Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A thing or two about fine arts camp

I learned some special things about life when I was 11.  That year I met a boy at fine arts camp.   I think he played trombone.  He had a nice smile and a head full of bushy hair.  Which made him an objectively attractive 12 year old. And somehow he had big enough balls to ask me out.

Getting asked out when you are 11 is a big deal. 
1) Because everyone envies the girls that get asked out and 
2) because none of the kids going on dates have any idea what’s going on 

At 11, I quickly learned that dating meant you had to constantly remind the world that you were taken.  When girls get boyfriends at summer camp they are required to turn their name badge upside down.  And when you are one of the badge upside down girls – everyone expects that you are a girl who makes out.

The easiest way to traumatize a little girl is to ask her if she has French kissed.  And if you’re never met catty 13 year olds – know that they revel in making you feel like shit. So they pestered me every day about which base I had gotten to with the Boy with the Trombone. At that time the thought of making out had me breathing heavily into brown paper bags and flinching at the sight of brass instruments. 

I spent most of the summer paralyzed with fear that my new boyfriend might try to kiss me.  But I was equally worried that I would be an old lady before I ever made out.  So a part of me wanted the bushy haired 12 year old to seduce me. 

Growing up involves a lot of small terrifying decisions where you wonder if you’re really ready.  And you’re also concerned that saying “no” means that you’re far behind.   As an adult you watch your friends get married and buy condos.   And you’re worried that if you don’t jump in, life will pass you by.

There's a couple things that I took from my summer at fine arts camp.  Life doesn’t punish you if you don’t make out at 11 or don’t get married by 35. And it’s important to recognize when you’re not
"there" yet. And a fear of a "big deal" type kiss corrects itself over time.

1 comment:

  1. Dammit, don't leave us hanging! What happened? Did you make out with him? Did you break up? Did he die in a horrible brass instrument tragedy? You can't just leave the story in the middle.