Sunday, March 13
Something I've been thinking about lately are Jake Ryans. A Jake Ryan is a completely unattainable crush. He's the cutest boy you've ever laid eyes on, the coolest girl you've ever known, and they either have no idea you exist or just don't really care that you do. Everyone has a Jake Ryan in their past or lurking around their high school, and years later, when you're not even really sure what your Jake Ryan looked like anymore, thinking of him or her still leaves you with a little pang in your heart.
My Jake Ryan was named Mike. The first time I saw him was during summer marching band practice. I was a freshman in color guard and he was a junior. He played drums and wore a ratty old pair of green Vans, which nobody wore at the time. I was 15 and he was the cutest boy I had ever seen in real life.
One day I pointed him out to my friend, also a junior, and she said she knew him!
"Yeah, duh, think about our last names. We've sat next to each other in home room every day for the last two years."
"What's he like?"
"Rhiannon. He does not talk."
"What do you mean?"
"He's the quietest boy in the whole school."
What she told me was actually so true that Mike was voted Most Shy for the senior superlatives when he graduated. It's really just like me to pick a mute out of a crowd and fall in love with him.
As a 15 year old girl, you have a crush on a boy and, despite him being the quietest kid in the whole entire school or even just a regular asshole 16 year old, you expect that this will happen, that you're going to end up in a gown eating birthday cake with him whispering to you "Make a wish," but after 3 months of marching band, taking the long way to class just to see him and having my friend try to convince him to talk to me, we still hadn't even said one word to each other. He knew who I was and that I liked him, but he either simply wasn't interested or didn't have the ability to do anything about it.
In early November my 16th birthday had come and gone without a cake or a ride in his car, and then I found out my dad got a new job and we were moving away. As we pulled into our new town in North Dakota one December night just before Christmas, I witnessed the snow falling for the first time in my life and I accepted the fact that I would probably be a virgin forever.
That's the problem with Sixteen Candles, that movie sets you up to expect miracles. There are plenty of neat teenage boys in the world, but I've realized that the vast majority of them suck and are incapable of anything besides clustering in the mall and teasing girls and wishing they were cooler. If the movie were to reflect any sort of reality, Jake Ryan wouldn't have picked up Sam from her sister's wedding. He wouldn't have cared that some sophomore liked him, especially when he already had a hot girlfriend who put out. Sam would have gone through two more birthdays before finally meeting an okay guy who's nice enough to experiment with sex with for a few years before going away to college, where she would realize that she's a commodity and can have sex with pretty much anyone she wants, and that the boy she fell in love with when she was 18 was kind of lame. She would date/sleep with a handful of guys, about half regrettably or completely without joy, until she turns 29 and finally meets a guy who shares her interests, has two dogs, holds the door open for her and likes cunnilingus. They move in together but never marry and live happily ever after.
Jake Ryan's fate is similar. His hot high school girlfriend dumps him, he has a lot of sex in college because he's hot and has a Porsche, he gives at least 9 women HPV before marrying a nursing student who insists on a huge wedding and a long honeymoon, but what does he care? He's got a Porsche and he gets his trust fund when he gets married, and Shelly's nice enough. She's got great tits anyway. Plus he's got that job at his father's company already lined up for after graduation. Life is sweet if you're Jake Ryan.
"Hey Jake, remember that ginger who had a crush on you in high school?"
"Nope, I sure don't, but I do remember that time when Caroline gave me a HJ under the desk during a movie in science class."
I'm not that bitter. Jake's probably a really nice guy.