Why third-graders are more romantic than 30-year-olds

I am self-admittedly a hopeless romantic, and maybe I have screwed myself by setting my expectations way too high. But I can't help it. When the hell did romance die, and why are prepubescent school boys better at romance than 30-year-old men with Porsches?

This is what I miss about elementary school romancing:

  • Valentine's Day cards (granted they had Scooby Doo or G.I. Joe on them), that say "Love, Your Secret Admirer"
  • A flower on my locker (even if it was a god-awful carnation dyed blue)
  • The brave soul that walked over to the "girls side" of the smelly gymnasium to ask me to dance
  • Boys actually saying what they mean. Period. "Meet me behind the dumpster after school." (OK, that never really quite happened to me, but I know of someone who it did happen to in elementary school and I was jealous.)
  • The anticipation of the first hug or the first kiss (as opposed to the expectation of the first lay)
  • The only games that boys knew how to play were kickball and four square (none of this wait-two-days-before-I-call-or-text bull)
  • Johnny telling Marky who told Sully who told Fitzy that Johnny liked me--and then me finding out
  • Smiles from across the room
  • A wink…whatever happened to the damn wink?!
  • Being given a hair brush at my first boy-girl party and not caring that it was a blue Sassoon hair brush because the card had a cheesy love poem in it that has matched any romantic gesture that a guy has made in my twenties (sad, I know)
  • A note saying you look beautiful (granted I had an eighties stonewashed jean mini, lime green tube socks, red sneakers, a champion turtle neck, and a champion sweatshirt on…I did look beautiful, so that one is a bit unfair to the guys of today, but I digress)
  • Walking me home, carrying my book bag, walking me to my door
  • Being dumped and getting called two hours later, as he played George Michael's "One More Try" over the phone with the follow-up: "Will you go back out with me?" (That really happened.)

My mom always said: "Boys are like buses… there is always another one on its way," but all I want is to be back on a big yellow school bus, sitting in the very back row on a ripped brown cushion with my third grade crush (who is writing our initials in permanent black marker on the back of the seat), being afraid and thrilled to death that someone might see us holding hands.

Does anyone else miss this or is this just me?