Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Grove: The Beginning

As first teased here, I am starting a series of random posts leading up to the wedding of my bestest bud Mike.

So, I met Mike when I moved back to Indiana from Michigan. I was the new kid in school in fifth grade, and as far as I could tell, he was the "popular" guy (I've always been quite bad at making those types of determinations). This is the strangest thing, but I thought he was sooo cool because he was allowed to wear a sweater without an undershirt. I begged my mom to let me do that, but she never would. When I eventually reached the age where mom no longer had input on my clothing decisions, I realized that wearing a sweater without an undershirt is the itchiest thing ever. Why did Mike wear his sweaters like that? Is his skin made of leather or something?

I hoped that maybe Mike and I would be placed at the same table the next time our teacher rearranged the seating chart. Eventually, that indeed happened. And so our friendship began. Our first act as friends was to steal the lipstick-shaped eraser from the girl who sat in between us (Mike & I sat across from each other). This girl was obsessed with that eraser and was genuinely hurt when it went missing. Mike & I would make a game of getting the eraser out and seeing all the different ways we could keep her from seeing it, even if it was on the table. Amazingly, she never caught on. Let's be honest, it was cruel.

Our cruelty to girls extended into the sixth grade, where we were again seated across from each other at the table. This year, instead of stealing a cherished possession, we choose to be less passive-aggressive and more directly aggressive. So, we flicked things- wads of paper, erasers, whatever- at the girls sitting between us. As the year went on, we began taking this more and more seriously and began to build various contraptions to assist us in our endeavor. This led to the first time I went to his house and stayed the night. The purpose was to build as many elaborate slingshots and catapults as we could devise. I think it was at that point we realized we may be going too far. So the rest of the year we played paper football, pretty much all the time. Now you may be thinking, "weren't you supposed to be learning something?" All I can say is, that was life in Mr. Wooden's class.

Fortunately, our relationship eventually extended beyond cruelty to girls (although there may be girls out there who disagree with that). We'll get to some of that next time...

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