When Mrs. G. was a sophomore in high school, she had a crush on a boy named Joe. Like any crush worth its salt, it was unrequited. Joe, a junior, knew Mrs. G. existed but he was regrettably disentranced. While her heart would accelerate when she saw him walking down the hall, nine times out of ten, he would cruise on by in his straight-leg jeans and skinny tie, clueless or careless depending on the day. Occasionally, he administered a scrap of interest -- mainly when he needed a ride. 

In December of 1983, one afternoon when Mrs. G. was driving him home, Joe casually mentioned he might be interested in Mrs. G. Book-smart but not heart-smart, Mrs. G. jumped at the chance to maybe be liked. It was a risk worth taking. He was prime time high school real-estate. He had a Members Only jacket.

Two days before Christmas, Mrs. G. picked Joe up to go to a movie. When she walked into his house to get him, he was digging through a sack.

"I bought a gift today," he said.

"You didn't need to do that," Mrs. G. said, elated.

"Awwwkward. It's not for you."

At the intersection of humor and humble pie, Mrs. G. realized you couldn't force someone to like you. After about four more tries, it sunk in. 

Good old Joe.

Mrs. G. eventually started charging him gas money and moved on.

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Reader Comments (13)

Those damn Members Only jackets will get you every time.

December 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMissy D

Gosh, I miss the skinny ties.

December 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersuburbancorrespondent

He wore Capizios. Need I say more?

December 18, 2013 | Registered CommenterMrs. G.

I can instantly burst into flames of decades-old humiliation when I remember the lengths to which I went to get some boy to like me. Why, oh, WHY didn't we figure it out after the first time? Or, even better, why weren't we born knowing how awful this would make us feel and NOT DO IT?

It eventually helped when I chose to forgive them all for being as clueless as I was. (Like, recently.) I didn't know how to behave like an smart adult and clearly, neither did they. (Especially the ones who "wore Capezios". I'm sorry if I made their lives any harder than they already were.)

Thanks for sharing this slice of humble pie!

December 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenny Explains It All

Capezios????? I didnt know they made men's shoes, other than dance shoes. Did he really? You're totally better off!

December 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAunt Snow

Freshman year. Marching band. The Sousaphone player was a charming blond. I got no closer than a few snarky comments about marching band. Still, I treasure the moments. Honestly, it made my day that he even talked to me.

December 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSmalltown Me

Bob. That's all I have to say.

(Well, other than you really captured that bittersweet time.....)

December 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTC

You are a far better & smarter woman than I, Mrs. G.
I can't even count on all of my appendages how many tries I gave the (now I know) most unworthy boys, and I certainly never had the moxie to charge any of them for my kindnesses...Bravo. Slow clap.

December 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterstephanie (bad mom)

I work with a fellow who still wears a Members Only jacket.....EVERY DAY, sort of like a sweater

December 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTrudy

Shoot. I joined the CHESS Club because a guy I thought was wonderful was in it. He was a nice guy, but partway through his senior year he married someone else. Someone he had dated for a couple of years.
Clueless, that was me. I?

December 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterknittergran

Oh, what memories. When I was a shy freshman I went to a school about 30 miles away which was also a boarding school for central and south american kids. The big man on campus was from somewhere in South American, cannot remember where. And talk about good looking. He was also president of the student body and I can remember the way he said stuuuudent just like it was yesterday. Anyway, one day he actually approached me at my locker and smiled (I almost passed out) and asked me who the gorgeous girl was that had picked me up the day before after school. He wanted to know if she would date a younger man. I informed him that it was my mother who had picked me up. Without missing a beat, he smiled and asked if SHE would date a younger man.

I was own mom was attracting the most gorgous boy in the school. She was quite proud of herself when I told her too. I think it made her year.

December 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBamaCarol

Skinny ties! That was a good trend. The eighties were kinder to boys than they were to girls.

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatience

You were definitely smarter than me, Mrs. G. So many scenes of unrequited adoration in my past -- and other scenes of time wasted thinking about others who didn't know that I even existed. It still stings when I think about the time I asked an older high school boy to the Tolo (Sadie Hawkins dance).

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren (formerly kcinnova)

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