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08 January 2013 @ 04:35 pm
So, Captain Awkward has a post up about a time she had a totally awkward crush and completely failed to handle it gracefully, with a love note and everything, and then she invites people to use the comments section to share their painful moments of horrifying behavior (on their own part). I invite you to share yours here (anonymously if you prefer, though those ones will be screened) if you're so inclined. Here's mine:

When I was in 7th grade, I had a HUGE CRUSH on this cute 8th grader, Mark T. He was cute and smart and awesome at basketball and was the school president (what does that even mean in junior high??), and I was a dorky, chubby, awkward geek who loved fantasy and romance novels. It was obviously a sort of ugly-duckling falls in love with prom king sort of situation*.

After agonizing about it for aaaaaaages (seriously, I'm talking months here), I finally decided that he should know about my feelings. Somehow, my brilliant plan was that I would confess by way of "anonymous" love note, which I taped into his art notebook, which was left in the art room between classes. If he felt the same way (???), I invited him to respond by dropping a note in locker number [my locker].


Naturally, all the popular kids knew instantly, and a huge social ruckus erupted. Also, of course, he didn't respond directly, which inspired me to write him another note, addressed to -- I am not making this up -- "Mark 'The Jackass' T". Seriously, poor guy. SO AWKWARD.

Amazingly, this situation dragged out, fed by general social drama, my own awkward shitty boundaries, HIS awkward shitty social skills and promises to respond SOMEDAY. I think there might have been more notes on my part, and more snarky comments in my direction from the "popular" crowd, for what in my mind extends for quite a long time, but may have only been a couple of weeks.

Awesome things I learned from this:
* thick skin
* direct confession of a crush asap (which in most cases through college still meant weeks of agonizing before admitting to the object of my crush)
* embarrassment is temporary and survivable (BARELY)
* we're all human

*Note: I don't need any ego stroking in response to this -- I'm just stating the fact of the situation as relates to the context of the junior high social scene.

So, how 'bout you? What painful bad behavior have you enacted, survived, and learned from?
I'm feeling: relievedrelieved
Sandro: with aubreysandhawke on January 8th, 2013 10:00 pm (UTC)
Wait, what? Was it anonymous or not? How could he know if he felt the same way if he didn't know who it was from?

(I have an anonymous note story that's too embarassing to type.)

Edited at 2013-01-08 10:09 pm (UTC)
ruthless compassion: flop or swoonaroraborealis on January 8th, 2013 10:17 pm (UTC)

I signed it "anonymous" but then demanded a response and gave him my locker number.

Truly, the mind boggles.

(I almost couldn't type this one up, and then I decided I could laugh at myself and give that foolish past-me a compassionate little hat-tip without too much pain.)

Edited at 2013-01-08 10:18 pm (UTC)
Sandrosandhawke on January 8th, 2013 10:25 pm (UTC)
So, in your school, given someone's locker number, was it obvious whose locker it was? Or would he have to run a surveillance operation to figure it out...?

I guess the key here is some kind of distance. In the thread you refer to, there's a whole thing about a Couch of Plausible Deniability. It's not even exactly deniability, but just some kind of distance/excuse/indirection makes it a little more bearable.
ruthless compassion: yeah what?aroraborealis on January 8th, 2013 10:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes, all you'd have to do is hang around that locker and wait for someone to unlock it. I had talked myself into thinking that I could make like I was receiving a note on someone else's behalf, but that totally didn't work, because as soon as someone said, "So, you have a crush on Mark?" I was all, "Yes, what of it?"
Sandrosandhawke on January 8th, 2013 11:03 pm (UTC)
Well, I guess that beats running screaming.... :-]

Oddly this makes me think of something I liked about Twilight: the fact that in the midst of Bella being the awkward new kid and being driven insane by her overwhelming feelings for Edward,... all the other kids are really nice and respectful and gentle to her.

(Of course, one could argue it's a failure in terms of realism, but I enjoyed that bit.)
m.entrope on January 8th, 2013 10:51 pm (UTC)
My awkward teenaged self did something very similar, and gives your awkward teenaged self a pained nod of discreet recognition.
blkblk on January 9th, 2013 01:43 am (UTC)
Wow, my awkward crush (well, the one that currently comes to mind) was also in 8th grade! Boy what an awwwwwwesome time that was.

