Monday, November 26, 2007

Do You Remember Your First Childhood Crush?

Do you remember your first childhood crush? Mine was on a boy named Dexter, in my third grade class.

I don't remember much about him, except that he loved to draw, and drew a perfect Charlie Brown from Peanuts. Dexter sat across from me in class, so I watched him draw everyday instead of listening to our teacher. Actually, my third grade teacher's voice was reminiscent of the adult voices in the Charlie Brown television specials anyway-
a muffled bloc, bloc, bloc ... Our poor teacher rambled a bunch of jumbled grown-up words, that we "bright-eyed and bushy tailed" third graders, hadn't the slightest interest in, especially me, since Dexter was the center of my world. Our teacher's name was Mrs. Keysler, she wore cat-eyed sixties style glasses with a chain that jangled when she walked, thereby warning us of her presence at recess.

Anyway back to Dexter, who I wouldn't remember as well if it weren't for a humiliating experience in class one day. I was staring at him, my heart ricocheting in my chest, when I noticed a shiny whistle on his desk. Any other time I wouldn't have taken my eyes off Dexter, but this day was different, because he brought the whistle, and the whistle was stiff competition. Dexter's new whistle wasn't one of those toy whistles one would find in a Kracker Jack box... no sirree. Dexter's whistle was a genuine silver army grade whistle, and I was fascinated by it. Dexter noticed me staring at it resting on the corner of his desk by his drawing pad, so he quietly picked it up and placed it in my hand, while Mrs. Keyster continued with bloc, bloc, bloc, bah, bloc in the background... I felt an array of exciting new emotions overwhelm me, beginning with feeling like a different person. I was holding the whistle Dexter put in my hand, and sitting close enough to him to touch his copper colored hair. I was in a trance as I turned the whistle over and over in my hand, put it in my mouth, and blew it as hard as I could- the room went silent.

However, the hushed sound of children’s voices began to fill the empty silence, followed by that snickering sound children make before the finger pointing begins... It's such an annoying tactic among tattlers, whose goal at this time in their life, is early retirement from their duties as teachers pet. I could feel the stares, and of course, see their self-serving tattler fingers rise to the occasion, which happened to be in my direction! I heard one little girl cry, “She is sooo dumb!” as I sat there horrified, my face growing hot and flushed with humiliation.

Humiliation is just one of an array of emotions I associate with the day I blew Dexter's whistle; it's also one of those funny to me now, not so funny then, experiences especially since my teacher made me stand in the back of the classroom the rest of the day.

After that, Dexter (who may have turned out to be an illustrator) looked at me with a cautious look on his face for what seemed like the rest of my life, and the girl who called me “soooo dumb” turned out to be one of my closest friends, even if it was years later. We never know what our children are going through in a day, or experiencing with their first crush, do we?

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ndpthepoetress Jean Michelle Culp said...

Kinda gives Whistle Blowers a whole new meaning, seeming there were several that day :)

I remember my first crush, or rather the kid who had the crush on me. His name was John Wright and even when our Family moved, at such a young age – he wrote me! To this day, I still have that letter from him. said...

Michelle, it was so sweet of him to write you. I bet that letter is great. It's wonderful that you still have it after all of these years.

Thanks for the comment. I hope you're having a nice evening. :))


Unknown said...

Oh, yeah. I remember. I wrote a To Whom It May Concern letter announcing the object of all my youthful ardor. It was supposed to be a private letter.

However, it fell out of our car at a gas station and magically appeared in my 4th grade class next day - in the hands of the class clown.

Oh, the psychic pain! said...

living by learning, Oh my gosh! My mouth dropped open when I read your comment. That sounds like everyone's worst nightmare! You poor thing.

It makes one wonder how any of us made it through childhood in one piece, or did we? :)

Thanks for the great comment~

Ann said...

Wonderful piece...a story right out of Mushy's playbook!

Mine was Cynthia...first grade...but I lost her because I could print my letters better than her. I was trying to impress her, but didn't realize I was making her feel inadequate and she started hating me for it.

Oh well, a quick lesson learned that I never forgot. said...

Mushy, You poor thing. I hate those kind of lessons. When you're trying hard and you're still misunderstood. That is the worst feeling. It seems like the first crush is synonymous with embarrassment. Which stands to reason why we remember them so well. Great comment~


BillyWarhol said...

It was prolly one of my Teachers but sadly not Hottie Teacher Debra LaFave!!



May have been Mrs. Hope with da Cute Toesies + Nylon Stockings in Grade 3!!