Early Memories and a Love Saga

Pre-kindergarten: memoryless. Sad, I know. But I really don't remember what I was like before age 4. From everything I have heard, I was the sweetest, cutest little blond-haired, blue-eyed girl you could imagine. I believe it.

Kindergarten: I remember sitting on the bus one time and the kid next to me asked if he could use my chapstick. I handed it over to him, he wound it all the way up, broke it off and ate it. With a smile on his face he said, "Mmm.. strawberry... my favorite!" Strawberry was my favorite too, jerk.

I was really into making necklaces and I made a necklace for that same kid for his birthday that said "Maryn & BJ" and gave it to him. He wore it all day and really liked it. I went to his party later but had a horrible time because I was the only girl there and all the boys teased me. And he didn't even wear his necklace.

1st grade: I had the meanest teacher in the whole world.. Mrs. Coleson. She was old and scary. She did this thing where you had different color tags by your name and if you got in trouble, you got two yellow tags and then you got a red tag. I don't remember what happened if you got a red tag but she probably turned you into a newt or something. But if you were good and kept your green tag for a week, then your name went into a drawing and if you were pulled then you got to eat lunch in the classroom with a friend all by yourselves. For some reason that was the coveted position. I never got drawn though (even though I ALWAYS had a green card.) But then one day, the boy that liked me got drawn and he picked me to eat with him. I can still remember the dread I felt when his name was drawn because I knew he was going to choose me. I didn't like him because one time we were standing in line and he was behind me standing really close and his nose started bleeding and I thought he had gotten it in my hair.

2nd grade: I had the best teacher ever! Her name was Mrs. Techmeyer and was in her early 20's. So she was pretty cool. Unfortunately for my parents, Matilda had just come out so I spent the year telling my parents how I wanted to go live with my teacher and move things with my mind. 2nd grade was also the year I met Andy Belnap. I had a bucket of markers that wouldn't fit in my desk so I had to put them on the floor. I was always afraid someone would try and steal them so I set up an elaborate system involving markers, paper clips and a dime where if any marker was stolen, the dime would drop and I would be able to catch the perpetrator. Andy would kick it every time he walked by. That was the start of my elementary school crush.

3rd grade: I don't really remember too much about third grade other than I really wanted to be in spectrum- that was where1st, 2nd and 3rd graders had a class together. I don't remember why I thought it was so cool but for some reason I had plead with my mom to switch me. Andy was in my class so I wasn't too bummed once class actually started.

4th grade: I had the oldest teacher in history and she was off her rocker. She would always come to school in karate gear and would bow at us. She was also really good at ending the day's reading at the most suspenseful moment possible and then smile in her creepy old way as we begged her to keep reading. Andy was also in this class and my affections were growing. I would always wait until he got up to get a drink and then I would get up to sharpen my pencil, purposefully passing his desk and placing a tack on his chair.

I also became friends with Jessie in 4th grade. We were really good friends but the only thing I really remember was the time when we went camping and we found a dead fish on the side of the river. She pushed the eye out and brought it back with us. I thought it was gross and told her to leave it but she thought it was really cool and was really upset when one of the dads threw it in the fire.

5th grade: One time we were having reading time and I somehow managed to get the comfortable chair. I very pleased with myself and was reading my Archie comic book when Austin Wingerson and Tyler Hoovis came over and asked me what I was reading. I was really excited to show them and told them I had some more in my backpack and asked if they wanted to read some. They excitedly said yes and I got up to get them one. When I came back they had stolen my chair. They wouldn't get up and they didn't even want to read my comics. Jerks. Again, Andy was in my class but he never paid any attention to me. It was like the gods were trying to destroy me.

6th grade: I was really upset when Cody Carpenter moved in halfway through the year because my birthday was the only one on the calendar in May and his birthday was in November but since he had moved in after that the teacher wrote down his half birthday and ruined everything. I was torn between hating him for that and liking him because he looked like Cody Griffin on the Disney Channel Original Movie The Thirteenth Year. All the while, Andy was still in my class and though my attention was being pulled elsewhere, I never completely forgot him.

Disney Channel had apparently been a very influential source of my life because after seeing Motocrossed I cut my hair just like her. Needless to say, I didn't look quite like that.

7th grade: Middle school. This was a rough year. My mom had had enough of my tom-boyness and thrown away all of my favorite clothes and replaced them with items that said nonsense like "The Gap" and "Old Navy" Gross. She also taught me how to put on makeup. Unfortunately, she taught me the way she used to do it in middle school. Which happened to be in the early 80's.

I also had my heartbroken for the first time. My first school dance rolled around and I knew exactly how I was going to ask Andy to dance. I was nervous but excited. The first slow song came on and I felt the butterflies swirling. I looked around and finally found him - dancing with someone else. I had seen them in the halls a lot together but I didn't think it was anything until I saw them dancing together. I felt like someone had punched straight through my stomach, grabbed my heart and thrown it underneath their arm's length, slowdancing, feet. I left crying and swore I would never love again.

8th-12th grade: This will have to be saved for another post. But one story I have to mention. It was the summer after I had graduated, a week or two before I headed off to college. I was talking to my mom and she mentioned that she had seen Andy Belnap at church the other day. And that before she could help herself she blurted out that he had always been my first love. Thanks mom. During our last year of high school we had become school friends so it wasn't too weird but I was relieved that I was going to Boston in a few weeks. Until the next Sunday we both ended up at someone's farewell. I figured, what the heck? and went up to go say hi. As soon as he saw me he got a big smile on his face that told me he hadn't forgotten his conversation with my mom.

Me: Hey Andy, how's it going?
Andy: Good. How are you?
Me: Good. So I heard my mom ran into you the other day.
Andy: Yup (smile getting bigger)
Me: Ya. And apparently she isn't that great at keeping secrets.
Andy: Haha ya. That's ok. I thought it was funny. (suddenly getting somewhat bashful) Especially since you were my first love too.

Who'd have known?

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