I have no idea what exactly happened to me at around age 13, but I’m preeeetty sure it was hormone-related. I went from being this sweet – if incredibly nerdy – little blonde girl to suddenly deciding to dive head-first into the totally compelling world of EMO. I didn’t dye my hair – not straight away, anyway – but I did gather every black item of clothing I could find (for reference, a cute black fleece from Gap and some light-grey jeans. I was a work in progress).
And then I started crushing on boys, and Science lessons at school turned from me actually concentrating and getting good grades and knowing what the oil refining process was into HORMONAL BOYCRUSH HELL.
My friends and I created lists. Nothing is more romantic than lists. We had the 100 Things A Boy Must Do list – including things like “kiss you in the rain” and “kiss you on a swing” and yeah okay maybe it was just a list of kiss-locations – and we let the WHOLE YEAR join in. No one learned any science for WEEKS. I don’t think most of us had ever even kissed a boy, let alone on a swing.
We also – oh, god, this is embarrassing too – we had a list of all the boys we knew, the ones who mostly attended the boys’ school next door – and we RANKED THEM. We gave them marks out of 10 for all sorts of things: hair, eyes, sense of humour, fashion sense – and of course, obviously the boys found out and retaliated with their own. Theirs was less nice – sexiness and leg length and butt diameter and whatever else boys care about. I did not rank highly, though there was a little bit of favouritism because you tended to give your girl/boyfriend a high mark in at least one category.
And I had a diary. Of course I had a diary. I’ve always been a writer, and I’ve always poured out my deepest, darkest secrets somewhere because I am shameless and I love #content. MySpace was too out in the open, so I got a diary.
I wrote about all the boys I liked.
The guy from Northamptonshire, which seemed so far away before I had a car (60 minutes on the train! SO FAR). We kissed in the rain at summer camp; we danced to Robbie Williams’ Angels in a brightly-lit disco tent. It was so romantic. He called me on Christmas just to say hi. He started dating someone else a week later.
The guy I wasn’t interested in until he fell for someone else. The first guy I had a panic attack over! Ahahaha, young love (and too much vodka it was probably the vodka).
The guy who burned me with a cigarette lighter, which at the time seemed like, I don’t know, a silly teasing thing to do? But it wasn’t, that was horrible, and wow I hope that guy isn’t still being an absolute penis to people.
The guy who I thought was super cute but who had also dated, like four of my closest friends. He had brown eyes, I remember that. He looked good in a shirt.
I was awful then. Awful in the sense that I was distracted and lovesick and quite selfish in that peculiarly teenage way. I’m still learning the ropes, here, and I probably always will – because I’ll always be that naive, romantic puppy that falls too hard and too fast – but I hope I can look back at all of these mistakes *gestures grandly to everything above* and think to myself, “WELL AT LEAST I WON’T DO THAT AGAIN”.
Except getting kissed in the rain. That’s always nice.