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This is a question Teenage Crushes - Part Two

Freddie Woo writes: I've still got weird feelings for a well-known female TV presenter from the 1980s. I'm now in my forties, work in the same building as her and she follows me on a number of social networking sites. And now, she knows about it.

Tell us about the teenage crushes that still make you go wobbly.

(, Thu 5 Nov 2009, 11:04)
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Cowardice & Emily Bronte
*If you're not into cathartic and nostalgic ramblings, look away now.*

To paraphrase Brian Eno, keeping diaries will only ever give you a detailed insight into all the early-Januaries of your life. It's almost impossible to commit to a diary full time. The longest I ever managed was for 6 months a couple of years ago. I set about detailing my past. Except my past is almost exclusively populated by embarrassing situations or complete non-events surrounding girls I fancied. So here, straight out of the diary and brought to you in unashamed honesty, is an anthology of all my (sometimes pre)teenage crushes.

Saying I've never had much luck with women is like saying Hitler was a bit harsh on Jews. I don't know why I've been so unlucky. Maybe it's because I like old music. Maybe it's because I never really got into being fashionable. Maybe it was because I mixed with the right crowd at school. Maybe it's because I'm blonde. They say blondeness is a sign of fertility and therefore an attractive quality. I can't think of a single section of society that likes blonde men. Except Hitler, but enough of that. Most English men like blonde, American women (Cameron Diaz), most English women like dark-haired, Irish men (Westlife), most American women like dark-haired, English men (Hugh Grant) and most American men like burgers and cheese (Kirsty Alley). Frankly, in the modern world, a blonde English man stands no chance.

My first dabblings with women was when I was 7 with a girl I knew at school called Sarah, from South Africa. She moved away a year later, but a few years ago I tracked her down and met up with her near Reading, where she lives. I would like to highlight that it was only once, nothing happened and I've not been back since. Also, I'm not a stalker. (Thinking about it, she perfectly fitted the criteria of qualities I look for in women which I've since attributed to Cheryl Cole. Maybe it goes back further than I think.)

A year later was a girl called Lauren. I was 8 and "on the rebound" and, at our school at that time, pretend marriages were all the rage. So we were going to get hitched. It was all great and exciting. The big day haunts me still. She came down the aisle and all was well. It came to the "I do"s and she turned to me. She and her 2 bridesmaids, in startling harmony, shouted "No!" right in my face and ran off giggling. I didn't find it very funny. The crowd dispersed like salt in water and I was left alone. I held it together till I got the boys toilets and then bawled my little heart out. She was the first girl I ever danced with too. A couple of years on, I found myself going out with her again. On a school trip to the Isle of Wight for 4 or 5 days we were closer than ever. That isn't really saying much as it was back in the day when going out with someone meant smiling at them in the classroom and passing notes. On the last night of the trip there was a disco. I'd never had so much fun before. What a perfect way to end it. All credit to my dad, who was one of the parents helping organise the trip. At the end of the disco, the last song played was My Heart Will Go On from Titanic. There was me and Lauren awkwardly stood sort-of next to each other and not really knowing what to do. Along comes my dad, who must've clocked this, and starts pairing people up. The legend. So we danced. I say danced. We hugged whilst gently swaying. Christ, this is taking me back. Those were magical days. The second the song finished we turned on our heels and walked off in opposing directions. I don't know if we were both shy or just me. Maybe she'd heard from someone that a couple of days previous I'd stood on top of a bunk bed and had a roommate photograph me entirely naked but for a small (yes, small) piece of paper covering my pre-pubescent modesty with "I LOVE YOU" written on it. (At EIGHT... ffs.) That rumour, well, fact, got about incredibly quickly. This being the days before text messaging. I shredded that picture when it came through. You could barely read the words anyway... A little while after that trip we broke up because I thought she fancied someone else. I was right. His name was, and in all likelihood still is, Charles. Not only was he ginger (proper, pale ginger) but he was French too. Gene Hunt would have had a field day. She started going out with him immediately. The prick. I've seen her since and her love life was in a right mucking fuddle. Good.

I nearly forgot. A couple of years after all this, when I was 13 (finally, we're on topic), she phoned me up and asked me out. Being the barely sentient arrogant twunt I undoubtably was I took it all in stride. We went out once. Didn't talk much. We went bowling with some friends and I doubt we exchanged a whole sentance all night. I didn't hear from her again for a whole year, when she, again out of the blue, called me up to call me a sleazy, lying, two-faced, cheating bastard. I would have asked her how she'd reckoned that one out, but I was in the middle of a nose bleed at the time so I just said "Alright then, bye" and hung up. She could have been joking for all I know.

Well into teenage angst territory now and attention falls on Roxanna who lived, and still lives, down the road from me. I met her at one of the many barbeques we used to have at my house. I knew she faniced me from the subtleties of our conversations. I just remembered how long this whole affair was going on for before it all got fucked up. Word got out that I was going to ask her out. She got shy and instantly went off me. We've since got back in touch and I realise now it was for the best. She's far too serious.

