Popcorn Flirting

February 11, 2011

Even when I was five I had taken in the importance of not acting desperate when dealing with boys. There was one particular misfit in my kindergarten class who would share his snacks with me on the playground. On my birthday, this boy thoughtfully took crayon to paper and drew me a picture of a chocolate birthday cake. Although he was quite pleased with himself, I pointed out his unforgivable error of coloring the frosting in black crayon. He made the mistake of defending the drawing by claiming chocolate cakes were black, not brown. At the end of the day to express finality on the issue, I took his drawing and whisked it into the trash can in front of him. In essence, I have been doing this ever since.

Growing up, I paid close attention to the boys around me. Before the age of nine I had concluded that boys liked girls who are mean to them. At summer camp one of my brother’s friends was trying to get my attention all week. On the last day of camp he caught me alone as I was carrying my luggage to the car. He walked beside me and made polite conversation, a smile across his face. I returned his smile awkwardly before saying, “You were born with half a brain,” and walking away.

The female instinct to seduce, (I now realize I was born with) tried to kick in when I was quite little. My prey was playing on a hill behind our house when I attempted to get his attention by haughtily sauntering past him in my new skirt…and falling face foreword.


As a pubescent girl discreetly chasing a boy, don’t pick friends for backup that are equally interested in that boy…as well as more attractive and outgoing.

As a teenager returning to the kindergarten playground of self-sufficient pretenses, I used the tactic of being nothing more than a friend among five interested girls on a two-week Summer outing. The other girls never even suspected my interest. Unfortunately, neither did he.

Dangerously scaling the rocky wall of Junior High and High School, I donned my favorite scars of the past, as well as the thickest indifference towards any creature with a bulge in its pants. I managed to avoid eye contact with two or three eager, overweight, possibly cross-eyed males that would go as far as shouting my name from across a classroom. I also managed to avoid deeper relationships with the boys that would walk with me to and from school, shyly compliment me among my peers, or join my sport even without the proper gear. My place of safety avoided pregnancy, STD’s, hand-holding in the parks, three-in-the-morning phone conversations and quiet, sincere “I love you’s.”

As soon as I forgot to be afraid, I was sweetly escorted from my comfort zone. Love found me without needing me to prove how right I was, how desperate I wasn’t, or how flirty I could be. I didn’t need to pretend to be mean or disinterested, try to be attractive or even self-sufficient anymore. Besides, none of those other boys were right for me anyway.

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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

fiftiesgal467 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 29, 2011 at 6:43 pm
This was very interesting: humorous, yet your point was very clear! I really like it! By the way, I coincidentally found you and realized that you are also going to New York this summer! I can't wait!
Rebekah664 replied...
May 30, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Thanks for the feedback! I'm Rebekah, which one are you? I'll need to take a look at some of your writing, this will be fun! :D


fiftiesgal467 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 30, 2011 at 3:22 pm
I'm Elana. Oh goodness, my writing seems so amateur compared to everyone elses that I've seen! All I can say is, I'll get some good hard criticism! (:
Rebekah664 replied...
May 30, 2011 at 10:54 pm
Hey Elana! If you like old movies, check out my piece, Skipping Rainbows :) you might appreciate it. Look, don't be self conscious about your writing, we're all selected in the same group for a reason. :D
fiftiesgal467 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 31, 2011 at 10:11 am
Thanks. And I definitely will look at Skipping Rainbows!
1moreriver said...
Mar. 18, 2011 at 1:45 pm
Ouch!  Fun reading this well-written, painfully honest, progression.
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