Soccer Camp and The Cranberries

March 14, 2011

in 1995 i was 13. i still had hopes of being a good soccer player, despite my lack of coordination, lack of speed, and tendency towards laziness. anyhow, i used to go to soccer camps every summer, and when i was 10, i started going to sleep-a-way camps. in 1995 i went to camp at gettysburg college and played soccer under the tutelage of several exceedingly handsome and charming british fellows. hearing that my passes were “brilliant” was just about that loveliest thing that an already boy-crazed, accent-smitten, wannabe footie player pre-teen could ever hear and that week proved to be one of the best of my pre-pubescent life.

i roomed with a girl named angela, who was from new jersey. she was blond and thin and aggressive and good at soccer. we got along quite well, though looking back, i think it may have more to do with my status as the un-threatening chubby friend. (real life is not unlike romantic comedies, you know) anyhow, angela and i played soccer all day and then roamed the campus of gettysburg college at night, hoping to catch the eye of the boys who were at the baseball camp in the dorms across the yard.

we (she) eventually did catch the eye of the baseball players, and by tuesday of that fateful week, i was head over heels for a 14 year old shortstop named dave. dave and angela and me and others, i’m sure (none so memorable as either dave or angela), and by week’s end we were all just the best of friends–sweating through the heat on our respective pitches and diamonds during the day and careening haphazardly through adolescent summer lust at night.

at the end of the week, i was in love with dave and thought angela was my best friend.

three days after we left camp, angela told me that she and dave had kissed on the last night of camp and that they were boyfriend and girlfriend. my heart broke.

i got really sick a few days later and, confined to bed during the last few days of the summer, i played this song on repeat, imagining myself as drew barrymore or claire danes, wearing plaid, being angsty and pensive, thinking about a breakup with the perfect teenage boyfriend.

i eventually got over it, but everytime i hear this song, i am taken back to summer camp and angst.


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