Saturday, August 14, 2010

Getting All Green-Eyed

A few Readers have suggested I write about Envy, and while I know this is a common state for me, I couldn't think of a good example until yesterday. But now I have, so here goes.

When I was a junior in high school, I took a P.E. weight lifting class with one Lance Martin, Dreamy Star Tailback for the Corona del Mar football team. I can't tell you much about Lance, since we never spoke. He had a raspy voice, crystalline green eyes (ha!) and was featured in the local sports section every Saturday after super-scoring at every Friday night game. What I remember about Lance is really just about me: I stalked him until I knew all his habits--which classes he took, when I could sit in the bleachers during his track practice, who his friends were (Vince B...almost as hot) and most importantly the location of his locker, so I could fold up notes into teeny-tiny pieces and squeeze them through the slats when no one was looking. That's right--I put anonymous love letters in his locker. "Dear Lance. You looked like a god running hurdles today. I love you like I love air and sleep and ice cream. I'll love you forever. Samantha." Yeah, I signed them. You thought maybe I was LESS dramatic at 16? They were only anonymous by virtue of the fact that he had no freakin' clue who I was. Because I was nobody. In his world, I didn't exist.

He was often with cheerleaders and other popular girls, but the girl I hated with the whitest, hottest passion was one Kelly S., who was only a FRESHMAN (Lance was a senior) and the most California-est girl I'd ever seen: tall, leggy, tan, tiny snub nose, waist-length bleach-blond hair--the kind of blond that comes from daily beach visits, not from science.

She wasn't a cheerleader, and didn't even seem to be part of a popular crowd--she was just, simply, beautiful. And clearly, Lance had noticed. Since he could have any girl in school, maybe he'd just seen her in the hall and started talking to her. She seemed comfortable around him (as I watched from a distance) but not snowed--she didn't giggle or look away when he talked. She just seemed like a person, talking to another person.

HUH? It would be like standing there nonchalantly chatting up Shaun Cassidy. I mean, Lance was not a regular PERSON. He was an ANGEL walking among us. A raspy-voiced, green-eyed, football-playing angel. And here was Miss Kelly S, acting like a conversation with Lance Martin was no more thrilling than purchasing a quart of milk. I stared and stared at her, trying to figure out how someone gets to be like that, what it must be like to wake up each day with that kind of confidence, that kind of presence in the world.

At the time, I worked in a donut/ice cream shop on Balboa Island; it was my first paying job. I stayed there for a couple of years and one day, about a year later, I spotted a note tacked to the bulletin board under the phone. It said "Please call if shifts become available." and was signed "Kelly S.," with her address and phone number. I was stunned. Kelly S. might work here! She might become my best friend, and teach me how to be like her! I thought about it all afternoon. Because I'm a talker, I had to mention it to my shift partner, Heidi, who was also one of the managers. I told her about Lance and Kelly and my whole sordid non-history with them. We were standing by the bulletin board. Heidi looked at me serenely and said " hate this girl, right?" I was a little shocked by the question. I mean, "hate" was a strong word for someone I'd never met. But for some reason I said "Yeah. I mean, totally. I can't stand her." With a slow smile crossing her freckled face, Heidi reached for the note and pulled it off the board. Decisively, she ripped it top to bottom and tossed it in the trashcan next to us. "Buh-bye, Kelly. Guess you won't be working here." She smiled at me again and headed back to the counter.

I was amazed. What power! Just like that, Kelly's hope of being a Dad's Donut girl was dashed forever. Maybe she had Lance, but I had the job she wanted. How cool was I? Don't answer that, but for the rest of that day, at least, I felt pretty cool. I had something that Kelly S. wanted, and people in my corner to make sure she never got it. Wow.

Ten years later, I'm watching Melrose Place (one of my all-time faves) when a beautiful blond girl in a bathing suit jogs by evil Michael Mancini on the beach. There was something about her. I mean, yeah, she was gorgeous, but that wasn't it: she had a spark of something, charismatic and focus-pulling. She quickly became my favorite character. A while later, my friend Bryan told me he couldn't believe Kelly S. from our high school was on Melrose Place. It was like someone hit me with a brick. OMG! She was no longer Kelly S--now she was Kelly R.

And now she's Serena's mom on Gossip Girl. As gorgeous as ever. And I kind of love her. True story. I mean, she has her problems, in real life, just like the rest of us. I know that she and her husband split up as soon as she got pregnant with their second child. It can't be fun going through pregnancy and divorce at the same time, with a toddler, no less.

But I have to laugh every time I remember how I thought I really zinged her when Heidi tore up her note. Yeah, she missed a key opportunity there. Could have really led to something. Too bad an evil mastermind like me took her down.

Wonder what Lance Martin is up to, though. Haven't seen him on any shows.


Caroline said...

What a great story! (And I even know who you mean, even though I don't watch GG.) :)

I was always boggled by girls who could act nonchalant around boys when I was in high school. And I had a few girls I hated passionately for talking to my crushes so successfully. All my friends and I could do was walk past our love interests at lunch, basking in the proximity and holding our breath until we were far enough away to die laughing.

Gosh. Why did I have so few boyfriends again???

I think I shoved a note in someone's locker once, asking them to a dance. (Gack) I also sent a lollipop (anonymously) to my dreamy blond football-playing crush.

My most humiliating memory is a combo of the above. I stalked past my crush at lunch while two of my friends walked behind me. When they reached him, they passed him a note from me asking him to winter formal. Then we got the hell out of there! And I avoided him for days. I'm still humiliated to this day (even though he said yes when he did track me down).

Sam said...

Wow, C! He said yes! I didn't see that coming! Happy ending! How did it go at winter formal? :)

I am also laughing about what a cliche I am, with the loving of football players and the shoving of notes--did we all do the exact same things??? :)

Caroline said...

You're not a cliche. We're just great minds thinking alike. :)

It was stupid to ask him out that way. I already knew him. He jogged to catch me every day after our shared class so we could chat. I just balked at asking him out for the Sadie Hawkins style dance.

Of course, by the time Winter Formal rolled around, I'd grown bored with him, but I went. We had an awkward dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Rancho Bernardo wherein he said, "'s another conversation topic..." Then, at the formal as I was having fun on the dance floor, he looked at me and said, "Do you have trouble getting into the music?" I now think he meant that he did and that he was trying to relate, but it crushed me at the time as him pitying me. He was so round-eyed sincere. I've been nervous dancing ever since.

Ah, high school. Sorry to clutter up your comments with my pitiful saga.

Sam said...

Well, as you can see, dear, my comments have not been exactly cluttered. :)

I read with a combo of giggling and cringing the bit about "getting into music." I feel like I was there. In fact, I feel certain I had the same sort of thing happen to me at some point. And I'm also sure you're retrospectively right: He just felt awkward himself. :)

Also, I KNOW I've gone on that date, with the guy saying "here's another conversation topic." Or maybe that was me. ;) Wow. So easy to forget the truly horrific parts of being a teenager. ;)

Stephanie said...

I loved her on MP too, though I no longer remember the storylines

I have a client named Shaun Cassidy and every time I see his name my heart skips a beat.

Also, I'm impressed you know what position he played.

Sam said...

Oh, Steph, I see you can remember Shaun Cassidy's heyday! Were you also a Hardy Boys fan? :)

Yes, to this day "Tailback" is the only football position I know. And I only know that because it was in the paper next to Lance's name every Saturday. ;)