Friday, May 29, 2009

Yo-Yo Woes

When I was ten years old, I had a secret crush on my classmate, Julie. This is our class photo from 1984:

There's Julie, in the pink dress. We never once traded a word.

Throughout forth grade, my mom dropped me off at school an hour early, before most kids arrived. I would wait outside my classroom, and that was where the following true story occurred.

That's me, in the checkered blue shirt:

That morning, I saw someone walking down the street, toward where I stood.


Panicked, I had two options:

I ran and hid.

From behind a nearby hedge, I watched her take my place in front of our classroom.

I turned away, flush with self-defeat.

But when I looked back through the foliage, I saw something wonderful.

She was waving to me!

I leapt out from behind the bush and waved back happily.

But she wasn't waving. It only appeared that way.

She was playing with a yo-yo.

I sunk back behind the bush—not knowing if Julie saw me—and sat there until the school bell rang.

To commemorate this traumatic incident, I crocheted these two yo-yos:

They're weighted down with polyfill and embarrassment, which is why they don't bounce back like toy yo-yos.

Since forth grade, I've learned to accept that secret crushes are accompanied by fleeting highs and humiliating lows.

But I do wish I brought along a yo-yo that morning. I might have impressed her with my fancy tricks:

Yo yo, how ya like me now?


  1. Aww! Jeez, that's so embarasing. I've had that happen to me before. Waving at someone you like just to find out they weren't even waving at you. T_T Lol. This is great though! A yo-yo, I never even thought to make one!

  2. LOL

    I bet she would be smitten by your yoyo tricks, had she only given you a chance!

  3. LOL OOOOH How Cute lol.

    Great Job on the yoyos lol

  4. ROFL YOYO How you like me now LOL.
    Your great :)

  5. Very cute story! I'm sure she now regrets snubbing you in the fourth grade while reading your blog and sighing to herself.

    Love the fashion commitment to the blue plaid shirt.

  6. Pahahahah, I remember elementary school crushes. So cute! And I remember the yo yo craze, granted ours happened in like 1996.

    You should have drawn your fourth grade self with the little orange mohawk!

  7. Awww, that was beyond adorable! We are the same age too!

  8. That's an awesome story and I am so familiar with it, experiencing it myself when I was a kid. (not with julie lol)

    I'm sure she regrets not waving to you for reals. :D

  9. I don't think she meant to snub you at all. Look at Julie's body language in your class pic: she liked you! She was probably just as shy as you were, that's all.

    I love how you've made a vivid memory even more vivid with your brightly colored yo-yo's! Very cool!

  10. Waving back at someone who isn't waving at you is a little bit like talking away on a cell phone to someone who has "lost signal" (if you know what I mean.)

  11. Kuism: Thanks! It's good to know that accidentally waving to a stranger is a shared embarrassing experience :D

    Sharona: hehe Thanks for your faith in my yo-yo tricks! I have a feeling Julie would suddenly become a far superior yo-yo trickster! :)

    Renee': I'm glad you like the yo-yos, thanks! I found a youtube link to the 1987 song, How Ya Like Me Now, by Kool Moe Dee. That could be the official soundtrack to this sad tale hehe

    Wren: Thanks! If Julie does read this blog, I'm sure she is sighing from relief that she kept her distance ;)

    It was hard to find a plaid shirt that resembled my 4th grade wardrobe. I must have wanted to be a cowboy. I also revisited the same school as a backdrop for these new photos, and it was a trippy experience!

    mochaxlight: Those memories of elementary school crushes are so vivid, aren't they? My niece had yo-you fever a couple years ago too... I guess the craze returns every decade! Just like mohawks? ;)

    lovely little deer: Thanks! :) You look far younger than I. Maybe craftiness & childhood-embarrassments preserve youth? :D

    Yoshi: I'm glad we're all familiar with the mortifying experiences of being a kid-with-a-crush! Thanks :)

    Kathy: hehe I agree that she didn't mean any snub. And if she saw me running away, I would have been the snobby little boy running away from her. I wonder if Julie blogs? haha Thanks :)

    taffyyarn: Yes, that would be awkward! :D I wonder how long you've spoken with someone on the cell phone before discovering they were no longer on the other end? :)

  12. Aww Howie! Guess we've all been there, thank goodness we don't stay in grade school all our lives, although goodness knows there's enough embarrassment being an adult too!
    I hope you got your lunch back at least!