Shortly afterwards, in the same year, I developed a paralising crush on her best mate, Gemma. Gemma was tall, olive skinned and dark. She also had a boyfriend called Nick. As this all happened so long ago, the foreshortening effect of hindsight makes it seem like it was over in a heartbeat, but trust me, it was a very long time. Relativity, as Einstein would tell us. Way back then I was still naively confident that girls liked me. Gemma did, at any rate, so she wasn't really helping me shake off the delusion. In one day, she dumped Nick and gave me opportunity to go out with her. I remember it now. I'm there. In the centre of the school playground. I stood facing her and she smiled at me. Just me and her... and about 60 onlookers forming an equidistant circle around us, watching intently. Some delightful chap yelled "Kiss her!". Kiss her? Kiss Gemma? The girl who I fantasized about while listening to Here, There and Everywhere? Kiss her? Her? Kiss? Infront of all of you? Fuck no. I lost my bottle, which promply smashed on the floor showering her feet in metaphorical orange squash. My nerve was gone. The onlookers stared, unsure of what to do. Poke the husk? He might be alive in there. But no. I wasn't. I was devastated. How could I be so cowardly? Was this me? Was this who I am? How could someone like this even hope to deal with life?

After her was the most powerful, certainly the most resonant, crush I was ever victim to. The one about which I thought of as true, real love. Maybe it was, but I never got the chance to find out. A lovely girl. Lovely from head to toe, skin to bone. She could do nothing to upset anyone. I think by now I must have been 14 because I would fantasise about corrupting this very angel and fucking her silly on my bedroom floor. From the moment I saw her she infatuated me. Beautiful, pale face. Golden hair. Sapphire eyes. I was amazed. For months, whole terms would slip by and I would just fancy her, think of her, dream of her. Finally I plucked up the courage to do what a real man would do. I asked her friend for her e-mail address. I added her on MSN and on the odd occasion when she would come online I would talk enthusiastically at her. She didn't know who I was, but she was lovely, so she talked back. I remember one day, back in the real world, I spoke to her for the first time. I pointed to her with my begloved hand (which was also holding a Coke can) and said "It was me you were talking to online". She smiled and said "Oh, okay" without breaking stride and she was gone. So aloof. So unobtainable. So ethereal. Then, one sunny Valentines Day, when I was sat at my computer, alone, she came online. Fuck it, thought I, death or glory awaits. "Hello" I began. When she replied I spared no thought for hesitation or subtlety and dove in head first. "I love you", I typed. Then my computer crashed. By the time I got back online, she was gone. When she came on again later that day, I was still in great spirits. Glory, I thought. But no. I had shocked her. She didn't love me. Of course she didn't love me. She didn't even know me. I carried on "loving" her, though she had changed schools and moved away, for about another 3 years. At the leaving party for year 11 she made a surprise appearance. I hadn't seen her in years, I was now tucking into my hormones like there was no tomorrow and she turned up in a skin tight, black leather catsuit. I don't know how I didn't die that night. She even danced with me for a bit. I say danced. She danced while I rhythmlessly swung my arms and shuffled my feet and generally looked and felt like embarrasment personified and feeling very self-conscious about the whole personification situation. She said to me, "When you next meet a nice girl, don't send her love letters right away". I remember going outside and feeling the slow dawning realisation that she was in the doorway watching me. I sat there, trying to ignore her on that chair. That chair whose left hind leg sunk into the soft mud and flung me backwards across the wet grass. I picked myself up and looked over. She was gone. Forever. I wonder where Elizabeth is right now...

I wish I could tell you that any of these stories ended happily but, true to teenage tradition, they never did. Like I said. Maybe it was my lack of fashion interest, my taste in music or the colour of my hair, but things just never worked out for me.

A short time after, when I must have been 17, I fell for a classically pretty girl. My attraction was entirely about her looks. A beautiful distraction from the baggage I'd accumulated from years of pining for Elizabeth. Her name was May and she was, at that time, perfect for me. Gorgeous and seemingly no hidden depth. That's not to say she was shallow. Far from it. But she wore her heart on her sleeves and what you saw was what you got. And I liked what I saw. In classic Meek style, I did quite literally nothing about this. So cowardly (which I'd learned from the Gemma experience) and so bumbling (which Elizabeth had taught me) was I that I let her slip by. Despite evidence to suggest she wouldn't have rejected me like all the others, I played it safe and sat admiring from afar. One day, an epiphone befell me, seemingly out of boredom, and I decided, you know what? Bollocks. I'm going to ask her out. I think she likes me. I went and found her. There she was. This attractive, open and caring person. With Luke. The cunt. The cunt. The cunt. The absolute cunt. He asked her out the day before. Sometimes I wonder if there is method behind this chaos but I soon realise that no, there is none. We are all flung about, colliding, reacting, causing and affecting. It was just shit luck and a lesson well learned. More powerful and poignant than all the others. Don't let great things pass you by.


Here the diary entries end. After that I was spent. I had no more to hope for. I felt useless. I saw no point in pursuing anyone. Noone was pursuing me so why should I bother?

