The Many Loves of Amalah, Part One
April 30, 2004
After reading all your lovely comments about dickweed ex-boyfriends and Lauren’s charming little story of young love gone haywire, it's obvious I have many, many more days’ worth of entries about my History Of Lurve With The Boys to share with y'all.
So today? Lurve, first-grade style. Heartbreak, Betrayal and Cabbage Patch Kid Lunchboxes.
Flashback (Wayne's World style) to the first day of first grade. I am riding the big school bus. I am gazing lovingly at my yellow Cabbage Patch Kids lunchbox. Oh, how I love it so. I also love my new socks with the pink lace around the ankles. I love my new pack of colored pencils. I love myself.
Suddenly? There’s this BOY sitting next to me. He just got on the bus and then boom. Sitting next to me in all his boydom.
Hi, he says. I’m Matthew. He sticks out his hand. I do not take it. He’s kind of big. Stocky. A bruiser. I am tiny and wee and probably would have snapped in two had this kid sat on me.
Undeterred, he asks me my name. I tell him. And with that, he fell in love.
He was in the first grade too. In my class. Somehow? We were considered boyfriend and girlfriend by our very first recess. He wrote me notes and proudly left MATTHEW LOVES AMY doodles out in plain sight.
I generally ignored him. I had been pretty popular with the boys in nursery school and just took it for granted that boys “liked” me in “that way” or whatever. They were useful when you wanted to play house and needed a Daddy. Also: cooties and mud and such.
(I was also technically in a pretty serious long-term relationship with David, my next-door neighbor, who also loved me. His brother would don a black shirt with a folded tissue tucked in the collar and marry us. Then David and I would rush to see who could declare divorce first. Then we’d get married again. It was adorable.)
But then I met Jason. (No, not the current Jason. The first in a long series of other Jasons, Johns, James and Joshes that I would date. Seriously. Had a thing with the J names. But we’ll discuss them in future entries.)
This Jason was beautiful. Oh my gawd. He had curly blond hair and blue eyes and dimples. He was a child model for fuck’s sake and had the J.C. Penney back-to-school circular to prove it. All the girls loved him.
I would sometimes chase him around the playground and try to kiss him. One time I caught him and kissed his ear. He had very nice, clean ears.
I have no idea what Matthew thought about all this. I don’t think there was any kind of scandal or Earlobegate or anything. Matthew still asked to sit with me on the bus every day. Most days I let him and we argued over things, like whose house we'd live in after we got married. Other days I was off with my friend Allison Last-Name-Withheld-Because-She-Was-And-May-Still-Be-Evil building forts out of our books and bags in the back row seats.
He bought me a heart-shaped box of candy for Valentine’s Day. We held hands sometimes too.
But. Then. I got on the bus one afternoon and Matt and Allison were in the back row. I walked back to sit with them and they both stuck their legs out across the seats and told me I couldn’t sit there. I started to sit a row ahead of them. Allison said those seats were saved. I moved up a row. Matt said those were saved.
(Now, I was a smart kid but I was not a smart kid. Rather than tell them to go eat boogers or whatever my version of “fuck off” was at that age, I let the humiliation continue. I kept walking back towards the front of the bus trying to sit down. And every time one of them yelled, “That’s saved!” I got up and moved again. Dumbass. And crybaby.)
It went on like this for days. Matthew sat with Allison and I was not allowed anywhere near them. Matthew told me he didn’t like me anymore. I cried. Oh, how I cried. I cried so hard on the bus one day that a fourth grader noticed and said disapprovingly to Matthew, “You must have broken Amy’s heart.” He just shrugged in response and I cried harder.
I moped about it off the bus too. One day at recess Jason the Gorgeous Golden Child came running up to me. “Doncha wanna chase me today, Amy?” he asked, already crouched in position to bolt the minute I said yes.
But instead, I shook my head no and wandered off to sulk on a swing. Jason just stood there, dumbfounded.
Sigh. Oh, Allison Last-Name-Withheld-Because-She-Was-And-May-Still-Be-Evil. You were my very first archenemy.
And Matthew Smith. You were my very first love.