  13. Well done story. Great illustrations and darling crocheted yo-yo - how original.

  14. Fantastic story, drawings, and yoyos. I laughed, a lot. Too funny.

  15. Cute story...I bet Julie would be flustered if she got to read your blog... Where is that dang pattern on the yo-yo or any other CUTE creative stuff you write! Come on help entertain us with the patterns!!

  16. Oh if Julie could see you now...

  17. "They're weighted down with polyfil and embarrassment" --LOL!!

    I've found the best way to rid oneself of old crushes is to make them your Facebook friends. Well, maybe it's better to keep remembering them the way they were . . . mystery and all that.

    Crafting helps too. ;)

  18. Louise: Yes, I hope the embarrassing situations lessen with age, though I agree that adulthood has its own special brand of humiliations haha

    I probably missed lunch that day :D

    Mountainside Crochet: Thanks :) I've been verbally telling this yo-yo story for years, but it was fun to re-tell the story with illustrations and crochet!

    Vicki: hehe I'm glad you found the story funny, thanks :) I hope every mortifying situation becomes humourous in time!

    Debbie: If Julie does read the blog, I hope she knows this blog post was made with endearment :) Wouldn't it be funny if she left a comment? But if she is keeping in character with her ten-year old version, she won't be trading words with me :D

    As for providing properly written patterns, please stay tuned! I've been studying patterns lately. Why are there four different ways of writing a crochet increase or decrease? :D

    Julie: Thanks :) I bet the original Julie is enjoying a successful jet-set lifestyle with a partner who isn't a starving crochet artist haha

    JenGoPop: Did Facebook-friending your old crush bring everything back to healthy reality? I remember Julie just like in our class photo: forever facing away ;)

    Yes, crafting is surprisingly therapeutic!

  19. Dang it!! You can write too!!You've done it once again!! LOVE this hilarious story with precious pictures, especially the part about your yo yo being weighted down with polyfil & tragic & yet sweet & innocent:) Then there are the crocheted yo yo's!! Man, you are a multi-media genious! Oh & I certainly hope the "yo yo" in the pink dress didn't eat your "left-behind" lunch.

  20. Ack! Awesome blog post, awesome story/pictorial/trip down memory lane. I was totally engrossed.

  21. b is for burton sent me... glad he did!! funny and creative, well done.
    i had my very first crochet lesson the other day and i totally sucked. last time i looked the baby was running off with the hook so god only knows where it is.
    i will be back
    %*_*% rosey

  22. Oanhderbread: Thanks! :D

    MissJulep: Wow, so kind, thank you! It has been a thrill to mash together writing/drawing/filmmaking with crochet. And I'm dazzled by the techno-savviness of the crochet-community, who are twittering, blogging, and conducting e-commerce.

    I don't remember what happened with my lunch! It would have tasted like defeat ;)

    Louisa: Thanks! Trips down memory lane are less painful when they're lined with yarn, I guess :)

    i cant sew: Thanks Rosey! I'm glad that b for burton kindly sent you over! :D

    I'm sure you'll add crochet to your already long list of creative skills! I remember getting insanely frustrated when I couldn't loop yarn onto the crochet hook. I nearly quit at that point!

    It sounds like your baby is also learning the basics of handling a hook though, bravo :D

  23. Aww that did pull at my heart strings! or should that be yoyo strings? LOL. Sweet and poignant and something good came out of it in the end (the yoyos).. maybe you should send one to her?!!

    Love the drawings too :D

  24. crookedcrochet: hehe I'm glad the story pulled your heart/yo-yo strings! Thanks :)

    That's a sweet idea of sending Julie the pink yo-yo. I don't remember her last name, but I'm sure the Birchland '83/'84 alumni may know Where in the World is Julie. That would be trippy!

  25. OMG beyond cute ^.^

    the story, the yo yo's, everything :)

    your blog post's make me smiiiile :D

  26. How is it possible I didn't know about your blog before today? Not only is everything on here INCREDIBLE, but you're freakin' hilarious as well!
    This is the best day EVER!

  27. Sophie: Thanks! It's great that you're crossing continents to view this blog :D

    .Alex.Marshmallow: Thanks, I'm happy that this blog post made you smiiiile :) I forecast more blog-kookiness on the horizon!

    Ollie: Wow, your enthusiasm is making my day too, thanks! I'm glad you found your way here, and I hope to keep earning your future visits! :)

  28. omg I HAD that pink dress. but i'm not Julie. But I'm pretty sure I wore it for my 4th grade class pictures :)

  29. Allegra: Wow, that dress must have been the hit of grade school fashion runways, especially with my classmate on my left wearing the blue version :D Stripes & polka-dot was the new black!

  30. love the story behingd those cute yo-yos :)


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