Sunday, August 31, 2008

The registers are broken, like hardcore.

I don't mean to brag, but I've dated a few girls. There is much debate about who, exactly, the first one was. According to some accounts, I'm still dating a girl I knew in the fourth grade. We sat next to each other in class, and eventually fell madly in love. Her dad was a movie critic, so we mostly talked about movies that he saw that we had heard of, which wasn't many. He watched movies that adults cared about and we were nine. Eventually, we forgot we had been an exclusive item, somewhere between the end of the fourth grade and the start of the fifth. As such, it can be argued that we're still dating to this day, which my wife is okay with.

The first girl I really dated had a name that rhymed with a character on The Simpsons, and wasn't exactly thrilled about that. I can't say as I blame her. Ours was a relationship doomed from the start. I was interested in a girl named Stephanie who was not in any way interested in me. This is likely because I didn't have access to drugs, one of my great downfalls. She decided to spend the bulk of her time with a young gentleman who did have access to drugs, and I didn't have a chance. As it turns out, The Pusher Man had some female callers of his own, one of which decided it'd be a good idea to date me instead. It made sense at the time. We were both downtrodden and rejected. We acted as silver medals for each other. You act like you're happy about it, proud of your accomplishment. We started dating on April 15 and managed to even go on a date. No small feat considering neither of us were capable of driving and we lived in a small town with no real public transportation. Her parents gave us a ride to the mall, where we were to go to the movies. Her parents believed that kids shouldn't be watching R-rated movies, which seemed unreasonable at the time because the only good movie out at the time was High Fidelity, a film in which Jack Black says "fuck." We ended up seeing The Skulls, a movie about the secret fraternal society at Yale University. It starred Joshua Jackson and was even less interesting than it sounds. It was the opening weekend and the theatre was relatively full and we were lucky to get two seats next to each other. I sat on the left, with the aisle to her right. This is important because when she got nauseous 20 minutes in and threw up in my lap, I was angry she lacked the werewithal to vomit into the god damned aisle. We left the theatre and went to the closest place we could find me some new pants, the sporting goods store I would work at a short five years later. We went back to the theatre and saw the last 20 minutes of the movie. I'm not sure how it ended, but I know I was wearing sweatpants when it did. After the movie, we reunited with her folks who reported that High Fidelity was great, and it was the type of movie that "you'd really be into, Josh. When you're 18." They were right.

We broke up 22 days after we started dating. I got a note from her telling me, in no uncertain terms, that her parents didn't approve of me being a part of her life because I was affecting her grades. It's a good thing she stopped dating me because upon graduation her GPA was so high they accepted her at the community college. When news got back to her that she had dumped me on my birthday, she expressed sadness and told me that she'd have done it the day before if she had known. It was then that I started telling everyone I knew for more than a week that I was born May 4, 1985.

In the 3 years after that incident, I had a lot of other relationships, all ending poorly, some not my fault. It was April 2003 and I was about to graduate from high school. Not the charter school I enrolled in, though. My grades weren't exactly great there. I would have graduated 38th in my class had I stuck around, which would have been pretty good had I not only 37 other students to compete with. I transferred to the public school and had settled into the middle of the pack. I graduated 228th out of 456, the apex of mediocrity. A lot of people from the charter school transferred to the public school for exactly the same reason I did, much lower standards. The Silver Medal transferred too, and graduated the year before I did.

I decided that I didn't ever want to go to prom. Prom season rolled around and my decision was made a lot easier by my inability to get a date. Not that I wanted one. I just, you know, if someone wanted to go with me, I'd have gone. As a favor to them, of course. I didn't want to go. Not at all.

About a month before prom, I got an invitation from the Silver Medal. She wanted to go to "see her old friends." I was suspicious because she, as I mentioned, went to the community college. This, combined with the fact that she hadn't moved out of her parents' house, allowed her to see her old friends whenever she wanted. When she offered to pay for everything, I was in.

Prom night came and after my mom took a bunch of pictures of us that she never got developed, we met up with her friends. It's important to mention that almost immediately after dumping me, the Silver Medal got super hot. Her skin cleared up, her hair got shiny and like the Grinch, her breasts grew three sizes that day. Also she had the strength of ten Grinches, plus two. After stopping by her place of employment to show off how hot she was to all her coworkers, as well as her boyfriend who threatened to kill me if I had sex with her, we got in the limo and made our way to whatever local hotel was hosting the prom that year. We went inside and ran the gauntlet of shrieking girls and awkward guys. I couldn't believe it when I saw my sworn, bald, catfish-looking enemy was wearing the same suit I was. The nerve of some people. After getting our official prom photo taken, it was turned into a keychain that we received at the end of the night. This was the last time I saw her that evening. She broke away from our group and made a bee-line for the guy she actually wanted to go to prom with. He was a junior with a lazy eye who looked like Shaggy from Scooby Doo but more of a stoner. Since he wasn't a senior, he had to convince a senior girl to take him to prom. Believe it or not she wasn't thrilled that she had been stood up at what was allegedly the most important event of her life. I felt duty-bound to console her that night while she cried her mascara onto her purple dress. We sat outside and smoked cigarettes for an hour wondering where everything went horribly wrong. I suggested it was the moment either of us decided to go to prom. That didn't make the situation any better, if you can wrap your head around that. After the tears, we decided to be each others' de facto dates to prom. She was, I guess, my Bronze Medal. We spend the next five hours listening to terrible music with people neither of us ever wanted to see again, which is pretty much par for the course as proms go.

The Silver Medal is now married with at least one child. She seems to have a really happy marriage, which is good. I'm glad for her that things worked out. Like hardcore.