Yeah, yeah, I should have posted this yesterday, but I was way too busy being single and awesome. Get over it. And just how did I spend my February 14th? Watching 'Terminator' and drinking hipster beer. What? I'm only pretentious about movies and beer when I'm in the presence of others. On my own, I am way less particular.
For the most part I've never been big into these pre-fab 'holidays', but I am certainly not against people celebrating them in the least; it just isn't really my cup of tea. Typically my Valentine's Days have been marred by the following: being in a terrible relationship, being just recently single, being hit on by people I have absolutely no interest in dating, and being in the company of overbearing male friends who insist on cock-blocking me. So really, it has nothing to do with the yearly love-in itself... it's all been circumstantial (and perhaps it also highlights my need to have less overbearing male friends).
ANYWAY. A long time ago when I was a super awkward, skinny, big-haired, giant early 90's glasses-wearing 14-year-old, I met this guy. 'Oh, 'this guy'', you say. Just understand that it was kind of a big deal at the time. I met him because I was taking swimming lessons (I've known how to swim since I was 4, but up until I was around 16 or 17 I took lessons every summer because my mom thought that if I didn't participate in some kind of activity during that time, I would begin running delinquent in the streets), and he was the instructor. Yeah. I know, right? He was 18 and had just graduated from high school. He drove this silly little white mini-pickup truck (I don't know the technical term for those... is there one?) with his name as the license plate. He was tall-ish, kind of skinny, with dark hair, and this cute, goofy smile. And I was seriously fucking head over heels for him. Like, retardedly so. Plus, he kinda liked me. At first my best friend told me that he HAD to like me because I was in his swimming class. Protocol or something. I knew better, though, because he laughed at my jokes extra hard, winked at me when the other kids weren't looking, and hung around after lessons to chat with me.
Of course, there was that pesky age difference which made it impossible for anything to really happen. So for the next 5 years, I spent my spare time volunteering and teaching lessons at the pool with him. I managed to procure a phone number and even an address (he gave it to me so I could send him a postcard from Japan one time). We flirted and made eyes at eachother, but it never progressed beyond that. By then, he had a girlfriend (someone he had met from the university rowing club), and it all seemed pretty hopeless. I ended up taking a year off after high school, and though we still saw one another around now and then, I figured that was that. By my 1st semester of university that fall, I'd pretty much forgotten about him entirely, and was in the process of trying to date a guy who I'd met over the summer. Then one day as I was on my way to my morning archaeology lecture (shut up... it totally seemed like a good idea at first), I heard someone calling my name. I looked around, and there he was standing by the doors of the science building, so I walked over to say hi. He asked how I was, how my classes were going (he mentioned that he was in the final year of his bachelor's degree), and lastly asked if I would like to go for coffee with him some time. This is the important part of the story (obviously) because, as I would much later realize, this was the very moment that I'd wanted all along. All of that innocent flirting had turned out to be legitimate, and he'd been waiting for me to turn 18 the whole time. He then scrawled his number onto a piece of paper ("Just in case you don't still have it"), and told me to call him.
But I didn't. I never did. I don't know why. Probably because I was young and stupid, and pursuing someone else (by the way, that turned out to be a complete and utter waste of time... but that's another blog post entirely). And the truth of the matter is that it's probably the single thing in life I fully regret; you know, if I could have one 'do over', what would it be? That kind of thing. I never got to have a first date with the guy who I spent all of my high school years adoring; the one guy who bothered to wait 5 years so I could actually go out with him. Shit, that's downright romantic, isn't it? But my fucking 18-year-old brain couldn't process it at the time. Man, do I ever wish that I'd been tuned in back then. I could've been all like, 'Holy shit, this is what every girl dreams about', and then who knows? It might have been one for the ages, but instead just turned into the classic 'one that got away' story.
And I've been sitting on this story until now. So, consider yourselves lucky to have heard it. Hopefully my 34-year-old self will never let anything like it happen again, or else I'm likely to become the crazy dog lady.
That would suck.