Guys are different. But especially preteen guys. Here's a little romantic story involving preteens. No, nothing objectionable, just sweet. Indulge me, you all.
Despite concentrated efforts, sometimes children do have free, unorganized time, and they fill it in pretty much the same way that their parents and grandparents and others filled: now and then with a game involving several other kids based on who's available. And, things being the way they are, they have a fair amount of admixture in who gets to participate: both boys and girls, varieties of ages, ability levels, anything to get a full team out on the field. And if there isn't enough available, they knock on doors and ask.
This is how I managed to make the summons, otherwise, I would have been content to watch She-Ra or Xena or other fine televised fare for kids. The game in question was softball; and at 12 I was not celebrated for my batting or fielding skills. Yup, it's "You can play right field, Angel!" I knew my place. Any typically I was the last one chosen.
And the teams were formed by having the honchos take turn choosing, first deciding who gets first choice by catching the bat and grasping it in turn, then measuring whose hand is higher on the bat. (I'm sure there's a sports-related term for this method, it seems steeped in sports tradition.)
The team leaders typically choose who they think the best players are, and as they alternately go through the kids available, the remaining ones are increasingly forcibly reminded of their diminished status. while the earlier-chosen ones get to preen. [Note: when pre-teens preen, it isn't pretty.] It's particularly shaming to be the last one chosen, and some last-chosen decamp and run for home due to the ignominy instead of sucking it up and playing.
That's a reality of playground-driven teams. There's a Darwinian subtext there. To be the last one chosen is utterly shameful. And both before and after the game, there's the solitary post-selection Walk of Shame for you! No less for girls than for boys!
Anyway, the designated team captains were midway through the choices, and I was waiting to being called last, and ready to blush with mortification when that happened. To my surprise, however; I heard my name called, right smack in the middle of the choices.
I took that as a sign that the boy liked me. Or even loved me. And it dawned on me that he seemed to show more interest in talking to me beforehand.
Guys like that deserve a kiss, But maybe privately. I know enough about guys to know that he would be hooted by the other boys for getting a PDA!
2 hours ago