Monday, September 12, 2011

Say Anything

I find sometimes it's easy to be myself
Sometimes I find it's better to be somebody else

-- Dave Matthews -- So Much To Say -- 1996
Below is a picture of my phone, displaying a text message I received a couple of weeks ago. Yes, I know I need an iPhone. Yes, I know my palm pixi sucks.

It has brought up all sorts of thoughts and therefore it seems only appropriate that I share some of them on my blog, in an effort to preserve the context of memories which will inevitably fade.

I need to say that I am completely impressed with the brass balls of the person who sent this. Not only do I admire the approach, and even the delivery, I am in awe of the general attitude surrounding this message. It doesn't seem like a big deal to her at all. Putting myself in her shoes, I would have all sorts of ridiculous, insecure thoughts if I had attempted something like this. Yet, in her straightforward world, this text message was a simple matter of using a hammer to drive a nail. Metaphorically speaking of course.

Next, this actually points out some obvious deficiencies with me, and I doubt there is anything I love blogging about more than my own shortcomings. Most guys wouldn't need to be hit over the head with a hammer to figure out that a girl is interested. In this particular situation, although I am not interested in her in a romantic direction (and I tend to doubt that this text message would have swayed me if I were on the fence), I have to admit a bit of surprise at the obvious admission of availability. I may have been able to see some of it brewing, but as with most other situations, I wound up taking the clueless path to surprise rather than actually paying attention and picking up on subtleties along the way.

The fact that I missed out on what others might consider fairly obvious signs of interest is a recurring theme in my life. While I don't want to dive into my recent past for fear of embarrassing myself or anyone else, I do think it might be amusing to share a story from my days in college, a story which has aged sufficiently so as to pose no potential emotional harm to anyone involved.

As a sophomore, I lived with 3 other classmates while a different friend of mine, Blake, drew the room I lived in as a freshman. Blake was a mechanical engineer, I was EE, so we had some overlap in our classes, I think we both had to take differential equations that year and we wound up in the same class and therefore did some of our work together, usually while listening to Phish. The hall he lived on had a mix of freshmen and sophomores whereas the tower I lived in (for a visual, watch A Beautiful Mind) had only sophomores, and while there was one room of girls, they weren't anything resembling fun. Enter Rachel. She was cool, one of the few at school who actually wanted to have fun every now and then. I forget how I met Rachel, but I remember her living near Blake's room, on that same hallway I had lived as a freshman.


I probably don't even have to color in the background any more than that for the reader to know what happened. Rachel hooked up with Blake and they started dating but apparently she also had some interest in me. My roommates then took it upon themselves to send her an email from my account expressing my undying love and devotion, which opened up an amusing can of worms that caused a bit of drama with my friendship with Blake. Eventually that all settled down, things resumed as normal, life happened, Rachel and Blake broke up, she dated someone else, my class graduated, and we went off to join corporate America.

Sophmore year room with 2 of my roommates, Rachel on the right, back when I had hair

The next year, at reunions, Rachel had just graduated. Reunions is the last huge party for seniors before they pack up for the year, all of the underclassmen have already moved out, making way for returning alumni. Reunions are basically the opposite of AA, a good place to go if you need to get off your sobriety bandwagon. So, after a few drunken encounters with Rachel, the inevitable hookup finally played itself out. I actually remember it as me being drunk, she being just as drunk, her dorm room being very close, and then some guy knocking on her door and interrupting things before they really got started, at which point I fell asleep. I forget the rest of the details, I seem to remember that there was an actual legitimate hookup at some point, but I'm not sure when it happened, it clearly wasn't memorable.

Anyway, the point of all this is that I am probably guilty of both over-thinking and under-thinking my choices for relationships. As I age, it certainly seems to exacerbate the problem. And as I take a few moments to step outside myself and observe my thoughts and actions, I find all of this fascinating and utterly hilarious. Perhaps that is how it is meant to be?


  1. That photo of you is unbelievable. Pre Kona Dave.

  2. best text ever. also love the old-school pics. god bless 90s fashion.