I used to live in a simpler time when obtaining a boyfriend was a predictable chain of events – it starts with a friend unsubtly sussing out if the affection’s requited between you and your crush (Pippa thinks you’re fit. Do you think she’s fit?) and ends in a blossoming relationship founded via your ‘XO_Lil_Pipz_XO‘ MSN account.
I loved school.
An all girls grammar in the sunny Southend, I made friends for life there and I still find myself spontaneously laughing at how horribly unladylike we were. But just like any teenager, my favourite thing about school was the day ending.
The after-school bell echoes through the building and by 3.32pm the bathroom would be brimming with more teenage girls than you’d find at a 1-D concert.
Fighting for the prime middle-mirror spot, we’d cake on Miss Sporty powder foundations four shades too dark for our faces, teamed with jet black eyeliner and layered with the cheapest Maybelline mascara on the market. We looked so good we just had to capture it on our Motorola flip phones.
Perfecting the art of Slutty Chic, we’d undo the top buttons of our shirts to make the most of our Primark-padded-bra enhanced assets and roll our skirts so short they barely skimmed our thighs.
Unsurprisingly, this perfectly orchestrated ruckus was in a bid to get male attention from the neighbouring school.
We’d spent the past week diligently deciphering who gets to ‘go out‘ with who, which of course incestually rotated like clockwork. A row of scantily clad girls all arm in arm, we’d head down to the bus stop and do our best to get the boys to notice us – most likely by trying to push each other over.
After three weeks of awkwardly standing in the same proximity as the boy I fancied and doing my best to avoid actually talking to him, I’d landed myself a boyfriend – and after allocating him a spot in my MySpace Top Friends things got pretty serious.
A week later it was time for the dreaded first kiss.
Set in the school canteen, the disco was the soirée of the summer and despite it being cut short when a student defecated in a urinal, it was difficult to contemplate a more romantic setting than crouched behind the Pasta King machine with my BF.
I may have kissed a lot of frogs in my time (like the person who bit my lip so hard he drew blood), but I remember that kiss in 2006 like it was yesterday. The painfully awkward rigidness of our bodies. The way I violently jutted my head back when he tried to use his tongue. My disgust vanquished with a sense of achievement. And most of all, I remember my best-friend Lydia running over to see me. Her infinite wisdom and experience at the humble age of fourteen, she self-assuredly asked “Was he like a washing machine?… Yeah it’s normally like that.”
It may have been a somewhat scarring experience but my first kiss is also one of my favourite memories. What I wouldn’t give to feel that school girl innocence again.
Images via Giphy.