Monday, October 24, 2005

Too Good, Too Bad

We all have a place on the sexual food chain. The rules are much like those that drive stock prices, based purely on speculation. A particular stock may look like an attractive buy until you look at such factors as price-to-earnings or return-on-investment. Timing is everything. For me personally, I prefer to be the majority stock holder of a privately held, well-managed enterprise.

The Microsoft of my college days at Washington State was Jennifer. Jennifer Lund. I'm using her real name so that one day she might, on a whim, do a self-search on Google and turn up this page, and from it learn what she may or may not have already known. I don't know where she is today, how she is doing, or who she married--and for that I am sorry, because she was my friend.

I met her through one of my first friends at the start of my freshman year. Willy, simply put, was a ladies man. His blonde hair was buzzed short except for a pinky-sized pony-tail extending from the nape of his neck and tied with a rubber band. He always wore faded Levis 501 jeans with holes at the knee caps, and if he had more than one pair I cannot say. His smile was warm and his voice deep, which no doubt served him well in his pursuit of theatre arts. Willy established himself as the player of the group when two blonde hotties wandered by our dorm room and he invited them in. I was too shy to say much, so I sat in a corner as Willy turned on some music and danced with one of them. He ran his hands over her shoulders, down her sides, then down and behind. She put both her arms over her head and let the music take her away. I was in awe, and Willy became my new hero.

"She's nothing," Willy said to me when I congratulated him for his new connection with the nameless blonde. "I've got my sights set on a goddess."

And so he introduced me to Jennifer. At first I thought they were a couple, which was understandable because Willy was convinced of it, but Jennifer apparently had no idea. She was light and breezy, and some would say incredibly insipid--but I never believed it. Girls like her that measure twelve on the Richter scale can take many paths in life, and some play down their intelligence in order to widen the field; because ironically, she was probably a lonely girl.

All because of guys like me.

Fortune smiled upon me when I found that we had Astronomy together. When she first saw me in that auditorium, she skipped over and took an adjoining seat, a position she took every day for our semester together. I kept a straight face, but my heart raced every time she did. My attitude towards her--like my life depended on it--was consistent: I could care less.

I was having lunch at the dining hall with a handful of my floor mates. Jennifer walked up to me and tapped me on the shoulder.

"Hi Scott!"

I turned around and saw her, and my stomach rumbled like the inside of a lotto machine, with numbered ping pong balls bouncing randomly around. God she was perfect. My face, however, remained inscrutable.

"Hey," I replied with taut lips.

"Can we get together to study for our Astronomy test tonight?"

"I have plans."

"Oh, ok." She backed up a few steps.

"Um…” She stopped and looked at me hopefully. "Maybe I can free up. I'll give you call later."

She brightened at that. "Ok, so maybe I'll see you!"

When she was gone, everybody stared at me in stunned silence. Brady, a Spicoli wannabe surfer dude from Hawaii, said, "Get me a napkin. I just came."

It was a weekend night. I didn't have a car, and neither did my friends, and we weren't old enough yet to go to the bars in Moscow. My roommate Guy and a few others were in our dorm room playing Dungeons and Dragons when we heard a knock at the door.

I pulled the door open, but when I saw it was Jennifer and her girl friend, I closed it so that I filled the opening.

"What are you doing here?" I asked her.

"We had some plans tonight but they fell through. So we were sitting around, feeling kind of bored, and then I thought 'Scott might be around tonight!' What are you up to?" She tried to look around me, but I shut the door tighter.

"Nothing much really."

"Can we come in?"

"Uh, now is not a good time. So thanks for coming by."

She looked disappointed as I shut the door.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" Guy asked me.

"I don't want her to see me playing D&D!"

"So what? She had a friend with her too!"

"I know man. I'm sorry."

The sad truth of it was, she was too beautiful to be my friend, or anything else for that matter. She reminded me of my place in life, and I took out my frustration on her. Today I would have let her in the door and let her laugh at me if she was so inclined, and I would laugh along with her. I'm so much more at ease with myself now.

Steve, The RA on my floor that year, had a friend that had that certain look, that air of confidence that oozed from every pore. His friend was over for the weekend and asked me if I knew any girls I could introduce him to. Jennifer was definitely in his league.

"Do you know her number?" he asked me. And I did. He dialed her up as Steve and I stared at each other, not quite believing he had the guts to make the call.

"Hello is this Jennifer?" he said into the phone. "I've been told by a friend that you are the hottest girl on campus, and I'd really like to meet you."

He paused and looked at us with a bemused expression. "Who gave me your number? Do you know Steve Kern?"

Steve jumped out of his seat. "It was SCOTT! I had nothing to do with it!"

At that, I jumped up and got in Steve's face, "Hey, she doesn't even know you, so shut your f--- mouth."

"Ok, hold on." Steve's buddy handed him the phone. "Here, she wants to talk to you."

"Oh Jesus." Steve snatched the phone away from him. "Listen, I..." His mouth dropped open and his buddy fell onto the bed laughing. "You son of a bitch! That wasn't funny."

I looked between them, not comprehending.

Steve said, "Dial tone. He never called her."


