Missed Connections

February 23, 2010

The other night, I was at this bar with a couple friends of mine. And one of them had a couple friends with her. Now, one trait I’ve noticed about women here in the South (and Midwest for that matter), is that when a girl is being harassed by some guy, they need to be rescued. Very few have the confidence to say “get the hell away from me” to some creep.

So while I’m talking to one friend of a friend, who’s a cute girl, funny and can carry on a conversation. I think I will attempt to get to know her better.

But then some d-bag comes up and interrupts our table, trying to make friends. The girls roll their eyes, and the guy scampers off, but comes back in about five minutes to harass everyone again. I am about to pull the guy aside at tell him to back off, but before I can, my new friend tells the guy to get lost.

Kev-Fu like.

Of course, the guy comes back, but this time, I tell the guy “hey, I’m working here, how about a little professional courtesy? Give me some time,” and he apologizes to me and stays away.

Back to the cute blonde, we’re talking and having a good time. Turns out we’re both from New York (which explains her eagerness to tell jerks to get lost).

Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind comes on and she says “I was at the World Series when they sang this live.”  I stare at her as the magnitude of the statement sets in. Then she adds “You know, the World Series?” because I’m staring blankly at her like I don’t know what the World Series is. She’s probably thinking I’m some guy who doesn’t like sports. I reply with “sorry, the World Series was…”

And she says “oh, it was hard for me, because my family is from Philadelphia and are all Phillies fans.  I’m the only one who broke rank and is a Yankee fan.”

I don’t think I reacted well. My friend asked me later what we were talking about. She said my face fell like someone told me my favorite puppy just died.  Too bad because the girl had a lot of potential.

So Much Drama in the LBC…

April 23, 2009

When your friend is having relationship drama, it’s incredibly easy to see, identify and offer advice.

But the fundamental truth is that even when that person hears you, agrees with you, and plans to follow your advice… they completely change their tune when they’re alone with the person they have drama with.

That’s because for you, the signs are obvious. There’s clearly something wrong. To them, a change that resulted in the current dramatic conditions were so gradual, the current conditions merely became normal.

And people fear change. It’s easier to deal with the same stuff you’ve been dealing with than instigate change. What seems like chaos and drama to you is actually a comfort zone for them. Even though it’s blatantly obvious to those around you that you shouldn’t be comfortable in that situation.

So they deal with it. It’s amazing I never reached this conclusion before. But the big question is, the next time I have drama, am I going to remember this?

I Pity The Fool Who Believes All She Hears

December 9, 2008

I was watching VH1s Top 100 Songs of the 90s, while looking at People I Might Know on Facebook. Just then, Jewel came on TV talking about Who Will Save Your Soul and I started laughing. I began to wonder if one of these people I forgot ever existed who’s showing up among people Facebook thinks I might know happened to be watching the same show I was. And if she turned to her husband and said “I went to college with a guy who dated her.”

This girl was a freshman our sophomore year, and she was always hanging around our place, and her and her friends always proved to be gullible as hell.

One of my college buddies had an unbelievable gift for saying anything with a straight face. He was the ultimate liar. He would casually drop absurd lies into a conversation with strangers just to see who’d notice. So impressed with his ability, I began casually mentioning things about him to other people and watch him explain the story as if it were truth.

Basically, we began putting each other on the spot. One day, the girl in question posed a question about Mr. T. I simply turned to Brendan and said “You know Mr. T, any idea?” Obviously, the girl asked how he knew Mr. T and I enjoyed the brilliant (fake) answer. The man was a genius (“My grandmother lived across the street from Mr. T’s grandmother. I always had tons of the Mr. T cereal growing up”).

So naturally, it was my turn to be put on the spot. A few days later, the very same gullible girl was informed that I had dated Jewel. I got jumped with the question of how it felt to have dated someone who’s suddenly incredibly famous and asked to tell the whole story:

You see, I had a friend who was quite a bit older than me and later became my youth pastor. He was an accomplished drummer and one of his friends was even better. That friend was presented with an opportunity to join one of the biggest Christian bands in the world, the Newsboys. But before that, he went on tour with his obscure band no one’s ever heard of, save the people in the small places they played.

Jewel will disavow any relationship with this blog’s author, if confronted

It was on that tour in which he met Jewel, who was similarly traveling the country playing coffee houses before her album went huge. I caught a couple shows in which Jewel and my acquaintance’s band played together and they introduced us. We hit it off quite well (“She’s really just a sweet girl who plays the guitar and has a great voice. She’s very down to earth.”) Mostly we talked about spiritual things, as my acquaintance and I were both Christians and Jewel was seeking higher meaning. But she was distrustful of organized religion as most people should be.

So after hanging out with her a couple times at these shows, and afterwards, we wanted to hang out more. Every chance I had, we’d do things together. She was trying to stay close to LA, where the record deals were (Eventually, she got signed and even used my cousin Kris as a studio musician on her debut album).

The geography made it really hard to try and have any kind of relationship — I had no car at the time. I wish a real relationship with her could have blossomed, because she is obviously quite attractive and very cool. But no, I don’t really talk to her anymore.

