A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Of playgrounds, erasers, love gone wrong.

I was reading something earlier today about love letters and the first one this person wrote. It reminded me of my first love eraser.

His name was Wally. And I was head over heels in love with him. He had this cute little crew cut and walked with a spring in his step. I think he was the first guy I ever saw "strut." Every girl wanted to belong to Wally. And he knew it. He actually had a list - the top five girls in his life each week. Something like the New York Times weekly bestseller list. And all of us wanted to be #1. If only for a day!! You could always tell when someone held the coveted #1 spot because she'd be strutting, too.

Well, I wanted Wally to know how much I loved him. I just knew that once he found out he would abandon all the other girls and rush to my side. Of course, I couldn't just come out and tell him! That would be mortifying. So I came up with a brilliant plan. There were these three other girls that I hung out with. Can't remember any of their names anymore, but we were totally cool. We'd link arms on the playground and walk around singing "We walk straight. We walk straight." Anyone who got in our path was knocked down. Now, just to be clear - we didn't actually ever knock anyone down, but we wanted the other kids to THINK we would! Yup, we were that cool.

Anyway, one of the girls - I'll call her Lynette because I think that's close - agreed to help me with my Wally Forever plan. I had a gum eraser that was still fairly new. So I wrote on both sides of it "I love Wally!!" Lynette was going to pretend she found it in the playground, run up to Wally with it and tell him it was mine. You know, like the school gossip letting him in on a special secret.

The next day we took our places. I was coyly sitting on the swings, just watching the clouds. Lynette waited for Wally to be alone and then she went up to him and gave him the eraser. My heart was pounding. Would he also profess his love for me? Would he propose? Would I be #1 on his list forever? Now my hands were getting sweaty and I was close to throwing up from the anxiety. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Lynette go to the other end of the playground. Then I saw Wally strutting towards me. Oh, god, oh, god, oh, god. He walked up to me, I pretended to be surprised to see him standing there. He handed me the eraser and said "Here, you dropped this" and went on his merry way! I snatched it out of his hand, got off the swing (hey, at least I didn't fall off!), and galloped over to the rest of my "gang." Mortified and still single.

Tough day for a 12 year-old.

By the way, I saw Wally again about 10 years later. He hadn't gotten any taller than he was in 6th grade, he was bald, quite fat, and worked at a 7-11. Oh, but he still had that strut.

When was the first time you professed your love?


namaste said...

oh what a cute story! i have more stories like these than i care to admit, i was THAT much of a doofus retard. i'll share one. when i was 11 we had a senior dance for the graduating 6th graders. though she was gorgeous, my bff had pure disdain for ALL of the boys in our school and wanted nothing to do with them. one boy who i had a crush on asked her to the dance. i told her to tell him to ask me. he did. we went. he looked completely uncomfortable. and i rightly felt like an idiot.

thank god for growing up. ;)


Nikki said...

Very funny!! I love that Wally is a nerd today, poetic justice! I used to call this guy named Dale...all the girls loved him and with good reason he was hot hot hot... I would call him on the phone and disguise my voice and ask him all sorts of questions, what do you think of Nikki? do you think she's cute? would you ever want to kiss her?...yep he had no idea it was me. haha. what a dope. :)N

Sandi said...

Maria - glad I'm not the only former dork!

Nikki - Wonder if he tells the same story to his friends! Dang, we all did some pretty embarrassing things. Amazing we're such sophisticated women now(!!)

Fleur de Lisa said...

I think that I'm still a dork! :-)

ira said...

Oh! I was in the fifth grade then..Should be 11yrs old I guess.He shifted out of town, I was so broken!!
Strangely, we were in the same town a few years later(a different city) when he tracked me down and we're still good friends! :)