Archive for the yet another reason why i don’t understand men Category

dilemmas. i gots them.

Posted in blogging, books are bliss, dissertation, drama drama drama, going quietly mad, i promise you that you won't care, i'm so much cooler online, School, the internets, The Single Life, yet another reason why i don't understand men on May 27, 2008 by drbolte

dilemma one: my love life.

one-a: blindish date guy is interested. while hearing that your eyes are gorgeous and your pictures don’t do them justice is awfully nice, and so is he, i know it’s going nowhere. how do i say this without seeming a) obnoxious and prideful; b) cavalier about his feelings; or c) awkward and horrible.

or is awkward and horrible just sort of a given?

i’m new at this. normally i just try to avoid the situation altogether and it goes away. but that’s not going to work here and i know i need to put on my big girl pants and deal.

who knew that i was so utterly charming and irresistible? i won’t comment on the irony of how that charm is often lost on those i’d like it to not be lost on.

dilemma one-b: IM guy, the one that i’ve been trying to get my flirt on with across a distance, might be sort of interested but is pragmatic enough to not really spark anything up until we are at least in the same state. super.

do i drop the flirting? i’ve been trying…as you know…and it’s been working, i guess, although IM guy would make an excellent poker player since he never ever shows his cards. we have a mutual friend also who has been trying to pull some strings and encourage things along (i am nothing if not in need of some love-related assistance), and he said that it’s all dependent on whether or not IM guy comes back.

and, yes, i do realize that sounds like i asked his best friend at recess if he liked me. sigh.

so…stop putting myself out there or keep doing it? i honestly don’t know what i want.

and that, kids, is the hallmark of this part of my life right now.

AND…

dilemma two: my writing life.

two-a: i don’t know what to blog about right now as my life is an utter snoozefest. you got ideas? things you want to know? want me to tell you stories, regale you with my past? yell out a suggestion and i might just take you up on it.

either that or i might go bloggy dark for a few weeks.

i know. shameless manipulation. oh well.

two-b: dissertation progress is so slow. i feel stymied here too. like if i could just concentrate things would be good. i was on FIRE the first week of break, when i was working on the mary shelley article that probably won’t even be published what a crapload of good that’ll do me then, but then i sort of…fizzled. now i feel like i’m just tying up loose ends that i don’t want to really tie up because they’re BORING ends to tie up but if i don’t tie them then i never will and then i’ll have to do it like six months from now when i’ve entirely forgotten what it was that i was trying to argue and i won’t really be able to call that chapter finished with any honesty and yeah.

anybody got any suggestions for sparking the fire back up? i’m going to try prayer. because nothing else seems to really be working. that and clean off my desk so that i can not feel claustrophobic. yeah.

that’s me, my life, and my crazy. thanks for playing along. gots suggestions? please leave them. you know i need the help!

call me mrs. robinson and i’ll punch you in the kneecap.

Posted in domestic goddess, hilarity, i promise you that you won't care, i'm so much cooler online, roommates, shopping, the joys of living in Florida, The Single Life, yet another reason why i don't understand men on May 22, 2008 by drbolte

so…short story that should be longer but i don’t want to talk about it yet because i don’t know what i want/am going to do yet: i have been trying to turn on the charm with a certain person. sometimes i come off conqueror–straightforward and ultrabrave–and other times i’m like THIS.IS.JUST.SO.AWKWARD. and i flee from the IM in horror.

the take home message here is that i have begun to doubt my flirting abilities.

there for a while, i was just a force to be reckoned with–supersocial, completely sure of myself (or great at faking it), at ease in my own skin, and completely and utterly charming. now? i think that it has grown to be a part of me so that i don’t notice it so much anymore, but i don’t think i’ve had enough practice lately to know if it’s still there.

i still think that when i turn on the charm, i can make people stop in their tracks. i think i just have sort of forgotten where the switch is, so recent situations find me fumbling around the metaphorical wall, looking for it, instead of gracefully flipping that bad boy into “HELLO! PAY ATTENTION TO ME!”

