Elodie Tackles "That Guy" (Figuratively, Not Literally)
thenameselodie wants to find love, but she's still hung up on a crush that just won't quit!—Sparkitors
My senior year is winding down. Mock elections are coming up, grad party invites are being handed out like candy on Halloween, and everyone knows who got into what college. But more on that next week. Today, Sparklers, let’s talk about That Guy.
What prompted this discussion? I was shopping with my mom the other day, and I’m really out of practice when it comes to that sort of thing. I forget that you can’t play volleyball across the aisles as I would with my friends, and you certainly can’t string Slinkies together until you’ve got a twelve-foot Slinkie. (Did this with Claire. The results were interesting.) We defaulted to casual conversation, and she asked hesitantly if Ace and I were going to start dating. I said, “Oh, no,” and she asked me why not, and I shrugged and said, “I don’t know. I’m just not feeling it.” And then she said, after a pause, “I hope someday you meet someone who’s better than… him.”
I was confused. “Who, Ace?”
She looked me straight in the eye. “No. Him. You know who I’m talking about.”
And I did. She was talking about That Guy.
That Guy is the one you’ve had a crush on for years. You ogle him from afar. You hardly, if ever, speak to him, but it doesn’t matter because you’ve already named your kids and planned the honeymoon, and it’s not like that needs to be a two-way conversation, right? Your friends nudge you every time he walks by. You have at least a quarter of your cerebral cortex designated for random factoids about him. You’ve fallen in and out of love with him about a zillion times. This crush, however, is not the kind you would actively pursue—you’re content to drool over this objet d’art, but you wouldn’t act on it. You like other guys, of course, but he’s the Big Crush—the only one you just can’t let go of.
For me, that guy is not The Uber Hottie, Geeky McDreamy, Spencer, or Tristan. I’ve mentioned this guy before (he’s the one I accidentally punched in the face , the one I almost killed in an icy parking lot , the football player who has a bromance with my brother) but I’ve never given him a name because he’s on the outskirts; I freak out a little every time I see him, and we usually make eye contact in crowded hallways when my face is doing something nightmarish (seriously—it seems like every time we make eye contact, I’ve just stubbed my toe or stepped on something gross and the subsequent facial expressions aren’t exactly dazzling) but I never have the opportunity to talk to him. If I did, I’m pretty sure I’d sit there with my mouth open in a haze of glorious social incompetence.
He’s got all the qualities of a perfectly adequate longtime crush—he’s genuinely nice, he’s athletic to the point where he can play any sport with ease, he has one of the highest GPAs in our school, he’s polite but not a suck-up, and he’s cute without being too cute, if you know what I’m saying. Our prom king, for instance—he’s the kind of cute that kind of scares people, the kind you see on the covers of magazines. He’s unapproachable. This guy, though—he’s just the right amount of cute.
I mean, I’m an awkward person. I’m aware of this; in fact, I’ve embraced it. But whenever he’s around, I take it to a whole new level of terrifying social awkwardness. Think of my demeanor when I’m around The Uber Hottie—now take that and throw in a few dozen more blushes, inappropriate giggles, and incoherent babblings. Sometimes I even lunge for the nearest object just to have something to do with my hands. I don’t even have to in a conversation with him; if he’s in my line of sight, the situation is liable to go to Embarrassment: Code Red. (In fact, you should’ve seen me when I had to do a project with him and The Uber Hottie—it was a disaster akin to the sinking of Titanic, just not quite as dignified.)
Now that you’re well-acquainted with That Guy, let’s go back to the conversation with my mother wherein she left off with this notion: I hope someday you meet someone who’s better than… him.
“What does that even mean?” I asked, completely confused.
“It’s just, well, I know how much you like him.” You know it’s bad when your mom is completely in the loop. “And I think he’s the reason you have such high standards. You’re always going to compare every other guy to him.”
“I so don’t do that,” I said crossly, and she shrugged in that way moms do when they know they’re right and you’re just being stubborn. Indeed, moments later I sighed and said, “I can’t help it! He’s… he’s…”
“…awesome,” my mom finished fervently. She’d met him. “Totally agree.”
I know I once advised a commenter that to get over a crush took time. But that strategy never really flew for me because every day my brother would come home with little tantalizing tidbits about this guy—he’d say, “He did the craziest thing today,” and then he’d launch into this amazing story that only made it difficult to contain the impulse to marry the guy immediately.
I don’t know, Sparklers. I feel like I’m just whining, but I’d honestly like some feedback—once I hit the one-year mark, I stopped talking about him with my friends. I knew they were getting tired of hearing about it. Occasionally my friend Tara and I will nudge each other when he passes by, or one of my friends will say, “Hey—I saw him today, he was running to class, he looked like a hot mess.” They all know I still have a soft spot for him, but I don’t know how to convey the fact that he’s the one who set the bar for me. I’m really not trying to overanalyze anything, I just really need some input. What do you think? Have you ever had a crush of such a magnitude? Did the passage of time help? Should I just go off to college and forget about him? Or should I be making some sort of conscious effort to get over him? What’re your thoughts?
Girrrl, you've got a CRUSH. A HEAVY one. Any advice, Sparklebutts?
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