3:11 PM: Horsies and Neuroses

I'm not the kind of guy that can easily impress girls. Every relationship I've pursued has ended in complete failure, from as far back as the third grade to today, October 12, 2005. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to start looking back and figuring out why I'm the way I am. I figured that the best way for me to figure out what really happened is to write about every girl I've had feelings for since I've been old enough to know what feelings are, and try to pinpoint the exact time and place where everything went horribly wrong in each case.

Today's entry is about Elizabeth Dunn, my first real crush all the way back in the third grade. Stay tuned for future updates featuring post-homecoming high fives, drunken e-mails, horse girls, torn ligaments, my first attempt at impressing a girl by feeding mice to a snake, plenty of vomit, AIM, the police, gang warfare, slip 'n slides, Facebook, Disney World, and much much much more. This should be fun.

I don't plan on calling anyone out, so no worries. None of my real dirty laundry will make it onto the Tard. These entries are more about formative experiences during my elementary/middle school years than anything else.

Elizabeth Dunn was the biggest slut in the third grade. On the school playground, she would hold hands with anything that breathes air, and wasn’t afraid to use her tongue to get what she wanted.
Naturally, after watching her in action for a few weeks from the kickball field, I began to develop a crush on the redhead, and wasted away most of my school days trying to think up ways to tell her how I felt, hoping to one day walk her back from the soccer fields that ran parallel to our classroom, hand-in-glove-in-hand.
I spent the rest of the school year hedging my bets with Lizzie, and never approached her, choosing to focus most of my attention on Mrs. Grice, our super-hot homeroom teacher.
Summer came, with no new developments on the Dunn front. I was ready to give up on everything when I finally had my breakthrough.
Day camp is a two week program run by the City of Auburn Parks and Recreation department every summer. It’s basically a Boys and Girls club for white people...a public service for parents who are looking for a cheap way to keep their kids busy during the summer.
I was a seasoned day camp veteran, thanks to my mother working down the street at Wrights Mill Road Elementary School and getting a discount, so when she dropped me off the first day I knew what I was getting myself into.
I settled in, shot some hoops, made a (haha, wacky!) penis (get it?) out of clay in arts and crafts, and waited for a sack lunch that never came.
It was camp tradition to walk around the AJHS campus for half an hour at the end of each day, singing songs about jelly beans and candy cane whistles, picking up any litter we saw, and, for the kids who stayed in the back of the line, making casual threats and settling scores with fists, teeth, and toothpick-knives.
I was always a back of the line kid, as was Ms. Dunn. While walking around campus, Elizabeth and I would argue with each other about everything from how to spell/pronounce vagina (my money was on “pagina”) to where tears come from (“I think it’s what happens when your brain needs to pee”), and, eventually, my feelings for her.
Well, I didn’t actually tell her. During a lull in one of our more spirited arguments (yes, there are black people in heaven too, Lizzie), I looked her in the eye, scrunched up my nose, and dove in, planting a spectacular failure of a kiss on the lower lip/chin region of her face.
Before I could gauge her reaction, my legs decided that the best thing to do was run away. I got all the way to my mom’s summer school classroom before my overzealous ways caught up with me, and, pants afire, I was driven back to the gym to explain the whole situation to my mother and the head counselor.
Her parents were there as well, and were appalled that their daughter had been caught associating with such a strange, timorous (<-not anymore, bitch->) little boy.
My mom played her part in front of the counselors, but made it clear how impressed she was at my assertiveness on the ride home, nicknaming me “sweet lips,” a title that continues to haunt me at every family reunion and funeral I attend. I’m sure she was also happy to know that I liked girls.
Elizabeth didn’t come back to day camp, and wasn’t allowed to talk to me the next school year. I never got to ask her what she thought about the kiss, but I don’t think she minded.
I didn’t kiss a girl again for five years, probably because I was more into Star Wars and my Nintendo 64 than the androgynous pterodactyl/squirrel creatures that pass for girls at that age (and because I was socially inept and ugly, obvs), but that kiss will always be my first truly life affirming memory.