I’m fond of the memories I have from high school. I can say that now because it’s been twenty-something years. I caught myself thinking that we never had social media back then. I wondered if we had it easier or harder. To creep our crushes that is.
It would have been way easier to read that “James” was working at Burger King, and not coming to the Teen Dance Club than making your friends wait all night just to see.
Kids have it easy these days. They can “long for” their crushes from the comfort of their iPhones. They can find out if their crush is single, going to the bush party, or has “Mandy” as a friend (and why does he even??).
When I was a teen, relationship statuses were written on binders. Texting was passing a note in class. Sexting was, well we didn’t even know what that was. If you did, your name was hash tagged with #slut next to it on the bathroom wall. Pinterest was torn pictures from Seventeen magazine and Teen Beat on your wall. If you wanted a picture of your dream guy, you had to sacrifice a page from your yearbook.
Stalking your crush took a lot of work. You had to be cool.
Dreaming about him from home wasn’t enough. You couldn’t enhance all your senses with just thoughts. You couldn’t smell Drakkar Noir from thirteen blocks away. You had to tune into his class schedule, his locker location, his first period break. A school dance was the perfect time to get somewhere. Without social media you didn’t know if your crush was coming until you could lock eyes. You, with an intense love stare and he, with I’m trying to focus cause I’m high glaze.
Groups of girls getting ready before the night out “checked Facebook statuses” by asking if anyone knew if “Scott” was going. Had anyone heard? Did anyone know his sister? Did he ever go to a dance before? You re-check Facebook by making your one friend with a license drive by Scott’s house on your way to the dance. His dad’s car was there. That meant a lot of things, but it didn’t confirm Scott’s location.
When you get to the dance your crush eventually shows up with his friends.This is prime tweeting time -90’s style- for girls. Swarming like birds to feed, they make sure that all roll on lip gloss is applied. Then Patience by Guns and Roses starts. Hugs to each other and screams. Now break apart.
The epic moment was standing close enough to be ready if he asked you to dance. Then, like most high school fails, he chooses another. You immediately grab your BFF and prepare for a night of public bathroom crying.
Without Twitter, you had to count on that one friend gossiping enough, while she left you to get the other girls. If word spread far enough he would hear about it Monday.
And like you stalk celebrities on Twitter, he never retweets, because maybe when you dropped your binder in front of him he missed the ginormous heart with his name on it.