry from the teacher’s scolding, and pointed his finger right at me!!!
“Don’t you throw your trash on my desk... EVER AGAIN!”
With that, Joey took my heartfelt confession of primary school love, wadded it up (as if it could ~be~ any more wadded) and threw it in the waste basket.

I just stood there and looked at my love-letter resting on the top of the wastebasket... looking for all the world like a crumpled up piece of spiral book notepaper and not like a note at all.

The next day, I told Mrs. Smock that Joey had stolen my crayons and that I could prove it because my initials were written on every one. Joey was sent to the Principal's office and had to eat lunch alone for the rest of that week.

Heh, heh... Hell hath no fury like a first grader spurned. ;D