it could also be that thinking about it so much has made me freak out more about it. like when you know that you have a zit the size of rhode island on your chin and you think that everybody’s staring at it.

anyways. last night, after institute, my roommate and i went to publix. my purpose was to get in and out of there as soon as humanly possible. i had a headache verging on migraine status, i needed fruit and vegetables and things to eat that weren’t ramen, and it was 9 p.m. so we meander with purpose through the aisles (i LOVE strawberries and salad on sale, and i enjoy the fact that i got out of there spending less than $30 on food but still managed to get sourdough bread and as a tangential question, why does no one on the east coast know how to make sourdough bread really sour? i miss it, california girl that i am) and get to the register.

my roommate’s like “man…you picked the kids’ aisle. no gossipy things to look at!”

(also…no candy. a good thing. but raisins! which i bought. and am rather excited about, actually.)

no idea how true that kid aisle comment was.

get up to the checkout line after my roommate has bought her two items and answer the obligatory “how are you?” question with my standard “good. how are you?”.

and realize that the adorable checkout guy is making serious eye contact. ookay. moving along. slight compliment, i suppose, for migraine, very little make-up, why-yes-this-shirt-is-ridiculously-wrinkled-thanks-for-noticing, hair pulled up girl. but you’re like 20, at the most. adorable, yes. not quite jail bait, i guess, but…really? no. 21 is my limit. now.

so i slide my card, teasing my roommate about how she called me with some kind of animal noise and how i won’t answer to that, not at all unaware of the irony of how i actually DID respond to that when i didn’t respond to my name or the fact that the checkout guy and equally adorable bag guy are now listening intently.

yes, i can tell.

then the checkstand goes all haywirey, and checkout boy is apologizing for making me wait, telling me that it’s not my card. and hello, flirt switch. all of the sudden, i’m teasing back, telling him that he did it on purpose. and he responds that, yes, most definitely, he intended to make my life as difficult as possible. and we have a little cute moment there in the publix.

AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!

or at least the crowd in my head. hey, maybe i don’t suck at this after all.

(and then the bag guy called me ma’am. immediate deflation. i don’t want to talk about it.)

relatively happy with my publix outing, i am loading my groceries into my car and the 16 year old (maybe?) cart collector guy in his brown publix apron comes to fetch it RIGHT when i was about to need to do something with it.

i was high on the serendipity of that when i said “perfect timing!” and he said, obviously trying to work his game, “it’s what i planned when i got up this morning.”

hi, my name is drbolte and i play well to the 16-22 demographic.

*crickets*

super.

but the moral of the story is…the flirt switch still works. and grocery stores make for good stories.

things that unexpectedly happen on a random wednesday at 6 p.m. that make you want to throw something.

Posted in drama drama drama, etcetera, grrrrr., someday I'll be a real middle class girl, yet another reason why i don't understand men on May 7, 2008 by drbolte

dear liberal-minded acquaintance,

i know that we share things in common–we’re older, we’re in grad school, we are somewhat disillusioned with mormon singlehood–but don’t you judge me for shopping at wal-mart.

(this really happened, btw.)

i can appreciate and even respect that you don’t like wal-mart or their business practices. actually, i quite admire people who feel fervently about things that i don’t necessarily feel that fervently about. sometimes their attitudes make me rethink my own. but usually that doesn’t happen when i’m told, rather judgmentally, that by shopping at the rollback center of the universe, i am contributing to treating people in other countries like modern day slaves.

number one. what i do or do not care about is really none of your business.

number two. just because i shop there doesn’t mean i don’t care. it means that, right now, i value the fiscal savings over whatever small impact my boycott of a national supercenter behemoth might have on the larger issues a capitalist economy has on the world. when i have a real job and more of a discretionary income, how about i shop at target? will that make the world safe for democracy? excuse me while i doubt it.

number three. when you lecture me about things that you think i am uneducated in, all you do is make me angry. everything has a cost, as you were so quick to remind me. so…the cost is that i don’t respect you much at all anymore. how about you stop living in the black and white world that’s so easy for you, where you are always right and everyone else is always wrong, and come join us in the very grey world that i live in.

basically, let’s just agree that you don’t lecture me and i don’t talk to you about my shopping experiences. oh, and fyi…anarchy isn’t any less a political groupthink than being republican or independent or libertarian. stop thinking you’re so cool and above being american. it’s really annoying.

i appreciate it. thanks.

thing(s) that make me nuts.

