I was 7 when we moved from small town Saskatchewan to the big city. By big, I mean about 200,000 people. I was used to small town girls in home made dresses and small town boys with pants that barely skimmed their ankles. My first day in my new school was filled with apprehension which I cleverly disguised with a know-it-all attitude. I was wearing my favourite dress and entered the class of Mrs. Hippo.*
The class room hushed as I walked in the door. Apparently, a country girl was something to see. They were learning about size that day. And I was the tallest thing they'd seen. Quickly I was lined up (with the others being used as elementary examples) in my place of honour - the end of the line. I was big and everyone else was small. I was proud and at the same time self-conscious. But, they wanted to include me and, I guess by singling me out, they did.
It was that day I met two boys who would change my life. The first was next to me in line. Dark wavy hair, big grin and olive skin. I would have a crush on him the rest of my time in the public school system. Until Grade 7, I would sit behind him in classes and twist his shirt with a ruler and giggle with my girlfriends about his great hair. He ended up being a hockey player in high school and though he never acknowledged me, I secretly remembered the time in grade school when we were friends.
The second boy was at the far end of the line. He was the smallest in the class and, as far as I knew, he never did get much past that. For as small as he was, his mouth was the opposite. He could get into trouble by mouthing off faster than anyone I knew. That trouble drew me to him and he and I spent as much time together as possible. I traded my dresses for jeans and Ts and looked for trouble wherever we went. He was invited to all my birthday parties and I adored him. He moved when we were 10 and to this day, I wonder where he is and if he would even remember me.
It's funny that my first crushes would go on to define the types of guys I would find myself attracted to the rest of my life. The first: good looking, but kind of an asshole. The second: more trouble than one girl could ever want and still think she could change.
* I have no idea what her real last name is anymore. I think Schwitz... something. But she was a big bum lady and this is the name that sticks in my head.