In high school I had a huge crush on Stephen Lane. He was an adorable wavy-haired boy who played Frisbee on the school front lawn at lunchtime. As my girlfriends and I munched on rice cakes and sipped Capri-Suns, I watched Stephen jump and dive for the Frisbee. A friend lived around the block from him so I went out of my way to drive by his house, just because it made me feel good. I even called his phone number a few times and hung up as soon as someone answered. Stephen had no clue that I existed, but that was fine. I needed only to look at the guy to calm my screwy teenage hormones.
The other day, Stephen came to mind as I drove out of my way to pass Alice Fong Yu. I slowly circled around the school checking out the red-brick building, the garden at the top of the campus, the newer buildings housing the middle school. In fact, recently I've been going out of my way to pass AFY on a weekly basis. I tote the kids over to Arizmendi Bakery on Irving for pecan rolls on weekend mornings. I make a slight detour by AFY on the way to Golden Gate Park. For some reason, simply looking at the school eases the anxiety I have about this process. I've got a serious school crush.
Just this morning, I dragged the family over to Arizmendi Bakery so we could drop by the school. But today I needed more than a little look. I wanted to get closer.
"We're going to a new park," I told the kids, as we stopped the car in front of the school.
Of course, the school gates were closed and locked. I contemplated climbing over them, but Ryan, the more rational one, stopped me.
While I say that I'd be happy with any of the seven schools on my list, I mainly think about AFY. And I worry about my crush on this one school: my daydreams about what life will be like if my kids go to AFY, my desire to always go to Chinatown, my searches for home exchanges in China this summer.
It's been my experience that crushes typically end badly—and I worry that my obsessions sometimes blind me from reality and the truth.
I did eventually meet Stephen in college. And guess what? He was entirely boring.
But I wonder, Is Alice Fong Yu more than a crush? Could she be the one?