Three years ago, I bought $30 worth of LifeSavers.
First semester freshman year, in my intro to lit. class, there was a boy. He was smart, quirky and his favorite book was “American Psycho.” We sat next to each other every day, bashfully flirting and giggling at the sexual innuendo in “Moby Dick.”
At the beginning of each class, our professor passed out Lifesavers candy. The boy and I quickly bonded over our affinity for the peaches and cream flavor, playfully fighting for the last ones left in the bag. Peaches and cream Lifesavers quickly became “our thing.”
My upperclassman friends assured me how lucky I was to have found a straight male English major at Mary Washington. I didn’t date much in high school and I was determined to step out of my Plain Jane shell.
C’mon Susannah, stop being shy. I scolded myself. You’re in college now. It’s time to be assertive.
At the end of the semester, I decided to pounce. The last night of finals week, I walked all the way to Giant (no one had a car freshman year) and purchased 10 bags of LifeSavers hard candy. I picked out every single peaches and cream flavor, wrapped them in a bag with a bow and left them outside of the door to my crush’s dorm room with a carefully crafted, “I swear I’m not obsessed you I just think you’re cool” note.
I then immediately went home for winter break.
The holidays came and went, and I never heard any response to my gesture.
Should I have gone with Smarties?
In my attempt to be endearingly romantic, did I come across as stalkerish?
When we came back to school for spring semester, I felt too awkward to contact the Straight English Major Who Got Away.
I spent the next three years of college embarrassed. I avoided eye-contact with him on Campus Walk and breathed sighs of relief when we didn’t end up in any of the same classes.
My puppy-love feelings faded quickly, and I managed to find less forward ways of getting other boys to date me throughout the rest of college.
This past summer, a week before classes started for my final semester at UMW, I was waiting in line for concert tickets outside of a music venue in DC. Who should be in line directly in front of me? Peaches and Cream himself. He turned around. We made eye contact for a spilt second.
There were 30 people in line in front of us. I had two options; I could stare at the sidewalk for the next hour and continue to pretend to not know him, or I could just say hi.
You’re in college, Susannah. Things are only as awkward as you make them.
“Hi.” I suppressed a wince. “H-how was your summer?”
Lifesaver boy and I had a nice, only semi-awkward chat. He was very friendly and did not appear creeped out. I found out we were going to be in two of the same classes this semester. Ice breaking was inevitable anyway.
For several years, I dreaded confrontation with the one guy I’ve ever shamelessly hit on. It finally happened, and the world didn’t end. We talk all the time in class now, though the subject of peaches and cream Lifesavers has never come up. I’m not sure it has to. Now that we’re graduating, anything that happened freshman year seems laughably trivial.
I prefer Gummisavers anyway.