Crush can refer to many things. With over 100 people in attendance at our recent “Crush” StorySlam hosted at Best Place, our tellers demonstrated the multitude of ways our theme could be interpreted. We heard a variety of stories having to do with old ‘crushes’, but also accidents, misunderstandings, and schoolyard revenge.

I was going to find him…

Our first story was from Jerrianne, who brought us along on a mission to be noticed by her teenage crush. After sneaking down the stairs – making sure to miss the squeaky one – and escaping out of the house, Jerrianne set out to find her crush somewhere in town. She never found him, and instead was escorted back home, where she crept unnoticed back into the house. Her dad noticed the next morning that ¼ tank of gas was gone and concluded that “someone must’ve took the car for a joy ride last night!”. Twenty years later he found out that that “someone” was Jerrianne.

I am Savage, king of the Pocket-Protectors!

Next, we heard an alternative interpretation of crush. After moving to a new town, Jeff found himself in a social group known at the school as the “Pocket-Protector Kids”. After getting beat up on the bus by several schoolmates, Jeff brought a baseball bat to school and exacted his revenge, crushing shoulders and elbows and earning a three-day suspension. Upon returning to school, Jeff found that his rampage had earned him the nickname “Savage”, a name he embraced, proclaiming “I am Savage, king of the Pocket-Protectors!”

My mom wants to know if you’re married?

As her son entered 1st grade, he bonded quickly with his teacher Mr. Danny. Molly was thrilled at first, but as time went on Molly became tired of answering “I don’t know” to questions about Mr. Danny that she couldn’t answer – questions like “Why does Mr. Danny use green pens?” and “What’s Mr. Danny’s favorite color?”. One day her son asked if Mr. Danny was married, and instead of answering with “I don’t know”, Molly instead proudly answered “I don’t know, why don’t you ask him?”. The next morning, he did exactly that, with Molly standing mortified by his side. Though Molly attempted to explain that it wasn’t what it looked like, her relationship with Mr. Danny soured, as he started avoiding eye contact, zipped through conferences, and unfriended her on Facebook.

And then…crushhhhh

Next, we were While biking in the country, Dotty wanted to see some wildlife. As she was looking around for signs of wildlife, a truck in the other lane hit a deer and sent it flying across the road to crush Dotty. Insisting she was okay, the ambulance took her to a nearby hospital, where her husband eventually found her after momentarily getting lost in the building. Instead of a relaxing retreat in nature, Dotty was treated to multiple days in a hospital bed and months of painkillers.

Not for the likes of you

It was the day before Thanksgiving, and Michael wanted to deliver a poem to his crush at their home. When he knocked on the door, his crush’s grandmother opened the door, and quickly sent him on his way. Before leaving, Michael gave the grandmother an envelope with his poem in it. His crush’s grandmother read the poem during Thanksgiving dinner, embarrassing his crush and ensuring her eternal hatred of him.

It doesn’t sound like much, but it was just…nice

“Growing up, I always had an awkward relationship with…relationships” started Joel, our next teller. Joel originally met his crush in 2nd grade, remembering that what he liked most about her was that she was always nice to everyone. As the years went by, the two continued to attend the same schools, but rarely spoke. Years later at a reunion Joel caught up with her again, and though he did not remember many details from their conversation, he reflected that it was simply “nice” to catch up with an old friend after so many years of missed connections.

He was crushed…but I broke up with him

Patti was in the shower at her apartment in Chicago, when after hearing loud and continued thumping on the ceiling, someone’s foot appeared in the window, dangling from above. The foot belonged to a roofer, whom Patti went out with after her roommate informed her that they’d get a discount if she agreed to go on a date with the man whose foot she had encountered earlier. While on the date Patti met someone else, someone who was “6’5”, and 200 pounds of the finest man” she’d ever met. Unfortunately, his conversational skills did not match up to his physical appearance, and after asking her if she “wanted to watch the news together sometime” because she was the smartest person he knew, she promptly ended the fling.

When I first met my husband, I didn’t even like him

Our next teller, Sandy, reminded us that love doesn’t always come at first sight. In fact, she began by admitting that she didn’t like her husband when they first met. However, she remembered that what initially caught her attention was the way her husband smelled. Soon they were dating, and she described him to her friends as looking “just like Paul Newman”. Her friends strongly disagreed, but Sandy married him anyway. Over fifty years later, Sandy still insists he looks just like Paul Newman.

You ruined my 16th birthday!

Our last teller, Deserae, loved the attention she usually received on Valentine’s Day – which also happens to be her birthday. On her 16th birthday, she gave her crush an anonymous gift, planning to tell him at the end of the day it was from her if he didn’t figure it out before then. Things did not go according to plan, and she missed her chance to reveal herself as their secret admirer. The next day, she found her crush avoiding eye contact with her, later finding out that he considered her “a non-option” and never thought that the gift could’ve been from her. Years later, he asked her out on date. She passionately declined, reminding him that he had ruined her birthday years before.

Thank You!

It was an exciting and entertaining night for everyone. Big thank yous to Best Place at Pabst Brewery for hosting, our wonderful crew of volunteers, and to our sponsors. Without the support of these groups we could not have put on this show! Northwestern Mutual WUWM 89.7 FM – Milwaukee’s NPR Milwaukee Turners at Turner Hall Wisconsin Arts Board Transfer Pizzeria Café Colectivo Coffee LuLu Cafe & Bar We Energies Gorman & Company Brico Fund and CAMPAC!

You’re invited to our next StorySlam: “Caught in the Act” at Kochanski’s Concertina Bar, 1920 S 37th St, Milwaukee, WI 53215, Friday November 9, 2018, 7:30 – 9:45 pm. Advance tickets $10, or $12 at the door. Purchase tickets HERE. See you soon!