On first love:
When i was in first grade this kid Tony Hirtz and I both had a huge crush on this girl in the second grade (something which would prompt endless predictable jokes from my family about me liking “older women”). Her name was Laura Lanphier. As the beauty of her name would suggest, she was undeniably the prettiest girl in any of the lower grades or in the world as far as i was concerned. We used to chase her around at recess all the time and try to kiss her(this was in like 1984 in the pre-sexual harassment, pre-political correctness days and when it was still acceptable to play games like “smear the queer”). Even though both Tony and I liked her, there was no animosity or competition about it. We never really thought about it like that, and it was more of a comradery or bonding experience that we both liked the same girl and nobody else understood. I’ve always been a pursuer until the bitter end when all cards have been played and there’s absolutely nothing left(a time which has never failed to appear for as i always say “maybe this time if i’m lucky, but if history is any indicator i’m not that lucky”)Anyhow, i digress. Unsatisfied with merely adoring Laura from afar we were absolutely determined to win her affections by any means necessary. So we went out to Ben Franklin(a local dime store) and bought all sorts of gifts for her, mainly perfume, notebooks and cards. We showed up early before school to give them to her, and there was a huge crowd of kids, what seemed like almost everyone in the school gathered around us yelling and screaming as we presented them to her. She said “thank you” and smiled. Later on that day she told everyone she was going to throw the cards and notebook in the fireplace and burn them and maybe give the perfume to her mom. I remember being incredibly sad and lying in bed all afternoon thinking of her longingly and bitterly. The next day Tony and I got called into the principals office where the principal had a long “talk” with us. She said that Laura liked us and wanted to be our friend but that we were to leave her alone from now on and stop bothering her. We avoided her after that, and didn’t talk to her again until the last day of school. I was wearing those mirror tinted sunglasses and i remember the exact words she she said to me “ooh Brandon you think you’re so cool”. After summer vacation we came back the next school year, and i remember instantly feeling like the spell had wore off, in short…I was over it. I almost felt embarrassed that i had exhausted so much effort and wished i could take it all back. Anyhow she moved and switched schools a year later and was never seen again. That’s the end of the story and i started liking a girl named Julie Linck whom i hung out with the entire time at Jessica Kempka’s roller skating birthday party, but the name Laura remains in my mind as an archetype “beautiful girl’s name”.