Sunday, March 3, 2013

How I Met Your Father, Part 3: Senior Year

{Now before I continue the story of Chris and me, I need to get something off my chest. You know how at the end of the last post I mentioned something about how my best friend Jennifer and I would always use the guy selection at BHS as a benchmark of badness? You know --"No decent movies are out right now. I mean even the guy selection at Bartlett is better than this!" etc.? Well, hilariously enough, both of us wound up marrying Bartlett alums... but their story is a whole different blog series, and unfortunately neither of them even has a blog, so if you know them but you don't know their story, you should ask them about it sometime! :)}

{Also I don't want it to sound like this was the chief thing going on my senior year. Rather, it was for sure a background thing, but regardless it managed to be in the background pretty much the entire year... so here goes!}

Oh yeah -- to recap:
Part 1
Part 2
And now Part 3:

On the first day of my senior year, I learned that there weren’t enough students signed up for French 4 for us to have our own class, so we would be sharing a classroom with French 3. That meant that Chris and I would have first period together every morning. Then I wound up being the senior guidance counselor’s assistant in fourth period, right down the hall from Chris’s fourth period class. I’m not really sure how it started, but somehow we figured this out, and he’d come by and wait for me (because even then I was pokey and took forever to get my stuff together) and walk to fifth period with me nearly every day. I was talking to Chris one day when I realized how much he had changed since the spring -- he was really tan from all his time outside at football practice, and he’d also bulked up quite a bit from all his football workouts. Plus, his hair was much shorter now, which was a good thing, at least in 2000! I realized he had somehow blossomed into quite the cutie over the summer.

That meant that I absolutely could not allow myself to develop a full-fledged crush on him! If I did, it would only be a matter of time before I melted into the non-charming goofball that High School Shelby instantly became around guys I liked! But even so, before the bell at the end of fourth period would ring, I would find myself applying extra lipgloss and making sure my hair looked OK, because I knew I was about to see him. 

In fact, the more I talked with him, the more I liked him, as much as I didn’t want to! He was so smart and funny and gentlemanly. He opened doors for me and carried stuff for me when my arms were already too full. On Friday nights and at pep rallies I caught myself gazing at him a few times, all dressed up in his football costume! (He hates it when I call those things costumes, by the way!) 

And sure enough, I started acting like a goon around him. I noticed somewhere along the way that if I went to my locker, which was all the way across the campus from where my fifth period classroom was, he’d follow me there and then backtrack to his classroom -- which would buy me a little more time with him. One day I had absolutely no reason to go to my locker (other than to see him a little bit longer), but I still walked all the way there, with him trailing behind me. Once I got there, I had nothing to put up and nothing to take out. He asked me why I went to my locker, and I said something like “I can’t remember.” AHHH -- what was happening to me?!

It was getting bad. He was even popping up in my diary entries! I had to find a way NOT to like him! I tried to think of compelling reasons: He was a junior. I was a senior. I didn’t want the drama of dating someone I went to school with. Guys from other schools always seemed so much more exotic somehow! (Hilarious looking back on it now, but so true at the time!) I didn't want everyone we knew talking about us. I didn’t know enough about him. In fact, I hardly really knew him. But it was useless: the more I was around him, the more smitten I became, but only my very best friends had any idea. (Apparently either he was dense or I wore my poker face well, because to this day he claims he had NO idea I liked him during that era!)

One Friday, he asked me what my plans were for the weekend. “Nothing really,” I said........... and then he asked how hard the precalculus quiz was. (I had precalculus a few hours before he did.) (And yes, I was just taking precalculus as a senior because I made sure to circumvent the system so that I would have four years of advanced math on my transcript and yet no calculus. That should count as genius, right?) This actually happened quite a bit! He would ask about my plans, but he never got my number, never asked me out. Yet he would wait for me each day and give me plenty of compliments. I was so confused! I didn’t know what he thought of me.

At prom time, I thought he might ask me to the prom. In fact, another friend of mine from church offered to take me since I wasn’t dating anyone, but I told him I’d give him my answer later. I wanted to see if Chris would ask me. The weekend before prom, I told my friend to go get a tux (nothing like the last minute, right?) -- apparently Chris wasn’t asking. And he never did.

Graduation day was getting closer. Chris told me he’d miss me. I remember I held my breath when he signed my yearbook. He asked to borrow it and return it to me later in the day. Alas -- all he wrote was something about keeping the dream alive (ultimate cheesiness!) and having fun in college but not too much fun. And that was that.

I didn’t think he was that big of a deal. I mean, we’d never talked on the phone, never been on a date, never seen each other outside of school. But then we’d seen each other every day at school. He’d told me I was pretty countless times. I was baffled and frustrated by the whole thing, but it wasn’t a huge deal at all. It wasn’t like we’d dated or anything, so forgetting him when I left town for college should be an easy thing to do, right?

To be continued....

Part 4
Part 5

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