My First Crush

This is me at 8 years old, around the time I had my first crush. Ladies love missing teeth.

I hope you remember your first crush. I sure do.

In the greater scheme of things, the first crush means nothing. It’s puppy love, nothing more. But I think it’s one of the first times–if not the first time–that we get to experience a feeling that we’re fully aware of and yet we don’t understand at all. It’s confusing and wonderful at the same time. I think that’s why it sticks in our memories.

My first crush was Rebecca G in second grade.

Sure, I had little playground crushes before that, but nothing like this. She had golden blonde hair, a beautiful smile, and she radiated kindness. I was sure we were to marry.

We were in the same class, but we barely knew one another. I was too shy to talk to her unless we were in the same group for an activity. I remember that I once was placed in her group after counting off, but I was asked to switch to a different group because of some logistics issue. I was a very accommodating kid, so the teacher probably didn’t think it would be an issue. But I refused to switch. At least, refused until I no longer had a choice, but I did my best.

First crushes make you do things like that.

I wish I had a childhood photo of Rebecca, but instead I offer you another one of me.

I don’t remember much else about that second grade class with Rebecca G, but I do remember the one other way that I expressed my feelings to her: I pulled the chair out from under her as she went to sit down one day.

It was a terrible thing to do, and I was not a child who did terrible things like that, but it made sense at the time. I wouldn’t have done it to anyone else in the class. It was basically my way of saying, “Love me!”

Rebecca G is now married with a kid on the way (not my kid). She’s an adult, with so many years between the time of the crush–the time when I knew her–and now. So many experiences and jobs and friends and schools. So many things to bridge the gap between second grade golden girl and 31-year-old wife.

But I’ll always know her as my first crush.

Who was your first crush? How did you express your feelings to that person?


9 Responses to “My First Crush”

  1. A.S. says:

    My first crush didn’t even happen until I was in my 20s. I mean sure, I thought Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys was cool when I was a teen, but I never reached out to him to show I liked him. My crush was a guy I met online. I didn’t express my true feelings to him because he made me nervous though the emails we exchanged, and because I was so crazy about him I didn’t know what to say. I would have his picture up on my screen when I would try to write an email to him and even my fingers would get tongue tied as silly as that sounds. I was a nervous little girl in a 20 something year old body and I regret not telling him how I felt. Would it have made a difference? Probably not, I don’t think we would have dated or anything but friendship might have happened.
    Would you have tried to see how things go with Rebecca G. if you were both single?

  2. A Ahn says:

    My first crush is hard to pinpoint…mainly because I was such a tomboy that tomboys like me were expected to not like their male counterpart. Which, now that I look back on things doesn’t change the fact that I secretly did like a boy when I was…maybe 8 years old? I think I was in the third grade. His name was Brenton. He was the boy that all the other girly girls liked, which basically put him off-limits to me. He was a jerk…that douche on the playground who did things like throw sand at girls or untied their shoes when they weren’t looking. I think at one point he even threw craisins at them in the lunch room.

    To become closer to Brenton, I started doing the same types of things that he and his posse would do…I became his sort of “partner-in-crime” if I may label myself. I, along with the other “cool boys” of the class, would play tetherball, throw around a football, kick balls at girls, chase girls, etc. It was the only way I could get close to him. Later (in the fifth grade), he and I would actually become close friends, and he would tell me all about the girls he wanted to kiss and asked if I could make that happen. Whatever. I was his liaison between the girl and boy world, and I wasn’t going to complain. To me, this was as close as I was ever going to get to being “with” him.

    To your question:

    “Would you have tried to see how things go with Rebecca G. if you were both single?”

    Sure, just as I would try to see how things go with any single individual that interests me. If Rebecca G. as a 31-year-old is cool and my type, then why not? Your grade school experiences are an immediate “something in common” and a great point of departure conversation-wise. At least the first date may not (or may) be awkward. So long as you realize you aren’t dating 7-year-old Rebecca G., then things should be okay.

    Cute photos, btw.

  3. Elaine says:

    My first crush was a guy in my kindergarten and first grade class, it didn’t go well. 🙁

    In first grade, we did a “secret Santa” thing for just my class. And I was lucky enough to draw my crush’s name (Tim). My mom knew I had a crush on him, so she planned for me to have little gifts throughout December and then finish with a really big, awesome gift. One day, I was in line for recess and Tim was in front of me. I overheard him telling someone else that his secret Santa was “awful” and he had not gotten any good presents yet.

