Thoughts That Never Occurred to Me During My Lonely “Nice Guy” Years

Yearbook signature, Class of Long Ago.

Sample message from a classmate written in one of my old yearbooks. Somehow I read platonic well-wishing like this and did not convince myself they were subliminally asking me to ravish them.

I’ve never understood normal men, let alone the broken ones. Let’s get that out of the way up front.

Maybe it’s because I read the right books and lucked into the right role models. Maybe it’s because I didn’t have a sufficiently damaged home life. Maybe I’m lucky that my father wasn’t an active part of my life. Maybe it’s a good thing I never kept too many macho friends for long, or belonged to any particularly masculine cliques. Maybe it’s because I figured out a way for logic and empathy to share harmonic coexistence in my brain. I’m funny that way, maybe.

My first date wasn’t till age 19. My age at the time of you-know-what was years beyond that. In junior high and high school, I never bothered asking any girls out. I knew my odds were slim for a variety of reasons, some but not all of them related to appearance. I wasn’t happy with it. I had my bouts of depression and crushed self-esteem. Eighth grade in particular remains a mental and emotional nadir in my life. I couldn’t figure a way out of it on my own, other than to hope that “This, too, shall pass” would apply to my situation someday before I died.

And yet…for all my dissatisfaction with my lot in life back then, for all my innocuous interactions with the ladies in my young-stupid-male years, none of the following sentences ever popped into my head:

* “That girl was nice to me. I expect sex from her now.”
* “The world owes me a chick.”
* “I know I’m perfect, so it’s clearly not my fault.”
* “Top-40 songs about love and sex are most wise.”
* “Maybe if I insult all women a lot, one will step forward and claim me.”
* “The world owes me a hot chick.”
* “Without sex I’m nothing.”
* “Women love a guy who’s bitter and snarling.”
* “Killing will solve anything.”

…and I’m grateful to the Lord every day that I never adopted anything from this list as my personal catchphrase.

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The Story of One Geek Couple, Part 2 of 2

wedding, happy couple

Don’t you hate it when a trailer or a comic-book cover give away the end of the story? Yeah, so do we. This remains among my favorites from our unnecessarily vast wedding photo collection, Star Trek red-alert lighting and all.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: representing the saga of How We First Met. Part One has the detailed intro that needs little paraphrasing. If you’ve stumbled across this half first, you’re doing it wrong. Click the link in the first sentence, catch up to this moment, then rejoin us with your Back button. Better reading that way, trust me.

Onward, then.

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The Story of One Geek Couple, Part 1 of 2

Tim Rose, Star Wars Celebration II

Happy best friends hanging out at Star Wars Celebration II in May 2002, posing with puppeteer Tim Rose, who gave life to Admiral Ackbar in Return of the Jedi. Back then her glasses were as wide and as round as the moon, and so was I.

[The following two-part entry is a 2002 essay written tag-team style with the best friend who would later become my wife, originally composed for friends who’d wanted to know how we met. Original posting dates and authorship are appended to each chapter for reference, especially for those who’ve never read my wife’s writing.

Though these passages are now eleven years old and cry out for rewriting, I’ve decided to present this encore generously intact, albeit with mild elements of special-edition Lucas-izing. I deleted one pejorative, two bits of slander, two beyond-personal items, one misuse of “literally” my conscience wouldn’t abide, and a belabored Bloom County reference that made zero sense after the preceding edits.

I’m revisiting this for a reason. More about that at the end of Part Two.]

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