When I think of my first boyfriend, what comes to mind is my first truly love addicted entanglement, which I was involved with from my late teens to early 20s. I often forget that he was preceded by Dennis, a boy who was my boyfriend for four whole weeks when I was 15.
At the beginning of my sophomore year of high school, I was feeling pretty insecure. I’d never had a boyfriend, never been kissed, never even been on one date. If I had known then how much I was going to eventually make up for this late start, I might have relaxed a little. But at the time I felt like a freak.
One of my good friends, Louisa, had always had a boyfriend. She was one of those girls, who later became one of those women who was never single more than a day in her life. She just went from one longterm boyfriend to another. Dennis, a freshman, was totally smitten with Louisa, but since she was attached, he set his sites on one of her single girlfriends (me).
I had no interest in Dennis. He was a decent enough looking guy, but I just wasn’t into him. While girls like Louisa could trace their history from present all the way back to third grade from boyfriend to boyfriend, I could do the same but from silent, painful, all consuming crush to silent, painful, all consuming crush. When Dennis started showing interest in me, all the space in my brain reserved for liking guys was completely taken over by John Jenner, the gorgeous water polo player I had never talked to even once. In fact, I had never even made eye contact with the guy, who was in half of my classes, for fear that if he looked in my eyes he would see how much I liked him, and reject me in a public and humiliating way.
Dennis could have been the coolest guy in school (he wasn’t, though) and I would have had no interest, because he wasn’t John Jenner. Despite the fact that he wasn’t what I wanted, I agreed to be his date to the Homecoming Dance. I did this for two reasons. 1) My friends all told me I should and 2) I felt like going on a date with someone, anyone would make me less of a freak.
We went to the dance, we made out, and then he asked me to be his girlfriend. We spent the next four weeks making out in the back of movie theaters. Even though I was totally indifferent towards the guy, I liked making out with him
especially in the dark.
Talking to him was another story. We just didn’t have anything in common. One time I showed him my recently painted nails. I had painted them black with a gold glitter topcoat. This was a few years before black nail polish became en vogue, but I still thought they looked rather cool. When I asked him what he thought, he gave me a disgusted look and said, “Why can’t you just be a normal girl?” Ouch! I should have shot back with, “Why can’t you just be John Jenner?”
Another time we were deciding how to divvy up the pictures from Homecoming and I said something like, “Well, when we break-up you probably won’t want to have all these extra pictures of me lying around.” A pretty logical point for a 15-year-old girl, right? But Dennis didn’t think so.
“What do you mean when we break-up?”
“We are going to eventually break-up. I’m 15 and you’re only 14.”
“But you are actually planning for it?”
Yeah, cry me a river Dennis. Three days later he called me up and broke up with me. On the phone.
Actually I remember the conversation going a little like this:
“Maybe we should break up.”
“Yeah, maybe we should.”
But the next day at school this Freshman had the nerve to tell everyone he broke up with me. Although we passed each other every day in the halls, we never said another word to each other.
Louisa eventually started seeing Dennis. I think she even lost her virginity to him. Then they broke up and he moved to another school. I tried to look him up on Facebook, but to no avail. I also can’t find Louisa, who I lost touch with after graduation.
I did find John Jenner, though. He is now some granola-y, hippie, organic farmer married to some chick with dreadlocks. He is also balding, and has lost his water polo physique. Seems like a cool guy, but not my type at all. He probably was never my type. I was too caught up in the fantasy of John Jenner to actually get to know John Jenner.
Earlier, I started to type that Dennis was the first guy I ever used, but then I realized I also used John Jenner, and every boy I had an obsessive crush on before him. In the past all I needed was a few details about a hot guy and I would fill in all the blanks, falling for essentially a fantasy character I created. I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to get to know people for who they authentically are.