Wishing I Could Forget a Girl

April 8, 2015

I don’t know why I can’t get her out of my head, but I still can’t after 22 years.  But, it is not for the reasons you would think.

My freshman year in college, my roommate and I had a bit of a party in my dorm room with lots of friends from other colleges and places, in addition to a few people from our own school.  It was the usual…a few beers, a bar visit, then back to the dorm room.  As the evening was coming toward a close, my roommate looked around the room and said, “Whoa, we have a large number of people sleeping here tonight…who is sleeping in this room?”

A girl, Heather, whose own dorm room was no more than one hundred yards from mine, who was sitting on my bed replied that she intended to sleep in my room, apparently in my bed.  Prior to this, she had not captured my attention…she was just someone partying in our room.

So, the evening wound down, and I got into my bed, and wow, she’s like, into me.  We kiss, but really the room is full of people trying to sleep, so I don’t want to do much else.  But she wants to full on make-out, so she gets on top of me, which is fine, but she was grinding my hard-on and it was not exactly comfortable.   I take my hands and grab her hips and try to push her down to a more comfortable position, but she seems to think I am asking her to give me a BJ.  Unable to have the conversation because a) everyone would hear it and b)it would have taken too long to explain that I had a hard on and she was on it and i just wanted her off.  I was drunk and tired, so I rolled her off and we slept side by side for the night.

it turns out that Heather was a short, cute, freshman from a state a thousand miles from our college, and was just getting to know people.  I really don’t know how she found her way into our room that night, but she kept coming back and to see me. For a week or so, we would fool around a bit, and go grab some food, but no real serious dating.  I had just entered college and come out of a high school relationship.  She, on the other hand was looking for a Boyfriend with a capital B.  At some point, she told me she wanted me to take her virginity.  Yes, I wanted sex, but I felt that taking someone’s virginity was a bigger deal than casual sex, and given the differences in what we wanted, it didn’t feel right. I felt that she wouldn’t want to have that experience with me knowing that I did not have the same feelings for her.

A day or so later, I did what I felt was the noble thing, and explained to her that we shouldn’t continue.  I didn’t over-explain, but just said i didn’t want a super serious girlfriend.  She cried a bit and said she really liked me and wanted a relationship, but held back and tried the soft landing.  When it was over I felt good about the course of action.  I manned up and took the hard route.  I did not have sex with her, then dump her.  I was on the side of right and good.

Apparently that’s not how she took it.  I heard through the grapevine that she had told people I took advantage of her.  That I was a jerk who was only out for sex.  Well, that was kind of true, but not without some ethical standards.  I mean, she was offering it up, and I said no.  I kissed her boobs – that was as far as we got, and she was leading people to believe that I had done the ole’ stick-and-move.

Rather than mount a counter PR offensive, I decided to let her have the narrative over the break up.  I mean, I could tell she was hurt and frankly, I had the rest of college and I suspected the truth would overcome the slur.  We really did not talk at all the rest of college, despite the fact it was a small school and she and I both went there all four years.  She dated some really rich foreign exchange student, I heard.

So, that was that…but for some reason, I can’t forget her.  I want to set my name right with her.  To let her know, “hey – wait a minute.  I was good guy to you!  I am sorry you were hurt, but I did the right thing!”  Half of me wants to find her on Facebook and shoot her an email, the other half wishes to just forget her.  I shouldn’t care about this, but every now and again I think about her.


This Is Going To End Badly

September 23, 2008

I’ve got a work situation… and I need some advice on how to delicately handle it.  Any input is welcome in the comments section.

The gender balance in my office is highly skewed toward women.  The Linkedin profile for my company shows that 81% of people employed here are female.  This is background and not really relevant to the forthcoming story, but I knew you’d find it interesting.

The story begins… A little while back I landed an account.  At my firm, we have junior people who help people like me on accounts.  So, the girl/woman who sits outside my office is assigned to me and I have, ostensbily, half her time to work on this account.  She’s 27 years old, single.  She’s never mentioned a boyfriend, though she’s told me in passing she’s gone on various dates.  She is indeed cute and has a nice body. She has average build but has big cans.  Can’t miss ’em.  She shows the cleavage often.

