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Janet has crushed on just about everything, from boys to rowing coaches to English teachers to ski patrollers to boys with mohawks to Jack Black to Nick Miller. At times, she has worried that her crushability might not have a limit. What next, she has worried, a president? A cardboard cutout of Theo James? A cartoon pirate? Statistically, these crushes have hardly ever been requited. In this space, she walks you through her crushes, poor unsuspecting boy by poor unsuspecting boy, looking for clues as to the cause of their ultimate failure. For each, she has selected a stock photo approximation of her crush; due to the passage of time, these may be more dreamy than the original. The title is capitalized because OMG, YOU GUYS, CRUSHES!


Nathan was in my "home room" in grade seven, which was the first year that you didn't have all your classes with the one teacher in the one room, covered in all your bad macaroni art and posters on gold-panning. He had a bowl haircut and was missing the tip of one of his fingers because of an accident. He was short and nicely pudgy, in the way that a witch might like if she was shopping for boy food in the forest. He was in my textiles class, which was a real thing everyone had to take in grade seven. The project we were all working on was boxer shorts. Nathan was at a sewing machine right by mine, so I could look longingly at him while I wound my bobbin thread. It was the stuff of teenage dreams. I was awkward and ginger and he was tanned and beach-haired, so we had all the ingredients of a great love story. We would laugh a lot and I would crack lots of jokes and one time he accidentally cut a giant hole in his boxer shorts thinking it was spare fabric and I LAUGHED IN HIS FACE *love*

My friends knew I was crushing crushing crushing on Nathan, and I knew that even if I wasn't super cute, I was smart and funny and I could WIND A BOBBIN, dammit, so was worthy of dating Nathan. I decided to make my move. We could often sort of play wrestle—I was a very rudimentary flirter back then, you guys—so one day I challenged Nathan to an arm wrestle.

TIME OUT: I was a gymnast back then, team. In fact, my nickname at one point was "man arms" because I had quite muscly arms. I mean I could climb a rope with just my arms (my body went with them), and I could almost do a kip (my pear shape kept bringin' me DOWN). END TIME OUT

We clasped hands and the electricity was palpable, and yet we didn't get electrocuted by conduction of our hand sweat. Friends gathered around to watch and cheer. Someone yelled "Go!" and Nathan bit his cute tanned lip, smiling as he pushed his hand against mine. I fought back, pushing my dainty (man) hand into his. He was shaking, I was shaking. The sexual tension was mostly concentrated into the mound of Venus. It was now or never, Sparklers. I charged up my synapses and engaged all of my man muscles, throttling little Nathan's hand down to the counter top with a bang. There was quiet. I yelled, "har har!" like a sexy giant. Nathan and his red face went back to his botched boxer shorts. The moment had passed.


A few days later, I decided to bite the bullet and put my money where my man-arms were: I dispatched my friends Jenny and Lisa to go to Kurt, Nathan's friend, and ask him to ask Nathan out for me. This was a foolproof plan. I paced around the locker bay while I waited for them to return, excited and nervous and with enough energy to sew a thousand pairs of boxer shorts.

They returned, with a funny look on their faces. "WHAT DID HE SAY?!" I asked, meaning "what did Nathan say to Kurt say to you?"

"He asked out Lisa," said Jenny.

Lisa shrugged. "I think I'm going to go out with him."

"Oh, cool!" I said, and then I died.


Please leave your bereft tales of crushes of yore in the comments!

p.s. You guys, I am going with your advice of side bangs, and have also whacked a bunch of peach color over the top of my hair and I am LOVING IT. You are the best! Thank you for internet voting!!! :D

Topics: Life, Advice
Tags: flirting, dating, crushes, high school, sparkitors, real stories, janet, the crush chronicles, flirting fails, the ones that got away

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About the Author
Janet Manley

Janet is the Sparkitor who most resembles a common field potato, and isn't opposed to pineapple appearing on a pizza. She is proof that dreams can come true, as long as your dream is to share a love seat with Benjamin Barnes for nine and a half minutes after standing him up for five because you can't work out hotel elevators. Janet once had a smexy dream where Haymitch Abernathy hugged her meaningfully, which I think means they are married now. She would like to third-person you on Twitter @janetmanley

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