My Secret

I have a confession to make.

When I was about 11 years old, I ordered a book called "The Secrets of How to Get A Boyfriend" from the back one of those teeny bopper magazines. It cost $12.50.

$12.50 was a lot of money to me at the time but I felt it was a reasonable price to pay to learn the secrets. Secrets that I would never know if I didn't pay $12.50.

Being somewhat of a novice (somewhat=complete), I knew it would surely contain a wealth of information I'd yet to consider when trying to attract the opposite sex. I decided it was a worthwhile investment in which to place the entirety of that year's birthday money and allowances, minus fifty cents because soon I'd have all 14 of the boys in my class following me around like puppies and asking me out on dates. I fantasized about them fighting over me and the jealous glares I'd receive from the other girls in the class. The book was not only the key to getting a boyfriend, it was the key to coolness.

So, I cut and filled out the tiny form and mailed it in with my cash and two quarters and eagerly began awaiting the arrival of THE BOOK which promised to teach me very important things like:
  • how to get your crush to notice you,
  • how to get a boyfriend,
  • what boys REALLY like in a girl,
  • and other very pertinent information on how to land the boy of your dreams.

It even promised to include a FREE "How to Kiss" pamphlet (I may have been more excited about this than the book).

Now that I'm older and wiser, I realize that there are many women's magazines out there that publish this information regularly and openly. However, the manufacturer promised it would be delivered in plain brown packaging and the word "Secrets" was in the title, which could only mean it had to be chock full of top-notch information that even the publishers of women's' magazines weren't privy to. Secrets like mind tricks, love potions and voodoo. I was sold. Never the less, it was a relief to know that my mailman would have no idea what lay under that boring, untelling wrapping. Deep down I was so embarrassed by my purchase that I didn't even tell my best friend.

6-8 weeks later, after rushing out and checking the mailbox everyday before my parents could get home and use their x-ray vision to pierce through the packaging and find out my dirty little secret, THE BOOK finally came. I rushed upstairs, locked my bedroom door and ripped the brown paper wrapping off the book that would truly change my life.

Deep breath.

The cover was blue and purple. It was about as thick as a Cliff's Notes. As I hungrily read through it, I found such useful information like-
  • Bathe regularly
  • Smile a lot
  • Bat your eyelashes,
  • Laugh at their jokes,
  • and most importantly- HAVE A GOOD PERSONALITY.

Seriously?! This is what I paid $12.50 for? This is what my life savings was spent on? HAVE A GOOD PERSONALITY?!!! What'd they think, I was born yesterday? Every moron knew this stuff. It wasn't a secret, it was plain ol' common sense! In fact, I DID all these things regularly and still no boys were kissing my feet. I didn't need a guide for the village idiot, I needed voodoo, damn it!!!!

And the "How to Kiss" booklet was missing. I'd have to figure that one out on my own.

My disappointment was overwhelming.

I promptly threw the book in my trashcan where it was hidden amidst candy wrappers and barbie hair. I was never discovered and I never told anyone about it until now. I have managed to land many a boyfriend without the help of mind tricks, love potions or voodoo.

But I could really use that $12.50 to pay for gas right now.