I didn’t date much in high school--or rather, I didn’t date a lot of people. Honey Bear and I met the first day of my sophomore year (his senior year), and although it took a few months for a friendship and then a romance to develop, develop they did. By the end of that school year, we were talking every evening on the phone for hours at a stretch and going on group dates several times a month.
Which wasn’t exactly the blissful fantasy that TWILIGHT-reading teenagers might think it was. If you’re familiar with Mormon culture, you might already know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encourages its young people to date nonexclusively in high school. Honey Bear and I were--and are--active Latter-day Saints who wanted to follow this counsel, so we both agreed to date around.
But that, as it turned out, was a lot easier said than done, at least for me.
As you might imagine, Honey Bear didn’t have a problem pulling this off. He just went on other group dates with other girls while I stayed home and played at writing novels. I did my part by asking other boys to the girls' choice dances, then waited, waited, waited for my other boy friends--note the space there, boy-space-friends--to ask me out.
But by and large, they never did. Any boy who knew me well enough to maybe want to ask me out also knew about Honey Bear and didn’t want to, I don’t know, invade his territory or something. Or maybe they just had no idea what he saw in me:) Either way, I didn’t date a lot of other boys in high school, and this, uh, caused me some emotional distress.
Then one day, when I was watching Little Women for what was probably the fifty-seventh time, little Amy March said something that struck me as particularly profound. “You don’t need scores of suitors,” she told her older sisters. “You need only one, if he’s the right one.”
Interestingly enough, the same is true of agents. As I’ve watched other writers land two or three--or six or seven--offers of representation over the last few months, I’ve thought back on those profound words. I don’t need scores of offers, or even scores of requests. I need only one, if it’s the right one.
Now I just have to find that one agent who’s willing to oblige… :)