Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Welcome Wednesday: Lisa Burstein Explains Why Fantasy is Better than Reality

It was the summer of 1993, the summer before my senior year. There were a lot of things that were terrible about that summer: I was in summer school for Trig, I was in trouble with my parents for being in summer school for Trig. I wasn't allowed to go anywhere but summer school and my job in the produce department of a grocery store.  There was one thing that was amazing about that summer, the friend I wanted to turn into a boyfriend, referred to in my diary of the time as "B".

"B" and I met at summer school. He was a year younger than me and looked like Judd Nelson when he was in The Breakfast Club. He looked like Judd Nelson, but he acted like Peter Pan(without the singing), he was creative, kind, sensitive, funny and seemed to actually like me as a person. He seemed magical.

We spent a lot of time together that summer. I picked him up and drove him home from summer school. We hung out at his house most evenings until my 10pm curfew mandated because I was in summer school. Usually we would lay on the grass in his front yard, talking about what shapes the clouds reminded us of (I told you he was sensitive!) as it got darker we would stare at the stars, just two parallel lines in the grass never connecting. I wanted so badly to reach out for his hand, could feel it pulling on mine like a magnet, but I never did. I was scared, scared he didn't feel the same way and scared that our special, beautiful delicate friendship would die if I pushed for more.

But I wanted more, so I waited.

It wasn't until the middle of my senior year that something started to change. We were still friends, to the constant irritation of his girlfriend, but then one day they broke up. Mutual, (yeah right), but whatever it was good enough for me. That night we took a long drive. I have a red jeep Cherokee if you want to picture it. Bright, fire engine red, him sitting next to me in the passenger seat, on a cold, winter night. We parked under the same stars we had stared at all summer, but something felt different. I thought maybe he would kiss me. I thought maybe he would tell me that he like, liked me. Then, he reached for my crotch.

Yes, the romantic moment I had been waiting months for was a crotch grab. He kept his hand on my upper thigh, rubbing it over my jeans and I sat there, totally confused. After about ten minutes he stopped. He never leaned over to kiss me. He never insisted I touch him or said anything about feeling everything I had felt and being so glad he could finally express it. No, just a crotch grab and after that night we never talked about it again.

What did I learn from this? Usually the fantasy is better than the reality, especially where friends that are boys are concerned.


Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she’s somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when their dates stand them up for prom, and the girls take matters into their own hands—earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx—Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating “rehabilitation techniques” now filling up her summer. Worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothing—like she is nothing. 

Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it’s worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over.

PRETTY AMY will be released in May 2012 by Entangled Publishing.  You can add it to your Goodreads pile and pre-order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

To learn more about Lisa Burstein, visit her website, blog, or follow her on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks so much for stopping by Lisa. What a great story. I'm not sure how I would have handled the crotch grab! So here's where we throw it to you, gentle readers, did you have a similar experience trying to take a friendship to the next level?


Kimberly said...

What an awesome post! I felt like I was right there in that red Jeep. And watching the clouds and stars...
I have to admit that I never saw that one coming. Mr. Sensitive goes right for the crotch?! I agree that sometimes the fantasy is so much better than the reality. I remember after a particularly bad breakup with Mr. Insensitive that I felt like I'd never have a spark with anyone again. Every date, every kiss left me feeling cold, unmoved.
Then, my best friend at the time kissed me.
And I married him. :-)

Unknown said...

Love the story in a way that makes me laugh and want to cry for every teen girl going through it. Lisa cracks me up and Pretty Amy is a book I think every teen should read.

Lorie Langdon said...

Lisa, Great story! Thanks so much for sharing!
I laughed out loud reading about the 'crotch grab'. I agree that many times we build up our crushes so much that they don't stand a chance in reality.
Thanks again for stopping by Honestly YA. :-)

Robin Bielman said...

Hi Lisa! Oh my gosh! I would have been mortified. I never had an experience trying to take a friendship to the next level, but my very first date was to a drive-in and I was so nervous. I'd been crushing on this guy forever and couldn't believe it when he asked me out. He was two years older, and he held my hand during the movie. The night was ruined, though, when he walked me to my front door and shoved his tongue down my throat like he was some man-eating reptile.

Lea Nolan said...

Thanks so much for visiting, Lisa. I LOL'd at the crotch grab, too! I can't believe you didn't say anything right then and there, and that you could act like nothing happened the next day. I'm sorry he didn't turn out to be all you'd imagined. If only he'd known how to make a proper move, you guys might have ended up as more than friends!

@MelissaJoLynn_ said...

I like to think everything happens for a reason. Maybe if he didn't grab your crotch you would have ended up marrying him instead of your husband and would have been miserable. Who knows.

I laughed while reading this story because it is so awkward and exactly what most teen girls have experienced at least once.

I was always too shy to ask out my best friend in high school even though we went to prom together and everything. Now 5 years later of still being just friends and sort of growing apart, he proposed to his girlfriend. So I'm forced to give up any remaining hope I had unless my life turns into a Taylor Swift song and he suddenly realizes he loves me and leaves her at the alter. Thanks for the great post and I look forward to reading your book!

Lisa Collicutt said...

Lisa, sweet, sensitive story until my eyes rolled onto the word "crotch". I totally laughed out loud :D Thanks for that, and thanks for sharing your intimate experience.

I also have a best guy friend story. Our parents were besties and so we grew up together. When I was 16, something changed between us. It was as if we discovered we were the opposite sex. One night while at a party (at 16) the two of us were outside sitting on the lawn, getting to know the opposite sex side of each other. The police drove by and stopped. He had a beer. When we wouldn't tell the police where we got it, they took us to the station. I was never more scared, but in the back seat of that cop car is where he first kissed me, and I'll never forget it. As he whispered "sorry" against my lips, a gruff voice coming from the front told us to separate :D. We did, but held hands for the rest of the drive. This is a favorite memory of mine, and I wrote it into a book.

Unknown said...

Lisa, what a great story. Well, up until the crotch grab. I do believe things happen for a reason, even though at times we can't figure out what that reason is. Thanks for sharing, and good luck with your book!