Once upon last year on this very day, I tripped over love without looking for it.
2013 marked a milestone for me: I had decided I was going to be an old maid when I grew up.I don't know what it is about sixteen-year-old girls worrying about Mr. Right, but I was one of them. My prospects looked grim. I wasn't going to college and I disliked boys in general. I knew no one of interest (in that area, at least) and small town chances of actually meeting someone were slim. If I didn't find a boy now, it was never!
News flash: I didn't find a boy. Spinster I be.
I like to journal thoughts in poetry. Weird, yes? Yes.
However, such a habit did give me $75 in a writing contest, so it's occasionally useful.
Anyway, I was an extremely self-conscious girl. Don't believe me? Here's the words straight from my sixteen-year-old self:
That I’ll always be
A spinster because
Nobody likes me
I’d always hoped
My lack of looks
Would turn around
Like those in books
Perhaps the inside
Outweighs the out
I’d get better
Yet that I doubt
I’m not pretty,
I’ve not found
A single person
Who’ll stay around
Charm is deceitful
Beauty is vain
Yet that always
Was a spinster’s refrain
Now that the stage has been set, let's fast forward to October. This is the month I decided to come out of my shell and do something silly: I decided I was going to be Anne Shirley in our home school production of Anne of Green Gables.
Dreams come true - I got the part! My elation deflated when I remembered. . .Gilbert Blythe.
I didn't want to "fall in love" with a twelve-year-old kid who was shorter than me. Our group has limited male selections, and we rarely have new comers. The only boy my age was my twin brother. Our group is also careful about theater that involves love of any sort - usually siblings get cast together.
Gilbert Blythe, however, wasn't twelve and he wasn't my brother. Some Aidan Durie (weird name, I recall) whom I had never met in my entire life. The extent of my knowledge of this stranger was: I knew he had dark hair and that he wore converse shoes.
|Hoo-Roar for exhausted stage-makeup!|
Actually, we didn't say anything for the first two months. I had this really bad feeling that I was going to be a goose and have a major crush on this cute Gilbert Blythe. In Bethany world, crushes are an unforgivable sin that deserve eternal self-lectures.
What can I say? What silly sixteen-year-old Anne Shirley isn't going to fall for Gilbert Blythe with his deep voice and the really gentle way he calls her carrots? I could barely break a pretend slate over his head for fear we might make eye contact!
I hopelessly fell in love.
It was that silly sort of love when you don't even know the person and you feel 100% teenage girl stupid.
And then, as what always happens, I was told he liked another girl.
Happy feelings gone.
Determination to hate boys forever ensues.
Sobbing in the dark.
Denial that I still really like him.
Realization that I still like him and it's been five months.
Knowing I'm stupid but I don't care anymore.
|Civil War Ball and the Virginia Reel|
He asked questions about my future, what I liked, and stuff like that. At Green Gables, he was always in the wings of the stage watching my scenes.
I cautiously/casually tricked my twin brother (who knows everything) into telling me if Aidan actually cared for me. I pretended I knew he "liked me" (ha) and approached Christian on the subject. He began a whole rant on how Aidan was bonkers about me and how he just laaaaaugggheeed.
I laughed too and issued Operation Hate Boys. No one would ever guess sensible Bethany was head-over-heels-crying over Aidan Durie.
Civil War Ball a month or two later had me eating pizza in the dark with my twin - again - and confessing the truth: ugh, I'm dying over this boy and I'm seventeen and stupid.
It doesn't matter because I was seventeen, I don't date, and I was never going to see him again after performances. Why do I even care?
|Another amazing photo captured in the middle of singing. Awkward.|
That’s when I noticed he was acting really strange.
He reminded me a magician pulling flowers out of a hat. Except, Aidan pulled seven roses from behind his back and presented them to me. What the—
“Roses are red,” he began.
(Me: what on earth is going on?)
“Violets are blue,” he continued.
(Me: someone help!)
“I know this is crazy,”
“But I like you.”
I did not see that coming.
That was really weird.
I honestly don’t remember what I said. I do specifically remember thinking, oh my goodness don’t just stand there! Say something!
I think I laughed. I was completely shocked and embarrassed and flabbergasted all at once.
And then I knew I had to tell him.
I just had to! (Stupid teenage girl train of thought for the win!)
I half dragged him back to the high school doorway – and we ran smack into Mrs. Durie.
Okaaaaaaaaaaay, awkward. Just kidding!
I grabbed Josie Pye instead, and we made a run for it to the dressing rooms.
“I cannot believe that just happened,” I groaned (still clutching my roses!), “but the terrible thing is: I like him too! What am I going to do?”