When it comes to the world of romantic relationships, I’m a complete and utter dunce. I honestly don’t know what qualifies as flirting. I always assume guys are being polite and making small talk; that’s what I was doing.
Remember when your Mother told you that when boys pick on you at school, it means they like you? I never bought this for second. “No, I’m purty sure they were just being jerks.” Personally I know when I pick on someone it’s because I really don’t like them. Well apparently that rule only applied in grade school; I’m more than certain when high school boys were shouting wonderfully colored phrases and obscenities about my weight, it wasn’t because they had a woody for me.
And yet through all this; do you believe I was actually accused of trying to steal men from other gals? We can roll around on the floor laughing for hours over that one. What in God’s name would they want with me? But to my utter disbelief, it did happen.
In high school my friend Gigi and I were always looking out for my Cousin Amy’s best interest. Amy was sweet, fun and the prettiest lil thing (and she still is), but unfortunately she had inherited that miserable trait from her Mother: Must always have a man. And so obviously Gigi and I took it upon ourselves to approve of her boyfriends, and if we didn’t, we’d find another suitor. We never had much work to do in high school anyway, and playing matchmaker was much more fun, or fending off jerks from the mentally challenged kids.
Well here was Amy with a new boyfriend; there was nothing particularly wrong with him except that he was incredibly dull. But somehow, and from where is beyond me, tension began to mount in this relationship – on dull boy’s side of course. He confided in our dear Amy that he was considering dumping her. The next morning when we pick her up for school out she came, skipping along inna short skirt and her shirt only halfway buttoned. Gigi said, “Oh no,” and quickly buttoned her shirt all the way back up to her neck nearly chokin her.
It was time for a new boyfriend hunt, and we didn’t have to look far. Gigi and I had a mutual acquaintance, our darling boy Josh. In fact Gigi had found him first and couldn’t wait to show him off, he was just the cutest thing. And lest I forget the most important part of this scenario; Amy and Josh had dated previously, in fact I never understood why they broke up. Amy still held a torch for Josh that lit up the night sky and quite frankly he was the only guy we approved of. One small hitch though, Josh had a girlfriend. Gigi’s plan was simple; bold but still simple: Anytime one of us saw Josh with his current, we would run up to him, squeeze between the two and rub all over him. Not surprisingly this plan worked like a charm, and the current What’s Her Face was no more. But oh pooh, Dull Boy decided he liked Amy again. Now we have double duty; breaking those two up while keeping Josh occupied, and that’s where it backfired. For a short, 350 pound 16 year old it’s impossible to believe that an actual man might consider you more than just a friend, and certainly that man would never be a darling blonde headed boy with the most devilish of grins.
And there it was: Josh was no longer interested in Amy, he wanted me. Where the fuck did that come from? It was purty damn hard to hide my giddiness, until Amy’s Mother found out. Amy’s Ma always favored Josh too, but to understand this we need a lil backstory.
When Amy’s Mother, Kaye, was in her early twenties she screwed everything in sight. When she entered the room, even the furniture ran from her. My Mother was on the opposite end of the spectrum; she was shy and thought she was too fat. Obviously from the pictures I’ve posted we know that’s bull. Often when Kaye brought guy of the week back to their apartment he would find Mother much more appealing and interesting. Like me, Mother never understood but Kaye always saw it as a challenge. There was an Air Force base in town and all the boys there knew about Kaye. I’m sure there were lovely things about her scrawled about the walls. I should go back to Forbes Field and check it out someday. One night Kaye brought a very handsome and devilish man home who also would screw anything that didn’t run from him. That man took one look at my Mother and completely lost interest in Kaye. That man later married my Mother then had a kid. Hi! *waving*
When I excitedly told Kaye about Josh she was beet red with anger, but calmly said, “That’s nice.” Then proceeded to remind me how much Amy loved him. Surely you’ve figured out by now that I was racked with guilt, and with much disappointment told Josh no.
Interestingly enough Josh is gay now, Gigi is married and has a lil gurl, Amy is married to a very handsome and wonderful man and Kaye is terminally ill with a rare disease and has to live in nursing home.