She started with the firm this past January and overtime I noticed she’s the type of girl who tends to stand a little too close.  The first time I noticed this, our firm was celebrating at a local bar and she ended up standing next to me.  Very closely.  Like, she would touch shoulders with me.  Except that she’s shorter than I am so her shoulder would touch my bicep.

Subsequently on occasions, before we officially worked together, she would come into my office to chit-chat or to get information from a system to which only I had access.    If, say, I were sitting in my office chair trying to extract information from my computer while she were waiting, she would stand by my side, her hip touching my shoulder.  Or if she would sit next to me, she would sit very close.

Fine.  I concluded that she’s just friendly.  She probably does this with everyone.  Her dad is from another country, so maybe it is a cultural thing.

Well, today may have changed my thinking.  I asked her to do some work on a presentation project.  She did part of it, but got stuck.  She needed help completing it.  We scheduled some time for the morning to jointly work on it on my machine.

My office door was closed when she knocked.  She came in, wearing a tight gray mini skirt and a tight red sweater.  It is a flattering outfit on her.  She started to close the door when I told her to leave it open.  She pulls the chair right next to mine.  We start working.  She leans in.  We continue working.  She inches closer.  Every move she made, pointing to the computer monitor or whatever,  she gained ground and did not retreat. Meanwhile, since my desk is “L” shaped, and I started in the corner, I couldn’t give her more room.

At about half way complete, our legs touched.  She pulled hers away briefly, then let it relax into mine.  She really let it lean.  Her face was right next to mine, and her upper body was leaning on mine.  I was stuck. As I strained to concentrate on the task at hand, I could see colleagues walking by and looking into my office.  I don’t know if they suspected anything, but I can’t imagine what it looked like to a passer-by.

As I was stuck on Floor 2, I could only see two strategies to survive this.  One is make some abrupt awkward movement to give me more space, the other is to pretend all this was innocent.  I chose the latter.  We finished the project in about an hour.  It probably only needed 30 minutes, but I couldn’t focus.  After not-so-subtly closing all the windows on my computer and saying, “well, it looks like we’re done.”  Hint hint. I finally told her that I needed to work on other clients.  She left my office.

Now, I know I may seem like the kind of guy who would relish this sort of attention, and I do.  But I’d rather not have it.  I mean, there’s no possible way this is going anywhere. No shitting where you eat, and all that.  And, I am not smooth, and my prior posts will attest.  If this were fantasy world where there’s no consequences, I would have thrown her on my desk and done very dirty things.  But alas, I’ve learned the hard way this is not fantasy world.  There would be serious repercussions to that course of action.

So, how the hell am I supposed to handle this?  I am not even sure what “this” is.  Is she for real?  Does she think I am going to make a move?  Is she just testing the waters?  As her boss, do I talk with her about “personal space”?

What’s the best course of action here?

Substiantial Irrational Attraction

June 4, 2008

Everyone has a type, right? Some set of physical characteristics to which he is attracted. I really don’t know what causes it, but every dude has a Type.

Some dudes love blonds, and that could be it. Others are drawn to really thin women, while other like curves (mmm, boobs). A lot of dudes are into Asian women. Whatever the case, there is a set of characteristics a guy likes in a woman, and generally speaking, he seeks out those traits. In a dude’s dating history, there’s bound to be some continuity of physical characteristics.

So, why, then do I sometimes find myself profoundly attracted to someone who is distinctly NOT my type? It’s just plain weird.

I was discussing this phenomenon with a buddy of mine. He calls it Substantial Irrational Attraction. He doesn’t know the cause either, but it explains why some dudes who normally date stick figures would go hoggin’, or why a guy who normally dates a straight-laced prim-and-proper lady would have a fling with a tattoo’d and pierced-up alt-chick.

If you have an explanation, I’d love to hear about it.

The Quiet Curse

May 27, 2008

This article is bound to cause some conversations.

