Middle School Men

I used to fake a friend’s name in middle school.  I did.  To clarify, I faked his name in writing.  I didn’t know how it was spelled, and I never worked up a way to find out (and to remember) how to write it.

Traditionally, I always wrote people’s names clearly.  Sure, my handwriting was sloppy and small and almost always in cursive.  However, I took the time to write people’s names, oftentimes in print, and much better than my standard note-taking, squinty script.  So, when it came to this one friend’s name, I faked a sloppiness that was not my own.

See, regularly, when he wrote his own name, he connected the last two letters together somewhat, making it unclear as to whether it was a hurried -an or -on at the end of his name.  It was a somewhat irregular name, and so I had no basis for comparison.  Plus, the pronunciation didn’t help – there were plenty of foreign-like names that had an -an sound like a US English -on.  (Take Han Solo for example.)  To top it off, the first note he gave me, whenever he signed his name, I couldn’t tell which way his name was spelled.  And, since I saw it that way first, that was what stuck.

I had heard how people spelled his name wrong all the time, and I had seen it spelled by others both ways.  I was not about to make that same mistake.  Therefore, I just threw in a stab of – and I say stab casually, but it truly was painful for me – sloppiness whenever I wrote his name in particular, and no one ever had to find out.

(Until now, of course, but that is beside the point.  These sorts of things mattered among young people learning to become friends in middle school.)

It was kind of funny, really, remembering all of this tonight.  It all came to me, because of something similar about slightly illegible writing, but, because it was from middle school, I ended up with the song “sk8r boi” by Avril Lavigne in my head (a middle school hit).  As I thought about the song, I happened to notice how my middle school was somewhat the reverse of the “sk8r boi” scenario.  The nerd-esque boy in the ever-present UT jacket that seemed to conceal any shirt he ever wore – oops… I digress – now, he seemed to want me (and everyone knew it).  I semi-wanted him, but I declined because he was not the cool kid, so to speak; he didn’t have the skater boy edge to go along with his book brains.  (I didn’t actually like the skater boys at my school either, but my brothers roller skated and skate boarded a little, and their general coolness was my standard for what was needed in a desirable guy [and still is], in addition to brains.)

I somewhat cared about what all my friends thought about him, but that totally wasn’t my reasoning.  I just didn’t actually have a crush on the guy.  We were classmates, and I had a blast going back and forth in contest with him over having the highest grade in class (math class for sure, I remember).  But he didn’t have what I desired – he was just a half package, so to speak, not the whole thing.  Come to think of it, that’s how I’ve felt about most any guy I’ve known.  Perhaps that’s part of why I’ve never really been in any kind of dating relationship – I’m only looking for the whole package.  Anything less is fine for a friend or acquaintance, but not for dating.

huh… not quite where I expected this thought line to go tonight… 😛

Post-a-day 2018

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Release leads to giddy joy

I received some delightful news today, but I wasn’t jumping for joy at learning it.

However, I have, since learning about that, been giddily delighted about something else entirely…

I think that the news today gave my whole being such a sense of relief that I suddenly was able to enjoy fully the something else I’ve been pondering lately (but hadn’t really been able to enjoy yet).

Funny how that happens. 🙂

Post-a-day 2018

A match made in France?

In my first year of college, I went on a traveling Janterm, where we spent two weeks studying French in Cannes, and doing tours to the nearby towns and famous spots, and one week in Paris, exploring as we wished.  During the first two weeks, while a group of us were on a city bus, I noticed a French kid about our age.  He was sitting in a seat, on the left side of the bus, somewhat near the front, listening to music with headphones on.  I was curious what music he had playing.  I also thought he was cute.  Therefore, I wanted to talk to him.  The easiest thing for me to say to him was to ask him to what music he was listening.  I fought constantly with the insides of my brain and the fluttering of my stomach, and at last, I believe, he got off the bus.  Or else, we got off the bus.  I really don’t remember. However, I remember making eye contact with him at least once, if not a few times while we were all riding  the bus.

