Step 2: Read the blog post....
So my memory of middle school "dating" went more like:
Act I: Math Class
Me: I think I might like Danny.
Friend: I'm gonna tell Danny you like him at recess.
Act II: Recess
Me: So, did you tell him?
Me: Well, what did he say?
Friend: He said he can't like you because you are too tall.
Me: Well, that's okay I didn't really like him anyway.
Friend: Yeah, I hear he picks his butt
(collapse into giggle fits)
My middle school dating attempts were decidedly unsuccessful. It was not until I was about 15 and experienced the miracle of boobs that I started to have anything resembling success. High school dating was also full of a lot of rejection, but it seemed far easier to deal with at 10 than it was at 15.
Middle school romance, such as it was, had a lot going for it. First, your rejection was almost never to your face. You nearly always had a friend to act as the go between, so even if the answer was a no at least you didn't have to directly absorb the impact.
Second, it was always pretty direct. There wasn't a whole lot of awkward flirting and what flirting that did take place usually involved noogies, wedgies or fake boogers being put in your hair, so even if you didn't "know," you knew. Eventually a note would be passed asking, "Do you like Cindy? __Yes __No" or a friend would appear to ask the question.
When the answer was delivered it was accepted and you moved on. Well, at least if it was a no you did. A yes...well a yes could be a bit more complicated.
I had a friend in middle school, lets call her Jan, who had a crush on a boy named...let's call him Keith. And well, I sat next to Keith in science class and Keith and I were friends, of a sort. We goofed off in class together with a fair amount of frequency. So anyway, it fell to me to ask Keith if he liked Jan. To which he replied, yes. After class I told Jan that Keith said he liked her. She then wanted to know if he "liked" her or if he "LIKE-liked" her. The next day I asked for Keith to clarify his level of like, it turned out the be of the "LIKE-like" sort.
I was the messenger and note courier for the next couple of weeks until the day came when Jan decided she LIKE-liked Danny instead. I was left to deliver the news to Keith, who replied that it was okay because he was pretty sure he LIKE-liked Marsha now anyway. He confided in me a few weeks later that he kissed Marsha and that it was the first time he'd ever kissed a girl. I never told Jan.
What I also never told anyone, not even Jan, was that I had a secret crush on Keith the whole time. I never told him because I thought that if I did, he'd stop goofing around with me in class. We usually managed to bring each other to the point of uncontrollable giggles and had to be spoken to more than once by the teacher. I remember on one occasion we were threatened with being separated and we both dropped into absolute silence. We didn't make a peep in class for days. After that much of our goofing off was done via notes and doodles passed back and forth.
Eventually the school year ended and I moved away that summer with my middle school crush remaining forever unrequited. I don't recall being all that bummed out about it though. I mean even when he LIKE-liked my best friend I still had his nearly undivided attention for an hour out of every school day. Which seemed to be enough for me at the time.
So I guess middle school romance did have its complications. Still, wouldn't it be nice if the next time you started to like someone you just had to turn to your friend and say, "I think I might like Reuben" and....
"I'm gonna tell Reuben that you like him at the bar tonight?"
And if he says no, she'll tell you he secretly bites his toenails when he's alone in his office. You won't ask just how it is that she knows that. You'll laugh, she'll buy you a beer and you'll move on.