by Michaela Kwoka-Coleman
Alright college, you win; I miss being a kid. Everything was so much easier when you were younger--school, friends, no job, no stress. Hell, even the opposite sex was easier to figure out. Remember in kindergarten when your friend would ask you if you “liked him” or “liked him-liked him”? Then, immediately after this question was asked, your friends would go have a meeting with his friends to deliver the verdict. It always ended up the same: I like you, you like me, and now we're boyfriend and girlfriend. No wonder girls usually push for a relationship; it's literally how we grew up. Sorry guys, the “all girls are insane” excuse isn’t actually valid; we're not crazy, just creatures of habit. Anyways, back to young love--that was the best, especially because the next day when you saw your “boyfriend” talking to another girl by the monkey bars, you knew it was over but didn't really care. Jealousy? Even at my above-average kindergarten reading level I wasn't familiar with that word.
Quite possibly the best thing to come out of the days of finger-painting and intense games of lava monster was flirting. Some might argue that basic reading, writing, and math skills were the best results, but c'mon, let's not be basic now. Flirting was awesome because it was so simple! All you had to do was hit your crush or chase them on the play ground--so cute. I'll never forget the day I came home and told my mom about the boy who had chased me around the jungle gym. “Michaela, you know he did that because he likes you, right?”, she said. It was at this point in my life I had my first epiphany: my mom might actually have some useful insight on life. Honestly, who would have thought that? Anyway, the next day, I returned the gesture by hitting my suitor. Sadly, the recess aid saw and it meant having to turn my green card to red, but love endures all; am I right or am I right?
So now my question is this. When did we all decide that these methods of flirting were “outdated”? I never voted to move on from these elementary interactions. Honestly, I would love to go back to this system. Seriously, you think a girl is cute? Go hit her on the shoulder! Am I the only one who thinks maybe Chris Brown was just trying to flirt with Rihanna?! Too far? Probably. I'm by no means advocating domestic abuse, so please delete the hate email you might have been mentally composing--I'm just trying to make a point.
Everything gets so much more complicated as you get older. The sad thing is, these “things” are actually really simple; it’s people who make them so complicated, and nothing is immune to this epidemic. When you were younger, you were much more logical, only you don’t realize it. “Oh I like that girl, I’m going to go tell her”, you’d tell yourself. There was no second thought about all the possible repercussions. As an adult, this scenario is, unfortunately, almost unheard of. Fear inhibits, almost controls us, and lets so many opportunities to pass. Here is where I would usually insert some words of wisdom acquired from a vast nineteen years of flirtationship (yes, I did just invent that word) experience. However, most of my flirting attempts have yielded negative responses. If you talk to someone and try to show some interest, you come off too strong. On the other hand, if you don’t talk to someone, you come off disinterested. It’s your modern day, ABC Family, loose adaption of Catch-22 (thanks for being timeless, Joseph Heller).
It’s at these times I yearn for the simpler days of my grammar school experience. Unfortunately Jay Gatsby was wrong when he claimed you can relive the past. If I chased a boy today, it wouldn't be at all cute--just mildly psychopathic and would probably end with some drug tests and therapy sessions. Nowadays I just double tap on a guy’s Instagram of his dog in hopes he gets that I “like him-like him”. Pathetic? Possibly, but hey, I'm all out of ideas.
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