Editorial Board shares stories of romance –– some sweet, some silly
Emily Stack, Editor-in-Chief
I did my fair share of embarrassing things in my younger and more vulnerable years, but one particular incident involving an attempt to assert strength in the wilderness truly speaks to my character. When I was 17 or so, my then-boyfriend and I decided we’d like to go on a camping trip. The Boyfriend, an intelligent and pragmatic young man, suggested a gas camp stove or a proper charcoal grill, but I was confident that I, with generations of hearty peasant blood in my veins, could cook a fine dinner over a campfire. Like an early hominid, I would demonstrate my ability to use tools, build a fire, and procure nourishment, thus establishing myself as an ideal mate. The Boyfriend would be impressed and humbled by my physical strength and advanced survival skills. It’s possible I suggested chopping my own firewood.
Cut to 11:00 p.m., in the pitch dark and cold, with the two of us huddled for warmth and looking ruefully at my small fire and uncooked dinner. The truth, dear reader, is that I had no idea what I was doing. The top of a flickering campfire isn’t nearly hot enough to grill flank steaks, and it was so windy on Mount Tamalpais that I made more smoke than flame. He had a carton of blueberries for dinner; I ate humble pie.
In retrospect, there were likely simpler and more realistic ways to win the admiration of The Boyfriend, ones that didn’t end with wounded pride and empty bellies. (In retrospect, it wasn’t the admiration of The Boyfriend but of myself that I was trying to win.) But because I’m nothing if not stubborn, I maintain the dream of properly executing my mountain-man fantasy.
Olivia Rockeman, Managing Editor
In second grade I met my soulmate, Trevor. From our shared love of Legos to our skills on the four-square court, I’d never had so much in common with another boy. One day, after getting three strikes from our teacher, I was forced to remain at my desk during free time while everyone else played together. Trevor was aware of my predicament and brought Legos to my desk to keep me busy in my confinement. It was then that I knew he was my ideal man. At the end of that school year, my mom told me that Trevor and his family were moving to Orange County. Knowing that long distance wouldn’t be an option, I said an emotional goodbye and was left to finish out elementary school without him by my side. We haven’t seen each other since, and despite recent attempts at locating him, I realized that there are thousands of Trevors in California. He will always be the one that got away.
Harnoor Gill, Science Editor
A lot of kids saunter through their elementary school years, entertaining fleeting crushes and short-term relationships, committing wholeheartedly to no one in particular. Not I. I was born with a strong conviction in my “wifey” qualities. I thought I had it made when I made the resolute decision to give my beloved set of Pokemon cards to a stubby-legged boy in Mrs. Carbrey’s second grade class. This was the start of something new. I was going to be someone’s wife! I didn’t have a lot of experience with a serious commitment at the ripe age of 7, but I’d manage on the love that was already festering for him in my heart. He took my offering with an eager and greedy grin, muttered a quick thanks and rushed out for recess, leaving me as uncuffed as ever and triggering the unfortunate beginning of the multitude of abandonment and trust issues that I carry with me to every romantic encounter to this day. Happy Valentines Day!
Liz Jacobson, Arts and Culture Editor
Oh, Justin. Justin Bieber. The Biebs, if I may. While my bedroom walls are no longer adorned with J-14 magazine posters that featured your sweeping bangs, my love for you has never faded. Not even while you were going through your angsty phase. I remember when I first heard your angelic voice in sixth grade physical education. Coach Hanson blasted your timeless tune “One Time” while we ran the mile. From that moment on, I was a Belieber. I remember begging my mom to buy “As Long As You Love Me” on iTunes the morning it came out so that we could listen to it on the way to school. I saw “Never Say Never” in theaters the first week it came out, and I cried. I had the board game. I had both perfume scents — yes, both. Even still, I can sing “Baby” word for word. While I’m happy you have finally found love and stability with Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin), in my head, I will always be your “One Less Lonely Girl.” Please release new music soon.
Olivia Luchini, Features Editor
Like an IV drip of drama and obvious product placements, “Degrassi” owned my young, middle-school heart more than I’ll ever own a house as a Millenial. I thrived off of the ability to live vicariously through Canadian young adults, but I survived off of Eli Goldsworthy, the resident dark-bad-boy-who-can-quote-basic-Shakespeare-while-brooding of the fictional high school. Eli Goldsworthy had everything: Swoopy black hair, a hearse to drive to and from class, an obsession with a fictional metal band (Dead Hand, obviously) and a complicated backstory that was never fully explained (it’s okay, I wrote fan fiction to explain the holes). I refreshed the “Degrassi” Facebook group every day when I returned from trading silly bands in my music appreciation class, just praying for some new Eli footage that those Canadian thieves would get access to before my limited American eyes. What was great about Eli? Everything? Yes, but mostly it was the fact that his love interest on the show was a young journalist who was in a dramatic arts club and was in an advanced English class. Vicarious. Lee. What was the BEST about Eli? That sweet, sweet fan fic about his green orbs and curious smirk. XD. (But seriously I wrote a “Degrassi”/”Alice in Wonderland” crossover fanfiction and no one stopped me.)
