I really should be cramming in some last minute studying for my Phonology midterm, but with one thing and another (and tomorrow’s pending trip to the Squirrel Museum), I’ve decided to blog instead (I also took a break to call KSP and finalize our plans for the Squirrel Museum, or, as I like to call it, Le Musée d’Ecureuil).
I would like to take this opportunity to recount a little history, a fable if you will.
Once upon a time, there was a young(ish) woman. She was once deeply in love, but alas, it didn’t work out, and she had decided to give up, as was her right. Many (many) months passed. She had two jobs, 16 credits, a high grade point average to maintain, and a deep love of naps, so her dance card was full (albeit full of nerdy things). One of her jobs was working at a college. One day, she met one of her new coworkers (for every semester brought new coworkers). He was tall and blond, and had broad shoulders and a cute butt, but she was still sad, and didn’t really pay that much attention to the fact that he was tall and blond, with broad shoulders and a cute butt. She did notice that he was easy to talk to, as he was very smart (spoke several languages and did calculus problems for fun), with a dry sense of humor. They would talk every day, and after a week or two of this, the young(ish) woman notice a certain charge in the air when they talked. She also noticed that she was less and less sad every day. One day, she finally noticed that he was tall and blond, with broad shoulders and a cute butt; she also noticed that her heart fluttered when she saw him. This was inconvenient, as she had two jobs, sixteen credits, a very high gradepoint average to maintain, a love of napping, and she was planning to move out of town the next year. Still, the young(ish) man was very smart, had a dry sense of humor, and, lest we forget, he was tall and blond, with broad shoulders and a cute butt. And she wasn’t looking for happily ever after (for which she had no time), but could squeeze in a little happily right now, if you know what I mean. And the young(ish) man seemed to like the young(ish) woman, who wasn’t so bad herself, even if she did say so.
Unfortunately, it was almost as if the young(ish) woman had had a curse put on her, for once she realized that she liked the young(ish) man, the easy conversations they had had about languages, history, science, travel and varied intellectual topics became awkward, as she started to laugh nervously and babble incoherently from time to time (alright, often). Plus, her hands would shake (even though she was not a chronic drinker). The more she noticed her awkwardness, the more awkward she’d become. It was a very sinister curse indeed.
For his part, the young(ish) man never asked the young(ish) woman for her number. Although he’d respond to her e-mails, he never initiated them. Yet he always made time to talk to her, and would come over and sit by her for a chat. Still, in her experience, if a young(ish) man liked a young(ish) woman, he’d try to get to know her better. And she didn’t always see that happening. She found this disconcerting.
Also at the college was a young (no ish here, just young) man. He was smart, too (he enjoyed doing calculus problems as well [at which point Puppy Mama shakes her fist angrily at the sky that nice-looking men who enjoy calculus are a dime a dozen at her pal Senior Senior’s workplace]). He was average height and dark, with nice hair and perfect teeth. It began to dawn on the young(ish) woman that the young man with the nice hair and the perfect teeth kind of liked her. (She wasn’t too smart about these things – smart about school, yes, but not about things like gauging the interest of men or how to flirt.) He’d break into a big smile when she came into a room. Also, she accidentally overheard him tell another coworker that he thought the young(ish) woman was both pretty and smart. Although the young(ish) woman thought the young man was a nice-looking guy, and an all around good egg, she wasn’t interested in him in that way. (Which was annoying to her, as she was fundamentally lazy, and being interested in a guy who seemed to like her that much would have been a lot easier than being interested in a guy who kept that information close to the vest.)
However, one day, after a particularly maddening round of “is he flirting with me or not,” the young(ish) woman was a little irritated with the young(ish) man for being either inscrutable, clueless or cruel (she wasn’t sure which he was). When she returned to work, the young(ish) man had gone home, which wasn’t entirely unexpected, but entirely annoying. The young man, on the other hand, broke into an enormous smile, showing his perfect teeth. That’s when the young(ish) woman decided, “I’m going to flirt with the young man.” But she had a change of heart after she saw how readily he responded to her flirting. It also bears mentioning that because she was not interested in the young man in that way, flirting was a breeze. She did have pangs of guilt because she put herself in the young man’s shoes (which was not hard, as she was already kind of in them). If the young(ish) man was aware that the young(ish) woman liked him very much, and was only coming to sit next to her and to talk to her intently just to make himself feel better, the young(ish) woman would be very disappointed. She may even feel used and insignificant. So she decided that maybe she’d give the flirting a rest, as she was not skillful enough at it to control it properly. But not before she had sort of promised to bake the young man cookies. She was pretty sure that was the guilt talking.
*Glame was a neologism coined by Puppy Mama when she was in the middle of using one un-PC elementary school insult and decided it might be less offensive to switch to another. I have found it useful ever since.