OC HIGH: STUDENT NEWS AND VIEWS : Is It Love? : It seems that when the heart works overtime, the mind takes a vacation. When infatuation strikes, embarrassing moments are likely not far behind. Being yourself can keep humiliation to a minimum.

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Lauren Dunn is a senior at Lutheran High School in Orange

Ever had an embarrassing or humiliating experience around a person you really dig?

I have--more than once. And the get-your-love-struck-head-out-of-the-clouds lesson was the same each time.

During my freshman year, there was a senior in my art class that I had a crush on. He was, without a doubt, cool and utterly groovy.

Every day I'd pass him in the halls. Just a glance at his long, wavy hair and tie-dye attire would put me in la-la land for the rest of the day.

My friends and I would hang around The Hunk and his circle of friends, eavesdropping on their every word, because, well, the guy was awesome--and, being freshman, we wanted to be hip to the senior lingo.

Anyway, one day in art class I was doodling away on my project and decided to sneak a peek at The Hunk, who was sitting across the room. Well, I didn't really sneak a peek--I fell into sort of a full-on stare. You know, the fixed-gaze type of thing when even though you're staring at something (or someone), the ol' mind is reviewing the day or taking a vacation.

When I finally came to, The Hunk and his friends were sitting in the same hand-propping-up-the-chin-position, practically mirroring my love-struck expression.

I came to with a series of confused blinks and frantic darting of the eyes. Then my head shot back down to my artwork, as if there was an intense magnetic pull between the two, and it didn't come up for the rest of the period.


As if I hadn't learned a lesson by humiliating myself in art class, I decided to do it in the great outdoors too.

Last summer, this guy (quite experienced in backpacking), whom I had liked for a few months, decided it'd be cool to go on a backpacking excursion with a group of friends.

As we merrily drove up the mountain reminiscing about the previous year, I had a warm, fuzzy feeling that this would be a fun two days.

Upon reaching the trail head, everyone else whipped out bandannas and tied them, Rambo-style, across their forehead, sporting shorts, tank tops and hiking boots. I, clad in jeans and my trusty Reeboks, had no bandanna to catch the sweat I was about to become drenched in. I had also done up my hair nicely that morning, with a few loose tendrils framing my face. Mr. Wilderness walks over to me and says, "Hey, do you think you could carry a tent on your pack?" Not wanting to say no, I said, "Sure, let me see." I weighed the tent in my hands for half a second and replied, "No problem. It's not that heavy."

He put the tent on my pack, and I was set . . . so I thought. After the first five minutes of hiking--and quiet panting--I realized that my pack (and the tent that I had not planned on carrying the night before) was getting pretty heavy.

After enduring as much torture as I possibly could, I blurted out, "Wait, I need to rest." So I rested and then continued up the trail. Then I said it again. And again. Finally, after my tendrils of hair had gone limp and after enduring my endless pleas for rest, a guy named Bob (names have been changed to protect those reluctant to carry a five-ton tent) came to my rescue and agreed to carry the tent. Talk about a load off my shoulders.

As if that wasn't enough, prickly bushes reached out and touched someone (me) whenever the group went exploring. And a happy little bee found a home in my tent until we left the next day.


They say you become wiser with age. Well, I'm in the last leg of my senior year, and I still seem to make corny impressions around guys.

All you love-struck people out there in the Land of Amour, take heed. Let your actions reflect the real you, and maybe embarrassing wake-up-and-smell-the-java incidents like mine will be few.

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