Of the previous four paragraphs, the first and last are 100% accurate and the middle two are 100% blatant lies. When I told it, I expanded on those middle two paragraphs to include more true facts — like how my youth pastor’s girlfriend, now wife, is an awesome person whom everyone likes (true) and she was a large help during the whole ordeal (I’m sure she would have been!).

If you own the Pieces of You album, and check the liner notes, you’ll probably be surprised to see someone named Kris, with my last name on the credits as a piano player. While in the paragraph of blatant lies, I mixed in one accurate fact. Except that I have no idea who Kris is, if we’re related (doubtful), or if Kris is even male or female. I’m simply the type of person who actually reads those liner notes.

But that one tidbit was enough to make this gullible girl accept my story as fact. Anyhow, we all had a good laugh about what these girls must think. Over the next two years, it rarely came up, and we all just kind of forgot about it as we didn’t see these freshman girls much after that.

I just hope this girl forgot about it, in case she’s now working as a music critic, or working for MTV or a rodeo circuit, or any occupation where she could meet and talk to Jewel. I wouldn’t want her to embarrass herself.

The Last Email to The First Girl

November 18, 2008

Everyone told me I needed to get on facebook. “You can look up all the people you haven’t talked to! Like people from college and high school!” The reason I didn’t join facebook is because it’s simply the next generation of computer communication. When I got to college, we all discovered email – which wasn’t all that mainstream in 1996. All the people I went to high school with and still talked to used email. The rest, didn’t use it. Then instant messenger became popular, and it was just all the people who used email. The people I stopped talking to are the people who never use the computer to communicate, period.

I made an effort in college to send emails to people and see who used it to keep in touch. I had plenty of time to do it, working in the computer lab my sophomore year. So I’m sure I sent one to The First Girl.

I met The First Girl my sophomore year of high school. She was gorgeous, smart, funny, way out of my league. To say I had a crush on her would be an understatement. She was The First Girl I was in love with. We had one glorious weekend together that sophomore year, but never a relationship. Of course, I was too stupid to tell her how I feel and ask her out, I kept just waiting for something to just happen.

By the time I graduated, I was getting over her, realizing it wasn’t meant to be. I went to college, sent that email (like many others) and never made any effort to contact her again. I don’t think about her. It’s the past.

My last contact with her came in the summer before my senior year of college. I was with this girl, Jennie, whom I had run into her a few weeks earlier. She too was beautiful and out of my league. Again, too stupid/afraid to actually say the words “will you go out with me?” we hung out a couple times. Way back in high school, Jennie ran in the same circle with The First Girl. We were leaving her place, one summer day when she said “Hold on, I need to stop by the pool and talk to someone.”

As we opened the gate of the pool, she casually threw out there “You know The First, right?”

“The First?” I asked.

“Girl,” she responded. And there was The First Girl, a life guard. The two of them talked. I didn’t realize they were still friends. I just stood there, silently. Jennie said, “Well, I’m going to get some dinner with Kev and then we’re going to a movie.”

“Kev?” The First Girl asked.

Kev Fu” Jennie replied, with that what-are-you-stupid-question tone.

“You still talk to him?” The First Girl responded.

“Uh, he’s right here,” Jennie said, pointing out that I was indeed standing in front of her face. In her defense, my hair was about six inches shorter, I was wearing sunglasses, and someone taught me how to dress myself since she had last seen me.

We exchanged a couple pleasantries, The First Girl told us to have fun, and we left.

That was over nine years ago. I haven’t even been back into that town more than twice in the last three years. My last trip, I was going to Tom’s wedding. And Delta forgot to put my suitcase with the plane with me. So, while my parents are driving a rental car towards the old mall, I’m frantically pulling up the online directory of the mall to find out if the Men’s Wearhouse is still there, and where it is, since I never bought a suit until I left town.

My web search brought up the mall’s staff directory first. And right before I clicked off the page, something caught my eye. Girl is not a common last name. So I figured The First Girl on my screen was probably The First Girl I fell in love with, and was now the PR rep for the mall.

While I never made The First Girl love me back, I definitely made her mom love me, and in the very same mall. The First Girl had an older sister. I actually had a class with Sister of the Girl, and we did not get along. Probably because she knew I was after her younger sister. Shortly after our one glorious weekend, I was walking through the mall and saw The First Girl, walking with Her Mom. I went up to The First Girl, kissed her on the cheek and she looked absolutely horrified I’d do that in front of Her Mom. Her Mom was giving me the evilest look I’ve ever seen. I smiled at her, my face beaming, and I said “And you must be Sister of the Girl. Nice to finally meet you.”

She’s loved me ever since. It’s my only fond memory of that mall.

In the back of the rental car, I bookmarked the webpage, found what I was looking for, and was trying on suits before the store closed.

A few days later, I figured what the hell and sent her an email. I asked if it was her, how she was doing and told her how I stumbled upon her name. She replied about two weeks later, and asked how I was doing, what I was up to, etc. I answered the questions and asked more back. Still haven’t heard back from her. But that’s to be expected. She never was a computer person.

It’s funny. All the time I’ve never used facebook, myspace, or the internet to hunt down old friends… I stumble upon her email by accident. And she probably still thinks I’m a stalker.