There was a guy named Chris (and he was a NINTH grader omg), and he played trombone in my band class, and he had The Most Gorgeous blue eyes. That's about all I remember about him, and I don't think I'd ever said a word to him, but I thought he was adorable. So the school paper sold "shout-outs" or something and so I bought whatever it took to put in something like "dear chris, i love you. from a secret admirer." for everybody to see. I don't know what I was thinking except I needed to get my secret out but I couldn't actually TALK to him.

Anyways, as anonymous as I thought that was, the very next day someone was like "oh so you like chris?" which I vehemently denied. And I got teased and he got teased, and me being me I just hid in my shell for the rest of the year until he graduated and blushed a lot and pretended I didn't care and I guess that wasn't super painful or bad, just awkward and embarrassing, but there it is.
David Policardpolicar on January 9th, 2013 02:36 am (UTC)
I won't tell the story. But the lesson I take away from it is that if I want to talk to someone it really helps to invite them to the damned conversation.
drwex: VNVdrwex on January 9th, 2013 03:46 pm (UTC)
That word
That's rather the definition of "conversation", innit?
ruthless compassion: stabbyaroraborealis on January 9th, 2013 03:52 pm (UTC)
Re: That word
You'd be surprised.
drwexdrwex on January 9th, 2013 04:01 pm (UTC)
Re: That word
Probably. And I'm sorry but I'm still way too mortified by my pre-adult self's inability to deal with romantic attractions to reveal them even semi-publicly.

Let's just say I was a hopeless idiot and leave it at that.
David Policardpolicar on January 9th, 2013 03:55 pm (UTC)
Re: That word
You'd think.
Chipceo on January 9th, 2013 04:42 am (UTC)
Never in a million years when I was in JH or HS would I have breathed a word about any crushes I had to anyone, ever, particularly not the crush-ee. (We won't discuss whether that is still the case to any extent.)

But that didn't get me the Get Out Of Awkwardness Free card, because at one point I became aware that someone had a huge crush on me, for reasons I'm still unclear on (and if you think I'm being gratuitously self-deprecating, that's because you didn't know me in high school). Someone told me without revealing who it was, and it was obvious enough even I figured it out pretty quickly. I am actually grateful that she never said anything, because I would have had no idea how to handle it.
metagnatmetagnat on January 9th, 2013 02:18 pm (UTC)
I have a similar awkward teenaged crush story that involves sending an actual signed note (after months of agonizing). There was a fundraiser for something (I think it was the school paper, where they'd send carnations to the person of your choosing on valentine's day for a dollar and you could write a note to go with them.

I sent my crush one with a poem from a Tolkien novel (Yes. Auuugh.) and a short note.

Sadly, I'm sure on the right person, that would've worked a treat. The right person was clearly not this guy.
Mizarchivist: Dorkmizarchivist on January 9th, 2013 02:30 pm (UTC)
I was awkward and somewhat desperate all through jr and sr. high. I had a grand total of three boyfriends in 8th grade, then NOTHING until the very tail end of my senior year. ... except for the lovely boys I found at summer camp.

I tended to be very brutally honest about my interest in notes to boys, extolling their virtues. Early in the dating experiments and attempts, I'd cozy up to someone close to the crush-object, in the hopes of getting closer to him. It always backfired. I think by the second attempt when I dated a boy because he was friends with the boy who broke up with me months earlier--- well, he had a crap reputation and mine suffered by association. The final boyfriend of the year is the one I should have been with all along, even if he was a total spaz. He remains to this day one of my best choices of boyfriends of all time. Steady Eddie.

I've rewritten this 3 times now to get it down to a dull roar. I'm very tempted to unpack the OMG-WTF of my adolescent trials with dating, or the lack thereof, in my own journal, as it'd be a LONG post.
Susan Constantsconstant on January 9th, 2013 05:10 pm (UTC)
I crushed on a guy for years, and left many many ridiculous hints, told or suggested to people close to him (including a guy I was dating) that I would go out with him at the drop of a hat, etc. And then he was overseas, and for some reason I wanted CLOSURE so I wrote him a ridiculous letter. And he wrote me back ON A POSTCARD and said thanks for the letter, but no thanks, basically, and "who knows how many times out of ten things would have worked out this way?"

This being the age of ONE IN TEN PEOPLE ARE GAY AND THAT IS THE EXACT NUMBER AND WE WILL PRINT THIS ON TEE SHIRTS AND NAME LGB (there was no T in them at this point) ORGANIZATIONS AFTER THIS STAT, I figured, oh, he's gay, got it.

But then a year or two later he came back and it turned out that no, he's not, and that's not what he meant at all. But by then it was mostly fine, and having him have been gay for a year or two in my brain totally helped me get over him. Mostly. :)