A crush is really just a person and the idea of what they could be. But for some reason, that person has the power to give you that amazing feeling in the pit of your stomach whenever you’re near them. You can’t breathe, and if you’re like me, you totally pit out.
When you’re a woman and you’re older, you get that same feeling when you see babies. It’s also accompanied with the shrill weeping of your womb. They call it your biological clock. You can learn a lot from these feelings, but at the end of the day, both are crushes.
I can vividly remember just about every crush I’ve ever had, because once you’ve invested all of that time and energy into dreaming about someone, they are very hard to forget, like Joey from New Kids on the Block and Christian Slater in Pump Up The Volume. But one of my most memorable real life crushes was Brandon from Jew camp.
I had this enormous crush the summer I went to sleep away camp the first time as a 9-year-old. Most kids stay for the whole summer, but because I was incredibly scared to be away from home for that long, I had made special arrangements to only stay two weeks and then reassess. Most kids would have been having the time of their lives, but near the end of the two weeks, this awkward, shy girl had decided that it was time to go home.
Don’t feel bad for me. I packed a lot of pathetic crushing into those two weeks. Me and my friends were so excited about this guy that we’d update each other with the most mundane details – I saw Brandon tying his shoe. And he looked really cute. I saw Brandon eating a sandwich – and he looked really cute.
One day my friend was in line to pick up lunch for our cabin’s table in the dining hall. Just her luck, she was RIGHT behind Brandon – and he looked really cute. As he was going through the line picking up the food, he got to the soup – a plastic pitcher filled with bright green pea soup. He looked at her and looked at the soup and said, “Chicken noodle?” We told the story over and over again, dying laughing at his stupidity – which should have been an indicator, a classic red flag, but at 9 years old, it was just about the cutest dum-dum thing any boy could say. From there on out, we lovingly, gushingly called him ‘chicken noodle’.
One of the most amazing things that can happen to you when you have a crush is to receive any kind of attention at all. So of course on the day before I was supposed to leave camp and head back to Detroit – I had a few bags to pack in my cabin – mesh shorts: CHECK, oversized sweatshirts: CHECK, my headgear: CHECK. Ohhh, I forget to tell you that I had headgear – obviously named, Richard Gear.
It was then that the dream of all dreams happened. I heard two boys calling my name from outside the window. I thought – I dreamed – my heart skipped a beat. What if – just what if! – it was chicken noodle? A couple of my cabin mates went to the window and screamed, “It’s him!” Of all the 9-year-old girls at camp, Brandon decided to come to the window of this lucky Jew. So, I gathered my two closest friends, put my hair back with a scrunchie and headed down the hill to actually talk to Brandon for the very first time.
This is the closest thing to a Pretty Woman moment I will ever know in my entire life. I walked down that hill feeling like the prettiest prostitute-turned-billionaire in the whole camp. AND after ALL that buildup … we just sat there and awkwardly stared at each other. And then I left camp the next day.