Posted in drama drama drama, faith is action, Life, me, wish i may wish i might, yet another reason why i don't understand men, you have to be a chick to understand on March 18, 2008 by drbolte

i am currently annoyed by:

–the desire, small as it is and easy as it is to fight, to save someone who is not my business to save, who shows no real regard for me at all (or at least not the kind i would consider the hallmark of true friendship), and who even when given the keys to the path of happiness would choose to make that path harder than it needs to be for adventure’s or impulse’s sake.  harsh, perhaps, but nevertheless true.

what irks me to no end, then, is that i still even care the littlest bit about whether or not this person is about to fall into a pit i know can’t be good. it’s nothing earth-shattering, nothing soul-risking, just something that is truly and completely bound to make the road more difficult than it needs or ought to be.

and still i care.  i even blog about it.  why, again?

it just seriously and completely frosts my cookies.  this is a person who is featured prominently in this repeated prayer: “Dear Heavenly Father, please keep x away from me.”  i mean it from the deepest and most completely honest part of my heart.  you see, then, how this could make me crazy?

hate it.  loathe it. want to rip that part of my brain and heart out of me so that i don’t do it.   but i fear that, were i to do that, i would be ripping out the part of me that makes me me.  the part of me that cares and loves other people enough to ask after them, to keep up with them, to sacrifice for them, to give anything i have to them.

but boy, in this case, it’s annoying.

well, i was going to turn this into a list, but really, that’s all i wanted to say. and i also think this thing(s) that make me nuts might turn into a recurring entry.  i, unfortunately, let a lot of things make me nuts.

sigh.

funk

Posted in Church, drama drama drama, friends, ghetto life, Life, me, yet another reason why i don't understand men, you have to be a chick to understand on January 9, 2008 by drbolte

I’m still in a funk.

I still don’t know why.  I’m beginning to wonder if I am getting sick or if I’m still tired or if I’m just overwhelmed at being back.  Adulthood and responsibility, after almost a month of basically none, is for the birds.  I’m wondering if my expectations were far too high. I’m wondering if these challenges of insecurity and discouragement are meant to take my eye off the prize–the two goals that I came back to attack. I was all ready to do them. I had confidence that I could slay those two beasts.

Now I’m having trouble thinking about anything other than the things that I don’t want to think about at all.

I’m a little pissed off that I had to deal with the drama right when I got back.  I guess I’m glad that I could do what I was supposed to do–and, yeah, I was supposed to talk to that person and that person was supposed to recognize responsibility and take some measure of accountability, of that I am certain–but I’m not happy about how it opened the door again to something that I was so much happier not to have in my life.  Now I’m wondering how to close the door again.  I’m wondering why it is that I have to keep closing this door.

What am I supposed to be learning?  Whatever it is…it’s exhausting.

I’m a little ticked off that I am mad at the person I shouldn’t be mad at.  It doesn’t make any sense.  I really don’t like being upset at this person and it makes me feel all out of sorts.  Truly. That’s the best way that I can describe it–I’m completely out of sorts.  Being upset at this person makes me feel like I’m betraying them in some way–isn’t that weird? I should be completely grateful and feel closer and more connected…and all I am is…angry and detached.  Of course, if you are angry, you are not at all detached.

That’s probably the problem.

I was thinking about this last night, and I realized that it felt like well-timed waves of challenge that are hitting me.  Just when I get clear, when I find my footing again, when I feel like things are going well and I’m completely happy, something else hits me.   Something that requires a great deal of strength, of discernment, of spiritual understanding.  Something that just requires a great deal of thought and pondering–or something that at least elicits a lot of that from me. I have been caught up in my head a lot lately.

