Few things are as horrible as being in sixth grade.
During sixth grade, my class took a weekend trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. Two busloads full of smelly, hormonal, disgusting tweens, sounds like every teachers dream. Throw in all of us listening to The Offspring, on speakers, off of a disk-man, and all of us singing along to every song. I can only hope all of those chaperones got drunk once we arrived to the hotel.
During this particular weekend, I was in love with Andy. He was a stud, super cute, looked great in khakis and a polo, and that’s really all I needed. He had light brown hair that always looked a little too perfect. I now realize that his mother probably put hair product in it for him; it looked that good.
Andy was a new crush for me because he was new to school, which meant he didn’t know me. I totally had a chance, even though, retrospectively, I was going through a tough time in sixth grade. I was awkward, chubby, teased, and I couldn’t keep up with the work at school. I kept a lot of things to myself, because a universal fact about sixth grade is, you can’t fucking trust anyone.
For instance, a girl can be your friend one minute, bonding over shaving your armpits, and the next thing you know, some other girl is making fun of you because you shave your armpits. But the thing is, WE WERE ALL SHAVING OUR ARMPITS.
Anyway, at this point in the year I had a friend named Fiona. She was pretty, popular and nice, but her breath always kind of smelled like rubber bands, which I overlooked. Also, I only had two other friends, so I was in no position to be picky. Because she was one of three trusted friends, I told Fiona that I thought Andy was cute and that I liked him.
Being a good friend, she made it her mission that weekend to make Andy and I a couple.
The funny thing about school trips at that age is that you all have this bonding moment on the bus. Everyone is friends on the bus. Everyone is united in their shitty attitude about this dumb trip you are all being forced to take together.
However, once we got off the bus, the boys and girls were divided, but not by any authoritative instruction. It’s just that age where you hang out with your own kind in social settings. However, there was, of course, a lot of flirtatious running back and forth between the two groups, trying to get a read on Andy’s feeling, which, if I can recall were, “Who? Oh I guess sheʼs okay.”
I. Was. In.
All of the walking, sweating and learning throughout the day were tolerable only because of the hotel destination later that night. That’s what all these overnight field trips were about, the hotel. Colonial Williamsburg was like my sixth grade Las Vegas, and what happens in Colonial Williamsburg stays in Colonial Williamsburg.
The usual hormonal tween shenanigans ensued: eating and drinking snacks that we snuck in our suitcases. In fact, I’m sure that someone snorted a Pixie Stick.
I was rooming with girls who were cooler than me, so the boys wanted to come into our room, which was insane to me, especially after someone had hatched a plan to sneak few boys into our room. Like I said, I was not cool.
Although, something came over me at this moment, probably when I realized the sooner we got caught the sooner I could go to sleep, because suddenly I was out of bed and helping these boys sneak into our room, like a regular Harriet Tubman. The lights were off. Everyone was whispering and giggling. I got back in bed and next me was Andy. I mean! Can you stand it!? I was in pajamas, and he was still fully dressed.
As quickly as I realized what was happening, or about to, there was a stern knock on the door. Boys hid behind curtains and in closets, while Andy and I threw the sheet over our heads and giggled. Everyone was laughing because this was hilarious and thrilling at 12 years old. Once the teacher entered the room, the fun was over as quickly as it began. Mr. Luff sat outside our rooms for the rest of the night. I can only hope that he had a bottle of Chardonnay to keep him company.
I was so thrilled to have had Andy in my bed, even if it was for just a quick moment. Honestly itʼs still thrilling to have a boy in my bed, even if nothing happens. That feeling doesn’t get old: a cross between of anticipation, love, and wanting to puke everywhere because you have no idea what will or what could happen. That night I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face, lingering there until we left.
I began to think of our future together. He, obviously, would get a great job after college (yes, we dated from 6th grade until he asked me to marry him after college). We would have five kids and I would stay at home and be a fantastic housewife, devoted to my husband, kids and dogs.
We left the next morning, proud of ourselves for the antics that happened the night before because if you do something cool, you are someone cool. As I sat on the bus, Fiona motioned for Andy to sit next to me so she could take a picture of us on her disposable camera. He put his arm around me and I basically shit myself. I started laughing like a lunatic, a thing that I still do to this day when a boy I lust after does anything remotely adorable in my presence.
Yes, I’m still killing it.
Fiona turned around in her seat, leaving Andy and I alone. As we talked, he told me that I was a great friend and asked me if I could help him out with Fiona.
Because he liked Fiona. Because I am a great friend. OMG.
A few days later Fiona gave me a copy of that picture of Andy and me. I was laughing and Andy was dashing. A week later Fiona and Andy were dating. And years later we are all still shaving our armpits.
Rebecca Edwards is a writer and improviser. She has trained at The Improv Asylum, Second City Chicago, iO Chicago and The Nerdist. She loves dogs, drinks and napping. She is also probably in love with you. Follow her @becsbecrebec
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