    My six-year-old self was heartbroken. 🙁

    • Jasmin says:

      First, cyber hug to the six-year-old Elaine. It’s okay. Boys have cooties anyway.

      My first crush story is somewhat similar to yours. It involved a “present”.

      Year was 1991 (I think), kindergarten afternoon class, it was a nice spring day in Hong Kong. Juice boxes were emptied, snacks were delish, and nap time was near. I have been sitting next to this boy for a while now. He was cute. I think he was a mixed, half Asian, half white. And we talked about juice boxes and stuff animals all the time. Nap times were the best. We just put our heads down on our decks for 10 to 15 minutes. He would take my hand and put mine underneath his and vise versa to nap. Those were good naps. That day I believe was the last day of school. We were lining up for our parents to pick us up on the other side of the gate. He was behind me and tapped on my shoulder. We weren’t suppose to talk in line, so I did a quick look over my shoulder and asked ‘what?’ He said, ‘I have something to show you.’ Intrigued. I turned more so I can look at him in the eyes. As I turned he had already picked out and pulled out a nice size booger from his nose to proclaim his love for me. ‘Eww!’ was my response. I wanted to jump over the person in front of me and be as far away from this mad man as possible. But all I can do was inch forward a little, bump the girl in front, looked back to girl to apologize, and propel back a little to my now ex-crush with the back of my head. Fear settled in as I realized I have tured my back on him! ‘Where did it go?’ was the last words I spoke to him. All he did was pointing up and said, ‘Up there.’ The gate opened and there was my mom. I ran to her with all my might and ignored any good-byes from any of my little friends. Getting away from booger boy was the mission. I greeted my mom with a smile, but her eyes were filled with fear. ‘What’s this on your head?’ He got me. ‘Booger’ I replied. Furious. I looked back to see if he was still there so I can point out the culprit, but he was long gone. That was the last time I saw him.

      Anyway, girls rule, boys drool.

  4. Jamey Stegmaier says:

    I have a crazy busy day at work and won’t be able to reply to each of these, but I just wanted to let you all know that I love the stories you’ve shared so far, and I look forward to seeing the others that roll in today.

    Oh, but I should answer that one question (it’s a good question): If Rebecca were in St. Louis and single, sure, I would like to get to know her as an adult, just to see. I think the first crush thing could unfairly influence my perception of her and could create some blind spots, but I could overcome them.

  5. Elisabeth says:

    Darn, too bad my yearbooks are packed away, I’d look her up right now! lol 🙂

  6. Emma says:

    This totally made me Facebook-stalk my first crush and now I don’t think I would be interested at all. (He looks exactly the same, my tastes just changed.) But I definitely remember some strategic placements for field trips and group projects so as to hang out more! Ahh 4th grade.

  7. Katie says:

    Ahh, Matt H. He was my first big crush, starting in second grade and lasting until the end of fourth. My best friend Aimee also had a crush on Matt’s best friend David. I still wonder to this day if she really liked David, or if she just thought it was the logical thing to do. Best friends going out with best friends!

    I was lucky enough that Matt wanted to be my friend. We even went as far as — gasp! — eating together at lunch! I pined for more of course, but it was not meant to be. He moved away at the end of 4th grade. I’m sure his parents “found better jobs” or “wanted to be closer to family” but none of these reasons seemed enough to justify our eternal separation. I’m pretty sure I cried for weeks and listened to Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love” on an endless rotation.

    I googled him not too long ago and for a brief moment thought for sure that I’d located him. I found a webpage called “Where in the World is Matt H” and thought for sure that he had created it as a way for me to track him down—after all, one of our main activities consisted of endless games to find Carmen Sandiego. This was surely a sign. But alas, it was a different Matt H. If I ever get on Facebook I might resort to stalking, but for now I’ll have to make do with the wallet-sized, well-worn 4th grade picture I still have of him somewhere. Apparently I had a thing for boys with rat tails when I was nine years old. It has my 4th grade handwriting on the back, with “Matt H” and hearts on either side of his name. I kid you not.

    Jamey, how long did your crush on Rebecca last and why did it end? Did you move on to the next cute girl, or did she start actively avoiding you after you pulled the chair gag and the crush just naturally faded? Hopefully you weren’t cruelly pulled apart with scars still to show for it like me. 🙂

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Katie–That is such a sweet story. I went and downloaded It Must Have Been Love after reading it. 🙂

      The crush lasted pretty much all of second grade. I can’t remember what happened after that, but I think she transferred to a different school. Perhaps she was too pretty for my school.

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