Saturday, 13 October 2012



The purpose of my life in grade three was one thing and one thing only. Get Bobbie Canning to propose to me.

Bobbie and I lived on the same street. He was perfect. He said swear words that kids our age were not allowed to say, he would drink Coke out of a licorice straw. He was the definition of cool.

He was also my best friend, and anyone who has ever wanted to move beyond a platonic relationship with their best friend knows what a delicate mission it is to successfully break out of the friend zone. So on June 3rd, 1999, the day of EQAO testing, I decided it was time for my life's purpose to be accomplished. I was going to ace the testing and ride that wave of confidence right into having 'the talk' with Bobbie on the way home from school.

That day, I woke up full of purpose. I put on my favourite outfit that my mother had helped me lay out the night before and had a nice bowl of Cheerios. I met Bobbie like I did every day, so that he could escort me to and from school.

Walking to school with Bobbie, I just knew it was going to be a good day. The rest of the morning was a blur in anticipation of the afternoon. When it came time to take the test, I carefully removed my best pencil from my Disney Princess pencil case, ready to earn the highest score in the entire history of EQAO testing.

Having a librarian for a father, I was constantly immersed in books. As such, I pretty much thought of myself as the greatest literary mind in the third grade, basically the Shakespeare of Mrs. Skinner's class. I finished the test way before everyone else. Since I had so much time on my hands, I took the opportunity to reflect on how great Bobbie looked underneath the school-grade florescent lightbulbs. He was like a real live movie star.   

Then it hit me, I really had to pee.

Leaving the room was strictly forbidden during testing, but there was forty-five minutes left before the school day ended and the quarantine was over.  Fifteen minutes passed, and then another fifteen minutes. Feeling a sense of urgency, I raised my hand and begged to be allowed to leave. Mrs. Skinner, gave me a sympathetic smile and told me I was just going to have to hold it for another 15 minutes until the bell rang.

Another 5 minutes passed of that agonizing feeling that your bladder is about to rupture. I didn't know if I was going to make it. Fearing impeding doom, I took one last look at Bobbie's immaculate mushroom cut and prepared for a crisis. 

A couple more minutes dragged by until there was nothing I could do. I closed my eyes, and peed my pants. I sat there partially bewildered, trying to understand how such an atrocity could have occurred and wondering if maybe Bobbie had somehow not noticed the disaster, even though he was now staring at me. Mrs. Skinner then decided that it was probably okay for me to be excused.

Too ashamed to walk back into the classroom, I waited for Bobbie by his coat hook in the hallway til the bell rang. He didn't say one word to me as we silently started what was to become the longest 20 minute walk home I have ever experienced. I had an internal dialogue with myself regarding my chances if I still tried to have 'the talk'. I wisely decided against it, and we walked home in silence, my love for Bobbie forever unrequited.

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