The article is from New York magazine and is about why men cheat. In it, there is language about men being “tormented by sexual needs.”

I agree with a lot of parts of the article, and disagree with a lot. To be sure, though, the author will be disparaged as un-evolved, driven by primal needs; a Neanderthal.

In polite conversation, we men can’t talk about our Floor 2 drives. However, they are there. The article paints the picture that men have a difficult time managing the sexual needs. There’s some truth there.

The Benefits of Hot Weather

May 16, 2008

The collision of two events is making for a lot of Floor 2 activity this week. I nearly got brain paralysis walking from the train to my office.

You see, it is hot here today. Normally, it is rare to get above the mid 70s here in the city. But today the temperature started in the 70s, and is currently climbing. When that happens, women take off clothing. I suppose men do as well, but I haven’t been paying much attention to dudes.

The other event is that I am working in the city now. There are a ton of women working in the city. In the valley, where I formerly worked, there was nothing but stinky dudes, primarily software engineers, in the air-conditioned environs of sterile offices. The ratio was 5 sweaty engineers and finance guys for every one woman. Not good for visual stimulation.

But in the city, the glorious city, women outnumber men four to one, easily. And now, they’re wearing summer clothing! Revealing clothing! No, women aren’t running around naked, but man! The thin, white pants. The low cut tops. Cleavage and Boobs! The exposed flesh. The calves. The curves of the hips. Visually stunning. And possibly causing some minor brain damage.

If I didn’t have responsibilities, I would go park myself outside, have coffee and watch the scenery. Look, I am not trying to be lecherous, but these visual stimuli provide tiny enjoyment that every (straight) guy quietly enjoys. When the the mental elevator gets stuck on Floor 2, it sometimes may be embarrassing, but it is infinitely enjoyable in the moment.

I need to find someplace outside to have lunch. Right, Mateo?

My Top 5 Rejections. Number 1.

May 13, 2008

Here it is…the final one. I bet you can’t wait to roll around in the humiliation. Enjoy.

Some back-story is helpful in fully relishing in my pain, so it is probably better to read Numbers 5 through 2 first. 5 4 3 2

Number 1

As you’ll recall from Number 4, my interactions with the fairer sex went off the rails sometime before junior high school. Rejection Number 1 precipitated the decline.

Elementary school. There were 21 kids in my sixth grade class, and one of them was Becky R. On the tallish side, she was a brown haired cutie with a penchant for hoodie sweatshirts. To this day, I still think of Becky in her red Ohio State sweatshirt whenever I pull on a hoodie.

I had known Becky since the first grade and we had ascended all the elementary school grades together in the same classes. She lived a couple of streets over from me with her brothers, one of whom, Scott, was a grade older than us. For a 6th grader, she had a casual air about her, and she never “went” with anyone in our class but was often rumored to go with older boys. But, this was 6th grade. We were finally the oldest class in elementary school. There was no older class present from which she could choose her boy to “Go” with. It was clear she would choose someone from my grade, and it was going to be me.

And why wouldn’t she? I mean, to date, I was the kingpin of my sixth grade class. Oh, I mean, I had some competition. But really, my buddy TP didn’t have the smooth sixth grades words that I did, and Greg P, frankly, his teeth were all jacked-up, pre-braces style.

I had the fortune of sitting next to Becky that year. It was in the back of the class on the right side of the room, mostly out of ear-shot from the teacher. I started making my play for the brunette with the casual attitude. Over a couple of conversations, I gleaned that she had a crush on – of all people – my brother! DAMMIT. This guy was out of sight (at least to her) in junior high. He shoulda been out of mind! I didn’t even calculate him into being the competition.

I contemplated my next move. How could I win her heart? I mean, I had tried to win it through witty banter in the back of the classroom, but that didn’t work. The logical next step, to my sixth grade mind, was to put words down on paper to more effectively conveying my feelings. It was brilliant. She could take my words, and by proxy a little piece of me, with her wherever she went. How could I go wrong?

