Monday, December 16, 2013

The Christmas Crush

Not the actual pin, but this is it.
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents

This is a tale from my past that I should probably not be sharing with the world, or at least the dozens and dozens of people who will read it.  But my readers have requested more stories about me, so I'm going to oblige.  Plus, I figure it shows that I'm human and we've all had those moments from our childhood and teens years we'd rather forget, but those moments become lessons (some more funny than others)  By the way, the names have been omitted to protect the innocent.

Picture it: December 1987.  I'm 14 years old, a freshman in high school.  I had undergone a transformation of sorts since middle school.  I no longer had braces, a retainer, or a bionator mouthpiece that I wore over the course of my three years at North Jefferson Middle School.  Gone too were my glasses.  Over the summer, I got contact lens.  I felt a bit more confident in my appearance and was ready to try again with the fairer gender.

But I was still extremely shy.  In middle school, I had been shot down a few times and not in a kind way.  It wasn't like the girls I had asked out said "no", it was more like "HELL NO!!!!" or at least that's how it felt in my teenage mind.  But there was a girl in my third hour biology class who caught my eye.

For three months I waited for the right time to say something but never could muster up the courage.  So the night before the last day of school before Christmas break, I had a (not so) brilliant idea.  I would win her over with gifts.  But being a 14-year-old without a job or a clue, I didn't have a whole lot of resources or time to come up with something perfect or even good.

Who doesn't like candy canes at Christmas?
I looked in my closet and found a bright purple teddy bear on the shelf that I had won at a carnival the summer prior.  I plucked the bear from the shelf and grabbed some red and green yarn from my mom's sewing supplies and fashioned a stylish and festive necklace for the stuffed animal.  I rummage through my dresser drawers and came up with an ice skating snowman pin made by Hallmark that I had in elementary school.  I added it to an empty jewelry box I found.  I asked my dad to take me up to the local drug store and bought a giant peppermint stick, just in case my other gifts weren't sweet enough already.

Remember, I said I didn't have much money (or sense) and added the three poorly selected gifts into a big, brown grocery bag.  Yeah, I didn't even spring for some kind of Christmasy bag or at least tie a bow on that drab bag, I just headed to school with the paper sack.

I was a ball of nerves when I walked into class that morning.  I was one of the first ones to get there and I scoped the room to make sure my crush wasn't there yet.  She wasn't, and another girl asked me what was in the bag.  I explained what I had and told her who I was giving it to.  She immediately told me that it was a bad idea to give it to her myself.  She convinced me that she would give it to her and as I debated this in my brain, what little confidence I had left had vanished.  I handed her the bag and said: "give it to her, but don't tell her it's from me."

My idea of gift wrap.
At that moment, it made sense, but looking back, there was no card in the bag, so how would my crush know it was from me?  I couldn't even look at her the rest of the period, fearful she would figure out the gifts were from me and she'd come tap dance on what little self-esteem I had remaining.  The hour came and went and nothing was said.  Christmas break started and my family left for Florida.  I wondered the whole time if she'd figured out the gifts were from me or if she'd even kept the items.

I never confessed to the gift giving.  And you'd think that would be my high-quality learning experience, but it wasn't.  Through my high school years, I tried to "win over" a girl with gifts instead of actually talking and getting to know them.  Many times I'm amazed I ended up breaking out of my shell enough to meet my wife.  I guess it all takes time.

Merry Christmas.

2 comments:

  1. Your story made me both laugh and feel a little sick to my stomach. Those were some tough years, bro.

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  2. Ah high school. The females could be the mean and bitter type at times, couldn't they? Thanks for the story. Now I am going to rack my brain trying to figure out who it could have been. Lol Thanks for sharing. Takes a big man to open up like that. Kudos.

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