Our story begins freshman year of high school in first period Spanish class. Sitting diagonally from me was Talia, sitting behind me was Eileen (who, for the record, was even bitchier first thing in the morning than I was, but that's neither here nor there) and sitting next to me was Steve Nardone. Oh, man. Steve Nardone, you guys. It is now widely accepted that Steve Nardone was one of the hottest guys in our class, but back then he was just some quiet schmo who flew under the radar. And the thing is, nothing physically changed about him from freshman to senior year. It's not like he lost a considerable amount of weight or stopped wearing Insane Clown Posse makeup to school or anything; he looked exactly the same on graduation day as he did that first day of Spanish class, freshman year. So what changed? Well, I don't want to say it was my crush on Steve Nardone that made all the difference, and yet, that's actually exactly what I'm going to say. Because that's exactly what this post is about. I openly had a crush on Steve Nardone first semester of freshman year and suddenly so did the rest of the world and I got zero credit for it. BOOM. There it is. And it still ruffles my feathers.
[TIME OUT: I wrote most of this post last week when I got home from dinner with Talia and Jill and I was all fired up because we randomly discussed Steve Nardone and I had "had a few chardonnays", if you will. So, I wrote this, it's based on an experience that I really had, and yet when I re-read it tonight to edit, I was like, "YEAH!!! THAT WAS IRRITATING. GOD, GOOD POINT, MEG," and completely re-fired myself up until I was ranting and raving at Dan while he ignored me and dicked around on Facebook and flossed his teeth. So what I'm trying to say is, if this sucks because it's oddly specific to my high school experience and I wrote it kind of drunk, at least I know one person will appreciate it: Me. God bless and proceed.]
I have the most absurdly vivid memory of being all zipped up in my little sleeping bag on the floor at a field hockey sleepover and being like, "TEE- HEE! Man, that Steve Nardone kid is so nice and stupid cute. Do you think he'd go to Homecoming with me?" And do you know what happpened? I got laughed at. LAUGHED AT. Everyone was like, "Steve Nardone? What's a Steve Nardone? Who's that? He's quiet. I don't know who that is, blah blah blah, let's run sprints," and I was like, "Oh. OK. I'll just go back to making this lanyard out of gimp and wishing I ran an 8-minute mile instead of 15 so I could fit in with you people [weave, weave, weave]." And then not four months later, the entire world had a crush on Steve Nardone. And continued to do so until we graduated! He was like, The Unnatainable Steve Nardone. And who was I? Meg. Just Meg, who sat in the corner and occasionally said snarky things and drove a Mazda Protege named Pedro. That was me.
And you know the worst part? I went to Homecoming sophomore year with Steve Nardone's stepbrother, except I had no idea that they were related. Thus, when I called their house (because it was 1999 and only Zack Morris and drug dealers had cell phones,) I thought Steve was my date's dad and the results were just horrible.
Steve Nardone: Hello?
M: Hi, may I please speak to Danny?
S: He's not here right now, can I take a message?
M: Sure, can you just have him call Meg whenever he gets a chance?
S: Oh, hey Meg, it's Steve! [TIME OUT: OK, so again, I had no idea they were stepbrothers. Apparently this was, and is, common knowledge, but may I remind you that I only just found out that narwhals are real, so let's all lower the bar a little. And when he said his name was Steve, a.k.a. the International Dad and/or Stepdad Name, I just assumed my date mentioned we were going to Homecoming and his dad was being really friendly and engaging.]
M: Oh. Uh. Hi, sir.
..."OH. UH. HI, SIR." GAAAAAHHHHHHHHHJJJJJjjjjjesus Christ. I called him sir. Of course once I put everything together and realized that I was talking to fucking Steve Nardone, I wanted to set myself on fire for having said that. Like sometimes I'll just be driving down the road, randomly remember it, and want to crash my car into the median. And the thing is, I'm sure he has no recollection of this conversation ever happening, yet I'm going to have it engraved on my tombstone with an artistic etching of me holding my head in my hand and looking really disappointed, under the line, "Here lies Meghan Catherine McBlogger. She........well, she tried real hard." College Roommate Danielle went through this really irritating phase of purposely remembering the most embarrassing moments of her life when she was bored and detailing them to me, which obviously drove me crazy because then I'd have to browse the extensive library that is all of my most embarrassing moments. It was evil. She'd text me when I was in class and be like, "I'm remembering something so mortifying!" and I'd be like GOD DAMNIT I CALLED STEVE NARDONE SIR!!1 and die all over again, except this time in the middle of an art history class or something equally worthless in the long run.
S: How are you doing? Excited for Homecoming?
M: Yeah! Totally! [wanting to get off the phone as soon as humanly possible because your "son" and I are going to Homecoming together, not adopting a Korean baby] OK, well if you could just tell Danny to call me when he gets back in, that would be great. Thank you! Bye! [click.]
GAHHHHHHHHHHH. I had Steve Nardone on the phone, he was engaged, he knew who I was, this was before the entire world had a crush on him so his standards were probably pretty low, and I rushed to get off the phone with him because I'm a little bit Aspie's and didn't want to talk to someone's dad. FAILURE.
And guess what Steve Nardone does now?
He's a SURFER/MODEL/PHOTOGRAPHER. I've ascertained from various Facebook pictures and not his resume, which I've never seen before and is probably more accurate than Facebook, for the record, that he's done some amateur SURFING/MODELING/PHOTOGRAPHING at some point in his life. I am 100% not kidding. About that ascertation. And in 1999, when I had the balls to be like, "hey, that kid's got a shape to him," everyone acted like I was crazy. And I'm more than I aware that I graduated seven years ago and there are more important things for me to be upset about, but I can not physically let this go. And it's not an issue of like, "ohhh, I missed out on my shot with Steve Nardone," because, whatever. I wouldn't have known what to do with that shot if it walked up with a top hat, monocle, and youtube video instructions and let's not pretend like I would. It's an issue of I was right and I want credit for it. I had the first crush on him and every other girl who had a crush after me (and there were many) didn't have to deal with the same shit that I did. I paved the way. I'm the Rosa Parks of Steve Nardone crushes. Where's my PBS special? Where's my middle school?
So now, much like with Rosh Hashanah, everytime someone mentions Steve Nardone, I'm like, "WELL LET ME TELL YOU A STORY" and go into the whole shpeal whether that person wants to hear it or not. (And most times, the answer is not.) Because I demand recognition. The following conversation actually happened at dinner the other night when Steve Nardone was brought up:
Talia: Remember how you were the first person to have a crush on him freshman year and then everyone else did and he could have the pick of any girl in the school?
M: Yes, thank you. I remember.
T: You really did pave the way.
M: [puts fajita down and looks at Talia directly in the soul] Say it again.
M: Say that I was the first and paved the way.
T: But I just did.
M: Well say it again. I need to hear it again.
T: Uh, you were the first person to have a crush on Steve Nardone.
M: And I...........?
T: ...Paved the way.
M: Now say he owes his entire high school happiness to me.
T: ...I'm not entirely sur—
M: SAY IT.
T: He, 'owes his entire high school happiness to you.'
M: Now say that he owes at least 99.9% of his current life success to me.
T: Yes Meg. Steve Nardone owes 99.9% of his current life success to you.
And then I proceeded to get drunker on strawberry margaritas like a jaded, middle-aged divorcée because the only slashes that separate my job title are between blogger, unemployed, and gastrointestinal problems. Christ.