What did surprise me was how precocious some of their requirements are, like "has a good job" and "respects you." I approached prospective relationships with nowhere near the same level of maturity at that age. Case-in-point: When my third-grade crush, a curly-haired boy named Frank, somehow managed to wear a hole at the tip of his sneaker one morning, I spent the rest of the school day rubbing my shoe against any prickly surface I could find until I, too, had a hole there … just like him! In my misguided little 8-year-old mind, I thought Frank would notice my heroic gesture and, I dunno, propose marriage or something.
No such luck. By the time the final school bell rang, my shoe was broken - and so was my heart.
So while I'm taking this little trip down memory lane, allow me to channel my 8-year-old self and list what MY rules for a boyfriend would have been back then. If I flatter myself, I suppose I can draw comparisons between some of the rules listed by ahead-of-their time authors Blaire and Brooke and the ones desired by little '80s era me … check it out:
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What they said: "Good manners."
What I wanted: Share and share alike is good manners, right? If the teacher hands out heart-shaped erasers on Valentine's Day and you get a pink one while I get a white one, you give me your pink one.
What they said: "Has a good job."
What I wanted: If your "job" in gym class is team captain, you always pick me for your team right away.
What they said: "Takes care of body."
What I wanted: Will feign bodily harm for my benefit. For instance, if you're not a team captain and I'm in danger of being picked last in gym class, you fake a horrible tummy ache and force the gym teacher to abandon the day's planned game before I'm left standing by myself on the verge of tears.
What they said: "No kissing on the first date."
What I wanted: Lots of hand-holding, especially when it's time to buddy up and walk down the hallway and no one else wants to hold my hand because it's clammy.
What they said: "Smart."
What I wanted: Smart enough to avoid a sore-loser tantrum by yours truly by letting me win at Nintendo.
What they said: "Don't pick your nose."
What I wanted: Picking your nose is fine - just don't wipe it on me.
What they said: "Marry someone who respects you."
What I wanted: If I rip a hole in my shoe right after you've ripped a hole in your shoe, you smile, give me a thumbs-up and say, "Cool!" And then you propose marriage.
Can you channel your 8-year-old self? Were you as mature as Blaire and Brooke? What would your rules have been?
Photo source: Gabrielle Daniels
-By Alice Gomstyn