Well, I was incredibly disappointed that I had not spoken with the boy, though not entirely surprised at myself – even today, I have to psych myself up for odd situations like that.  However, I usually succeed in making the interaction nowadays, whereas at the time, I did not.

But this tale does not end sadly.  At least, not yet.

I believe that it was that same night, or perhaps the following – but I really think it was that same night – that a group of us decided to go to a nightclub in the town.  Some of the older guys who were working at the dormitory where we were all studying offered to take us to some cool bar and club.  We all happily agreed.  Well, some of the girls and guys and I agreed, but not everyone.

So, a small band of foreigners temporary living in Cannes so they could study French headed to a nice bar for a while, and then to a dance club later on that night.  On the way, I learned that a Romanian speaker can understand other romance languages rather easily.  (Fun Fact: This was my first interaction with someone being able to understand another language that is similar to his/her own, without necessarily being able to speak that language.  Of course, I can now do that with various languages myself, but it was a fun start to the concept for me.)

The bar was fun and interesting, and we didn’t have to check our coats, but we did have to buy drinks to compensate for having not checked our coats, and we had to deal with a huge pile of coats, which we were somewhat hiding in the corner.  However, I need not say much more about the bar.  Rather, anything more.  The club is the important one, you see. 

First off, the club was huge and, really, quite an awesome dance club.  I was amazed at the environment, as well as the clientele.  People danced by themselves or with a friend or with friends, and it didn’t matter which they did.  There were no circles forming awkwardly, or anything like that.  People weren’t doing official or formal dances of any kind, though.  They were just free dancing, having a wonderful time, doing their own things to the music.  I happily joined in in this type of merriment, while being amazed that on one side of me could be a 17-year-old, and on the other side of me could be a 40-year-old – no one cared how old anyone else was.

In short, I loved the club, and I loved dancing in it.

And, while I enjoyed dancing in it, I saw a familiar head.  When he turned and saw me, we looked in each other’s eyes, and there was this sort of understanding.  We both knew that we had seen each other that day.  We both knew that we had not talked to one another.  And it felt as though we both knew that I at least had wanted to talk to him.  This time, however, it seemed quite clear that he wanted to talk to me, as well.  Shortly after seeing one another, he was dancing in front of me, with me.  We held hands as we danced with one another, and we danced without holding hands, too.  

Even though I could manage French rather well at that time, he never got to find out this fact, because he addressed me in English.  It was somewhat iffy English, but adorable, and I loved that he was trying and that he knew we had all been speaking English on the bus.  He had been listening to music, of course, but he clearly had been paying enough attention to us nonetheless.

I don’t remember how long we danced or how we started dancing with one another, but I remember that it was absolutely wonderful.  At some point later in the evening, a couple of the girls who were with me told me I needed to give him a way to contact me.  I didn’t have a phone, of course, but one of the girls had just gotten one that day, because she was staying for the whole semester.  So, we wrote my full name and her phone number on a piece of paper.  In the French conjugation of the verb to want, I couldn’t remember if the you form ended in an or a t.  So, instead of saying, “If you want,” I wrote, “If one wants,” which, in French, can also be read as, “If we want.”  (Si on veut.)

I handed him the paper and I said goodbye and rushed out with my friends.  I don’t even remember what I said to him, or if I even said anything to him as I gave him the paper.  I just know that I gave it to him.

I spent several hours throughout the following months searching a particular page on Facebook.  It was the page for the club where we had been dancing.  I was scouring the faces and names of all the people who had liked the page, looking for this guy.  I used to know his first name.  I honestly couldn’t tell you what it was now, though.  I do remember his eyes, though… those gray-blue, yet bright eyes.  But I searched long and hard for his Facebook, to no avail.

He never called.

Or, at least, if he did, it was after I had left, and my friend with the phone never told me.

I am reminded of all of this, because today, for the second time in my life, I gave a piece of paper with my name and contact info on it to a guy.  (My full name and LINE ID, to be exact.)  He has already contacted me.

Post-a-day 2017