Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Doodle #27 - An Early Suitor

Dearest Readers of My Blog,

In my 21 years I have had little romantic drama. I am pretty much OK with this, because I know that as fun as romantic drama is to read about, it is usually very awkward for everyone. I would, of course, love to have men falling all over themselves for me, but this rarely happens. What happens instead is that I go along living my daily life and every once in a while a random member of the opposite sex will peel away from the general crowd worshipping at the feet of worthier women to pay me unwanted attention. In these situations I find myself bewildered and panicky. But there is also a part of me which realises that they are hilarious. That is why I shall share an early such instance with you today. 

In the seventh grade my homeroom class split into two groups for foreign language classes. The English students got to stay in the class room and the German students had to move to the other seventh grade's classroom for that period. Somehow it happened that the German-learning half of the class had all the rowdy, most misbehaving kids in it. I am absolutely serious. This is in no way meant to be a political commentary or racial slur. It was just true. English class had Zuzka, Jana and Pepa who were all academic angels. German class contained Matěj, Patrik and Tomáš; none of whom wore deodorant.

Anyway, to continue with my story… My sweet friend Claire and I sat together at our desk as far away from our fellow German speakers as possible and usually had a lovely time drawing notes back and forth all throughout class. Claire and I were in German class because we were some of the only two Americans in our Czech school and we already spoke English.

After class we would gather our belongings and prepare to move back to our homeroom. At the same time, the other seventh grade class would be returning from English class. This is when Petr first spotted me. We must remember that in the seventh grade I was about thirteen. This was a period in my life when I accessorised primarily with home-made Sculpey beads. I had bushy hair and wore a long thin braid behind one ear in order to look like a Jedi padawan learner. Petr found me irresistible. (Or perhaps he had picked up on the Star Wars reference in my hairstyle and thought I had Jedi powers)

He would make a beeline to my desk every afternoon as I gathered my textbooks. His main flirtation tactic was to confiscate my pencil case. Then, while rifling through its contents, he would ask me questions about myself and try to look deep into my eyes. I would answer his questions curtly avoiding eye contact. I would try to leave the classroom quickly. But of course, I had to somehow snatch back my pencil case before I could leave. Once my pencil case was rescued, I would scuttle back to the safety of my own classroom so I could pass encoded notes to Claire about how weird and awkward Petr was.

Looking back on this chapter in my romantic history I see it with more perspective. Petr was a nice boy (for a thirteen-year-old). He was skinny and a little goofy, but nice and probably would have been fun to talk to. He was able to appreciate me despite my geekiness. I probably didn't need to be as repulsed and dramatic about his attentions as I was at the time. But then again, I was thirteen.

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