Journal entry: October 15, 1985 (age 16)
A particularly Sloppy Joe fell out of my hands and onto the cafeteria table. “WHO wants to go to the prom with me?” My grapevine-connected friend replied, “Kirstie.” If it was possible for me to turn whiter, I did. There aren’t many people named Kirstie at Seton Catholic Central High School, so I knew he must have been referring to Kirstie Giannuzzi. There had to be a mistake.
Snapshot, Kirstie: a gorgeous brunette with a head full of chestnut curls, and shapely legs toned by years of training as an ice skater. She’s also popular, and one of the top students in our class. Best of all, Kirstie is one of those beauties who seems unaware of her own good looks. She doesn’t look down on anyone, and is universally sweet to everyone.
Snapshot, Tim: a gangly freckle-face with a head full of red yarn, and a shapely brain honed by years of public television and fantasy literature. Despite recent improvements, such as getting my braces off and replacing my glasses with contacts, I am still not even remotely in Kirstie’s league.
I spent the rest of today’s lunch period in a state of disbelief. I’ve never been on a date in my life. Since the age of 10, I’ve been a hopeless romantic, with the emphasis on hopeless. I’ve bought 45 records with girl’s names in their titles for the sole purpose of crying while I listen to them. I would have wished that those girls were doing the same, but the only hit song named “Timothy” is about cannibalism. (Big thanks go out to Rupert Holmes, songwriter for the Buoys.)
My failures with girls have not been for lack of trying. My numerous ill-fated strategies have included anguished conversations professing my love, anguished letters professing my love, and anguished “moonlight skates” professing my love. In doing so, I have managed to scare off a long line of girls. Maybe one or two of them would have been interested, if I had been a little less, um, intense. (“Intense” is a good euphemism for “desperate.”)
As the bell rang, ending my lunch period, I realized that Kirstie would be in my next class, which was gym. This marked the first time in my life that I was happy to go to gym class. We are playing co-ed soccer this week, and as I walked onto the field, I could see Kirstie near one of the goals. Seconds later, she ran past, wearing a pair of shorts that can only be described as magical. She smiled at me sweetly, erasing all the rejections I had ever heard.
As I stood there tubesocked and happy, I gave myself a pep talk. “I’m not going to scare this one away. She probably just wants to be friends, but if she doesn’t, I’ll let her take the lead. Either way, I’ll have one of the prettiest girls in school on my arm, at least for one night.”
Just then, a soccer ball slammed into the side of my head. It didn’t hurt.