My first real crush was in first grade. My friends and I referred to him as Bob so that nobody would know who we were talking about. Bob was totally rad because he liked Pokémon and Star Wars and wore glasses that made him look like Harry Potter. We’d hang out after school and pretend we were ninjas and eat Cocoa Puffs, a substance forbidden at my house. One day when we were on the swing set in my backyard, Bob asked me to be his girlfriend. I was ecstatic. The love of my life had just asked me to go steady! As delighted as I was, I also had to keep my cool. I mean, Bob couldn’t think I would just go for any guy. So I said no. Bob sniffled a little and said, “That’s fine, it was just for a dare anyway.” My tiny first-grade heart broke.

My next crush was a kid in my third-grade class. Code name: Meatloaf (in keeping with the food-themed nicknames of my friends’ crushes, Squash and Corn). Meatloaf reminded me of Ron Weasley (because at this stage, resemblance to a character in Harry Potter was a requirement for all of my crushes). But aside from his red hair, shabby sweaters, and freckles, not much was going for the kid. Despite this, I was completely enamored. One day, when I decided that I could wait no longer for him to make a move, I decided to profess my love in a note. I spent hours agonizing over what to write and how to decorate it. In the end, I went with a simple yellow sheet of paper with “I LOVE YOU” written in giant bubble letters. After he had left the room to go to recess, I put the letter in Meatloaf’s desk. He didn’t see it until the next day. His reaction was not what I had hoped: he stared at the thing in pure horror before quickly crumpling it up and throwing it away.

These two events set the precedent for how I would act around all of my crushes: I like a guy, I do something stupid, the guy changes his name and moves to Canada. Of course, I’m not in the business of writing love notes anymore, but I’m still pretty good at freaking guys out. For example, every time I’ve been around my latest crush, Glacier, I’ve felt the need to shove something up my nose in order to make him laugh. This ranges from fake cigarettes to gummy bears, the latter of which I decided to shoot out my nose at innocent passersby. Am I adorable or what? It’s a good thing I’ve never eaten Chinese food with the kid. This is what I imagine would happen:

Glacier has a girlfriend now. She’s really pretty and smart and I’m pretty sure the only thing that’s been up her nose is a tissue or two, maybe some Flonase if she has allergies. She’s the kind of normal that I sometimes wish I could be. I saw them last Friday out together. He was holding her hand and they were laughing about something and he looked really, really happy. I’d like to say that I then realized how trivial my little crushes were and that I was able to be totally happy and move on with my bad self, but all I did was go home and listen to the Best Coast CD and Robyn’s acoustic version of “Be Mine” on repeat.

As far as crushes go, Glacier will probably last a month or two more. It’s been nice staring out windows and thinking about our next encounter, but in time I know I will come across somebody who can also shoot gummy bears long distances out his nose, or at least will see my doing so as a sign of affection. ♦