Shawn Shinneman confesses that his teenage dream girl, Kelly Kapowski from Saved By The Bell, is just an illusion. But he loves her nonetheless.
A quick note: this writer dismisses the fact “Saved by the Bell: The College Years” ever happened, and therefore does not recognize the marriage of Zack and Kelly. For what it’s worth, he also chooses to remember Britney Spears pre-bald head and Sammy Sosa pre-corked bat and incessant steroid use. It’s just better this way.
Kelly Kapowski is the type of girl you never really get over. Can’t you just see Zack Morris on a couch in his parents’ basement? Can’t you just see him smoking heavily, sending Kelly “I miss you” texts after he’s choked down a couple Steel Reserve tall boys?
This is how it went for me: between the ages of six and 15, I, like every self-respecting ‘90s kid, watched copious amounts of Saved by the Bell re-runs. I’d watch it with my Eggos in the morning. I’d watch it with my algebra in the afternoon. I’m pretty sure there was a time when TBS gave up on airing any other program — this was without a doubt the greatest time to be alive.
In the beginning, Tiffani Amber Theissen’s character just made me feel tingly in some areas I didn’t really understand. It eventually became apparent, though, that this was the real deal — the dream girl. She was everything: the cheerleader and the girl next door. She was good-hearted and studious. She was out-going and flirty. She had a sincerity about her. She was, you know, really really hot.
But boy, have I realized something in the years since TBS moved on, since we all moved on. Kelly Kapowski is an illusion. She’s the island on the horizon when you’re doggy-paddling at sea. It’s only when you struggle closer that you realize she was never really there at all.
I’ve met some of these girls out there. I’m sure you’ve seen them, too. They’ll give the time of day to all 17 guys in love with them at any given moment. They are dishearteningly hotter than you, heartwarmingly nicer. They do not generally possess faults viewable with the human eye.
They’ve been put on this earth to stuff mass quantities of testicles into their handbags, and then spill them out on the dirtied floors of bars and classrooms and offices across the country.
If you ever do follow the trail of heartbreak — the testicle trail, if you will — I promise, it’ll take you straight to Kelly Kapowski. She’ll look painfully gorgeous. She’ll smile a sincere smile. She’ll probably introduce you to her A.C. Slater-of-the-week.
Hell, I don’t think I’d care who was with her; I’d still get down on one knee. She’d say no, sure, but in some preposterously nice way that’d make me wonder if I still had a chance.
I’d go home to my parents’ basement. I’d be right there with you, Zack.