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  • Writer's pictureSheena Boekweg


Updated: Oct 23, 2020

So for the next couple of weeks, I'm going to be telling you guys a story. My story. The story about how I met and fell in love with my hot handsome husband, Darren.

This is the end of that story, but to get a full picture, I have to start at the beginning. The first time I ever fell in love.

I was in elementary school. His name was Chase, and he had dark hair that fell in an exact line above his eyebrows, green eyes, and a cute smile. He sat in the desk behind me in class. I didn't say much to him except occasionally things like, "Here's your paper," or "Would you stop kicking my chair?" He was adorable, and at recess I'd watch him as he played kickball with the other boys. Then one day, he copied off of my math test. The teacher kept us both in from recess, so he couldn't play kickball, and I couldn't watch him play kickball, and we were in serious trouble. Well, I was anyway. Chase, the jerk, had told the teacher I was the one who had copied off of HIM, and despite my protests, I'm the one who got in trouble.

Jokes on you, Chase. I suck at math.

In Elementary, I learned that boys could be jerks.

But I still really liked them. To say that I was boy crazy would be an accurate description, but my lesson from Chase taught me to cover my paper better, and to not put all my eggs in one basket, so from then on out, I had a tier system. If you were semi cute, and semi nice then you found your way onto my list, Elementary and Junior High School boys. The roster would change consistently, but I had about five starters at all times. At least until I was fourteen. By this time, I had learned that boys could do worse things than copy a math test and blame it on you. Much worse things. When you like someone as much as I liked boys, you put them on a pedestal, and as such they were a distant and an unknowable thing. I really liked boys, but I thought of them as almost another species. The idea that they were people never crossed my mind. They were boys. And by the time I was fourteen, the idea of boys were tarnished by the world I lived in. I'd go for a walk, and check behind bushes for an attacker. I'd have a buddy when I went to the restroom, because you never know. I'd heard of IT happening to girls that I knew and loved, and I knew how common IT was, and part of me was waiting for my turn at torture and scared of all men everywhere. I knew good men. My dad is a good man, my brother and his friends were good male kids, but boys? Boys were distant and unknowable creatures. I both loved them and feared them, and wanted one of my own. About this time I started going to regional dances, which in the Mormon culture is a place teenagers 14-18 could go and dance to the music their parents heard in high school, and where the boys would sit and talk about video games, and the girls would hide in the bathroom and cry over the boys who were sitting and talking about video games. I was not the kind of girl who cried in the bathroom. I was the kind of girl who stood near the boys, keeping my face in the practiced eyes-wide, mouth closed, expression that I thought made me look the prettiest, but actually made me look slightly deranged, as I waited for one of the boys on my roster to try to climb to the top of the list by asking me to dance. I did not speak to them, I just hovered, in their vicinity, looking like a crazy person, and also feeling like I was at my prettiest. The boys still never noticed. That's where I was when I met Anthony. Anthony was adorable. He looked, and I kid you not, like a young Leonardo Dicaprio (This was him, I'm not even kidding) with dark hair, and I was very into this young Leonardo Dicaprio with dark hair. I didn't even see him coming, he literally bumped into me, and then asked me to dance, and I was smitten. Gone was the list. There was only Anthony.  But I was terrified of him, and didn't say a single word the entire time we awkwardly shuffled back and forth in tiny pointless circles. But I found out from my friends afterwards that he went to my school. Oh, I liked him.  The next year, he was in my History Class, and the teacher, a blessed woman, had set up her classroom so that half of the desks faced the other half of the desks, and Anthony sat opposite me. Technically a few rows to the side of me and a couple seats back, but it didn't matter, because I could see him and he could see me. I tried to do the whole eye flirt thing my friends could do, where you stare at them until they see you, and quickly glance away, but I wasn't very good at it. I'd quickly glance at him, and then wait for him to glance at me, and then he didn't... and then other people in the class started noticing me always staring at this one boy and started teasing me, so then I vowed not to look at him ever again, and then I broke that vow again and again. But I never talked to him. Except one day when he bumped into me in the hall, and put both of his hands on my shoulders and told me (and I quote) to, "Watch where you are going." Now I'm wondering if maybe Anthony needed glasses. Anyway, he disappeared as quickly as he came, this cute boy I never talked to. But I was older, and wiser after Anthony. I learned the important lesson, that you have to talk to boys in order to fall in love. And thus began the Third Age. We shall call it, the Age of the Friendzone.

Part Two

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