In 4th grade, I was grossly smitten with a freckled boy named Robbie. He had a goofy gap in between his two front teeth, just like me, and spoke with a slight whistle. He liked skateboarding and I liked horses. And I was absolutely convinced we were meant to be. They say when you know, you know. Let me tell you, my prepubescent body just knew.
I would secretly curse my teacher whenever she changed our seating charts and Robbie wasn’t within talking distance. It’s like she was out to ruin my life, you know? Couldn’t she see? Robbie was my nine-year-old Prince and separating us was committing some heinous evil — something she surely had planned. Did she enjoy breaking innocent hearts?! Did she not get enough love during her childhood?! I decided she was jealous of young love and hell-bent on destroying it.
My interactions with Robbie were few and far between, but oh boy, when they happened they were FIRE. One exciting day on the playground he yelled my name. Was he about to propose? Ask me to be his girlfriend and we’d hold hands under the slide? He waved. I waved back. That was it. But like, THE SEXUAL TENSION!
So I orchestrated the most ridiculous of events to get Robbie over at my house. I had a rabbit wedding.
You read that correctly.
I had two rabbits, Potter and Chloe, and because love was constantly on my elementary school mind, I wanted to celebrate the union of my two bunnies. I had saintly (and equally as weird as I am) parents who put the whole thing into motion. I created invitations – my 5 closest friends and the two boys I would enjoy having at my house – a good friend named Kyle (who two grades later I’d fall in love with) and, of course, Robbie. We decorated the front yard with carrots and streamers. My mom ordered a cake that said, “Congratulations” in pink icing. I can’t even make this shit up. I imagine some kids would just ask their crush to hang out or go play tag, something. What did I do?
I had a rabbit wedding.
And it was awesome. Robbie came and was the last one to leave. We took Razor scooters down the block and prank phone called pizza restaurants. I remember laughing so hard, my eyes overflowed with tears and I thought I might explode from happiness.
Maybe I’m just nostalgic these days for simplicity. Before having the ability to know someone has read your text message or see how much fun they’re having on Snapchat. This millennial problem of knowing exactly when we’re being ignored. And we all do it. The truth is for every person you find annoying, someone out there finds you annoying too.
By 5th grade, I was over Robbie. We never kissed. We never held hands. We didn’t stay in touch. I don’t even know where Robbie is now. I don’t know where he went to college, or if he did. He could live in a different country or down the block. I have no clue.
But with you, it’s different. It’s easy to know where you are or what you’re doing. And that feels creepy and weird, but I guess it’s the nature of technology. I can lazily scroll through Instagram and suddenly know you’re at a baseball game. You can favorite a tweet of mine and I’m reminded you do, in fact, exist.
We could have been a one-time thing. But something about the way you looked at me in the Uber stays with me. Something about the way you reached for my hand and I didn’t pull away like I often do. Something about your brain intrigues me and that hasn’t happened to me in a while. I barely know you. You barely know me. You could be in love with someone else and I could be here, 300 miles away, wondering if you ever think about me.
Maybe I’m kind of wishing we could be in 4th grade together. Without phones or distractions or anything. Just us, running around, trying to make sense of feelings and laughing until we cry.
When you like something I post on Instagram, my heart flops into my stomach and I feel like I’m thirteen. Isn’t that stupid? A cold device (sorry iPhone, I love you) can give me feelings because it’s a connection to you. How silly, that a heart icon could make me feel tingly and nervous. My fingers get trigger happy and want to text you. But I don’t know. I’m afraid of being too much. I’m afraid of being the eager girl I was in elementary school, ready to plan a rabbit wedding just to spend some time with a person I find fascinating.
It’s been months since we’ve kissed. And I still find you so fascinating.
I still see your face on Instagram and think, “Maybe.”
You make me think maybe for the first time in a while.