When I was in Grade 3, I had a giant crush on a boy in my class. Joel liked me, too. He would hang out with me and my best friend, Tanya, at recess. He would tease me in class. He would bring me little gifts: a lipstick, for example, or a bottle of nail polish. (Both of these used and more than likely stolen from his mother’s dresser; it seems that even in childhood, all’s fair in love and war.)
One day Tanya and I were playing house in the schoolyard. There was plenty of snow and we planned out an elaborate house with a living room, kitchen, halls, and bedrooms. We stomped down the snow in our house to make the rooms, and built up the snowy walls to further define them. Joel joined us in our game and by the end of recess the house was complete. As our crowning achievement, Joel and I decided to get married at the next recess, with Tanya acting as the officiant.
I don’t know how it happened, but word spread through the classroom and by afternoon recess, I found that the entire class was in attendance for the wedding.
I was mortified. What had begun as a sweet game with the boy I liked suddenly became a public exhibition. I couldn’t take it. I ran away and hid from my class for the rest of that recess break.
Poor Joel. My desertion had humiliated him and he never really spoke to me again. I always felt rather sorry… but I guess I learned to be careful about who I agreed to marry.