4/12/99 -- For some reason or another, I've had an event that took place during high school in my mind recently. 

I know I bitch and moan here about getting some and girlfriends and how I'll never get some or get one, or whatever.  But here's a story that always spooks me when I think about it...

In 12th grade I was in Academic League, which was my one extra-curricular activity in high school.  It's sort of like college bowl, or quiz bowl, or whatever, where a team of five (plus reserves) competes against another school's team of five.  A moderator asks questions, ranging from math & science to history and current events.  And I was damn good at it, too.  But anyhow, after matches my teammates and I would usually head to the local McDonald's, since most of us skipped dinner to attend matches.  After our last match (a predictable 133-30 playoff thrashing by Torrey Pines), we're sitting around in a jovial mood, eating and talking and whatnot.  I'm at a booth with two girls -- Jennifer Johnson and Michelle Petersen.  Somehow prom comes up, and I, like every dork in high school, wasn't planning on going.  I was counting on another Saturday night of AD&D.  Still, prom was almost a month away, so there was time for things to change.  Jennifer says, "Why don't you go with Michelle?"  Now Michelle, while a funny girl, wasn't my type.  She was too white and too, uh, ugly.  OK, I'm being a shallow ass muthafucka here, but that's how I felt, and still how I feel.  I still had little inclination to go to prom, but Michelle asking me out, or rather, Jennifer asking me out for Michelle with Michelle right there, wasn't the inclination that I needed.

So anyhow, without thinking I say "No, I don't think so," in this weak voice that communicated that I felt uncomfortable, as I usually do, in any sort of pressure situation that involves my emotions or feelings in any way.  And that was that, and I completely forgot about it. 

A couple weeks later, my friend and AP Bio partner Anna Yim had started to egg me about going.  Now had Jennifer tried to set me up with Anna, I would have said yes faster than it takes to say, "Yes".  But she didn't,  Anyhow, one morning in AP Bio we weren't do anything as usual, and she says "Why don't you go with Maya?"  Like Michelle, I tried to get out of it, b/c I felt like a dork and dorks don't go to prom, or at least they aren't supposed to.  Doesn't anybody watch TV anymore?  Dorks don't go, or they go with their sister of something, and they're a big joke.  But Anna had this idea of a bunch of us going together, and she kept egging me on, and I really couldn't think of a reason not to.  So during lunch, I was eating with Anna and another dude, and I saw Maya, and I went up to her and she said "Yes".  I said "cool", and walked back and went back to eating lunch.  And that was that.  We made all the appropriate arrangements, and ten of us went together, and it was a great time.  No, there wasn't any of the customary drinking and fucking among our group that normally accompanies prom night, but none of us were really that type anyway.

My prom nite memories were suddenly altered a year later while I was on the phone with Nicole.  Somehow, maybe at a party or something, Nicole had gotten word that Michelle had asked me to prom and that I rudely turned her down.  "What?  I don't remember that," was my reply.  And then suddenly I did remember.  And I felt terrible.  And guilty.  Guilty and Terrible, which go together like a Big Mac and fries.  I got off the phone with Nicole and laid in bed feeling like shit.  Michelle was a nice chick, she didn't deserve to have an asshole like me turn her down, did she?  Then I remembered an incident the week before prom, during AP Bio, when Mr. Oliver (our stoner teacher) asked me if I was going to prom.  I stopped to think, "Is Mr. Oliver asking me to go with him?"  Before the more logical intent behind his question hit me, Michelle Petersen (who was also in AP Bio with Maya and myself) yelled out, "No, he's going with MAYA!" in a particularly harsh voice. 

So I was lying in bed feeling guilty when it struck me -- it's not my fault.  And it kept hitting me -- it wasn't my fault.  I didn't really realize at the time that Michelle was asking me to prom, I just thought Jennifer was suggesting it.  As it turned out, I was 100% happy to go with Maya -- she sorta turned out to be the perfect date for me.  And Michelle ended up going anyway, I think with some guy from band.  The therapist I was seeing at the time thought it was great, too, when I told him the next day that I suddenly no longer felt guilty.

What's the point of this?  I dunno.  I thought I had one when I started typing it.  Um, let me think if I can find one.  OK, I guess it's that women do occasionally like me, even if I don't like them back.  I could never see myself with Michelle, and while asking me to prom shouldn't imply that she was really interested in me, I'm pretending that it does.  And it also implies that I have the courage to turn down women I'm not interested in, if they already don't know.  Mebbe that makes me sound like an asshole, or maybe it makes me sound like a retard -- either way, it's how I am.

It's unfair, and it makes me (whose not exactly a Backstreet Boy himself) look hypocritical, but I guess I do put that much weight on looks.  Men are supposed to be more concerned with it than women, right?  Case in point -- me.  Obviously I always knew that it mattered, but I can't help but feel bad about it.  I get a lot of shit from Ray that my standards are too high, but doesn't everyone need standards, or else you just end up settling?  And this isn't like depression or something, where I can take a pill everyday and find that certain women suddenly start to look more attractive.  I can't walk around with permanent beer goggles.  Maybe some time in prison might help.

I started typing this out before lunch.  I decided to venture to  Panda Express rather than waiting in line for a salad, and one of the girls who works in the assembly line that are the Panda Express servers looked at me and said something to me.   I bent down and said, "What?"  She then repeated her question (it was a question, apparently): "What color are your eyes?"


"Blue-green", she repeated, and then walked off.  At that was that.

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