Because of a hysteria surrounding 13-year-old girls piercing their navels and giving blowjobs or what have you, I found that I was never more distrusted than when I was a preteen. As such, I went on a number of supervised dates with boys and their moms. Dates with moms are not so different than dates without moms except there’s no chance of over the pants action, you probably sit in the back seat on the way, and you don’t have to make a show of pretending to pay. Mom always picks up the tab.
Because I met my boyfriend about a billion years ago and haven’t dated another man since, my pre-teen dating history is much richer and more interesting than anything in my adult life. For the purposes of this post, I’m defining pre-teen as 12-13, since those were the years that I wore bras but did not menstruate.
Josh, Age 12
Even though my classmate Josh and I largely ignored each other at school, we struck up a friendship over AIM the summer after sixth grade. Perhaps graduating from our elementary school and moving onto separate middle schools awakened something in us, or maybe everyone else just had away messages up. In any case, I developed a crush on Josh, even though he was functionally illiterate and mostly sent me links to Geocities sites dedicated to Eminem.
His younger sister and mine were best friends, and one afternoon, my mom came rushing into my bedroom with some very exciting news. His mom, who was about to pick my sister up to go ice skating with his little sister, had called and invited me along, at Josh’s request. I had always hoped to be asked out by somebody’s mom. I had never been the cute girl in the sixth grade, and I felt that this was my chance to impress. I grabbed my most appealing boot cut jeans (dip dyed at the knee, embroidered waistband, extra low rise), and selected a polo shirt, thinking that would strike the perfect balance between smart and sophisticated.
When Josh, his mom, and sister arrived, my sister and I piled into the back seat. Josh and I did not speak. Instead, I talked to the younger sisters the whole way to the ice rink or gazed out the window, dreamily. Everything was coming together. Josh would be my boyfriend and our sisters would be best friends forever, and I was pretty sure my mom was going to buy me an even more sophisticated polo shirt for my birthday (it had rhinestones on it). Things were coming up Julia Sonenshein.
Once we arrived at the ice rink, the girls held hands and skated while I mostly clung to the wall, giggling and making stupid jokes. Josh impressed me with his cool skating skills, which primarily consisted of skating really, really fast and then stopping suddenly while creating sound effects. When he ignored me, I talked to his mom, who supervised from the edge of the rink. I was pretty sure I was in love.
Afterwards, we went back to their house for snacks. Josh and I lay on his giant trampoline and talked, which was our first extended face-to-face conversation. He asked me if I wore thongs, and mentioned that he didn’t want his future wife to work for a living, because, kids. I thought he made a pretty convincing argument. I told him it wasn’t any of his business what type of underpants I had on, but am ashamed to say that it gave me a secret thrill that he wondered. Three weeks later, he called me a fat slut over AIM, and that was the end of our love affair. Some loves are just not meant to be.