Well, the place where this baroque charade had been staged, my secondary school, called me back. Little did I know it wished to pay me back for all my pubescent years of tortured teenage heartache with the greatest gift of all. I only went there to pick up my mate's A-level certificates. I dropped in on my old media studies teacher and he told me that he was going to be shooting a TV pilot episode right there in the school over summer and asked if I'd lend a hand (I was, at the time, studying Sound Design). I told him I would be delighted. It was fun. For the first couple of days my work was focused and professional. From day 3 onwards, you might aswell have left the boom mic on the floor for the good it would have done. It swayed in and out of shot. It bumped against the ceiling. Listening to the final cut I'm amazed it managed to pick up any dialogue at all. It's operator, me, was distracted by the smiling face of a dark-haired, brown eyed, leggy and thoroughly lovely girl. She was my dream. She had come true. In one of the classrooms we were shooting in, a quote was printed on the wall. "He who dares not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose" - Emily Bronte. It hit me. And it stung. It hurt with the pain of all those years of fear and cowardice and regret. All those wasted opportunities. All those months I squandered in limerent hiding. That single statement summed up exactly what was wrong with me and my life. I'd always wanted that which I was too afraid to take. Well not this time.

On the final day of shooting, I gave this girl, lets called her Sophie (that being her name etc) a lift home. Shortly before she left the car, I steeled myself and passed her my phone. I mumbled something about numbers and she got the gist. She gave me her number. For the first time in my life, a girl gave me her number. And I felt 14 again; presumably because that's when a girl is supposed to give you her number for the first time.

That was 2 and a half years ago now and we're together and couldn't be happier.

I know that alot of people who frequent this site are older than me, but I also know that there are some fairly young whipper-snappers among us too. So heed Emily's advice. If you crave the rose, grasp the thorn.
(, Thu 5 Nov 2009, 23:28, 17 replies)
Top post, sir
Excellent stuff!!!
(, Thu 5 Nov 2009, 23:37, closed)
coming from you
that means alot. thank you
(, Thu 5 Nov 2009, 23:39, closed)
No worries buddy
Just out of interest, how old are you?

Don't worry, I'm not trying to groom you...
(, Thu 5 Nov 2009, 23:54, closed)
i'm 21
and i met Sophie in the final months of being 18. A happy ending to teenage angst after all
(, Fri 6 Nov 2009, 0:01, closed)
A happy ending indeed
Again, gotta say this is a great bit of writin'. Glad things worked out for you. I've got mates who are about as talkative as a scabby dead horse round the ladies, just sort of clam up like the proveribal clam sucking on a tube of superglue... but there really is someone for everyone out there. Even my tosspot mates have actually found themselves lovely girlfriends and in some cases even wives... and they didn't even buy them from Russia on the internet.

Brings a tear to my eye. Nice one. Keep it up, mate.
(, Fri 6 Nov 2009, 0:10, closed)
lovely post
*click*

But don't jump in. Because it's all lies. Rejection is a bitch
(, Thu 5 Nov 2009, 23:48, closed)
Awww
I really like this, very nicely told. I've never subscribed to the school of "just admire from afar and do sod all". Partly because that's a shit name for a school, but mostly because of the moral of your story.
I wish you and your girly much happiness x
(, Fri 6 Nov 2009, 0:08, closed)
Lovely post there sir.
We're clicking you up the list.
(, Fri 6 Nov 2009, 5:15, closed)
Excellent post
Deserving of worthy clickage.

Especially seeing as I'm blond myself and can identify with your pain!
(, Fri 6 Nov 2009, 8:34, closed)
this
is a proper reply and earns a big click
(, Fri 6 Nov 2009, 9:29, closed)
I'm 21 as well fella
I know every single feeling you've detailed in there. You were lucky that you never fell for your own best friend, and wasted a year lusting after her.

I'm lucky that I was a late bloomer, and only started talking to girls from the age of 14 onwards.

Even so mate, cracking post, well written, and brilliant that this all worked out well for you.

*click*

(Btw, the naked photo idea? GENIUS. That is all.)
(, Fri 6 Nov 2009, 10:11, closed)
Brilliantly written.
I was fully expecting a week of lists, not a clever, well written funny tale.

Only downfall is this is QOTW, no truth allowed.

Keep up the good work!
*Click*
(, Fri 6 Nov 2009, 10:27, closed)
Awesome!
Just awesome.
Much happiness to you and Sophie.
(, Fri 6 Nov 2009, 10:28, closed)
"I can't think of a single section of society that likes blonde men"
London voters, sadly.

But an excellent story.
(, Fri 6 Nov 2009, 14:32, closed)
...Hitler was a bit harsh on Jews
earned my click. The rest earns my applause.
I'm 20 in a couple of weeks. We young b3tans are currently observing the masters at work. Continue with this level of quality and fine morals you will surely become one of them. Top post!
(, Fri 6 Nov 2009, 14:50, closed)
Winner
If there's a better or more apt post this week I will eat my hamster's droppings (and post photographs)

On the eve of my 44th birthday you have made me feel 14 again. Thank you for sharing your journey and helping me relive mine
(, Tue 10 Nov 2009, 21:48, closed)
All that ...
... and no length gag
(, Wed 11 Nov 2009, 7:25, closed)

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