In my last post I wrote about some of the disappointments and foul odors I experienced in 5Th grade.A lot happens in fifth grade, for example, feelings change and our bodies change. This is probably why I remember so much from this time. Fortunately, my kids are not shy and seem to have more self confidence than I ever had. They have bus drivers and teachers they seem to really like and more importantly, seem to like them. There is also a video/audio recording device on the bus so there shouldn't be any problem catching bullies in the act.I did cringe a little when E came home from school on Thursday, and told me about the article she and her friends wrote together for the school newspaper. Of course I didn’t mention about my firing. I just expressed to her how proud I was and told her I couldn’t wait to read it.
And now for the heartache part of this post. In fifth grade I met a boy named Chris. Chris was the cutest boy in my grade. He had jet black hair down to his shoulders, big brown eyes and wore t-shirts with the names, of rock bands like Kiss and Queen emblazoned on the fronts. He might have even smoked cigarettes. All the girls liked him. I heard them talking about him in the girls room or on the bus. He was quiet and had an air of mystery about him ,as much as any 11 year old might have. I spent a lot of time staring at him. Then one day, something strange happened and he stared back. He started talking to me more than he talked to anyone; He asked for my phone number. Chris liked ME, he actually liked me. Pretty soon we were considered an item. This in fifth grade meant we talked on the phone a lot and hung out at recess. One thing I remember talking about with Chris was music. Oddly enough, whenever I hear the song ‘Cool Change’ by The Little River Band, I think of him. We both thought the song was good. I thought it was a sad song, he thought of it as a happy song.
Throughout our short relationship, the way my classmates treated me only got worse. I could hear them (loudly) whispering behind my back or right in front of me about it. “I can’t believe Chris actually likes HER!” “SHE is sooo weird!” “Why doesn’t he like Beth, she is sooo much prettier than her, and Beth really likes him.” I always thought I was at least a little pretty, even with bad Dorothy Hamill hair cut. But Beth, nobody was prettier or more popular than her. Back then it seemed any girl with the name Beth was popular. Probably because of the popularity of the Kiss song ‘ Beth’. Chris loved Kiss. This Beth, with her long blond hair and blue eyes, wasn’t ever mean to me but I hated her anyways. For a while all this negative energy didn’t touch me; Chris was my ray of sunshine, brightening my school days and warming my afternoons with our long talks. Then it happened. He broke up with me. I don’t even remember why he dumped me. I don’t think he started dating Beth, though, I am not sure I would have noticed. It was the end of my world. The bus rides, if I could get out of bed in the morning, were excruciatingly long, the days even darker and my evenings lonelier than they ever were. This was the first time I ever cried, missed school, and neglected to shower for a week, because of a boy. To me now, 10 or 11 years old seems way too young to cry over a boy. E and her friends do have crushes on boys but E insists they are “just friends” not boyfriends. At least there aren’t any boys calling on the phone yet. I hope that when she gets her heart broken, she will tell me.
Years later, at a time when I was feeling especially good about myself in the looks department, I ran into Chris. I knew I was hot, and I could tell he thought so too. As for Chris, he looked sort of the same.He still had long hair and was wearing a rock band T. HA! Caught in a time warp, I thought to myself. Loser! While he was still drooling, I said goodbye.