Home > Composition Book > [October, 1988] Charles in Charge…of My Heart

[October, 1988] Charles in Charge…of My Heart


Dear Journal,

I am thinking of writing a little letter to Charles telling him that I like him only I won’t put my name on it. I just might do it.

Now I wrote the letter and a lot of kids know but they don’t know who wrote it.

guess who?

guess who?

One classic childhood method of gauging a potential suitor’s interest is the note saying “I like you.  Do you like me? Check one box.” Below which would be two boxes, marked “Yes” and “No” respectively. If the responder wanted to be coy, a third box would be drawn in marked “Maybe” (nowadays, we call a person like that “a tease”).

Being only ten years old and still somewhat of a slave to traditional gender roles (and–oh yeah–a chicken) I didn’t want to take such a direct route with Charles. I decided it would be much more exciting to write him an anonymous note.

Seeing as I wrote this journal entry over the course of one day, I must have decided pretty quickly to take such dramatic and mysterious measures in expressing my interest in Charles. I can imagine the thrill I must have felt slipping the letter into his desk when nobody was looking, the delicious anxiety over the possibility of being found out. To be honest, I may have been inspired by Secret Admirer, the 1985 C. Thomas Howell movie in which anonymous love letters continually end up in the wrong hands with disastrous/”hilarious” results. I found the concept terribly romantic, and also a perfect way to share my feelings without actually putting my heart on the line.

As news of the note buzzed through our class, I kept quiet about my identity and pretended to be surprised with the rest. For now, it was enough that Charles knew someone liked him.

At the very least, I provided a bit of intrigue to what would have otherwise been an ordinary day in the fifth grade.

  1. Ben Morse
    September 4, 2009 at 8:23 am

    I did the exact same thing with a girl in first grade and just like in your case it was the talk of the class. I think I eventually told one of her friends it was me, it got back to her, and she just giggled every time she saw me rather than ever respond.

    • damiella
      September 5, 2009 at 7:39 pm

      Wow, you started early with the secret admirer stuff! I didn’t even have my first crush until the 3rd grade.

  2. September 9, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Oh man, I remember my first crush. He walked into my first grade class and I loved him instantly. Scott. He transferred from the same school my best friend just transferred from. And get this: when I get home that day, who do I see in front of my house hanging out with my next-door neighbor?! Yep. Scott ACTUALLY moved ACROSS THE STREET from me!!! Unreal. I held that crush for four whole years until my parents moved me to Staten Island. After that, I had like 10 crushes at a time. But those four years, I only had eyes for Scott…

    Hmmm…I think it’s time to search facebook… 😉

    Don’t think I ever got the courage to secret admirer him…but I think everyone knew I liked him…he always had a girlfriend too. Lame.

  3. September 4, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    When I was in grade four I had a crush on a boy in my class. On the day we got school pictures back, I remember writing something on the back of one of my photos and slyly popping it into his desk as I walked past it, haha. I don’t remember what I wrote on the back, but it was probably something along the lines of, “I like you,” LOL.

  1. December 4, 2009 at 11:30 am
  2. April 8, 2010 at 1:43 pm
  3. July 28, 2010 at 12:33 pm

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