That Time I Loved a Girl

My best friend was the most beautiful girl in middle school.

I met her at the beginning of the school year, and I approached her just because I thought she was the most beautiful girl. You see, it was a new year, and I was determined to have a new me! THIS year, I wasn’t going to be a loser anymore.

THIS year I would be popular!!

And my first step was to talk to the girl who would be the most popular in all of 7th grade, which was obviously that beautiful girl.

I will not be a nerd anymore!!

Well, turns out Melanie was beautiful… by my standards, not by the cutthroat 90’s pretty-girl standards, I guess. She actually turned out to be a super weird, awesomely funny, wonderful girl 🤪

And I LOVED her!

Immediately and fully. I could not get enough of her! She was as unique and crazy as Rayanne Graff (from My So-Called Life), and as a shy over-thinker I suppose I felt like Angela Chase. I would have dyed my hair red if Melanie suggested it (and if my parents wouldn’t kill me).

We were inseparable and I mean INSEPARABLE for that year, and the next, AND the next! By high school, she was my everything, and my eyes turned to stars whenever I saw her.

And for a time, I wondered… am I in love with her?

I didn’t feel the butterflies for her as I did when a cute guy walked by, but I knew that those insects only meant I had a crush. That was not LOVE. What I felt for Melanie was much deeper than a passing doki-doki at a pretty boy face.

Lucky for me, my favorite magazine of the 90’s had a similar question in their Ask Anything section! YM Magazine featured a question that asked: Am I in love with my best friend who is also a girl? YM answered simply: You’re still young and figuring things out. Just wait, and see how you feel.

I took the advice and let that feeling simmer.

As I matured, and as Melanie and I had more moments of pure friendship, I came to realize that I loved her. Fully and purely! I wanted the very best for her and my days were nothing if she was at home sick that day.

I loved her. Like friends love each other.

I’m so glad that I read that advice in that magazine. It was simple. It said: wait.

I went through a time of confusion, but I waited and let our friendship be what it would be. And by not jumping at my first knee-jerk emotion, I was able to figure out and discover, ON MY OWN what love in friendship felt like, and what that meant.

Later, I would learn about romantic love. But not yet. And not with Melanie.

These days, I fear for kids and teens that are pushed to rush to their first emotional experience. Choose now! Choose NOW NOW NOW!!! What pressure 😢 It must be so stressful to act on every budding emotion without stepping back and letting life unfold as it will. In my humble opinion, adults should step back and let teens unravel their emotions slowly and independently, without any push one way or another.

Well, me and Melanie did NOT end up being the most popular girls in school, LoL. Not by a mile. But we did become the best of friends, exchanging notes constantly, trading mix tapes, and chatting on the phone every moment that we were allowed.

And, at that time she was truly and fully the love of my life. She was, simply put…

My very best friend ❤️

Take care and God bless!

Yari, the ✿ Lovely Panda Mom ✿


  1. I am so worried about our generation. I was a complete tomboy growing up–short hair, climbing trees, wearing my boy cousin’s hand-me-downs. If someone had given me the choice between being a boy or a girl….😳 With time, I figured out who I was–a young woman who love being a woman, despite not being particularly feminine. I often wonder how I would feel today if my parents or teachers had allowed (or encouraged) genital mutilation, or if I would even still be here. Feeling uncomfortable in your changing body is normal. When it comes to sexual feeling and attraction, I agree with you (and that 90s YM Mag) that waiting it out is the best approach .

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for sharing so honestly and openly! I feel the same way, very worried for the newer generation. Growing up, I had friends that, like you, were tomboys but that’s it. That was just who they were and their hobbies didn’t mean they had to change a thing about their bodies.

      As for myself, I had a rough time accepting my period, and had I been offered puberty blockers (like the new American Girl book suggests), I would have taken them JUST to avoid menstruation (which is uncomfortable for pretty much every woman I know). I’m so glad that wasn’t a choice. Who knows what that would have done to my body. Of course, I soon saw that menstruating wasn’t so scary after all. Just a normal part of life.

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, and may we protect our children always ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

      • I also had a hard time accepting my period, and would have taken the puberty blockers, if offered. The 1990s American Girl “Care and Keeping of You” book was helpful back then, but the rewrite sounds like bad news.

        Yes, may we protect our children always ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes to all of this! My friends in England are telling me horror stories… If you’re a boy and you like the colour pink, you’re basically well on your way to getting your bits chopped off. It’s no longer ok to be a tomboy or a slightly effeminate man.

    Earlier this year when I was still teaching, one of my students, Joon, who may or may not grow up to be a gay man, decided that he wanted to be called Mrs Joon. He was only 12 at the time and certainly not married. So all the teachers at my school smiled and called him Mrs Joon.

    A few weeks later, he grew out of it all on his own. He went back to just Joon. I shudder to think what would have happened to him if he’d been be growing up in the West.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s that way here too. I’ve seen too many moms online push their boys into saying they’re a girl because they like Barbies. But Barbies are toys. Kids like toys. Kids like ALL kinds of toys!

      And it’s strange, because we spent so much time saying that liking pink and wearing dresses are girl stereotypes that don’t mean anything, but if a boy likes pink, let’s put him in a dress, that makes him a girl!! Ugh. It’s insanity.

      Yes, kids go through phases, like Joon. There might be some fears and confusion, but that’s part of growing up. I know I’m going to do all that I can to protect my little boy from this insanity. I get the feeling it might be different by the time he’s older. By then, a lot of these kids that were pushed into things might be speaking up, and I do wonder what they’ll say.


  3. What a beautiful story!!! Waiting is a wonderful thing – a virtue! – and I’m glad it revealed a true love friendship. I can see how you’d feel confused about the feelings. I totally loved YM magazine! I used to read it all the time! And that’s so cool you made this friendship happen, because anytime I wanted a friendship with a girl who I found unique and interesting, they seemed to be repelled by me – LOL!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was definitely a confusing but wonderful time, navigating through life and leaning about different types of love, not all romantic 🥰

      I collect YM magazines from the 90’s now!! I have a box full of them and looking at them is soooo nostalgic. As soon as one pops up on eBay at a good price, I get it 😊

      And aw, that’s such a bummer because you seem so cool 😭😭😭 Last time I tried to make a friend outside of church, it was a neighbor. It was a nice day out and she saw me and started walking my way. So I said hello and walked her way to meet her, and she goes (in her best mean-girl voice), “Uh, I was just walking to the mailbox 🙄.” Eye roll and everything! I was mortified at the time, but looking back, that was kind of rude. So, I feel ya!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, that is so cool that you collect YM magazines!!! Isn’t eBay Amazing?! I’m pretty sure I still have some – I need to look through them for a nostalgic ride!

        Oh wow, I’m sorry what happened with your neighbor! That’s shocking that she reacted that way. I think it’s great when someone goes out of their way to say hello. 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree, it feels like teenagers these days tend to be forced to move too quickly. When you’re young it’s best to take your time but it’s often when we do the opposite. And social media doesn’t help.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I wish parents would just let their kids be who they are without the pressure. Love them for who they are and don’t judge. I’m so glad those adolescent years are gone with my kids but now it’s the grandkids turn. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

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