Saturday, September 19, 2020

The Susan Feldman Incident

The seminal event of my childhood was when, in first grade, Susan Feldman - the apple of my eye (aside, of course, from the utterly aloof and unattainable Suzanne Castrino) - told me, in front of the whole lunchroom table, "I can't believe I liked you in kindergarten!"

It was my first experience with ambivalence. My immediate reaction was "What...wait...Susan Feldman liked me in kindergarten???" I'd had no idea (this was also my introduction to the opaqueness of female attraction). But the part about my having grown into an unappealing schlub struck me as sad but fair. I'd peaked, sexually, at age 6. I knew it, everyone knew it. Susan was merely stating the obvious.

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