(Originally posted at Ruined Music, November, 2006.)
It seems like a billion years ago now, but once upon a time, way back in 1990, I was a freshman in high school. And like a lot of freshmen, I was completely smitten with a senior. He was smart, sarcastic, and artsy. He listened to British synth pop music, bands like Erasure and the Cure. He always wore a black trench coat. Mostly, though, he was eighteen and he had a car – unlike me. I had recently turned fourteen and, for all intents and purposes, I was still a little girl.
So, there I was, this naïve little freshman, wondering what it would be like to date this seemingly mature senior. And boy, did I try to get his attention. I chased after him for months. I started wearing black. I wrote poetry. I became my mother’s worst nightmare. Finally, on Valentine’s Day, I decided to do something about my crush. I scraped together enough of my babysitting money to get him something really sentimental – in this case, a cassette single of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence.” You know, because “feelings are intense / words are trivial.”
Our high school had this thing where, for Valentine’s Day, you could send someone a rose. And quite surprisingly, he sent me one. Only the note attached to the flower said, “Hey you. So, I suppose you want me to write some kind of witty repartee or shit like that, right? Well tough, chick. With inky sentiments.”
I was perplexed. What kind of romantic gesture was that?
That night he came over to my house, and – instead of going back to my bedroom like he anticipated – we wound up taking a long walk around my very small neighborhood. At the end of the night he gave me all the classic lines – “You’re so young,” and “you’re so sweet and innocent,” and “I’m leaving for college in a couple of months.” Blah, blah, blah.
Of course, a day or so later, I found out that he had hooked up with several of my friends. He cut and ran when he realized that it wouldn’t be so easy with me; he made his escape before I figured him all out. So now every time I hear that song I think of this, and I thank my lucky stars that I only had to be fourteen for one year.