Remember my advice in Number 2 about never, ever writing love letters? Well, the writing is on the wall, isn’t it?

One evening at home, I wrote my heart out on 3 hole punched, blue lined paper which I drew from my Trapper Keeper. I spoke of my devotion to her, and how I would be there, and despite that fact I thought she liked my brother, I was the better man. Poetic license allowed my 12 year old self to call me a man.

I took the letter to school and put it in my desk, waiting for the perfect time to hand it to her. Since lunch in elementary school consisted of dividing into gender tribes, I would hand the note to her, then allow her to be wowed by my prose over lunch and the immediately following recess period. So, I did just that. Right before we lined up to head to the lunchroom, I opened the top of my desk, pulled out the letter, which was neatly folded down into a small square, naturally, and handed it to her. All the pieces would align, and by the end of recess Becky and I would be going together.

What happened next was atypically uneventful. She let me down easy. It seems she did have a crush on my older brother. It was sixth grade, and I was riding high on my previous relationships. I was able to recover quickly and I moved on to Vanessa, a small blond. But that’s another story and this story is about get a lot more interesting.

I had forgotten about the letter. I graduated from sixth grade and had the summer off. Started the new world of Junior High – small fish in a big pond. The 8th and 9th graders seemed so much bigger, having started puberty and all.

Along with a lot of kids in my neighborhood, I rode the bus to junior high. They boys typically sat in the back, and I made uneasy peace with the older kids, protected somewhat by my brother, a 9th grader at the time (and probably still is mentally).

After picking us up, the bus would swing by Becky’s street and pick her up, along with her brother Scott amongst others. One bright, warm autumn morning as we were on the way to school, Scott stood up, standing against the very back of the bus, and loudly proclaimed he had something to read. He drew a folded piece of paper from his dirty jeans and started to read from it. “Dear Becky…” So much had I forgotten about the letter that it took a couple of sentences to hit home that it was my letter. I came to that realization about 10 seconds before the rest of the bus did. Kids – from my neighborhood, including my own brother – were howling with laughter. Cackling. Here, my heartfelt words were being pried open by some grungy, mullet-haired bully. It was excruciating and I stewed in embarrassment until we got to school. It felt like an eternity for the kids to empty from the bus. My hopes of ever dating Becky were over. I couldn’t recover from this humiliation.

Becky hit puberty earlier than me, and hung with a different crowd. She and I drifted apart for the remainder of junior high and high school. I don’t know what part, if any, she had in her brother’s performance on the bus. I’d like to think she didn’t have any involvement, as I still see her soul as being pure and her brother’s as being blacked by evil.

Becky and I graduated the same year and I heard she’s living….happily near the area where we grew up. As for her brother Scott, he is living in a trailer park in some rural area with his 7 cats, a busted-down pickup truck and a no-good deadbeat of a husband. What a dick, that guy.

My Top 5 Rejections. Number 2.

May 8, 2008

Ripping the band-aid from my youth’s hairy arm of embarrassment to bring you a feeling of superiority. Read away, sickos.

If you need some structure in your life, you can start with: Number 5, then go to Number 4, then Number 3.

Number 2.

My friend Ben seemed to have the magic touch. In high school, I was amazed by him because he had a never-ending stream of dates, it seemed to me. He dated girl after girl in our large suburban, brick-clad high school of 3,000 kids. He dated the cheerleader, the geeky girls, even the Spanish foreign exchange student, who was oddly tall, and while cute had a poor complexion. In high school, Ben looked like he was 30 years old, could pull off a beard, and often carried himself in mature, low key manner. I don’t know if those were the secret ingredients, but whatever the ingredients, I wanted them.

One girl he dated briefly in our junior year was a girl named Carrie. She was pretty. Not pretty as in a cute-high-school-girl way, but rather pretty in the objective way you would appreciate a Renoir. She had long brown, wavy hair that never seems to go out of style. By contrast, the rest of the high school girls had big hair, curly “perms,” and these super big, blow-dry, claw-style bangs. The early 90s was a bad era for fashion, it would seem.