A few years down the road I got caught up in that low fat craze; lost my gallbladder but also lost 200 pounds. I was actually under 200 for the first time in years. We’ve seen the photos; I was darn cute. And here we go again:
There’s only one gas station in town that still has Full Service, and there’s a young man whom Amy adores. They told me tales of his beauty, like he was a throwback to the forties. Instead of trying something normal like letting Amy talk to this boy herself, Kaye concocts a most embarrassing and manipulative plan that’ll make you cringe. She decides they’ll bake him cookies, then Kaye will make a big deal of Amy writing the check for gasoline. Kaye points out that Amy’s phone number is on that check and then the boy will car her. I was invited to this lil expedition and accepted cuz I wanted to see this purty boy myself.
My God was he a sight! He honestly looked as though he’d stepped out of some old rebel without a causish movie- sans the poofie hairdo.
Kaye starts her plan in action, but it sounds rehearsed and cheesy. I feel so embarrassed for Amy. Because Amy is the most darling of girls and even though I was much smaller than I used to be, she always insisted I sit up front. The very purty boy was washing the windows and when he came to mine I couldn’t help but grin. How could you not? God he was gorgeous, how could you not? He smiled back at me then opened the door. Freaked the shit outta this fat chick. He said the windows were dirty on the inside too and proceeded to reach over me and start cleaning the front windshield. He smiles at me again and says he’s gonna reach over to a spot way on Kaye’s side. This Adonis is now sitting on my lap. I am in complete and total shock. When he was through they did the embarrassing cookie bit and Kaye made a big deal that it was Amy’s check.
As soon as we drove off I could breathe again. I lost so much oxygen to my brain that day and most likely needed to change my underwear. And then of course what could the giddy fat gurl do but gush. Kaye intercedes and says, “Now Brooke, he’s Amy’s man.” Sweet lil Amy says, “Brookie can have him if she wants.” Now I’m all aboard the guilt train once again.
That handsome boy never did call Amy and I guess that meant the door was open for me, but I didn’t know what the hell I was supposed to do. One thing I knew for certain is to steer clear of the cookie idea. Do I go in there and say, “Hi I’m the gal you gave a lap dance to the other day”? Today I could do it, but back then I was never so bold or confident. Besides, a gorgeous guy like that; what would he want with me? A few months after he moved to Arizona.
Even in my thinnish and utterly cute days I never quite knew what to do. There were times at the grocery when I had one measly bag and this guy was determined to carry it out for me, but what was I supposed to do beyond that? I remember the time Snookie was visiting me in St Louis. We were strolling around a store at Union Station and I swear this guy asked me at least four times if I needed any help; I finally just left so he’d stop bugging me. Sitting in the car waiting for the traffic light to change and I lick my lips because they’re chapped, some guy in the car across from me nods and blows me a kiss. Maybe that’s why I gained all weight back.
I went on my very first date ever last summer with someone I’d met online. At the last moment he mentioned he would be bringing his son along, I figured that was some sort of test so I just agreed. We went out to lunch and then to the aquarium. He was a really nice guy and we seemed to connect so easily. I was also excellent at halting any possible tantrums the four-year-old was ready to bring on; no, not punching him. The kid in the end was tired and actually screeched the entire walk back through Cannery Row – that was a fun moment in history. However when we got back to the car he fell asleep and we were able to just drive around and talk. It was getting later; I was feeling very bold and asked him, “So ya wanna take me to dinner now?” So we went to Phil’s and still had a lovely time. While there he said he’d like to take me out again, minus the kid. When he finally brought me home and got out of the car to see me in, I thought sure he was gonna kiss me. He shoulda kissed me, the dope. A six hour date, with a kid and it was still fabulous!
I never saw him again. He called a couple times, but seemed to have lost total interest. Beats the shit outta me.
So now here I am: I still don’t know what defines as flirting, and I ain’t that cute, thinner and younger gurl anymore – I’m older, fatter, less cute and a helluva lot more bitter. Pray tell who in God’s name would want me now?