Back to the third grade

Dating at Yale is a lot like grabbing an apple in a dining hall: by the time I work up the confidence to go to the kitchen, the best apples are already taken by other people, the remaining ones seem fine on the surface but turn out to be mushy or weird, and, worst of all, no apples want to date me. My current dry spell seems incurable even by a wizard with eczema, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that I should have capitalized on the pinnacle of my romantic life when I had the chance: in third grade. It’s ironic that my third grade self encountered significantly more female interest than my current self, and not because tetherball would account for the height of his athleticism, but mostly due to his complete lack of interest in females. Why is it that the only time girls had crushes on me was when I wasn’t interested in girls? What the hell was Third Grade Ethan thinking?

I wish I could talk some sense into that punk.

ETHAN

Hey, you!

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

If you want to play tetherball, you need to get in line.

ETHAN

I don’t want to play tetherball. I want to tell you an important message. From the future.

(Pause)

I’m you from the future.

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

Aw, awesome! Like in Back to the Future! It’s my favorite movie.

ETHAN

(gets sidetracked)

I know. It’s so good.

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

I love the scene in the second one with the Hoverboards.

ETHAN

It’s the best one of the series! And remember how Marty jumps into the water at exactly the right moment—

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

And Griff swings right into the building!

ETHAN

Classic!

They laugh together. They have the same laugh, except Third Grade Ethan’s is significantly higher pitched.

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

So what did you want to tell me?

ETHAN

You need to go on the Back to the Future ride at Universal Studios as many times as you can NOW. It’s cheesy but fun. And Universal is going to close it down and make a SIMPSONS ride out of it, just to advertise for the movie. It’s absurd.

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

Sure thing.

Long pause.

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

Is that it?

ETHAN

Oh yeah. One more thing. This may be even more important than Back to the Future.

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

Impossible.

ETHAN

Just listen to me. Sometime next year, you’re going to start liking girls.

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

Ha ha, nice one. That’s gross.

ETHAN

I’m not finished. By the time you realize this, the three girls that have crushes on you right now will have moved on. And never again in your life will three girls have concurrent crushes on you.

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

What does concurrent mean?

ETHAN

God you’re stupid.

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

Shut up, you’re stupid.

ETHAN

Listen. If you don’t do anything about at least one of these girls, you are going to regret it.

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

What, regret getting cooties? No, thanks. Besides Jason and Sam would make fun of me.

ETHAN

Sam does not graduate high school and Jason will never like girls. If you know what I mean.

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

I’m sorry, I just find Legos and tetherball more interesting.

ETHAN

(muttering angrily)

Mother$#*^@god*@#head@$*#&rag.

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

Heh. Heh. Mother$#*^@god*@#head@$*#&rag.

ETHAN

Whoops. Don’t repeat that.

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

Don’t repeat what? Whoops? Or Mother$#*^@god*@#head@$*#&rag?

ETHAN

The latter.

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

Do you have any lottery numbers for me, or an almanac or something?

ETHAN

No, I didn’t think of – Dude, okay. Come on, why do you think Sarah always chases you around the playground?

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

Because I throw her lunchbox on the ground.

ETHAN

Stop doing that and just talk to her. Well, maybe keep doing that. It seems to be working.

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

Maybe you need to try throwing girls’ lunchboxes on the ground.

ETHAN

You’re a real smartass. Well, fine, don’t listen to me. You are going to regret this.

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

Come on, are you telling me that by the time high school rolls around, I’m going to WANT to kiss Sarah Klausmann?

ETHAN

Yes.

A long pause.

ETHAN

Yes you will.

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

Well, that’s just absurd.

ETHAN

I give up.

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

Wanna play tetherball?

ETHAN

No.

Pause.

ETHAN

Yeah, a little.

They start playing tetherball.

ETHAN

(looking off)

I guess, at the end of the day, you can’t live with regrets. Sure, my romantic life peaked when I was too young to appreciate it, and all my 20s have given me so far are heartbreak and loneliness, but you can’t live your life in the past. You gotta look forward. You gotta look — to the future. Thanks, Third Grade Ethan.

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

So how’s astronaut training?

ETHAN

Um. Oh yeah. Wanting to be an astronaut. Right. I, um, I’m actually an English major now.

THIRD GRADE ETHAN

Mother$#*^@god*@#head@$*#&rag.

Comments

  • n/a

    don’t forget you still have your mom rofl

  • it’s.been.real

    this was hilarious! have you considered switching your major to Comedic Playwriting?

  • just saying

    i would date ethan kuperberg.