Most of the time, I am a pretty reasonable, responsible, sedate adult woman.
Most of the time, I do act my age (all of it – all 28 years) or better. In fact, one of my friends in her late 30s has actually mentioned feeling like we just “click” and relate well to each other because I’m so mature for my late 20s (a time in which many, I suppose, still have a predilection for Girls Gone Wild and one-night stands with inappropriate men).
But, anyway, most of the time I act in totally responsible adult ways – paying the bills on time, calculating the per ounce price of generic versus brand name green beans, driving close to the speed limit. There’s just one area where I can’t seem to control myself, and where my personality does a U-turn.
It’s when I decide to accost teenage boys.
Now, it’s not quite as nefarious as it sounds. I’m not showing up on their doorsteps dressed in nothing but a trench coat and waiting to lure them into all manner of vice.
No, I accost them right out in the street, or in the gym, wherever I happen to see them.
There’s probably a technical name for this sickness, you know, something like Beiber Fever (not that I would ever dream of throwing myself at Justin Beiber – perish the long-haired effeminate thought). But, at the root of it is this – I’m just too proud of my alma mater.
Yes, I can’t keep from spewing admiration and word vomit at the high school students being recruited to play marquee sports at my university. On two occasions, I’m not proud to say, I’ve actually REACHED. OUT. AND. TOUCHED. THESE. KIDS. (on the arm, don’t get too weirded out) without permission.
My voice goes to an unnaturally high pitch and I squeak out some brilliance like, “Hey – welcome to BU!” at a pitch that makes dogs whimper. I get giddy about this. I consider it a celebrity sighting. Seriously, if you asked me whether I’d rather meet Kobe Bryant or the player I accosted recently (whose name I can’t write because I might die of EMBARASSMENT), the choice is unmistakable. I’m going for the 17-year-old kid who was probably being born about 30 miles away from my home town with I was in fifth grade.
I had the chance to meet (and by meet, I mean follow, track down and tap on the arm) the previously mentioned player recently. Shame of shame, I recognized his face from too much Twitter and online research. At least, I thought he looked familiar, and when I saw his name printed on the back of his All-Star jersey, I went in for the kill. What brilliant statement did I use to attract his attention? “We’re looking forward to watching you play at [school name] next year.” If there were a Pulitzer for introductions, that one would have undoubtedly been a unanimous winner. But, it gets better. He smiled, he was gracious and he took in my husband’s neon highlighter shirt with [school name] blazoned across it with a smile (By the way, the only reason said husband wasn’t the first person to approach this player with a fanboy attitude was that he probably had his nose buried in his player memorization flash cards. If only that approach worked in law school as well as it does for learning rosters).
Of course, just shouting out the kid on the street wasn’t enough. I also immediately, before even getting to the car, had to find him via my mobile phone and tweet him, saying, “Hey, I just met you, and yes I’m crazy. But you go to my school. So follow me maybe.” Or something of that nature.
This wasn’t even the worst of my collegiate athlete celebrity encounters. On the very worst, I forced my college student sister to take a picture with a high-ranking incoming player. Okay, multiple pictures with multiple high-ranking, signed recruits. With her camera. While I waxed eloquent about “Oh my gosh, we’re so excited you’re coming here next year.” You know, a reprise of that speech that won me the verbal Pulitzer. She was furious.
But I never really pay attention to anything said by a 19-year-old wearing a t-shirt with a cat on it. Really – surely I don’t look that crazy.