Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t pop out as effervescent and socially graceful as the creature talking at you currently.
No, there was a time when I was …. AWKWARD.
And there is no better example of that awful span than VALENTINE’S DAY, 2000.
This is not the title of a robo-slasher movie, but rather one of the very worst days of my adolescent life.
*doodleloo doodleoo “Wayne’s World” flashback*
My parents moved my brother and I to Minnesota back in 1999 for my father’s new job. This relocation turned out to be quite scarring; second only to my mother telling me, “YOU HAVE NO THRESHOLD FOR PAIN,” as she pressed down on a hunk of wood I had inserted into my foot that later was surgically removed.
(love you mom. st. valentine’s and all.)
And since we were the new kids in a town that ate children of that variety for breakfast, we were bullied and harassed relentlessly for three long years.
But amid the name-calling and threats, something else bloomed …. UNWANTED LOVE.
Usually I assign nicknames for people here at domesticait, but this guy’s name is too rich to conceal:
His name …. was THOR.
For some reason, this off-putting fifth-grader decided to woo me. Unfortunately, the school was very, very small and everyone from my grade, but also up to my brother’s tenth grade classroom and beyond, was aware of his elaborate Valentine’s Day strategy.
and, worst of all,
I lost sleep in the days approaching Valentine’s Day. I pleaded with my teacher to MAKE HIM STOP but everyone thought it was hilarious! oh puppy love! No one thought of the 12-year-old with the throbbing beginnings of an ulcer.
Almost every time I tell this story, people think I was too hard on THOR. I disagree, not only because his name brings to mind brawny, hammer-wielding men that can certainly hold their own against an uninterested fifth-grader, but also because his intentions were unclear. Did he sincerely fancy the frizzy-haired, klutzy new girl? Or did he enjoy torturing her in a creative new way, with the entire male student body in on the act? I have made my decision, and kind folk … make yours.
When Valentine’s Day came, I waited in horror until the “party” began at the end of the day. Winks were cast my way and pointed fingers and giggles wafted toward me. I was doomed.
Some inane student organization was selling carnations for kids to purchase for their squeezes, however THOR almost sent them out of business. A cascade of the sickly, artificially-scented flowers flooded my table, occasionally studded with cheap chocolates as I burst into tears. I had tried my hardest to remain invisible at that school, but the teddy bears clutching hearts labeled “BE MINE” were shouting my existence to the world.
I do not know what happened to those love gifts, as the rest of that day is quite a blur. But I do know they did not come home with me.
And I definitely know I am not Mrs. THOR.