Teen Tales Guest Post: Michelle Merrill on Making Mistakes

Aug 29, 2011

Teen Tales is a weekly feature connecting the YA experience with YA literature. Today we have a guest post from Michelle Merrill! I actually went to high school with Michelle, who is now also my awesome critique partner. Here's a bit about her:


"I'm a wife to the best husband, a mother to the cutest kids, an aspiring author, an avid reader, a friend, and a daughter of God. I absolutely love to watch old movies, eat anything sweet, and play my music way too loud."

And now, to her post!

Teens make mistakes. They do funny things. It happens to everyone. And sometimes those funny things come with boys. Let's face it, boys are funny. And weird. And, yes, hot. And lots of other things. We like some and we dislike others.

So what happens when one that we dislike asks us on a date?

Say no, right?

Well, if you did, you were/are much better than me. See, that would've been the nice way to avoid the date.

After multiple excuses of why I couldn't go on a date with Bob (not real name. Duh!) I finally caved. Yeah, what was I thinking? I couldn't stand the kid. Mostly because I thought he was a sly flirt that thought he could get any girl. Nuh uh. He wasn't getting me.

Then why did I say yes? Who knows? My friends drilled me about it. My guy friends!And initially it was those same friends that helped me sabotage the date. Yes, I just admitted it. And I can't believe I did that! Me. Innocent, nice, blah blah blah. Me.

So for the two hours before the date, we planned.

The date was a movie and dessert. I wore an ugly outfit, put on too much blue eye shadow (which I NEVER wore), and added a giant puffy coat to keep personal contact to a minimum.
And what does Bob's friend drive? An old two door (TWO DOOR) sports car. And where am I sitting? In the back seat with Bob. Gross.

Bob tries to tickle me. I give a fake giggle and move away. FAR away. Well, as far as you can go in the tiny backseat of a two door sports car.

At the movie I share the popcorn, but my hand went in and out fast. In the bowl, in my mouth, in my pocket. Fast. No contact. I don't even remember the movie, but it was long.

Then after the date we went to Wendy's for dessert. High class, I know but it's high school. Don't judge the poor kid. I would've chosen the same place. On our way there, Bob scoots closer. Too close! Breathing is hard at this point. So I make up some excuse to call my dad on his cell phone (yeah, the one time I actually got to take it). My dad knew that if I were to call, it was his cue to save me. So he had me repeat each word. It went something like this.

"Oh no, Dad. Are you serious? I have to come home already? Can I just stop for a quick dessert at Wendy's? Yeah? Awesome. I'll be home right after."

Thank. You. Dad.

And what could be worse than your sisters and friends "showing up" at Wendy's to have dessert at the same time? Ha. Nothing, it was awesome. And then they left right before us and waited on the porch for Bob to bring me home. It was a great drop off. Literally drop off. I think there was a quick hug at the car.

So the plan worked. Beautifully.

But why do I still feel bad about it? Not just bad, horrible. I think I even felt bad before I actually went on the date.

Because it was mean. Downright dirty. Rude and insensitive.

But that's what teens do. They make mistakes and learn. I can honestly say I NEVER sabotaged another date.

What mistakes are your character's making? More importantly, what are they learning from them?

27 comments:

Jess said...

Wonderful post! And I know so many people my age who have accepted a date that they REALLY don't want to go on... I feel really bad for them. Still, I admire your plan and it was pretty well thought out LOL!

Meredith said...

Is it bad that I kind of want to sabotage a date now? I guess that's not the lesson I should be taking from this. :) Poor Bob!

Michelle Merrill said...

Yeah, Jess. I STILL feel bad for poor Bob.

NO Meredith! Don't do it. Okay, it was a little fun...but the sad look on the guy's face won't ever leave your mind. Haha. Let your character sabotage a date though :)

And Thanks Shallee! This was a lot of fun to write.

Abby said...

This all hits too close to home. Yes, we do all make mistakes and even be insensitive at times! Oh man - can I block out the memories again? I love this story though. So hilarious! Glad you shared Michelle with us today. :)

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Poor Bob! Michelle, how could you?! ;) He was lucky you even said yes! I'm not sure I would have ... But you're right. Teens make mistakes. They are rude and insensitive. Until they think about what they've done and feel bad after. Been there more than once. Thanks for the laugh, Michelle! :D
And Shallee, I LOVE these posts. Keep them coming! :)

Reece said...

This is actually the reason I have trouble writing teenage characters. I can't seem to get this characteristic in there, at least not believably. Every time I try, I end up writing adult characters.

Joe Vasicek said...

