I’ve been thinking lately about my first crush. Or two. I was twelve and this boy named James gave me a pretty little white handkerchief with pink ruffles around the edges. We were in the same Nature Club and were both home schooled, and I was quite flattered, to the point of wearing the handkerchief in my hair and riding my bike past his house a lot.

But then I was at a home school testing facility and there was a boy named Peter in my class. Where James was pale and blonde haired with this somewhat doofy look in his eyes, Peter was tan with black hair trimmed into that very-cool-for-twelve-year-olds bowl cut. He was dead hot, I thought, and I had to devise a plan to meet him.

So I went home and got out my typewriter. I typed up this exhaustive questionairre that took up two whole pages. It asked extremely pertinent questions like DO YOU PREFER EATING WITH A SPOON OR A FORK?, WHAT IS YOUR BIRTHDATE, and DO YOU HAVE A GIRLFRIEND? And for processing purposes, WHAT IS YOUR PHONE NUMBER?

He filled out the questionairre, gave it back, and I called him with his results two days later.

Yes, I was quite brazen. And it was about this time that I decided to ride by James’ house and squirt him with Squeeze-It bottles full of water… you know, to let him know it was over. After I squirted him mercilessly in his front yard, his father (a Christian rocker with really long hair) said to me from his spot on the lawn, “Why don’t you come over anymore?”

“I’m too busy with my boyfriend,” I responded with a toss of my long blonde braid. “Peter.”

“Peter? I thought James was your boyfriend!”

I snorted. “No.” Then I rolled my eyes and rode off.

I have that habit of blabbing about things I shouldn’t blab about. Things that don’t make me look good. Things I should keep to myself. And I blabbed about what I did to James that day — to my mother, of all people. Of course, she told me that wasn’t very nice and said that Jesus would do something bad to me now, or something to that effect.

Whether my mother had personally told Jesus herself or not, or if it was purely coincidental, Peter stopped calling me. I pretended I didn’t care, but clearly, I haven’t forgotten it. So meanwhile, while Peter wasn’t calling, James and I were in a full blown war, booby trapping each other, chasing each other on bikes, shooting each other with kid guns of one kind or another, and name calling.

Ah, love at twelve.

Not too different from love at twenty-one.

And it’s taught me a lesson. If you’re tempted by a cuter man, if you’ve got his number and things are going all right, if you carelessly crush the heart of another… don’t tell mom.

She might tell Jesus on you.