On Friday I volunteered in Alison's class, and I had the joy of reliving the ultimate elementary school experience: CAFETERIA FOOD. Yup. The cardboard tray, mushy fruit in its semi-defrosted state, pizza with rubbery cheese, a bruised apple, a cellophane wrapped spork (alongside teeny tiny straw and wafer thin napkin).
Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.
So anyway. There I am thirty-something hunched over on a kinder-sized lunch bench, sandwiched between Alison and her pal Yvette. Next to Alison was classmate "Noah." Now I'm sure you remember the Noah of your time. The guy who enjoyed tugging your hair or breaking your crayons. Perhaps your Noah was like mine? My Noah sat behind me during carpet time, and he made strange meowing noises while the teacher read to us. Sometimes he even enjoyed shoving small pebbles into my storage cubby. Do you know him?
If you do, you know he did this all in the name of love.
That young love is a strange creature. I believe that on Friday at 11:34 a.m., I witnessed Noah's candid love for Alison develop. You see, Noah managed to toss Alison's carton of orange juice in the air enough times to aggravate the heck out of her. I saw her sighing with irritation out of the corner of my eye, and I have to admit it looked like true love to me. Because lord knows, that if a boy tosses your orange juice in the air, he's in love. With you.
Of course I couldn't help but reminisce about my elementary school days. Of how boys were disgusting and gross in the early years, and then how boys were a blooming curiosity by the fifth grade. Fifth grade was such an awkward stage for me (I hit puberty fairly early), and I towered over most of the boys in class. I remember the day my fifth grade boyfriend asked me to go steady. We managed to both sneak out of class at the same time, and I remember walking down the hallway together. Hand in hand. Nevermind that his hand was a clammy mess, I remember that moment so vividly. Our simple love voyage ended in us getting a drink from the water fountain (he held the button for me), but I tell you, that was love.
It was sweet. It was innocent. And it was certainly memorable.
And I know he remembers that moment too, because shortly after returning to class, I managed a swift karate chop to his neck. All out of love of course.