it's official: [young love part 3]

if you're new to this series, start with: 
[part 1]   and   [part 2]

i was the kind of girl who had to seem independently happy
and confident and completely self-sufficient.
but i wasn't really any of those things. 
i really needed others' approval, mostly of the male variety.
now, don't misunderstand. i wasn't promiscuous,
but i just craved attention from the opposite sex.
even if it was just an acknowledgment with a "hi" or a wave or harmless flirtation.
that was enough for me. that would keep me happy for days.
but i played it cool, and i think that coolness mixed with shyness led people to believe i was strong and confident and unemotional and not very needy. totally untrue.

so this intentional pursuit by this really cute boy did a number on me.
i allowed myself and my ego to be filled and fed by this boy.
i began to create my identity around him, gain my worth from his love and affection, 
base my value as a person on what he thought or said or did...
you already know this is heading for disaster right?

oh, by the way, "this boy"? his name is Joel.

so Joel and i started hanging out on the weekends. 
he'd invite a bunch of friends over [but mostly he just wanted me to come over]
my mom would drive me alll the way out to his house 
[it seemed like it was a hundred miles out into the country]
as the weeks went by, it was pretty obvious he wasn't trying to win any other girl but me.
and let's be honest, there were more than a few that were trying to win him, the new boy 
[yes, he was a freshman. and he hadn't gone to junior high there, so he was really the new boy]
needless to say, i felt pretty honored to be the one he chose.

it was a sunday night and we were talking on the phone as usual.
there had been some buzz the week prior, people wondering when we were going to make it "official".
i guess that's what we called it when you become real boyfriend-girlfriend?
sunday night he finally had the courage to start the "what are we" conversation.
you know the kind. the "define-the-relationship" talk.
while my heart pounded out of my chest, i acted calm and cool and collected.
didn't want to seem like i was too excited, i mean, he was a freshman after all.
but we decided we would make it "official".
i even made little signs to put on our lockers so that everyone could see we'd made it official.
you know, because of all the "buzz" the week before. it was the easiest way to spread the news.
i can't say everyone was happy. quite a few girls were bummed, and even mad at me.
i didn't realize how popular he'd become in one short month at school.
but he was allll mine :)

if you can believe it, the very next day, i met his entire family.
like, cousins, aunts & uncles, grandparents... the entire extended family.
it was his grandpa's birthday.
and if you can imagine, the socially awkward, really shy-in-front-of-my-peers girl
was even worse with adults and strangers and people that really mattered if they liked me.
plus i had pimples all over my face. for real.
so that was the trial by fire, total immersion way to meet the family.
at least i got it out of the way?


  1. Aww, your love story is too cute.

    I too met a huge portion of my husband's extended family just days after becoming "official". The funny thing was, he thought it was just going to be his parents, what a surprise to show up for dinner and all his dad's brothers and their wives were there!

  2. So I tend to be a lurker...and I don't usually comment. But I really love that you are writing your story for all of us to read! Thank you! I can't wait for the next part :)