artphoto by splunge
artphoto by TheophileEscargot
artphoto by Kronos_to_Earth
artphoto by ethylene





Mecha Wiki

Metachat Eye


IRC Channels



Comment Feed:


17 January 2011

Then and Now Last week I was reminiscing about a high school memory. [More:]I think the specific memory was of the time my English Writing OAC class had a debate, “Should convicted repeat rapists be castrated?”, and a guy I had a crush on came to mind. He was on the “con” side with another guy, while I was moderator and the pro side were two female friends of mine who toyed with the idea of wearing t-shirts for the debate that said “Snip It” on them. (Ah, that distinctively inappropriate adolescent humour!)

Anyway, then it occurred to me to search for the guy, A., on Facebook. There were surprisingly quite a few people with his unusual and old-fashioned first name, but it was easy to figure out which was he as he’d included his middle name which I actually remembered once I saw it, and also a picture of himself – and he looks almost exactly the same as he did 20 years ago. I looked at the publicly available info and found out that he lives in Ottawa, is an RMT, and is into active outdoor activities like skiing and swimming and skating and cycling. Nice to know. A few days later I thought, why not email him and say hi, because it would nice to catch up, so I sent him a brief friendly message. A. emailed right back and also sent me a friend request, and we emailed back and forth for a few days, and then he began an IM session, and one of the first things he said to me was, “Did you have a crush on me in high school?” Oh dear. I admitted that I did, and asked if he’d known. No, he said, he didn’t know at the time, but he figured it out now because he thought otherwise he would not have come to my mind twenty years later. And he said I should have told him because he would have gone out with me if he’d known, because he thought I was a hottie. He would have taken me to prom instead of going stag, and maybe gotten to second base. Him and me both. I did have a date to prom – but I got no action as that guy was gay. (Damn but he could dance though.) I reminded A. of how he complained the next school day about all the slow dances the DJ played, and that everyone looked at him like, "Uh, A., it's PROM."

This is actually the second of the three boys in high school I had crushes on to tell me he was very attracted to me back in the day. [Head slamming on keyboard.] Crap, WHY did I have to be so utterly lacking in self-confidence and modus operandi back then?! I missed out on so many good experiences that I could have had. Instead I moped in my room writing shitty poetry and the only two boys I ever actually dated during high school turned out to be gay.

Don’t take this to mean that I live in the past or that I think anything that happens in high school has much relevance twenty years on. I knew someone who, in her thirties, was stil carrying on about how the kids in high school were so meeeeeean to her and how she couldn't wait for her high school reunion to go back and prove things to them, and it was just utterly tiresome and pathetic. For me it’s mostly just amusing to find this stuff out now, with maybe a tinge of regret. Moreover, sometimes you do get the chance to do the things you wish you could have done back in the day, adult-style. A. has mentioned that he comes to Toronto for RMT workshops sometimes and suggested we could meet for drinks and catch up, and I said that would be lovely.

And if I ever do have a teenage daughter, I’ve got some advice for her.
Oops, I used Trilby's account. Hope he doesn't see that - it may cost me some extra treats.
posted by Orange Swan 17 January | 14:03
I suspected as much -- I figured Trilby would have taken the anti-castration side.
posted by JanetLand 17 January | 14:48
And if I ever go to high school, I will rule.
posted by Trilby 17 January | 14:54
For what it's worth, I was the same, at high school and university. I've since been made aware of several men who were very attracted to me, but I never had any idea. I generally had crushes on a different set of men, though.

I'm not sure what had changed by the time I met mr alto when I was 25.
posted by altolinguistic 17 January | 14:57
Orange Swan, I did something similar to this. I was very shy and backward in high school. Once, after months of screwing up my courage, I finally asked someone out (after dancing with her at a few after-football dances over the months).

When I did ask her out, she said, sorry, she was busy. I was crushed, and in no way could I follow up on this, or ask anyone else out for the remainder of high school.

A few years ago, I saw her name listed as a realtor in my home area. I called this number, and it turned out to be a cousin of hers with the same name. This cousin gave me her number.

So, again (and I have no idea what I wanted to accomplish) I called the number and she answered, and I said hello, my name is danf, do you remember me? Silence. Then more silence. Then she said "Gosh, you were the first guy to ask me out, and I was so shocked and unprepared for that, that I could not think of anything to say other than I was busy. I am really sorry and really regret that."

Well since I am very edified in my marriage, that cow has long since sailed. But we talked some and I found out that she has been married twice, has kids from each marriage and was currently single and living somewhat marginally in a rural area north of LA. We exchanged a few letters (she did not have email) and in one she mused whether Dr. Laura would approve of us corresponding. This was my "dog whistle" to back off, and also figure that there was probably not much common ground. For the record, all this took place with my wife's full knowlege.

But it was striking that her memory and my memory sort of jived.
posted by danf 17 January | 17:09
this will probably sound snarky, but it's not meant that way... I've gone through this myself.

It's because when you're a teenager, you're frequently too immature and OMGSELFCENTERED to really truly know and honestly care (with mature, outward facing empathy and compassion) about what other people are thinking. You lack experience and perspective, because you're so stuck in your own head and it all feels so big and overwhelming at that age. So you're only able to shallowly relate other's opinions to being all about what they think about YOU, which just goes around on this seemingly-endless inward spiral merry-go-round of selfcentered selfinterested self-loathing and angst.

Some people are able to move past the navel-gazey self-critical inward spiral as they grow older, others... not so much.

so yeah. Definitely no snark intended. I was so totally there myself at that age. Being over 40 is kinda spiffy, mainly cos I no longer give a flipping goddammit WHAT people think of me :)
posted by lonefrontranger 17 January | 17:25
I must admit I don't care what anyone (EXCEPT my BEAR) thinks of my looks either, but it still astonishes me to meet people who tell me what crushes they had on me -- how do people manage to hide that so well at the time? Truly one does not know, even after high school.
posted by bearwife 18 January | 13:39
You and I just need to drop the "you and" || BATTY! OMG!