This is essentially why I didn't date more than once every four or five months in college. At least half the girls at BYU are like this, and those who aren't are impossible to disginguish from those who are. Was that a mistake on my part? Perhaps, but it sure saved me a lot of headaches and heartbreaks.

MKHutchins said...

I had brothers who told me it was mean to string boys along, so I don't have any date-sabotage stories. I do have stories of yelling at a boy in the high school hallway about never touching me again (which mysteriously resulted in a wide berth from all teenage boys)...or stomping all over someone's ego so they'd 100% know I wasn't interested...so, it's probably a good (and miraculous) thing I'm married and not in the dating pool.

Michelle Merrill said...

Abby-That should be a super power, blocking memories :)

Chantele-I know, sad right? Mistakes are good because they make us better :)

Reece-Hang in there, you'll get it!

Joe-I'm sorry you didn't date more. Dating is fun. I'm sorry to had to admit I was like that...but only in High school! I went on a lot of fun dates in College!

MK-I have brothers, but they didn't warn me. And I have a ton of ego stomping stories. I just didn't know how to let the boys down. Once I decided I wasn't interested, I just tuned out and gave them the cold shoulder. Sad day. Man, why are teens so emotional?

If I could do this again, I'd tell about the time I TRIED to slap a boy in the face. Classic!

Mark Noce said...

Interesting twists on the "what if" factor of teen life. Neato:)

Jolene Perry said...

I SO DID SOMETHING ALMOST LIKE THAT!!

Too funny.

yeah. High school is a learning process . . .

Shallee said...

I think most of my worst (and funniest) mistakes came from the dating world. Maybe there's a lesson in writing teen humor there...

Thanks for being a guest poster today, Michelle! :)

Joe Vasicek said...

It's fine; I actually don't regret it, since I was pretty proactive about pursuing girls I knew I was interested in. The thing I worry about is all those BYU girls who have self-esteem issues because no one ever asks them out on a date. I probably contributed to that somewhat...but at the same time, you can't hold blameless those girls who string guys along in this way, because they contribute to that kind of a culture too. Big time.

Tying it back to the subject at hand, I wonder how many of our modern social problems stem from some aspect of the teenage experience that people never actually grow out of. I'm not sure how to handle it, but there's got to be a takeaway for YA writers in that.

Shari said...

Great post, Michelle. Nice to meet you Shallee!

David Powers King said...

Michelle rocks!

And she's your critique partner? I can be jealous, right?

Steph Sinkhorn said...

Oh man, that's always so awkward. I can relate.

Lisa Gail Green said...

OMG, this has to be the most innovative and awesome blogging subject like ever. Remembering those YA moments from our own lives that we can draw upon. Thanks for the story, I got totally sucked in, and yeah, felt bad for the guy AND your friend. LOL

Jen Daiker said...

Wow... you were creative right from the get go! I've done mean things as a teen... Some I don't even remember!!! I just know years later that I feel horrible for everything. I'd apologize to anyone I hurt. Kids & teens are mean!!!

Lynda R Young said...

so so funny! I actually went through a similar experience. A guy hounded me for a date and I kept saying no and then just to shut him up I said yes. URGH! So regretted it! lol.

lindy said...

Great story! I did feel sorta bad for the guy, but I also understand the angst that comes from being pressured, and yet way too inexperienced to put your foot down. I bet a lot of teenage girls have been through a similar uncomfortable situation, so I wouldn't beat yourself up over it. :P

Clarissa Draper said...

Awkward! In high school, a boy that liked me kept asking me out. We were friends but I didn't want more. But, almost everyday he asked me out and like you, I finally caved. As soon as I said yes, I regretted it. I avoided him all day until he found me hiding in the library. Fortunately, I was honest and told him how I felt before we actually went out.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I too feel bad for Bob. Sometimes our behaviour can be downright mean and rude and we have to live with guilt, isnt it?

Jo Schaffer said...

HAHAHA! I totally relate. Very funny.

Kari Marie said...

I did something equally guilt worthy in High School and I still feel bad.

I ended up going to the same college with the guy as well. He ended up being kind of a "player" and he would always tell me at parties how I was responsible for that. Because after me he stopped trusting girls. Great. As if I didn't already feel bad enough.

Carol Riggs said...

Thanks for this fun post, both of you! haha, Michelle, now we've seen another side of you. Seriously, yes, it's good we learn from things. I'm just glad I'm not male and have to ask girls out, not knowing if they're truly interested or if they're just too weak/scared/horrified to say no. LOL

Hywela Lyn said...

Very evocative cover - just stopping by all the blogs taking part!

HawksEye said...
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