While Ben was dating Carrie, I was only vaguely her acquaintance through him. I didn’t try to get to know her better because I felt I wasn’t in her league, and well, why bother getting to know her well when Ben would be onto someone new in a week or so. So ended my Junior year, as far as Carrie was concerned.

In my high school, we didn’t have study halls, per se. You could simply had free modules, or half periods, and they would dump you in the lunch room if you didn’t have a proper class to attend. The lunch room was huge, loud, raucous, and smelled of bad food. If one of the kitchen staff dropped a big pan or otherwise made a loud noise, she would get a loud and long standing ovation. No kidding. It was quasi-chaos. You couldn’t leave campus, so you were stuck. As an alternative, you could go to the relatively more comfortable environment of the library where you could talk to someone at a normal conversational volume.

Early in my senior year, my buddy GK, Stoner Joe and I got into a routine. We would eat lunch, then head to the library to shoot the shit and read Rolling Stone and Time magazine. One day, Carrie asked if she could join us for lunch. In the stupid teenage boy mumble-speak I am sure we employed, we allowed her to sit down. She also tagged along to the library. It became a regular thing. Every day it was the four of us, and it was nice to have this little group. We had a good time, just talking amongst the four of us, day-in and day-out. It was like a little break from the hell that was high school.

With the relatively high level of time spent with her (as compared to the non-existent time I spent with other girls), I started to develop something of a crush on Carrie. I still felt she was out of my league, but crushes know no caste system. I secretly and silently started to pine for Carrie. It was during this time I wrote a letter to my best friend Rob, who had moved to Florida, professing my intense “like” for Carrie. In the letter I admitted I thought she may have a crush on my buddy GK however. (If you’re, say, in your teens and are looking for some girl advice, I can only advise one thing: save yourself humiliation and never make proclamations of love to a woman in writing. It will only come back to haunt you, trust me. Twice it has bitten me. Rob- Eff you.)

A few months into the school year, I started to notice clandestine conversations between GK and Carrie. I was growing desperate. They maintained they were just friends, but I noticed little secret communications between the two. It was agonizing. It became clear that something was going on and I was being left out. I tried to insert myself into their goings-on, but to no avail. I was thrashing about trying to get to the bottom of it, and my despair was pretty obvious.

After what felt like forever, but was probably only a week of the conspiracy, the three of us got together outside of school. I think we went for pizza, and they we’re acting like they had something to tell me. I got the sinking feeling that they were going to inform me they were a couple. She reached into her bag and pulled out a gift-wrapped box. It was a couple of days before my birthday, and they had been planning what they were going do for me. GK said, “This is what we didn’t want to tell you. We wanted to surprise you.”

It was a shirt from the Gap, not a cheap gift either, considering our feeble teenager income. It was the beginning of the 90’s and plaid was just starting to come into style. The shirt was an earth-colored plaid, but not to be non-preppy, Gap had subtly inserted geese flying into the pattern. Geese flying into plaid, how Gappy. In a nightclub, with the black light, it looked like the geese were dried leaves and people would always say, “Hey, you got something on your shirt” and I would have to explain, “No, man, it’s part of the pattern of the shirt.” But I digress.

Upon opening the gift, I knew I had been acting like a heel and it was obvious to everyone at the table. I had made a fool of myself in my jealous attempts to butt into their friendship. My overtures toward Carrie didn’t escape her notice and she politely declined my advances, in a “Rejection-Lite” way. It became clear she didn’t want to date me, and I gradually accepted this fate. We all managed to stay friends throughout the remainder of the year, and even to this day I still feel very good about the time spent my senior year in 9-10 mods.

My buddy GK kept more in touch with her after high school. I didn’t really talk to her after graduation, but I kept the shirt until 2006, partially out of guilt for acting like an ass. A long time after graduation, Carrie wrote GK a letter saying that she is doing well and living in a trailer park in some rural area with her 7 children, and her busted-down pickup truck and her no-good deadbeat of a husband. A fate of which she is totally undeserving.