Dear Holding Hands at the Mall,
I can’t do it.
Maybe I still secretly feel like a middle schooler, a tiny bit embarrassed to be in a public place with this person next to me who is my “boyfriend” (not that he is fake or imaginary or not really my boyfriend). (It’s just that word, boyfriend. When I was younger I thought at some point I would reach an age at which having a boyfriend seemed appropriate rather than farcical. Now it seems that I will probably skip from feeling too young to have a boyfriend to too old to have a boyfriend.) (Italics in the sense of, “Ooooh, is that your boyfriend? Which, by the way, my two female bosses did the other night when I happened to see them in a public place. And I had my boyfriend with me. We were not holding hands. We were also not at the mall.)
When I was in middle school, and I did have a boyfriend for about 2 1/2 days, we did hold hands sometimes. That was about it. But even then, when at the mall, I was not into holding hands. Perhaps it was because I was oh-so-aware of the adults around and the looks they were giving my friends (not me, obviously, the looks did not apply to me). (To be fair, I was not knocking things over or screaming “Don’t touch my boob!” in a tone that obviously implied if it ever “accidentally” happened again, I would ummmm squeal and giggle some more.)
To be accurate as well as fair, I was not that into holding hands at school either, because of the looks teachers gave, or at my house because of my parents. Let’s just say I was a self-conscious middle schooler and an even more self-conscious middle school girlfriend. When all the pressure got to be too much I broke up with him.
At any rate, when my boyfriend (hello! have a good day!) reached for my hand at the mall the other day, I got kind of jumpy and may have ended up approximately three feet away from him. “No holding hands at the mall!” I blurted without thinking about how very very 1990s I would sound.
Even though he’s my boyfriend that does not make certain activities okay in certain public places.