“You make me feel like I’m living a, teenage, dream
The way you turn me on
I, can’t, sleep
And don’t ever look back
Don’t ever look back”- Katy Perry
I Dated as a teenager, I’m not sure if that’s an accurate depiction of what it was most of the time. My definition of dating now is actually going out, being courted, and check-in phone calls. As a preteen/teenager you don’t really have the adult access of freedom to really date nor the emotional fortitude. I definitely wasn’t looking for a husband but I thought I was looking for compatibility, attraction, and someone who genuinely liked me. At 14 do you really know what you’re looking for? Girls expect the boys to look for them. Most boys that I liked weren’t ready for real relationships. Why should they be? We had our whole lives ahead of us.
My first boyfriend ever… If you read my ode to the fuckery of adult acne you would know that my first boyfriend broke up with me via bird-mail presumably because I was experiencing my first acne attack. This probably broke my heart for a month. Not a real heartbreak but it instilled love lesson number 1.Teenage boys don’t give a fuck about your personality, either you cute or we not talking.
My perception of my cuteness was yet to be skewed by colorism and hourglass body shapes. I didn’t think I was any less cute because my skin was a darker shade of brown or my booty and breasts weren’t huge. The concept of my Spongebob body type wasn’t something that concerned me. Yet I started to wonder if I was the cute friend or the busted tagalong. I grew up slightly tomboyish due to the close influence of my uncles. I never thought that my appeal had to do with my lack of approachability and the fact that I lacked the common flirting skills and feminine dress code. This was the early 90s, I thought it was appealing to be a Gangsta Bitch with baggy clothes and the ability to slap box a dude. What the Fuck was I thinking? Boys don’t want you to rock “Rough and stuff with your afro puffs” they wanted the girl in the rump shaker video. I had a huge disconnect. There’s apparently a difference between the homegirl you can talk shit to and the girl you actually want to get with. Who the fuck knew? Obviously everyone else in the world but me.
I remember starting to talk to boys over the phone, sneaking boys in the house, and going to Springfield Mall to get numbers. There weren’t many boys from my school who seemed interested so the Mall and the Skating Rink were my go-to’s. Either our parents would drop us off or we would take two busses from Alexandria to Huntington to Springfield which took a whopping 2 hours. Once we got to the mall I’d have no more than $20 in allowance to buy a pretzel and window shop. I learned instead of going straight to Claire’s, Hot Topic, or Spencer’s I’d raise my chances of seeing a cute boy at the arcade. The most I would get were 1-3 numbers while my friend would get twice as many. For some odd reason, I’d always get approached by some creepy older guy. They’d ask if I had a boyfriend and I’d reply I’m only 14. They’d lie and say they were 18. Thank God I never fell for it or got abducted.
I once dated a boy that I didn’t find to be attractive. I think I met him because his cute friend was dating my friend at the time. He was a crack baby, hood boy but super intelligent. Like me, he could solve Algebra problems in his sleep and had a great conversation about philosophy. I never truly loved him but I thought his personality outweighed his appearance so he was cool to be around. He vibed with my tomboy style so much we’d even slap box from time to time to see who’s the better boxer. Play fighting eventually grew into intimacy. I’d sneak him in my mom’s apartment and we’d dry hump and kiss before she got home. The feeling was great. It was the intriguing time of puberty where your little lady parts start to tingle when a boy pretends that he loves you. You start to feel like there are sweet pretty butterflies fluttering in your panties. One day I decided to let him take it a step further. I let him slide it in. To my surprise, it wasn’t sweet candy rainbows and sunshine. THAT SHIT HURT! It probably lasted about 5 minutes before I made him stop out of fear Lisa was going to come home early and murder us both. He left and I threw away my panties out of fear that Lisa the bloodhound would sniff me out. I got in the tub, soaked, and sulked like a dirty whorish rape victim. This was definitely not the first time I expected.
Later sometime this boyfriend got arrested for murder. He would write me letters telling me he loved me and that we would be together forever. I had already moved into my own life and felt bad for him. I had my whole life ahead of me and I’d never know what he’d have but I knew it wouldn’t be me.
To be continued…