Removing the Training Wheels

In 1994, when I was still ten-years-old, our school had a luncheon for the fifth-graders where we had to find a date. It was kind of a lesson on dating. Before the luncheon, we were shown the proper dating etiquette: taking a bath and dressing nice, payment options for dinner, guys pulling their lady’s chair out for them, the proper way to hold utensils, chewing with your mouth closed, etc.

I had a crush on Tiffany since the first day of the fourth grade. Cue “Dream Weaver” by Gary Wright. Tiffany has blue eyes, she was about my height, and I don’t remember how long her hair was at the time, but it was light brown. Man, I thought Tiffany was cute!

I went with Tiffany to the Fifth-Grade Luncheon. But I didn’t even set up my own date. When people started finding out that I liked Tiffany, for a couple of weeks I had kids looking for me at my apartment, my great-grandparents’ apartment, and just about every other place in the neighborhood that I went to tell me that Tiffany liked me, too, and she wanted to go to the Fifth-Grade Luncheon with me.

When the day of the luncheon came, I guess that I was dressed alright, because I remember wearing a nice sweater. I was mature enough to know that hygiene was important, and I kept things neat, anyway, so I believe that I got an “A” on that part of the test (that’s just a figure of speech, we weren’t graded on this).

But throughout the rest of the date, I failed miserably! I was so nervous that I forgot to tell Tiffany that she looked nice, I forgot to pull Tiffany’s chair out, and I forgot to pass the rolls.

When we were shown the video that was taken of the luncheon, Tiffany and all of the other dates sitting at our table were visible, except me. I was hidden so well by the vase of flowers in the center our table that Geraldo with a camera crew would have missed me. Tiffany “dumped” me two weeks later. Can you blame her? I was afraid to even talk to the girl.

Tiffany and I became good friends a few years later. Melissa was good friends with Tiffany and her younger brother, Chris. Tiffany and Chris also got more involved with church early in mine and Tiffany’s high school years.

There were a few girls before and after Tiffany that I liked, but I never told any of them (except for one, who I’ll mention later) because my confidence had taken a quite a hit on the first outing.

The training wheels are removed. I’m riding on two wheels. I look good. Then somebody lets me know about it. I panic. I stop pedaling. I struggle to keep the front wheel straight. I crash.


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