I guess that’s life, right?  And I was oddly grateful for that fact when I realized it.  If I wasn’t being hit with all of these challenges, I wouldn’t be growing and progressing as much as I hope that I am.

I don’t know.

I’m just tired.  So tired.

frickin’ brackin’…are you just kidding me right now?

Posted in drama drama drama, etcetera, Life, me, The Single Life, yet another reason why i don't understand men, you have to be a chick to understand on January 6, 2008 by drbolte

(Many thanks to Brillig for letting me steal her phrase…and by letting, I mean I lifted it and hope she won’t hate me.) 

The playlist has switched. Not listening to “Stronger” by Kanye anymore; no real need for the personal connection to my Good Charlotte ringtone.   Totally moved on.  No more anger.  No more feeling like anything was my fault (because, good heavens, would I be a woman if I didn’t try to make everything my responsibility and, therefore, within my reach to fix?).  No more even wanting anything back.

It was all where I wanted it to be–misty watercolored memories (sorry…nothing else really works) with the tiniest dash of melancholy but mainly just a really healthy detachment with gratitude for the experience attached.   Closed chapter.  Done and done.  All ready for the new year.

All ready to kick the flirtatiousness into high gear and get focused on what matters most to me.

And, let me tell you, it ain’t this old song.

Nevertheless, after a fairly awesome day yesterday (and…yeah…can’t explain how awesome), life just presents it back on my plate today–same song, different verse. It’s as if I’m just going to have to keep choosing to not want this, in its various incarnations, over and over again.

Or, maybe, it’s deeper than that. Maybe the exercise is really in choosing myself.  Choosing to stay in control.  Choosing to be very deliberate about who I trust and realize that I have the absolute right to feel that way.  Choosing to believe that, if I feel that I was not treated well, I don’t have any obligation to do any more than what I want to do and what is best for me.

And that I am the only one who knows what that is.

Because, see, the dialogue in my head goes a little something like this:

Sanity: Stay away. Look how HAPPY you are right now.  Why is that? It’s because you’ve MOVED ON. Don’t let anyone take that away.  The only reason this is happening is because some people always want things on their terms.

Insanity: But…friendship is a good thing. I’m supposed to be friends with everyone, right?  I can be in control here.  Friends on my own terms.

Sanity: Nothing’s different.  You don’t trust this person.  Nothing about this is good.

Insanity: Meh.  Shut up.  I’m tough.

Sanity: Yeah…okay.  Heard that song before.

(…and scene.)

So, yeah.

The weird part?  The harder choice is to choose myself.  The hardest thing is to stand my ground.  It’s not that I care what anyone thinks or that I’m afraid it will turn out to be a bad choice–because I know it won’t.  It’s that it’s a test to see what I really think about myself.

Am I good enough to be treated well? Or am I someone’s beck and call girl?

Does someone have to earn my friendship, because it’s worth that much?  Or do I just give it away like a free sample of something that can’t be offloaded in stores?

I think I know what I want to do.

Do I have the courage to do it?

That seems the real question that needs answering.

“i had to stop her screaming!”

Posted in friends, Life, me, mirror mirror on the wall, The Single Life, yet another reason why i don't understand men, you have to be a chick to understand on November 27, 2007 by drbolte

do you know Clue?

i don’t mean the board game, you lightweights. i mean the amazing tim curry, madeline kahn, et al film of the mid 80s that adapted the board game.

if you don’t know this, be ashamed. and then netflix it. because, really, it’s so hilarious.

i am, however, not simply writing an ode to the brilliance of Martin Mull’s Colonel Mustard (although his mommy and daddy line gets me every single time).  i am using it as a segue into something that seemed horrible when i woke up this morning but that, as i get longer into the day and think more about it, now seems like a great blessing…that’s not even in much disguise anymore.

so, life pretty much slapped me in the face this morning.

