May 14, 2008 -
Ladies - you know those men in your life that you love to hate with all your might, but you can't bring yourself to do so since you did, at one time, really care about them? I have two of those - J1 and J2 (J2, for purposes of this blog, is not up for discussion).
J1 was a guy I knew in college who was this tall, lanky, socially awkward fellow that for some odd reason I developed a crush on in the latter half of my sophmore year. We had the same major, lived in the same residence hall, were in Student Government together, on the Executive Cabinet together and were constantly crossing paths with each other. I didn't pay him much attention at first because I had heard he was a little....INTENSE. I can't exactly remember what drew me to him in the first place, but at some point I decided I just had to have him. So - I made my intentions known - in a sweet little "hey I like you, how's about it?" note that I placed in his mail slot. And because I am always drawn to those that are ever so slightly emotionally defunct, he not-so-nicely declined my offer of "more than friendship" and acted like I was a leper to be avoided at all costs. Naturally, my feelings were hurt and I let my emotions get the best of me. So I did something very childish and immature...I "relocated" his keys to the back of his mail slot in the student government office.
Oh yeh - he was an RA, and his key chain included the master keys to every single dorm room in our 7-story residence hall. When he couldn't find his keys, it became a bit of an issue.
Well....long story short, I got busted. So J1 decided to use the school's "administrative handling process" to get back at me. Two weeks before finals, he managed to convince the Residence Director of our Hall that my actions proved I was obsessed with him and I needed to be removed from the premises immediately. And I could not attend Student Government meetings anymore and was to stay a certain distance away from him at all times. Her decision was unilaterally made, without following the correct due process set-up by the school. I appealed, got a proper hearing and eventually came away with 4 hours of community service for "displacing" the keys, and he was told to get a life.
For the remainder of my uni-time, he and I engaged in this elaborate "there, but not there" dance around each other, treading lightly so as not to make the other think that we actually gave a shit about what had transpired between us. For me, the extremes that he went to push me away - after all, I only told him I "liked-liked" him - had a profound impact on my ability to place any trust in any man for several years after that. I'm not sure what he ever really thought about the outcome of the whole episode, but I was always catching him out of the corner of eye, glancing at me in class or - even more blatantly - staring into my ground floor apartment window as he walked by.
I haven't seen J1 in years, but since he is such an *involved* Alumnus, I have read about him in our uni's periodical from time to time. When his marriage announcement came out, I couldn't help but google his wife (they are real estate agents and both have pictures and profiles online - "Team J1" - barf). It is with some sort of twisted satisfaction when I saw she looked like a Stepford clone - cold and frigid. Like a frozen, dead fish. How'd you like to sleep with that?
Well - this month's issue of the Alumni newsletter had birth announcements. His daughter's among them.
I am ashamed to admit I had a fleeting moment where I was ever so regretful of what happened between us; what could I have done differently to ensure I was having his baby, and not the Stepford drone? What made her so special? Why not me?
Then I came to my senses and realized just how much better off I was not being part of "Team J1". I would not have had nearly the number of life experiences that I have had since college, nor would I have had a chance to develop my own identity.
And I'd probably still be living in NH - cold and frigid.
Like a frozen, dead fish.
Congratulations to the Happy Family.