Dawn Emerman runs the fascinating website Avenging Sybil, in which she's on "a mission to overthrow outdated attitudes about the sexuality of young women that still exist in today's young adult fiction."
I am behind you all the way.
Below, she gives us a romantic, comical and seriously excellent boyfriend list.
Read it. Then go to her website.
Dawn Emerman's Boyfriend List
1. Shawn - Kindergarten. Every girl had a crush on him because he was the tallest (turned out this was because it was his third shot at kindergarten, but the heart wants what it wants). One day it was his turn to pass out papers and he kissed me on the nose when he got to my table. I guess that was my first kiss?
2. Todd - First grade. My friend Jamie and I used to chase him around the playground. I remember he had these awesome gloves that had patterns on them that would only show up when it got to be a certain temperature. I stole one and held it for ransom. A kiss ransom, I think, and was denied. That marked the end of my romantic aggression.
3. Derek - Third through seventh grade. He was a year older than me, a good friend of my close cousin/friend Mike's. I admired him from afar - I doubt he even knew of my crush, but he made an indelible mark on my would-be grammar school romantic exploits.
4. Shane - Case in point. He is Derek's brother. One year younger than me. He was my first 'boyfriend' in fifth grade and was adoring. He wrote me charmingly misspelled notes and even had his mom drive him over so he could bring me a card on my birthday. I broke his little heart because I knew deep down I was really after his brother. And I didn't find the constant misspelling all that charming after all.
5. Shannon - Sixth grade. He was the coolest guy in my class. He called me up and asked me out! It was great and drama free, but he shortly slipped through my fingers because I confessed to my friend Kari that even though I was psyched to be going out with Shannon, I still had a crush on Derek. She convinced me that it was wrong to go out with Shannon if I felt this way. I bowed to her pressure and broke up with him, a move I regretted for years.
6. Ryan - Seventh grade. Classic. This guy sat behind me every year from first - seventh grade and made my life hell. As is usually the case, it turns out that it was because he liked me. One day he finally asked someone to ask me if I'd go out with him and I told that person yes (what, he was cute and maybe I had secretly liked him all along) and we were going out with each other even though we hadn't exchanged a single word. For some reason I changed my mind the next day, and it was done before we even talked face to face about it.
7. Tommy - Seventh grade. Oops. He was a sweetheart. Also my cousin/friend Mike's very best friend. He asked me out when Mike was going out with my best friend at the time and the four of us did everything together. Another one with the adoration - he was a great artist, and drew me funny pictures and wrote me a million notes I believe I still have saying how much he liked me and how he couldn't believe I was going out with me. He dropped a ton of cash on me, too. Despite his ardent confessions, he didn't lay a hand on me in the month or so we were together and I was confused and frustrated by this. I also questioned if I really liked him, or went with him because Allison was with Mike. I broke up with him and that was a pretty bad scene.
8. Andy - Seventh. One of my best boy friends. I had a brief crush on him after Tommy and there was a time way later on, after we graduated from high school, when he actually took me on a date, but we weren't for each other. My grandfather (aka my hero) just loved Andy, the nice boy who mowed the church cemetery. I think he was hoping we'd end up together, but no dice, Pup. I'm still in touch with him and we went to each other's weddings. Come to think of it, # 6, 10, 13, 15 and (obviously) 18 were there too. I have a good history of ending things well with the boys of my past.
9. Jason - My eighth grade crush. Noteworthy because he was my first true lust experience - I sat behind him in algebra, hoping he would have to stand up so I could look at his great ass. He didn't give me the time of day.
10. Ian - Oh, this is a rough one. Quite a history with Ian, though he was never my boyfriend (he was always someone's bf though - your classic serial monogamist). I looooved him on and off between eighth grade and my sophomore year of college. If ever there was a person I thought I'd end up with, it was gorgeous Ian. Of course, I was cursed to be his confidante - as if I wanted to know the details of his dating other girls. But I took what I could get. And the summer after graduation turned into a supercharged time between us that culminated in an all-night drunken makeout session at a party. Er, he did in fact have a girlfriend at the time. And as expected, he was the best kisser, hands down.
11. Eric B. - Freshman year. Holy cow this was humiliating. I was brand spanking new at the big high school (I went to a small Catholic school K-8) and here was this stunning, popular, blue-eyed junior soccer star (who had his license!) asking me out. I thought I had high school sewn up at that moment. And then he dropped me like a hot potato because I didn't have much to say and he was into older women. FYI it wasn't a matter of not putting out with this one - he didn't even try to hold my hand, which gave me the idea that something was totally wrong with me.
12. Eric R. - Freshman through junior year. Second only to Ian when it comes to intensity of unrequited affection. Another of my cousin/friend Mike's buddies. Another serial dater. I was so psyched when we ended up in the same math class and he would talk to me and try to predict my test score on test days. It was our thing we had. Double vindication was mine when he ended up asking my friend--much later, when we were in college--if she thought I'd go on a date with him ('No, she doesn't like you anymore.' Best friend ever!), and later at cousin/friend's wedding he was there, balding and chubby. Heh.
13. Pete - Junior year. It's true, there was nobody worth mentioning between freshman and junior year. Eric B. was bad for my self esteem. I knew Pete since kindergarten. He asked me out when I was tutoring him in French and we had a couple of weeks where we were a couple. He was cute and nice, but there was no real spark there even though he was my first actual kiss (I don't count the kindergarten one). Oh, and he was Ian's best friend.
14. Frank - Summer after junior year. He was a few years younger than me. Very pretty. And served as my indoctrination to the joys of making out, thereby erasing the suspicion that I was actually a leper. The perfect summer fling.
15. Omar - Senior year. My longest 'relationship' at the time. My best friend knew him from her brief foray into private school. He was from Bermuda, so he had this great accent. He was also incredibly nice and a handsome devil to boot. The impetus for our dating was the product of a lot of 'What did he/she say about me?' back and forth with our mutual friend. I saw him once a week, if that. We mostly just made out a lot. And we realized after about three months that we'd rather just be friends.
16. Jamie - Senior year. If not for Omar, there would have been Jamie. In a rare stroke of luck, I had two boys courting me simultaneously. I had just started to 'talk to' Omar when Jamie, who had always been super popular (which didn't mean anything to me by the time I was a senior, thank goodness, but still) asked me out in the most unsmooth way possible. He literally turned red with embarrassment. I think I went with Omar because of first dibs, as well as friend pressure. Stupid. That was when it first occurred to me that I didn't have to date just one person, but I bowed to the pressure from my friends who said that I did. I'm glad I chose Omar, I guess, but I did have 'what might have been' moments about Jamie for quite some time.
17. Kevin - Sophomore year of college. This dude fancied himself a man of mystery and gave me no details whatsoever about his life. I just thought he was cute and wanted to kiss his face. His possible-double-life act got old fast, and the kissing turned out to suck. Eh, college. It was a pretty barren time.
18. Mikey - End of the line. Summer between my sophomore and junior year of college. Who knew I would find the love of my life so young? I certainly didn't, when I met him in the house where we were both subletting rooms for the summer. Ten years later, he is still my best friend, my crush, my I'm-so-glad-none-of-those-other-things-worked-out life partner.