Someone asked to hear the hand-holding drama story that I mentioned a couple of posts ago. FINE. For YOU, I will re-live my pain.
It was the 5th grade. I had a crush on Mike. Mike was this little freckley faced dude with feathered hair that looked winglike on the sides of his face and a comb in his back pocket at all times. You remember those combs? Like this.
He could do this creepy thing where he could make his eyeballs shake. I am trying to think of how to explain it…he would stare at you and then his eyeballs would sort of vibrate from side to side in a wickedly grotesque way that would make all of the girls say “ewwww.” All the girls loved him. You can totally see why.
Mike and I had a long, torrid flirtation with each other. I don’t really know why I liked him and I have no idea why he liked me. It was just one of those things that WAS. Oh, and to add to the twisted web of elementary school romance, Mike had a twin brother who I liked back in 2nd grade. Liked him so much that I got to invite him to my house for after-school snacks one time. I don’t know what happened to my romance with the twin, but by 5th grade I was all about Mike.
It’s sort of coming into focus that I was going through the boy population kind of fast in elementary school, huh? I suppose I was. Playing the field and all, you know. Don’t hate. Appreciate.
One day, we had an assembly. It was the high school choir, come to sing us some soft rock hits, as they are wont to do. They even had choreography of the sort of Up With People bullshit style that was so popular then (and maybe still? It’s got to be popular still with the Claymate contingent). At this assembly, I somehow got in line next to Mike as we were filing in, which meant that we were sitting together. Rapture!
During the singing jubilee, as Mike sat next to me, he nudged me with his elbow. This was disconcerting as I was trying to Play It Cool by not looking at him or acknowledging that he was sitting right next to me. I glanced over and saw that he had his hand next to him, with his palm up. You know how, in the Matrix (stay with me here), Neo would get ready to fight by staring down Mr. Smith and putting his hand out in front of him, palm up, and then making that beckoning motion with his fingers? That’s what Mike did! He beckoned me.
At first I didn’t get what he wanted me to do. I looked at him, all “what do you want, fool?” (I was still Playing It Cool, see) and then his eyes looked down at my hand, resting in my lap. He beckoned again.
I went for it. This was too exciting for words. While the sound of some Michael W. Smith or Phil Collins tune rang in four-part harmony in our ears, I put my hand in Mike’s. And we held hands for the rest of the show.
Sounds sweet, right? Like an episode of the Wonder Years or something. Except Mike was no Kevin Arnold, that’s for damn sure. Because the whole time he was holding hands with me? HE WAS HOLDING HANDS WITH THE CHICKEE WHO WAS SITTING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF HIM TOO.
That’s right, ya’ll. I was involved in a hand-holding three-way and I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW.
I know this makes me sound like a dimbulb. How could I have not noticed that he was holding hands with someone else? I don’t know. I was too busy Playing It Cool to notice, is the only explanation I can give you. And besides, you shouldn’t be questioning me in all of this. I was the VICTIM. Mike was a hand-holding playa and I fell for it. Too bad, so sad.
I believe this was the first time I really touched a boy with any sort of romantic intention. How sad is that?
When my friends told me later what he did (yes, people, my friends knew what was up even if I didn’t) I gave Mike his walking papers. I wish I could say that was the end of him, but he plagued me all the way into 6th grade. Remember this story? Same Mike.
Ain’t that a kick in the balls.