X is for… X-traordinary lengths

One year, I developed an intense pre-teen crush on a boy in my class. Unlike my first, five year old crush, I didn’t try to seduce him with a pencil case (here for those who missed that post and are curious). No, I was in fact so shy and awkward that I couldn’t even make eye contact with him, let alone speak to him or reply intelligently to anything he said.

At the time, it seemed obvious that the best way to deal with this awkward situation was to make sure he didn’t find out that I liked him. (I mean can you imagine the embarrassment if he found out!?!) I played it cool. More than cool – I played it ice cold: I went to extraordinary length to ignore him. It wasn’t just that I didn’t seek him out, I ignored his questions, gave him cold looks when I did manage to overcome my excruciating embarrassment and look him in the eye, and was just as aloof and distant as I could manage.

Of course during that entire time I pined like the love sick teenage puppy I was – it was all-round unpleasant.

It wasn’t until years later that I learnt that the poor boy had also harboured a crush on me. My act was so convincing that he felt sure not only that I wasn’t interested in him, but that I actively disliked him. Of course he never suggested we sit together at the cafeteria, or hold hands.

We each pined in our corner, separately miserable, until time eventually did its thing and we forgot about each other.

Taking playing it cool to such extraordinary lengths was one of the dumber things I did on entering adolescence.


20 thoughts on “X is for… X-traordinary lengths

  1. Your post brought me back to my freshman year in high school. How I LOVED Skip Brown. He was tall and handsome and silent (I don’t think I ever heard him speak a word). At the time I thought he was deep and thoughtful; later I found out he just never had anything to say. Anyway, I pined for him across the dance floor, and the history class, and on the stadium as he caught the football. I never once said a word to him, and he never knew I loved him from afar.
    Years later, I thank my lucky stars for that! 🙂


  2. When you’re that age, having the other person find out you like them really does seem like the worst thing EVER. It’s like Susan says, somehow it seems out of the realm of possibility that they might actually like you back. Teenage years are definitely awkward for a reason (lots of them, actually). 😛


  3. Oh, the ghastly angst of those teen and pre-teen years. I did something very similar when I was in my early teens, and when I looked back on the situation many years later, it was blindingly obvious that the boy felt the same way. Sigh. We live, we learn.


    • Oh no – that’s the absolute worse. Especially because at the time it feels like your life will end if you don’t get together with said boy… Good thing we’re now older and wiser!


  4. I think the worry is that if they don’t like you back, they’ll make fun of you for liking them. Or something like that. So glad I’m no longer a teen.


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