I will be the first to admit that when I have a crush on a guy, I go a little crazy. But in a controlled way, you know? Like I don’t kiss photos of him or collect his used tissues (those girls are out there though) but I would say I get uh, personally invested. Once I have a crush I begin to go through this routine of awkwardness, as follows.

Step one, the internal panic. Every time the aforementioned boy is seen around campus, mentioned in passing, or literally anytime something that somewhat relates to him is brought up in conversation, my body begins to panic. And when I say panic, I mean PANIC. Not like the cutesy, heart flutter, gently blush, soft giggle thing that sweet girls do. My hands begin dripping beads of sweat, my ears start ringing, my breathing becomes so shallow that I sound like a hibernating bear, and my face contorts into a half-squint-half-smile that makes me look constipated (although at the time I usually think I’m doing a sexy smolder or something). I have learned to control these spasms but only with time and practice. In the early days, these symptoms could be triggered quite easily. Like if someone mentioned peanut butter and I remembered that I had seen said crush peanut buttering his toast two months ago, it was instant panic. They really should have an epi pen for this sort of thing.

Step two, the interactive phase. This is where it gets hairy – and that is not figurative. One key part of the interactive phase is making sure your hair looks okay, not good, just okay. Since I am blessed with being perpetually charged with static electricity and hair volume that looks like I glued limp spaghetti noodles to my head, okay is as good as it gets. Once the most okay hairstyle is on lock, I move to planning my conversation with them. Since by now I extensively know the when and where that I usually see them, I coordinate options and plan for responses. My world renowned go-to for any conversation with a person of interest is so simple and sporadically effective that I am amazed I was the first to discover it. Two letters, one word, game changer. “Hi!” Whoa, whoa please no need for the standing ovation! Oh my gosh, there is really no need to parade me down main street on your shoulders but, if you insist! Seriously though, it’s a go-to.  I, of course, accompany this simple syllable with my signature wave – which is done by keeping my elbow glued to my side while my hand moves like a stuck window wiper and does the finger flap thing that people usually do when they play with babies. And in the winter, mittens really add a new layer of raw appeal and mystery to the whole encounter.

Once I have established a solid base of obligation (i.e. I say hello so many times that they feel a confusing guilt if they don’t say hello back), I move on to step three, which I will call attack mode. Attack may be too strong of a word. It is more like aggressive suggestion mode. Let me elaborate. So now that I am definitely on the guy’s radar – for better or worse – I use really confusing tactics to suggest how awesome and alluring I am. For example, say there is a dance. I arrive at the dance dressed to the nines (hair looks okay, clothes are acceptable, sensible footwear, a little too much bronzer, tinted chap stick, minor pit stains). I dance with my friends all the while keeping a single eye constantly scanning the entries and the crowd. I work standing on my tip toes into my dance moves to make sure I am not missing any square inch of the place. Once spotted, I mouth the words “target acquired” to myself (in my head I sound like a robot). Then I suggest to my friends that there is more room, cuter guys, insert white lie here, over in that direction. We push through the crowd until finally we are near enough to him for me to make my move.

What is my move, you ask? Well, well, well….It is highly sophisticated and yet very straightforward. You simply dance near him. Look sexy. Do your thing. Glance at him from time to time. Look like you are having so much fun, but could still have more, you know? Suggest with every booty shake that you are a catch! Just dance like nobody’s watching! Because actually nobody is watching. When you turn around to take another sultry glance in his direction you realize he walked away. And while you question if you should put a little more feeling into your shoulder shimmy, you look nervously around the room and concede that while good intentioned

This is awkward.


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