it wasn’t life-altering. just hurtful. it was something i would have never done…not in one million years…to someone else, especially not a friend.  so it felt like a slap–literally. an emotional slap. i’m pretty sure i even felt nauseous afterwards.

the morning was full of figuring out what to do next.

the details aren’t important.

what’s important, though, is the way that that slap has turned from a horrifying moment into a smack back into reality.

see, the supersassy carrie, the one who believed in herself and was sure of her own amazingness, the one with her priorities right and whose desire is only to serve Heavenly Father and who’s strong enough and focused enough to do it, has been AWOL lately, replaced with someone who worried a lot, fretted more, and basically felt like life was one big school where she was barely passing.

you ever have days…weeks…months like that?

i’m grateful for the lessons. really, i am. i know more about myself now than i did three months ago. i am farther along in my progression than i have been in a good long while.

basically, i feel READY for things now that i didn’t feel ready for before.

(gosh that was a convoluted sentence. i hope it translates.)

back to clue.

mr. green, when mrs. peacock is screaming about something or other–basically, she’s gone loopy–smacks the daylights out of her.

it shocks her.

and she returns to her senses.

she returns to herself.

and she moves on.

i feel like that’s what today’s events have done for me.  smacked me back to life.  back to who i am.  back to who i WANT to be. reminded me of what’s important, who’s important, and what i’m here to do.

it’s amazing how shock can sort of crystallize your vision, make you see and feel things differently.  i guess anything that jars us out of a rut does that for us.

so, i am grateful for the slap. i can’t say that it doesn’t sting and that i’ll ALWAYS be grateful for it, but i’m awfully grateful for the reminder that i am not this person.

i am supersassy.

i am wickedly funny.

i am confident and full of life.

i give of myself.

i am a GREAT friend.

i love people with my whole heart.

and i’ve got game, according to one adorable guy friend of mine.

so…i’m off to play.  REALLY play.  play with heart and my whole self.  play with everything that i have.

play for keeps this time.

still pretty darn happy, but a question

Posted in me, The Single Life, yet another reason why i don't understand men, you have to be a chick to understand on September 28, 2007 by drbolte

Yeah, no real angst here.

Just the kind I apparently make up to fritter the days away, as opposed to, say, writing a dissertation or grading student papers or preparing for class or finishing my laundry.

You know what I mean. Don’t act like you haven’t done it.

So, I am wondering what the line is between showing somebody that you’re interested and being pathetic.  I mean, I think I tend to skew on the side of making somebody else do all the work, so my internal monologue went a little something like this:

Me: Maybe I should try to show that I’m interested more.  I mean, the chase is good, but at some point, people get tired.

Me2: How could I do that, though? I don’t want to seem…silly.

Me: Hmm.  Good question. Valid point. We don’t want that.  We’re awesome! We don’t NEED anything!

Me2: Hey…let’s use technology! That’s a good plan!

Me:  I like technology SO much, Me2!  What a splendid idea!

(This is, of course, dramatic license.  I do not actually have two personalities, nor do I have such very logical conversations with myself. Most of mine are far less linear.)

It’s a good plan.  I like technology, because I can do things on my time and on my schedule and, in theory, not expect anything in return. It can be like leaving somebody a note on their car or something like that. I think the problem comes when what I think I expected and what I must have actually expected collide in disappointment and feeling stupid.  I’m pretty sure, given my worry about being pathetic, that this was one of those situations where I WAS, in fact, expecting something straight from the script of a Nora Ephron romantic comedy.  Some kind of reciprocal demonstration.

I didn’t get the script. I didn’t get nothing…but I didn’t get the script.

I guess I’m just really uncomfortable putting myself out there and I can’t decide whether or not I’m doing something wrong.

And I’m pretty sure by even asking this question to the blogosphere, I’m being an idiot.  But, here I am, asking it.

So, please delurk. I know you’re there, and you’re reading.  I know you’re wise.

And I know most of you are girls.

So, gals, tell me true: what’s the line between showing interest and losing your mystery?

