My Secret to Share


Story bAshley Kron

May I share with you a mind-numbingly embarrassing secret? I have never had a boyfriend. I have never kissed anyone. I haven’t even held hands. Once, in sophomore year, a lanky senior with a beard took notice of me as I stood up in choir class. He obtained my number through a friend and texted me throughout winter break, but I broke it off with a slanty-face emoji and that was about as close as I ever got.

I can’t say it does wonders for the self-esteem. Conversations with my mom sometimes begin like this:

“Mom, do you think it’s weird that I’m 18 and I’ve never had a boyfriend?” “…(a longer-than-necessary pause)…no sweetie. Well, maybe you’re just too picky?”

“Never mind mom I’ve decided I don’t want to have this conversation.”

Late at night when my mind is spiraling around the empty gape that is my romantic life, I frantically search for explanations: Am I too forward or not forward enough? Or it could be the knee-high socks.

Maybe if boys could see my shins…

The evening ends with a nice Internet session where I fill up on an archive of proudly single journalists who write things like: I’m 22 and I’ve never dated anyone and I am in a really good place! Or: I didn’t have sex until I was 24 but it was really hot I’m so glad I waited!!

I ride this high for a while until I meet one of my best friend’s mom at Fresh and Easy. We hug at the self-checkout lanes and she shows me pictures of her daughter’s new gorgeous, dreadlock swaying boyfriend. Only all I can think about is how much of a lesbian she was in high school, and how bad this makes me look.

Back to the confusion.

Being a forever-single has filled me with a level of bitterness, but sometimes I wonder if I don’t subconsciously relish these emotions. They are so rare for a privileged middle-class American. Most sad, privileged artists can find inspiration in the darkness or banalities of their childhoods, but mine was fine-

I did chalk drawings and bounced on trampolines every day, in between stuffing my face with brownies.

So all I have left is the emptiness I feel when I think of those missed Kodak-moments: the brace-y pecks behind the storage unit, the dances where everyone just sort of jumps up and down, the cheesy prom-posals beginning with a mostly naked swim team sprinting the length of the school and ending with balloons and awkward hugs. All of these memories blend into a beautiful slow-motion montage that haunts me when I close my eyes.

But as much as I dream of the day that an 18-24 year-old Joseph-Gordon Levitt/James Franco cross-breed floats my way, I can’t seem to bring myself to do anything desperate. To me, college isn’t the right place to feel desperate. I can feel that way when I’m a poor filmmaker living in a dirty flat in New York. The only attitude I can really have is that of an indifferent, cig-smoking skate witch who eats pizza voraciously and occasionally wears an eye patch.

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