From the Red Sea to Greenland, they'll be singing the blues
Well they never Arkansas her steal the Mekong from the jungle
Tell me, where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?
—"Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" Rockapella
I'm nine, and I like my first girl.
This is a little strange for me. Up until now in my life, girls have basically been "other" and largely to be avoided. My sisters are girls, and that's fine, but they're about the only girls I really interact with regularly. And even they, and especially their friends, are to be messed with whenever possible. Usually by standing very still around the corner, sometimes for a good long while, just to jump out and yell BOO! at the top of my lungs at the exact right moment and then roll around in laughter at how high they jump, ignoring their angry shouting and arm slapping. (I don't do this anymore, but I think I've really just needed an opportunity. I think I kept it up all the way through high school.) My best friend Mark and I spend much of our time at his house plotting to bother our little sisters. We hatch harebrained schemes, come up with devious ways to annoy and surprise, and—maybe twice, ever—we put them into action, to our sisters' very, very mild annoyance. Truly, we were rock stars who had gone to Mars, and girls had all gone to Jupiter to get even stupider, if that were possible.
But now there's Allison. She has long brown hair, big pretty eyes. When she talks in class, my heart flutters. I'm nervous when she's around, but nervous in a good way. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before; it's a little like suddenly having a disease that you're embarrassed to talk to anyone about. "Cooties," maybe. I don't have anyone I can really go to for advice on this matter; not my sisters, certainly, and it doesn't even occur to me to ask my parents. And Mark is out of the picture—I'm fairly certain this represents a fundamental betrayal of the boy-centric nature of our friendship. No, I'm on my own if I'm going to deal with this.
I have no plan. No end goal. I just know I need to impress Allison. Somehow. I don't know anything about Allison, really, apart from the way she looks. She has black nail polish, so I figure: she must like music.
As an adult, I'm genuinely unsure how this mental connection came about, but there it was: black nail polish = likes music. So I have to find some music to give Allison. I think about it for a while, and eventually figure I will just give her my favorite tape, and hope that she thinks it is as cool as it totally is.
Which is how I end up going up to a girl I've never spoken to before, saying, "Hey, you should listen to this" and handing her a tape of Rockapella music.
Allison, if you're out there: I'm sorry for the confusion this incident must have caused you. I was young and in love, and I had no idea what to do.
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dicknella/9808482/