All right. I’m off to do something social…and turn off my phone.  🙂

laws of attraction

Posted in etcetera, Life, me, mirror mirror on the wall, The Single Life, yet another reason why i don't understand men on September 6, 2007 by drbolte

So I don’t watch Oprah.

I don’t like her. I don’t like that she’s the only one who can get certain celebrities on her show.

So, when I say I don’t watch Oprah, I mean to say that I TRY not to watch Oprah.  If 4 o’clock comes and I’m watching TV, it’s likely it’s some insipid episode of Reba or What I Like About You, just so I can avoid the sanctimonious billionaire.

But I was watching a snippet (until I got disgusted and turned the channel) a few months ago about “The Secret”…which turns out to not really be a secret so much as just common sense.  This ridiculous law of attraction says that what you believe you can get, you’ll get.

So, apparently, I believe I can get 19 and 21 year old guys to worship and adore me.

But in a disturbingly asexual and big sisterly way.

I joke that I collect them, but it’s entirely true. I am a one-woman welcome wagon–if you’re new and you’re cute and (gasp…here’s the kicker) you’re safe, I will walk up to you and say “hey, guess what, we’re going to be friends. And you’re going to love it.”

And, hey, guess what?

They do.

I don’t say this of myself…I say this because people now WANT to be in my collection.  They request it.  I’m not even kidding.

I am awesome…at being the outrageous, flirty friend of 21 year old guys who see me as their big sister and who come to me (often…) for advice about their love lives.

(Which I am happy to give, don’t get me wrong.)

So, if Oprah’s right, and the secret is the law of attraction, what do I need to do to widen my sphere of attraction?

Because, as much as I like the younger ones (and heaven knows that I do!), I can’t manage to get myself to flirt as outrageously with guys closer to my age.

Fear rules me.

I am a wimp.

And I don’t like rejection. For some reason I am sure that all of the men over the age of 21 think I’m an idiot and want nothing whatsoever to do with me.  I’m not sure what happens between the ages of 21 and…older, but there’s some sort of switch that gets flipped that makes me not quite so endearing and charming.

I don’t get it.  I want to understand how to flip that switch BACK (because, darnit, I want a world where I am always endearing and charming!) in cute men above the drinking age (even though I don’t drink…).

Any suggestions?   Truly, dear bloggysphere, I need your help.  Impart your wisdom. Share your stories.

Help me help myself!

(Thankyouverymuchinadvance.)

toothpick bridges

Posted in flashback friday, life lesson number 498, me, The Single Life, yet another reason why i don't understand men, you have to be a chick to understand on July 27, 2007 by drbolte

IT’S FLASHBACK FRIDAY, AND I’M A JOINER!

Picture it…Bakersfield, California, circa early 1990s, which is best known for this big ugly thing:

cfiles29962.jpg

…and these bigger ugly things:

2147556.jpg

…and, unfortunately, this:

art_buck_mem2.jpg

For me, though, Bakersfield was all about my friends. I moved there when I was 12, and after a few drama-filled fits and starts, settled into a great group of friends that my Mom trusted (which translated into no curfew for me as long as I called home–whee!).

One of whom was Ben.

Oh, Ben. Oh, dear. There’s so much more to the backstory to Ben, but for now I’ll confine my Flashback Friday narrative jaunt to senior year.

I had decided to take Physics. I don’t know what on the great green earth had made me decide to do this, except that maybe I was trying to pad my transcript on the off-chance that I would apply to a UC school. I am not a science person. Now, lest all of you science people freak out at me and say that there is no such thing, I will pointedly tell you that I am, in fact, evidence that you are wrong. With the possible exception of the summer school Biology class between my freshman and sophomore year that I loved (bring on the fetal pig to dissect! and, yes, that summer has a Ben story too), I have hated every single science class I have ever taken. They’re hard. They make my brain hurt.

And Physics just took the cake. I didn’t understand it. Now, to be honest, if I had studied at all and tried and gotten help, I probably could have been aceing that class. When I apply myself, I am smart.

