Here's part two of the preview to my new book! Hope ya'll enjoy it (and buy it if I ever finish and manage to get it published)! :)
“It’s never okay to kiss a boy. They always slobber all over you. That’s why I stopped doing it.” – Jean, age 10
“Maddie you can’t just boss people around” said my mom when she picked me up from preschool on my second day. I had been sent home with a note pinned to my shirt that said, “Maddie is rather bossy.” Rather? Who pins that to a preschooler’s shirt?
As for my bossiness, what can I say? I’m an only child. And I’ve outgrown it. I think.
“Ah, don’t worry about it kiddo,” said my dad. He picked me up and sat me in his lap. “Our little heartbreaker here is probably just telling the boys to leave her alone and they run off and tattle that she’s being mean. Ain’t that right, freckles?”
Mmm… not exactly. While all my parents’ friends fondly referred to me as Heartbreaker or Freckles, both super-cute and adorable, everyone at preschool called me… ummm… Kissy Girl.
Embarrassing. I’m aware. I don’t remember any of this (I’ve come to realize forgetting is the mind’s best defense mechanism), but apparently I had a habit of chasing the cute little boys around trying to kiss them. I couldn’t tell you why I did any of this because the thought of doing that now makes me sick to my stomach. I guess I didn’t fall for the whole “cooties” thing.
My first encounter with the disagreeable nature of males occurred during this interesting chapter in my life. It happened on the playground, like many character-forming and life-altering experiences do.
There were two tires stacked on top of each other that we could climb on near the middle of the big fenced-in yard behind the main building. One day I was lying across the top of the tires, minding my own business finding animal shapes in the clouds, when out of nowhere I felt a hand on my stomach. By the time I pulled my eyes away from the dolphin I had found swimming in the sky to see what was going on, Daniel Southstone had pushed me into the tires, folding me up like a pretzel in the process. My little butt was wedged in the hole and my feet were in front of my face. I was stuck and everyone else was going inside. Luckily, one of the teachers heard my cries for help and got me out while Daniel watched from the doorway laughing.
We’ve been really close friends for 20 years now.
But the fact that he pushed me into the tires is not the worst part; it’s what happened after I stopped crying that did the real damage. You know the movie, “He’s Just Not That Into You”? In the beginning the little girl is pushed down by a boy on the playground and her mom tells her that he did it because he likes her. Well I was fed the same load of bull by my teacher. Why do older women tell us this!? They’re old enough to know better! They’ve had plenty of life experiences by that time to know that sometimes boys are mean because they don’t like us. But instead, we poor innocent girls are brought up to believe that when a boy is mean to us, it means he likes us, when in reality, he probably doesn’t.
And thus, where the problem began.