I’ve always been obsessed with athletes. When I was five years old, I told my mom I wanted to marry Michael Jordan. (Note: this was during his prime in the ’90s, when he was super relevant.) She never discouraged me, but I sensed by her reaction he would be hard for me to land. I quickly wised up and acknowledged that he wasn’t the one–probably due to our age and height difference. My dad was watching a Bulls game so I decided to just get it over with and break his heart, then and there. I walked up to the TV screen while Michael was warming up and calmly explained that I no longer liked him, and that I had a crush on my neighbor, Anthony. I can’t remember if the news affected his performance, but I would assume it knocked him a little off his game.
Anthony was nothing like Michael Jordan. He was a figure skater, he was my age, and he loved Britney Spears, so we had a lot to talk about. I would regularly beg my mom to take me to his ice shows. Best of all, he lived two houses down from me and he had an in-ground pool. Like my relationship with Michael, though, my relationship with Anthony was one of unrequited love. I was really fat during elementary school and Anthony loved to make fun of me for it. I stupidly mistook this as him liking me and held on to hope. I would also set an alarm for 11:10 every night so I could wish for Anthony to fall in love with me at 11:11. Like most one-sided love stories, I got over it. Thankfully, it happened by the time I entered middle school.
Once I hit middle school, I lost all my baby fat, started straightening my hair religiously, annihilated my eyes with black eyeliner, and exclusively wore Abercrombie kids, so I quickly became a regulation hottie. I mostly liked football and basketball players–I was on the spirit squad and we would cheer and dance at their games. It was fun to have a boyfriend on the team to cheer for specifically and hang out with after the games, but after their season ended, I would break things off because I didn’t like them enough to keep them around. My love of athletes continued through high school and well into college. And while during our younger years, they had all been clean-cut, no scruff, because that was the coach’s policy, the freedom that came with college tended to come with some sort of hair rebellion. So with their shift to flow and a beard came my shift in my taste in men.
One night in college, I was playing the naïve freshman game of, “How far can I drink past my limit without being taken to the hospital?” Usually, I pregamed in a jam-packed dorm room, headed to a party, danced in a dark room with neon and strobe lights, and drank until the sun came up. Except this night was a little different. I left the dance floor to get a new drink and someone stopped me to introduce himself. He was tall, dark, and handsome with great flow. I could tell he was older than I was, but I didn’t think twice about it. He started the conversation by asking where I was from, because he heard we went to neighboring high schools. I’m not really sure how the rest of the conversation went–my blackout hit me like a ton of bricks.
It must’ve gone really well, because the next morning, I woke up in an unfamiliar room with my head on top of a mound of chest hair. There was a combination of panicked thoughts and curse words running through my head before I even realized I was still wearing the black leggings I went out in the night before. Also, it appeared that I had lost my shirt and bra and threw my hair in a sloppy mini bun before passing out. The good news about my current state was that I was highly confident we didn’t have sex. The bad news was that I always put my hair in a bun when giving head, and by the severity of my hangover, there is not a chance in hell that could’ve been pretty.
To add to this mess, it was Easter morning and my family was in town. My mom had planned to pick me up at 10 a.m. to take me to their hotel before our noon Easter brunch reservation. I had no sense of what time it was and had to make a game plan, fast. The first order of business was to find my phone, bra, and shirt, all without waking my lover of the night. The second order of business was to find my dignity and maybe a few memories from the night before. I rolled over to see what I thought would be a sleeping man, but instead, he was a very awake man, staring at me. We did the awkward good mornings, and because I’m an idiot, I threw a “happy Easter” in there. I asked him what time it was and we got to talking about my Easter plans with my family, but he made sure to reminded me that we had already talked in full detail about it the night before. So as I tried to make moves out of bed, he kept pulling me back in and said, “We don’t have to get up for 10 minutes.” I was confused to why he said “we,” but I didn’t really dwell on it. What I did dwell on, however, was the fact that he also had his hair in a sloppy bun and I wasn’t sure how I felt about waking up next to a guy with the same hairstyle as mine.
We stayed in bed for 10 more minutes and I counted the seconds until I could get out of there. When I went to grab my shirt and bra, he also got up and asked if I minded if he took a quick shower. I just assumed he lived far from the dorms and wanted to clean up before he drove me home. So while he was in the shower I played room raiders, like any other warm-blooded female would do, and was mildly impressed when I found Moroccan Oil hair products. When he finally got out of the shower, he said he’d be ready to go in 15 minutes and I could hang out on the couch and watch TV if I wanted. This whole thing was getting a little weird, but I was mostly focused on not throwing up, so I did what I was told and didn’t ask questions. When he came out of his bedroom, he was wearing dress pants, a button-down shirt, and had his hair in that damn mini bun again. I told him he looked nice and asked where he was going. He gave me a very puzzled look and said, “You’re funny. Is this nice enough for the place your parents are taking us?” Holy fucking shit, did he just say what I think he said? Keep in mind that I nailed down what his whole name was while I was snooping by looking at an assignment he had on his desk. I had to undo whatever I did when I was blacked out, and fast.
I tried the whole, “Are you sure? You really don’t have to come. We just met, I don’t want this to be awkward for you, because my family is very abrasive.” He said he was really sad he couldn’t spend Easter with his family and was looking forward to brunch. He even looked up the times mass started so we could go after my parents left. Perfect. I couldn’t think of anything to do–I’m the most social blackout there ever was, and I probably begged him to come with me. I made my bed and had no choice but to lie in it.
That brunch was the weirdest meal of my entire life. I knew nothing about him, so I had no idea what to talk about other than the state we both hailed from and our love for alcoholic drinks. My mom called me out so many times for being a terrible friend because I didn’t know his major, year in school, position he played, jersey number, where he lived, who he lived with, and so on. The cherry on top of this personal hell was my dad’s decision to ask if he’d ever seen the movie “Tarzan,” and then thought it would be funny to refer to him as “Tarzan” for the rest of the meal. To this day, my friends and I strictly call him “Mini Bun,” and I refuse to participate in anything that has to do with Easter..
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