Dominic Faria, Sports Editor
I’ve had the misfortune of being infatuated with the female sex for all of my life, and for a middle school-aged boy, this is a particularly tough spot to be in. Despite my Spicoli-like hair, crooked smile (pre-braces) and downright awful sense of fashion, a girl by the name of Grace took a liking to me. I of course liked her too and within the first few weeks of our relationship (if you could even call it one, given how young we were) I agreed to go with her to visit her favorite teacher from elementary school. As my nervous sixth grade self stood next to Grace as she chatted away with her old teacher inside a classroom at West Valley Elementary, I decided that it would be a good idea to give my legs a little rest and lean on a desk nearby. My feeble brain failed to consider the fact that the chair that was placed on said desk was liable to slide off very easily, which it certainly did the minute I sat down. So I watched in horror as this chair set off a chain reaction of chairs crashing down from the desks all around the classroom for the next 30 seconds. Even though I was humiliated, Grace was kind enough to remain my girlfriend for at least another year after that. I guess it was true love.
Hannah Holzer, Campus Editor
The summer going into my junior year of high school, I was stricken by the impulse to get a pen pal. I did a bit of research, and found the online website Interpals. One night, I happened upon the profile of Andrew from South Carolina who, in addition to his charming profile, was quite handsome. As I was drafting a message, he beat me to the punch and sent me a message of his own. It was so serendipitous, it seemed too good to be true. I soon found out he was seriously ill, but we bonded over many things. We continued to talk all that summer until one day, his cousin messaged me from Andrew’s page to tell me he had passed on. Over a year later, I was telling the story to some good friends and pulled up pictures of Andrew. It was only then, when a friend pointed out the obvious — that not only were the photos of “Andrew” on his profile of distinctly different people, but they were also actually too good to be true, seemingly taken from professional ads — that I realized I had most definitely been catfished. It was a brutal and embarrassing realization, but remains a favorite story among friends. And I did end up making a connection on Interpals — Will from Australia is now one of my best friends, and we’ve spoken almost every day for the past three years (and he’s real, I promise!).
Kaelyn Tuermer-Lee, City Editor
During my junior year of high school, there was this new kid named Rand in my first period AP U.S. History class. He was a quirky person who always carried around his lunch box and running shoes strapped to his backpack, and many would laugh as his footsteps were heard running down the hallway at 8:20 a.m. for our 8:15 a.m. class. I don’t think there was a single day he was on time. One day after class, Rand asked me if I wanted to go to lunch, to which I said sure. What I hadn’t realized, however, was that he would be eating his packed lunch on the way there — which consisted of a bag of plain romaine lettuce — and I would be the only one actually eating food once we got there. I awkwardly tried to maintain a strained conversation that revolved around what little we had in common as he stared at me while I ate. I only realized at the very end of the year — as in the last day of school — when he wrote in my yearbook that he considered our lunch to be a “date.” It certainly took me by surprise and I still think back to it. The only part I didn’t fully understand was why he also wrote, “The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.” Was I the cheese? I guess I’ll never know.
Taryn DeOilers, Opinion Editor
I’ve had a lot of embarrassing moments in my romantic life — and I mean a lot — but there’s one that’s easily the cringiest. It was the first grade, and a young lad with the most British-sounding name possible had swiftly captured my little heart — and apparently the heart of my best friend, who had confided to me that she’d dreamt of them kissing. I was, of course, supremely jealous, and calculated that I also needed to prove my love in the form of a kiss. Mine, however, would have to be in real life.
The only problem was that he had no idea who I was, and I was too shy to even confess my love, let alone kiss him. So my two friends and I concocted a foolproof plan: While we were standing in line after recess, one of them would “accidentally” cartwheel into me, thereby propelling me, face-first with my lips puckered, straight into my man. I would then “accidentally” plant a kiss on his lips in the process. This would naturally lead to us falling in love and having many kids and living happily ever after, or whatever. It didn’t go according to plan. When my friend cartwheeled into me, I launched forward, arms flailing and yelling, “WhooOoOooa!” with the acting chops expected from a six-year-old. But instead of smooching, I missed him entirely, loudly kissed the air next to his face with a deafening ‘MWWWAH!’ and stumbled onto the ground. He looked at me, bewildered, then coughed awkwardly and turned back in line. Although my love for this man perished right then and there, the profound embarrassment shall live on forever.
Written by: The Editorial Board