I think every male who isn’t extremely handsome, or rich (I wasn’t either, so can’t say first hand) has an experience of unrequited love while growing up. Sounds like you were in a very ‘normal’ situation but had a hard time interpreting your feelings about it because of what you were exposed to at home, compounded by the amount of sexual material you were surrounded by in your place of work. If you didn’t have the parents you did, and developed a crush on a girl while working at McDonald's . . . . I wonder if your disappointment would have been as difficult to process.
I guess this highlights the fact that when we see someone ‘experience’ something, we interpret it from our point of view. We compare it to our similar experience, but one we processed using our own filters and fears. Someone else’s circumstance may look ‘the same’ as something we experienced and we conclude the other person is overreacting or being too sensitive . . . when in fact their whole life experience is different and therefore their experience of their situation is different. Or conversely, we experience something and wonder why we’re having such a hard time processing it when it seems others don’t have the same difficulties.