An Achy Breaky Heart

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Love is an amazing and inspiring thing. But you know what can be equally as amazing and inspiring? Unrequited love. The summer before my senior year in high school, I worked at the local pool. Instead of attracting boys my age, I caught the eyes of the boys who were going into the 3rd grade. They would hang out by my lifeguard stand and do back flips off the high board, stuff like that. I thought they were just, like, my little buddies, but I guess to them it was more of a "Wendy Peffercorn and Squints" situation from The Sandlot. Thankfully, none of them ever "faked a drowning" to get my attention. I grew up in a very small town, where our high school and grade school were connected. So when the school year started, I saw those darling boys, who I had somehow cast under my love spell, every day. They flocked to me as they had at the pool, begged me to come to their little league football games and bought me secret admirer candy canes around Christmas time.  It was cute . . . and weird . . . but I was mostly flattered. One of them,­ let's call him "Cole," even got up the nerve to ask me out-on Valentine's Day no less (a true romantic)! I was sitting at the senior table at lunch with a few of my friends. Young Cole walked right up to the head of the table and gave me this suave, debonair look.  He dug into his back pocket, reached across the table and handed me a Jack Sparrow Valentine's Day card with the name "Dylan" scribbled out and mine etched under it (poor Dylan). Without hesitating, he blatantly asked "What are you doing after school? Wanna cruise up to Dairy Queen with me?" And winked. I turned bright red and my friends burst out laughing, but Cole stood firmly waiting for an answer. This kid was nine. Nine! Most people I know still can't work up the nerve to do something like that unless they're three sheets to the wind. So, although I declined his offer to buy me a Peanut Buster Parfait, I let him know how much I admired that he went for it so fearlessly. I saw him the next night sharing a drink and popcorn with a girl at the varsity basketball game, so I don't think he was too torn up about it. Besides, a lot can be learned from our "Cole" here.  If more of us could learn to go for what we wanted without the fear of rejection or embarrassment, imagine what kinds of lives we'd be living-and whom we'd be leading them with. :) To inspire you to be more fearless in your love for one another this Valentine's Day, we're offering a free download of our lullaby rendition of Prince's "I Wanna Be Your Lover."

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