Her name was Angie, and she was the most beautiful girl in the fourth grade. I lost my breath every time I passed her in the hallway. I didn’t want to let the other boys know what I thought about Angie. I was sure they would tell her if I let them know my true feelings. But each day, when I arrived home, I would sit and tell my mom about the fellow classmate I found so attractive.
“She has the most beautiful hair!” I would inform her. “And her eyes are so blue they look like someone painted them with a blue crayon!”
“Wow, David, you really are crazy about this young lady, aren’t you?” she would validate.
“Yep, I’m gonna marry Angie when I get older.”
What happened next actually defies explanation. My mom suggested we buy Angie something, and within a few hours we were headed back from the jewelry store with the most amazing birthstone ring. I don’t think my mother ever thought through the possible scenarios of what might happen when I presented the ring to Angie. And what actually ended up transpiring was not going to make my mom very happy.
“What’s this?” Angie asked, staring at the case.
“It’s a ring,” I said, smiling and kicking the sand on the playground.
Angie opened the case, looked at the ring, and asked, “Why are you giving it to me?”
“Because I like you, and I want you to be my girlfriend,” I answered.
“EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwww!” she screamed, grabbing the ring and tossing it out into the middle of a field of tall weeds.
I watched her run toward the school, telling everyone she passed what I had said, finishing off each proclamation with another "EEEEEEeeeeeeewwwwww!"
My mom and I searched for hours, but we never found the ring. For the next few weeks, I enveloped myself in a charade of coolness, acting as if I had only been kidding with Angie and that the ring was an inexpensive prop. But deep down, it was hard to get past Angie’s reaction to my effort to let her know how I felt about her. Eventually, my pain went away, though Angie and I rarely talked during the rest of our eight years in the same school system.
After the incident with Angie, my mother was not so quick with advice on romance. I don’t think she enjoyed seeing her son suffer through such rejection. And I’m convinced she truly believes Angie made a huge mistake that day on the playground. I guess we’ll never know, just like we’ll never know what happened to that ring in the weeds.
Thirty years have gone by since my fourth grade letdown. But talk about turning tragedy into triumph; I turned a real life experience into a successful career, becoming the Midwest’s most successful jewelry insurance agent, topping ten million dollars worth of personal jewelry coverage every year for the past five years! Guess what I named my company? You got it! Angie’s Insurance.
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