I was the down and out girl next door from the wrong side of the tracks, with a well-meaning but sad sack dad and a sainted mom who died of a horrible yet vague disease when I was five. By the time high school rolled around, I was a freaky geek – just another suburban casualty, shrouding her emotions and scoliosis stoop in gender-neutral black Goth clothes.
And then one day you picked me up. Literally. Just as I slipped on that half-eaten banana some mean girl had “carelessly” tossed on the sidewalk, you grabbed me with your McConaughey arms and saved me.
Our eyes met, and in that slo-mo moment, I knew we’d be together. Not because it makes complete sense that two people at opposite ends of the high school feeding chain should fall head over heels in love and keep their scandalous yet passionate affair secret because, uhm, it doesn’t, but because in that split second, your essence invaded me, like a demonic possession. (Which, by the way, might be literal, given the supernatural goings on in our small hometown.) I sniffed out the tender soul behind that wall of bravado that you built around it ’cause you were too scared of being seen. (It smelled heavily of Axe Dark Temptation Body Spray, by the way, which made me love you even more.) I knew you longed to let your freak flag fly – sing, dance, and bust a move anywhere other than on the football field.
I get you, baby -- and it’s never once crossed my mind that your attraction to me despite my sexual ambiguity is anything less than pure.
Thank you to your friends who accepted me with open arms and gave me the makeover of my dreams. Well, of America’s dreams anyways – I normally dream about being buried alive, but who wants to hear about that?! And even though I'm down one unibrow and my skin is perfectly clear now, I'm still that same geeky, clumsy Goth girl you fell in love with, 100% head over heels for you.
Even if we literally have nothing in common – the slow clap I hear in my brain every time you stand up for me to your friends and sweep me in your arms is all I need for happily ever after.
When I first laid eyes on you, my chubby sidekick made a joke about how your nose was so far into your U.S. history book you could probably smell Abraham Lincoln’s farts. I laughed to look cool, but inside I thought "this manic pixie dream girl is adorably weird!"
I guess I can admit to you now that the day you slipped on the banana peel, I only caught you on a dare. Of course I felt a little bad about that, especially after I had to drop you on your ass just so I wouldn't look like I was being a gentleman or anything pathetic like that. But you got that deep down I didn't mean to be a jerk, probably because you are slightly supernatural, possibly part vampire, and clearly so damaged from being that kooky outcast that one more dumb jock pulling a humiliating prank on you was all in a day’s work. Your unflappable pluck is what won me over. Well, that and the killer rack that you used to hide under boxy black sweaters or behind button down men's shirts with awkward skinny ties. That makeover did open my eyes to all of your abundant possibilities, thank the Lord.
I'm sorry for taking so long to make you my official girlfriend. I realize now it's because my parents got divorced when I was young and then my mom got all creepy and possessive with me, and kinda thinks of me more like a lover/husband than a son. Or did, until I was like 19 or something. But we’re cool now. Anyways, today, looking into your quirky, girl-next-door eyes, I know you’re the reason I’ve been able to mature beyond all those traits that made me slightly unlikeable yet totally relatable.
Also, that winning touchdown at the championship game that I made in the pouring rain despite my broken leg and wounded pride were all for you, baby.
You make me the best version of myself. Now how ‘bout we ditch this dinky town, move to the big city, and get wacky in the big sequel we call married life?