Sadie Lou said...

aww. Poor Scotty; embarrassed by his pastime. *laughing*
I know how that feels, man. I actually dated a guy that was taller, even though I liked his best friend more (who later became my hubby). I'm so glad those stupid insecurities pass...

Eve said...

Aren't you glad that some people grow up. I have a lot of "if I could do it over again" phases of my life. I hope you get to tell Jennifer this in person some day. Who knows, maybe she googles!
Sorry about Cortez - I've always said that it shouldn't come down to one field goal. If the offense had played better, it wouldn't have mattered.

magnetbabe said...

I agree. I have found growing up, much to my utter shock, that the most physically beautiful people are incredibly lonely. Ironic, huh?

Moni said...

Ah the good old days. I look back and think how could I have ever thought this or that particular person hung the moon. Hide sight has 20/20 vision I suppose. Cute story. :)

Scott said...

Sadie - Why couldn't I just be myself, huh?

Eve - I'm sure glad I did. It would be nice to say hello, but you know how those things go. It never lives up to the hype. True dat on the Cowboys.

MagnetBabe - It's hard to be friends with a beautiful woman because you look like a chump when guys hit on her constantly. It's a pride thing, but it's big and real. You have to be made of some pretty strong stuff. I worked with an Indian girl who was quite stunning, and we were very good friends--the true kind of friend that I wish I could have been with Jennifer. Guys actually looked at me and nodded in approval, nearly licking their chops like hungry wolves.

Moni - Yes, those were some good times. I definitely see things differently now.

Chloe said...

I bet she thinks about you all the time and wonders what she ever did wrong.

amberdusk said...

that is a very sweet story....... MOSCOW? You lost me there but I know how it is when you are convinced you are nothing special and all you need to do is realize you are. Easier said than done hm?

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

I'm with Chloe, Scott.

This made me feel really sad.

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

You said it in the comment to Sadie--why can't we just be ourselves? If I can teach just that one thing to my monsters, I'll be happy. It's hard though. You have to KNOW who you are to be yourself, if that makes sense!

Eve said...

Nguyen is playing on Sunday.

Mrs.T said...

I feel bad for Jennifer, and the beautiful NICE girls like her.

jenbeauty said...

I am with Mrs.t! I always wondered what was wrong with me in college. I think you may have answered a few things for me Scott. Not that I was hot by any means.

Also, I got a lot of what you said here about Jennifer at my class reunion. There were 2 guys that specifically told my husband how lucky he was and that they wished they had had more guts to ask me out. Needless to say I was dumbfounded.

I hope she googles and sees this. It will make her day, or really piss her off! lol

The Zombieslayer said...

Well-written, and funny how besides you, the two main characters wanted a challenge. I guess they were both used to getting what they wanted.

Scott said...

Chloe - I'd settle for her remembering my name, but that is a sweet thought.

Amber - Moscow is in Idaho, just over the border from Pullman, Washington where I went to school for three years.

Toast - Yeah, me too.

Joely - If we love our children for who they are, they will love themselves for the same reason.

Eve - Good stuff. I wish we could have Flozell back though.

Mrs T - Me too. Me too.

Jen - You don't have to be modest Jen. If you're hot you're hot. But I hear what you are saying. I felt the same way about a girl I met at my ten year reunion. I was talking myself down, probably fishing, and she told me that she always saw me getting married to someone gorgeous. Maybe she was being nice, but I always had the self-image, but thought everyone in high school saw me different. I've always had a great self-image, but I've also always believed that others didn't see me for my greatness. I'm exaggerating, but that is basically true. I had to wait for the one that saw me the way that I saw me. Capiche? But I got angry with people that looked down on me, or even if I perceived it so. This is where Jennifer came in. She dated a guy from a prominent fraternity that was untouchable, totally intimidating. If a perfect woman dates perfect men, the kind you could see in movies, it's hard to think she would see anything in a normal guy.

Zombie - I loaned Willy ten dollars and I never saw him again. Jennifer definitely got what she wanted from everyone, but there was something down to earth about her too. She was nice to everyone. We sat with a guy in Astronomy and after we all aced a test he scooped her up, much to the bewilderment of both me and Jennifer, but she acted like it was nothing--of course we laughed about it when he was gone. Anyone that took the time to speak with her got a polite and attentive response in return. There was literally nothing bad you could say about her.

Eve said...

I hope Cortez continues his "winning" ways with the Eagles!

Trevor Record said...

There aren't very many companies like Trevcorp, but it's a risky business venture. Most would be advised to steer clear!

mr. schprock said...

Awesome story, as usual. I've known plenty of nice-looking girls who have been friendly with me and I got all "I'm not worthy" about it. That last scene with the alleged ladykiller on the phone made me cringe — I felt so relieved to find out it wasn't for real.

Scott said...

Eve - Apparently he is only going to be used for kick offs. He was spotty at that duty at best.

Trevor - Ah yes, an investment in Trevcorp could get you a first class seat to the stars, no?

Mr Schprock - The last scene was incredibly tense. You should have seen this guy. He was Brazilian or Latin, or some such mysterious type guy that reeked of confidence. He played us off each other so bad. I nearly shat myself when my name was called out loud. I thought I had some 'splainin' to do.