I Hate Crushes But I Like You, Part One: Meet Asparagus

by Ellen Huggins

I feel RIDICULOUS. I hate crushes. You would think that by the time I’m 16, I  would stop having them but I am a literal child. I get all the acne and the bad grades of a teenager, but I have the maturity and life plan of a 5th grader. Typical. And I feel like no one cares. It used to be so cool to tell my friends I like a boy and they would say “Oh zoo wee mama! ”( because this conversation  takes place in 2011 and Diary of A Wimpy Kid was very popular at the time) and  I would  say, “What the heck, don’t get so carried away! It’s just a little crush. It’s not like he likes me back.” And if he turned out he didn’t like you back, you’d be pretty disappointed but wow, it was the social event of the semester with that little romantic escapade. Middle school crushes are the best as long as you’re slightly pudgy and have a blonde bowl cut, because there’s no chance anyway for you to date anyone! High school is where everyone dates, and as I moved into freshman year, I knew that the stars were going to align, and I was going to get some action myself.

Weeks passed. Apparently, no one thought my Adventure Time shirts were as cool as I thought they were. I had to re-invent myself.  But how? You know,  people love Jack Black. He’s cool! He’s funny! What if I just dressed like Jack Black for the rest of freshman year? I could be the hawaiian shirt wearing, lovably dopey, early 2000s sidekick Jack Black of any 14-year-old boy’s fancy! Looking back, I’m not sure why I chose Jack Black to inspire my wardrobe. For one thing, he’s a man.And he’s not exactly a sex symbol. Not that it would be any better to say, “I’m going to dress like Ryan Gosling from now on,” but choosing the  46-year-old man from “Nacho Libre,” there’s something a little off there.

I’m not going to lie. I went through all these wardrobe changes because I had a crush on a boy named Asparagus. (That’s not his actual name, I named him that because he looks alot like the asparagus/human man on Veggie Tales.) I had a huge crush on Asparagus since the moment I met him, the first day of freshman year. And I had two classes with him. Spanish and History. I barely passed either of those classes that year because I was too busy seductively buttoning up my Hawaiian shirts and looking adorably confused. But the worst part of the year was when Asparagus and I were paired up together for a history field trip to the museum. We didn’t talk to each other the whole time because I was being shy, praying that he would say something first. But he didn’t, not until we got on the bus. He sat in front of me, turned, and  asked me what the homework was, and — not to delve too far into the  details — the conversation, short and blubbery, ended with me saying that his hair looked like it was crafted by Jesus.

We didn’t talk to each other for the rest of the year.  

Or the year after that.

But I still liked him. Yes, my crush was like Betty White. Against all odds of time,  it survived. It was underneath the surface, constantly wanting to show itself  but too elusive and vague to really take shape. And then came my junior year — but I’ll wait until next time to tell you about that. [Stay tuned for more…]



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