Fourth grade. Houston, Texas. E.O. Lovett Elementary School. There were two boys – Jonathan B. and Keith G. who were competing for my affections.
Okay, maybe they weren’t competing exactly, seeing how they pretty much acted as if I didn’t exist (Boys! They’re so coy!), but I certainly thought about them enough to work myself into a frenzy. I could barely walk to the back of the room to sharpen my pencil, I was so nervous.
I finally figured out that they weren’t going to approach me first. I mean, they knew who I was and we made classroom small talk (”Do you have an extra eraser? Are you going to do the spelling bee? Did you bring your lunch?”), but at this rate I’d be 30 before I got married (31, as it turned out). So one afternoon, I heard Keith say that he had band practice. Apparently he played the trumpet. Knowing that I had to choose, I abandoned my efforts to get Jonathan’s attentions and decided to concentrate my efforts on Keith. First on the list? Join the band.
Turns out you need to play an instrument to join the band. So I made a five-second decision and chose what I thought would be an easy instrument to play. The flute. Yes, I was going to play the flute. I loved the flute! And I couldn’t wait to play flute in the band! With Keith!
Long story short: I hated band. And I hated the flute, which we ended up buying because my parents were so excited that I wanted to play an instrument (I played the piano, too, but I constantly complained about it so they were thrilled I had “chosen” to play the flute – ugh!). They made me take lessons. I was terrible. And did you know you have to clean the flute after you play it? Sure, it makes sense when you think about it, but it hadn’t crossed my fourth-grade mind. Not only that, but it turned out that the flute and the trumpet don’t sit next to each other. Nope. There’s a flute section and a trumpet section. And — are you ready for this? — Keith’s family moved a month later, and I was stuck in band for the rest of the year. Doh!
Tell me I’m not alone. What crazy things have you done in the name of love?