Chapter 5 – Don’t waste time on boys

The plane boss, the plane
Would you rather go on a blind date with the man on the left or the man on the right? On the left is Ricardo Montalbán. On the right is Hervé Villechaize, who was known as Tattoo on Fantasy Island.

“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. Faith alone defends. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.”  – Helen Keller

Boys are a waste of time.

Trust me when I tell you this.

I know because I’ve wasted entirely too much time over the years worrying about boys.

I’ve gone over various scenarios in my head such as: “Maybe I’m not pretty enough, maybe I’m not funny enough, should I even be wasting my time with this guy?” I could go on and on with the questions in my head. It’s exhausting.

When I look back on some of my journals, I’m ashamed to see how much time I devoted to boys and whether or not they liked me or I liked them. I could have my Ph.D. by now if I would have studied more and worried less about boys.

Just to prove (mainly to myself), how ridiculous I can be when it comes to boys, I grabbed a random journal from my collection. This journal entry is dated January 2002: “I passed up an opportunity to go to the Ohio State football game today so I could go on a blind date. Boy was I disappointed. I met the guy in the Warehouse District. He looked like Tattoo from Fantasy Island, only a little taller. I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there.”

Since that date happened over 15 years ago, I completely forgot about it, until I just had the pleasure of rereading the experience in my journal. Damn, I should have chosen the Ohio State game.

Just to reiterate, boys are a waste of time.

It wasn’t until the summer before my freshman year in high school that I kissed a boy. His name was Dave. To this day, I still think he’s one of the cutest boys I’ve ever kissed. He was a little older than me and so handsome. He had movie star looks. He was a tall, tan, quarterback who owned a boat. He had piercing blue eyes that sucked me in every time. I think I’ve had a small crush on him for over 30 years now.

I met him through my childhood friend Heidi. Heidi’s older brother was dating Dave’s older sister. Dave’s sister was a lifeguard at the Valley View pool and she told me she wanted to introduce me to her brother. I had no idea what he looked like at the time, but I agreed. Obviously, this blind date turned out a lot better than the future one with Tattoo.

Conveniently, he lived in the Valley View area right behind a house I babysat in. We talked on the phone a few times before we met, and then one night he came over when I was babysitting. The two boys I was babysitting were sound asleep. It was a hot summer night and the windows were opened. He came in through the back door and we just sat at the kitchen table for a while and talked. At one point, he leaned over and kissed me.

It was exhilarating. I was so excited this boy who was so good looking and fun was interested in me. The whole time, I was scared to death the couple I was babysitting for would come home. I kept my eye on the big picture window in the front room waiting to see if the headlights from their car would appear. It never happened.

What did happen was my first kiss turned into my first crush.

One night, before cell phones existed, I remember waiting by the phone at home for him to call. He told me he’d take me out that night, and I couldn’t wait. But instead of him calling, my mom called to let me know she saw him in a convertible driving around with a blonde. I was crushed. My first kiss and my first crush turned into my first heartbreak.

Heartbreaks are difficult. I’ve suffered them and caused them. It’s part of life. There are times when the brick wall around my heart is untouchable. Other times, the aging mortar between the bricks exposes glimpses of my heart. But would you rather dare to love or be alone? I’ll take a dare any day over being alone. Sometimes the dare is worth it (tan, tall, quarterback) and sometimes you strike out (a guy who is a little taller than Tattoo).

My best advice when it comes to love is to be yourself. When you do this, your heart will shine through. You may not think so at the time, but people around you see it. In the end, the main person you want to impress should be you. If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone around you.

Dare to start there.

Work on being yourself.

Don’t waste time on boys.

 

 


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