What to do when you are nearly eight years old, you profess to hate girls, and you realise - to your horror - that you have 'fallen in love' with one?
You don't tell anyone, even your mother, for a really long time.
You nearly DIE when she walks past you at the school disco and LOOKS at you - for once - and you are crying because a prep has been beating you up. How EMBARASSING!
She collects Yu-Gi-Oh cards, so you challenge her to a duel. But she says she is too scared to duel. You plot to convince her to duel you and PLAN TO LET HER WIN. This is a big thing, as you HATE to lose. Anything. And you often cheat in order to win, though you'd never admit it, not even to yourself.
You draw a love heart with your names in it and hide it in your drawer, never to show anyone. As you get out your textas to draw it, you decide to confide in your Mum about your BIG SECRET. You make her promise never to tell anyone, not even Dad.
'I won't,' she promises. 'Not even The Husband.'
'You can tell HIM,' you say.
Your Mum is on the phone to her Mum.
'My son is telling me a secret,' she says. 'But I can't tell you, sorry.'
'You can,' you say. 'Just her. I think she might know something about boy's fashion, and I need advice.'
When your mum gets off the phone she asks why you need to know about boy's fashion. You are not known for a great interest in fashion, beyond light-up TMNT sneakers that were JUST PERFECT for the disco and your habit of writing slogans on skivvies with permanent texta. And you quite like to wear your navy school trackies on weekends.
'So she will fall in love with me, too,' you tell your Mum.
'Oh,' she says. 'You think fashion will make her fall in love?'
Your Mum tells you that she will certainly seek some advice on fashion for you, and suggests that the Husband may have some advice, as he knows a lot about boy's fashion.
'Oh YES!' you say. 'Good one Mum. That would be PERFECT!'
'And your aunties love fashion,' she says. 'They are FASHION EXPERTS. They used to buy all your clothes.'
'YES, that would be great.'
'What about me?' your Mum asks. 'Do I know about fashion?'
'What about your Dad?'
'He doesn't know about fashion?'
'No, he DOES NOT.'
'No,' your Mum smiles. 'He does not.'
The most important thing, your Mum says, the thing that will really make a difference, is if you are fun to be around. 'Do you want to know what made me fall in love with The Husband?' she asks.
'Well, he was handsome, of course. But more than that, he was very nice and we had great talks and we had fun together. And most of all, he made me laugh.'
'Oh,' you say. 'Well, that could be a problem.'
'But I thought you said you were the class clown?' says your Mum.
'Yes, I am.'
'But nobody laughs at your jokes?'
'They do,' you explain. 'Lots of them do. But some of them don't. And SHE never seems to laugh.'
Your Mum has one last piece of advice to deliver.
'Do you know what would make you even handsomer than you are now?' she says.
'If you let me comb down your hair before school in the mornings and flatten down the sticky-up bits.'
'Mum,' you say. 'I don't think that will help AT ALL.'