Ten Ways to Embarrass Yourself in Front of Your Crush

  1. Age 9: Tell your friends that you had a dream about the two of you getting married. Watch them tell everyone in your class and then plan a wedding for the two of you, with several boys in your class vying to be the ring boy. The two of you don’t speak to each other for the rest of the school year, though you continue to write fantasy scenarios involving your crush as a superhero rescuing you and your family from the edge of a cliff in your top secret diary.
  2. Age 11, part 1: Bring the Swimsuit Edition of the Sports Illustrated magazine to school to impress your crush and watch it get confiscated by the teacher’s aide. When she asks the boys who brought it in, admit to being the one who did it. Observe her look of total confusion, and then pity, as she realizes why you did it.
  3. Age 11, part 2: Write a poem while your crush is away from his desk on a bathroom break that says “Roses are red/violets are blue/guess what/I like you”, along with several other embarrassing notes. Turn bright red like a tomato when some of the girls in class find them later and read them out loud to the entire class.
  4. Age 12: Scream “No!” when your crush asks you out in front of your friend because you’re convinced he’s only asking you out as a joke because she also kind of likes him and told you that he actually likes her. Realize as his face falls that your friend might have been lying to you.
  5. Age 13: Try to get his attention at a dance in the school gym. Realize 30 seconds later that he has a girlfriend, a very nice cheerleader who is in your English class. Melt into the bleachers as she stares at you in confusion. She is a bit cold to you for the rest of the year, even though you’re not sure your crush even registers your presence.
  6. Age 17: Act super aggressive towards him in math class, kind of like Helga Pataki except not nearly as endearing because you are no longer a cute 8 year old girl and nobody thinks it’s cute when you can’t communicate like a normal person. But you’re too scared to ask him to Homecoming, so you play dumb games that simply have the effect of rubbing people the wrong way. You end up going to Homecoming by yourself with the hope that he will somehow be there. He isn’t, and it sucks, and you cry alone in the corner of the gym before leaving early to go home.
  7. Age 18: Spend the better part of your freshman year of college purposely third-wheeling him and another mutual friend who lives on the same floor, who would probably get together if not for your interference. You know what you’re doing is wrong, but you can’t help yourself and the way you feel about him. Things come to a head in April when she forces you to leave a frat party while she stays back with him, and they come back several hours later, stopping every few steps in the hallway to kiss. They walk right by you and slam the door to her room, while the sophomores who live on your floor drag you down the hallway and tell you to give up the fight and find someone who actually cares about you.
  8. Age 20: Open up your heart to your crush while on a volunteer trip. You’re amazed by how he seems to understand you, but you can also see that he and another girl on the trip are falling for each other and there’s nothing you can do about it. Still, you text him after you get back and ask if he wants to get lunch. He says “Sure, but just as friends.” The next day, you and the girl meet up for coffee (you’re friends with her too) and she says that the two of them went on a date last night, and it went really well.
  9. Age 23, part 1: Tell two of your friends you like him. They tell you to tell him. You gather up the courage later that day to tell him when you and all of your friends are going out dancing at the local club. Approach him slowly as Mr. Brightside starts blasting over the speakers, even as he approaches another girl in your class. Stop dead short as they fall into each other’s arms, kissing like tomorrow will never come as the chorus plays: “It started out with a kiss/how did it end up like this”. You aren’t sure whether to laugh or to cry. You do a little of both.
  10. Age 23, part 2: Tell all of your friends that you like him. They tell you to tell your crush. You don’t. Things start to deteriorate between your friendship, and one night in April (why is it always April?), drunk and high on emotions, it all comes out, and you have a reasonable conversation and talk it all out, followed by an embarrassingly long message exchange on Facebook. But of course, it’s been so drawn out that there’s no way to recover from the weirdness, and you spend the rest of the semester and the future avoiding any real direct interaction, and to this day, it’s still a little awkward, even though you are both thousands of miles apart. And now, almost two years later, you’re not sure why you ever liked him in the first place. But attraction is weird, and someday you’ll find the one who doesn’t turn the moment into one you’ll regret, but rather, a memory you will cherish. When will that day come? You’re not sure. But you hope it’s soon. You don’t want to add to your list.



writer | artist | photographer

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