April 2, 2013

One time, I went on a date for the first time when I was sixteen years old and serendipitously gained a hundred new friends.

It's true, I did. I was barely sixteen when I asked a boy to the Sweetheart's dance. It was both a failure and a success. And COMPLETELY uncharacteristic of me. I feel like I should mention how much bolder I have become over the years. If I want to do something now, I do it. If I want to say something, I say it. I don't have a problem with that anymore, but I used to. That's not the point though. The point is that I didn't used to have friends, and then, in high school, by some miracle, I scored funny ones. All thanks to this. So, here's the story.

From ages 0-16, I was the shyest little thing you'd ever seen. I spoke to no one: boys, girls, old people, young people, babies, dads... none of them. I LITERALLY DID NOT SPEAK TO ANYONE. Okay, not literally. Like, I wasn't a mute. I was shy. I hated being in big crowds, making new friends, sitting by people I didn't know, or offering my hand for answers in class. I had exactly three best friends: Jessica, Haley, and Randee. Jessica had been my best friend since I was five years old. She grew up across the street from me, but moved to Centerville sometime right before we hit puberty. I would spend the occasional weekend in Davis county every now and again, but other than that, we really didn't have much contact (although, she remains to be one of my closest friends to date... except she's married now... so, there's that). In fifth grade, Randee's friend, Kylie Bills, told Randee that she wasn't allowed to be friends with her anymore. That was where I stepped in to save the day. I like to think I was a nice child. My brother, Jake, has other things to say about that, but I am pretty sure I was a pretty friendly little person. I offered to be Randee's friend after the whole Kylie debacle and we we remained friends throughout middle school. At the beginning of my sophomore year, she invited me to her birthday party. I was expecting a regular sleepover, like so many we'd had before. Instead, it began late, and her brother's tattoo'd friends crashed it, bringing beer. So, at 3 A.M., I called my mother to come pick me up, and we really never were friends again after that. Occasionally, I'd go over to her house to see how she was doing, but we didn't have much in common anymore. That left Haley. Randee never really liked Haley (Sorry, Hal. I know you're reading this. And I'm sorry, but that was the bitter truth of it all) so we weren't around her very often. I had been friends with Haley on-again-off-again like a messy relationship since she moved from Australia in the sixth grade. Everyone thought she was cool because she... you know... lived in Australia. She was always inviting me to things with her friends, but I usually declined, claiming I was too tired or had plans with my family, which was usually code for "I'd rather just stay home and read". And I did that. A lot. It was easier than talking to people I didn't know.

My parents were (and still are) notorious for leaving on week-long getaways to places like Rome or Paris, sometimes even Caribbean cruises. Since I was their only child left at home, they got away with it. My sister came home from college to take care of me on the weekends when she could, but since she lived a few hours south, she couldn't stay the entire week. This left my mom calling Haley's mom, asking her if I could sleep school nights at the Richards home. I felt sort of awkward about it because Haley and I were just semi-best friends. I hadn't been around her friends for a long time, and even in times that I was, I always ended up in a corner by myself not talking to anyone (I was a good time). After I told Haley I would be staying at her house for the week, she told me about her plans for the school dance that following Saturday. I realized, quickly, that I needed to find a date unless I wanted to spend Saturday night with Mr. and Mrs. Richards while the rest of the school was partying.

So, I decided to be brave and ask Kasey Kartchner. Who was about a foot shorter than me, who I knew didn't have a date, also who I hadn't spoken to since the eighth grade.

My mom and I bought a big, blue dress that I would never, in a million years wear today (Isn't that a rule about dance dresses? You're not supposed to like them when you grow up), and between classes, I caught Kasey to tell him to wear pink and blue to the dance. It was probably the most awkward date I have ever been on (aside from one I went on on Saturday, but we'll save that can of worms for a later date).
I'm sure this is me trying to look like Cinderella or something dumb. 
Also, are you looking at that dress? And are you drowning in it?

While it was all painfully awkward (the dress, the me-not-getting-any-pictures-with-my-actual-date), I am incredibly thankful for it all. My first date turned out to be the night that I began the friendships that I still hold onto today (except, I really don't talk to Kasey all that much). For some reason, I completely transformed from a quiet little prude to an obnoxious, joke-telling, laughing, ridiculous product of some of the most wonderful people in the whole entire world.
Emily, Haley, 16 year old me, and a girl named Caitlin who I saw once over Christmas break, but besides that, haven't really spoken to since high school. A year after this, Emily, Haley and I became best friends when we bonded over how much we hated A.P. U.S. History. That year, we also bonded over how much we hated our ex-boyfriends. High school is such an dramatic time of life.

Between us, Sweethearts '08 is often referred to as the night that Austin/Haley (constantly up for debate) invented Courtney Kearns. 

By the way....
I'm probably going to post more of these because I love remembering them. Sorry if you're hating it. 

1 comment:

i like words. and you. write me a few?