One of my earliest crushes was to a girl named Clementine Giovanni. Clementine was a tall, slender girl that was really pretty for a fifth grader in the eyes of a fifth grader. She was the first girl I ever asked to “go with me” and, of course, the first girl to shoot me down.

Mom, ever-present and all-knowing, knew about all of this despite my never having told her. I know that she knows because she would tell other people about it. This girl that I had a crush on that {in Mom’s mocking tone} didn’t even know [I] was alive! Fortunately, she didn’t tell people of this until I was well good and past it. Even so, I felt the need to object.

“Mau-aummmm… she knew I was alive. She just didn’t care…”

That was an exaggeration. She knew I was alive and moreso than any of the other rejections I got before I ever got a yes, she was really nice about it. I made it kinda easy on her, slipping a note into her desk and accepting, without confrontation the little note that she wrote back. I didn’t even ask if she would go out with me when she was no longer going out with the guy she was going out with, even though that was a standard question at the time. Not sure we talked after that. Not sure we talked before that. I was that kind of nerd. The only girl I could easily talk to was one that I didn’t find very cute and girl classmates whose moms were friends with my mom. My Mom didn’t know Clementine’s parents very well, which of course made Mom’s ability to know everything all the more eerie.

The guy that she was going out with at the time was a dude named Grick. Grick actually confronted me about it, though not in a very confrontational way. I don’t think they lasted long. He was kind of a nerd himself. We would later be on friendly terms and probably would have been friends if we’d had any classes together. He was the closest thing I had to a friend on my junior high basketball team because we were collectively the non-jock jocks. Clementine herself went on to be quite popular, quite beautiful, and on drill team.

Clementine added me as a friend on Facebook not long after I joined up. She looks almost exactly the same now as she did in high school, which come to think of it is very close to how she looked in elementary school. She has one of those faces and a featureless figure. I was surprised to see that she wasn’t married because she struck me as the type to be married shortly after college. She’s engaged now. Anyway, part of me wants to print out a copy of the friend invitation and send it to Mom.

“See. I told you so!”


Category: Ghostland, School

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2 Responses to Check Yes Or No

  1. stone says:

    Note to self: Never mock son’s romantic failures, no matter how big a gold mine of humor they are. Never.

    Your class was strangely dark for a white Southern school. You can see my 5th grade class photo on Facebook (not posted by me), and we’ve got more blonds than you did even though the class was half Latino kids.

  2. stone says:

    Also, that’s pretty impressive that you were asking girls to go with you as early as 5th grade. That shows guts and precociousness.

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