But I was way more interested, at that point, in boys and friends and doing whatever I wanted rather than doing my homework.

So I was getting a C in that class. And I was NOT happy about it. I knew my Mom would not be happy about it. She wasn’t a grade freak, but she expected me to do my best. C is not my level best–and she would have called me on it.

Ben was in my class too. At this point, we had been good friends for almost four years. We were in the same seminary class, he was periodically in love with my best friend…and I was totally head over heels for him…completely unrequited and completely on the down low. Or so I attempted.

So when Mr. Rappleye, our Physics teacher, gave us the option of constructing a toothpick bridge that would hold a bunch of weight (somehow this was a Physics project, although I didn’t understand how at the time…do you see my problem?) for a heaping pile of extra credit points that I desperately needed (and that basically-average student Ben could use too), it seemed only natural that we would work on that joker together.

I remember very little about working on the actual project except that it was more difficult than I thought it would be, required too much glue and frustration, and eventually held up against more weight than I thought it would. YAY us.

The reason I remember very little? Winter Formal was coming up and my best friend was going with her current squeeze, James–who I later fell head over heels for. (Gosh, we were an incestuous little 90210-like group.) We had decided that I should go with Ben so that we could all go together. Kim, the BF, had sort of tested the waters with him in orchestra about whether or not he even wanted to go. He seemed to be good with it, good even with going with me, which I was honestly shocked and excited about.

So, we had a plan. I was supposed to basically ask him that night when he came over to work on the project. I was supposed to play it cool and not freak him out but just bring it up as a friend thing, so that we could all go together. The boy did not date. He pined, he crushed, he remained totally inside himself.

It was going to be a challenge, but I was up for it. Did I mention that I was IN LOVE with him? And he saw me as just a friend? Oy. I was just a little bit stressed. And excited.
And gosh if the whole night wasn’t one big lead-in to that big topic. I don’t remember how I got to it, but I brought it up. I was not going to be stopped. So close…so very close. Paraphrased, this is about how the conversation went, perhaps with some dramatic license. Please note where all of the action is in the conversation:

Me: “So…Kim and James are going to Winter Formal. It sounds like it will be fun.”

Ben: “Hmm. Uh-huh.”

Me: “It’s our senior year, so it’s the last Formal before we graduate.”

Ben: “Hmm. Uh-huh.”

Me: “Do you want to go?”

Ben (finally seeming to pay attention): “To the Formal?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Ben: “Yeah, I guess.”

Me: “Me, too. It would be way fun to hang out with Kim and James and do the whole thing.”

Ben: “Really?”

Me (at this point wanting to stab him through the eye with a very dull toothpick for his obtuseness): “Yeah. I think it could be cool.”

Understatement of the century. I was already planning the whole thing–the dress, the flowers, the whole nine–followed quickly by our Hallmark-style romance, my faithfulness on his mission, our quick engagement, our wedding, and the seven children we would have who would all have his…verbal skills. I was 16. Cut me a break, okay?

Ben: “Oh. Yeah. Well….do you want to go?”

Me: “With you?”

Ben: “Uh, yeah.”

Me: “Sure. Why not?”

Cue flowers, swelling music, and little blue cartoon birds braiding my hair. I thought I had successfully manipulated the coup of the century–The Boy Who Doesn’t Date is MY DATE!

Imagine my surprise when he is proudly announcing to everyone the very next day that HE asked ME. As if it was his freaking idea. As if I hadn’t completely orchestrated the entire conversation. As if, at one point, I didn’t think I had actually asked him out!

Bah. The things women do to get what they want.

The Formal turned out fun–just like I thought it would–and although it wasn’t the romantic liason or ignition that I had hoped it might be, I was glad to be there. It is a memory that I will never forget. Ben is married now to an adorable blonde and I haven’t talked to him in YEARS.

But he’ll always be the guy who made me associate toothpicks with dreams coming true, and for that I’ll always be grateful. That and the B that I managed to pull off in Physics class.

Even if he did take credit for my brilliant machinations.