Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Couldn't Hold Out for HTG Forever

Posted by Lara at 10:24 PM

So... there's a boy. And I kinda like him. It's all very 16-year-old-girl-ish really, what with the giggling and whispering with friends and general feelings of giddiness.

Of course, there might be more giddiness if he liked me back, but that's a minor detail, don't you think?

I don't explicitly know that he doesn't like me; there's currently very little evidence to examine, so it's tough to make a judgment either way. Let's look at what evidence there is, though, shall we?

Exhibit A: The Email, and Subsequent Conversation Fail

(Okay, I'm going to try to explain this as best I can, but there is personal information involved that isn't mine to share, so bear with me if some of this seems really vague.) Basically, the boy - whom we will call Dr.B. - shared a chunk of his life story at our morning devotional time. (Christian school, remember?) I wasn't there that morning, unfortunately, so I missed it - had I known he would be sharing, I would have made sure I was there. As it was, I heard about it afterward, and heard that his story was AMAZING. One of my friends suggested that one way I could open up a line of communication with the boy - a boy whose path never crosses my own during the normal course of a workday, because we are just on total opposite corners of the school - would be to email him something to the effect of: "Hey, I heard you did a great job sharing your story and that people found it really inspiring. Would you be willing to share it with me since I wasn't there?"

All things considered, it seemed as good an excuse as any other, and being at that moment completely devoid of any other excuse, it seemed actually the best excuse I had. So I wrote to him, and within a couple hours, he emailed me back with a copy of the notes he had written out to use while speaking. There wasn't much in the content of the email, mostly just a "Here you go, let me know if you need anything else" kind of thing. But he did attach the notes, so I got to read his story. Here's a pretty accurate description of my reactions as I read:

Begin reading...

Interest...

Curiosity...

Confusion...

Shock...

More shock...

Tears...

More tears...

Tears and shock and awe mixed together...

Complete respect and admiration for this man...

More tears...

Blubbering tears...

Speechlessness. (And tears.)

For those of you who prefer visual aides, let's take a look:


So yeah, without telling you the exact story - because it's not mine to share - that should still tell you a lot about the kind of story it was. Let's just say that I had no idea how to respond at first, so I decided not to email him back until I was sure of what to write. I had to do some major processing, so my response didn't happen until two days later, Friday morning. I wrote just about how amazing I thought his story was, and how inspired I was, and how impressed I was with how he was living his life (from what I could see at school, of course), and made some personal connections as well. It was an intense email - though highly complimentary of him - so I didn't expect anything back right away. And I was right not to, since, as expected, the rest of Friday came and went without a peep from him.

And then Saturday.

And Sunday.

And Monday.

And Tuesday, and by Tuesday night I was getting a little concerned. Some of you may have seen my status updates asking if this was a sign of his lack-of-interest, and I was seriously fretting over the issue. Did I offend him? Does he really dislike me and completely want to avoid any contact? Did I freak him out? DOES HE EVEN KNOW WHO I AM?!

The last one really scared me, and I began to wonder if I shouldn't try to wander past his office while conveniently wearing a large sandwich-board saying, "MY NAME IS LARA DAVID, JUST IN CASE ANYONE WASN'T SURE." Subtlety has always been a strong suit of mine.

But my good friend (Binky Boo!), who knows Dr.B. much better than I do, assured me that no, this is just how he is - he's often in his own world, and especially since he doesn't know me very well, he's probably not sure how to respond. I accepted her reasoning, mostly because it was better than my own ideas, which all added up to bad news for me.

Wednesday morning I happened to run into him in the office while checking my mailbox. Here is, pretty much verbatim, our entire conversation:

Me, upon noticing him waiting to talk to me: Hey, what's up?

Him: I just wanted to thank you for your email.

Me: Oh, you're welcome.

Him: I, uh... I... Well, I... Uh... I mean... Yeah, I...

Me: Don't worry - I mean, it didn't require a response or anything.

Him: Well, yeah... I... Uh... I mean, well... I, uh...

Me: Yeah, so that? That was pretty much how I felt right after reading your story. Anyway... Um, see ya later...

Master wordsmiths, aren't we? And again, it had me wondering if I had done something wrong. Maybe my email came off too fangirl-ish and stalker-y and weirdcreepydesperate-like. Clearly the man was terrified to even speak to me - he probably expected an icepick at any moment.

Or maybe, just maybe, he was nervous to talk to me because he might possibly in the right kind of dim lighting find me not tragically ugly and maybe consider me in some kind of romantic scenario at some point in the future? Dare to dream.

More evidence coming soon. In the meantime, let's discuss Exhibit A, hm?

5 comments:

Jill B on 5:13 AM said...

I like the sandwich board idea.

I'm a terrible judge of normal boy/girl relations, and I would CERTAINLY be right there with you on the constant second/third/fourth-guessing and wondering and hoping and fearing and despair and...

Looking forward to further evidence & withholding speculation and suggestion. For now. :)

Clair on 8:15 AM said...

Yay!

fjd said...

Hey, I'm Dr.B.! I love stories about me! Oh, wait - not *that* Dr.B.

The conversation seems really promising, though very nuanced. It would be hard to overstate the importance of the word "well" in the phrase: "Uh... I mean, well" [conversation 1, line 6], particularly in the context of Him's previous observation: "I, uh... I... Well" [conversation 1, line 4].

BetteJo on 8:01 PM said...

Oh hell. I'll wait for the updates. The 2 of you were so articulate with each other the level of conversation must be over my head! :)

I will admit to a huge curiosity tho, over what could possibly made you cry your makeup off. Hmmmm.

Bad Pants on 6:51 AM said...

Boy Perspective:

For a boy who's potentially reduced to "I...uh...and...I" during conversation, initiating a conversation where there's even a remote chance of saying "I...uh...and..I" during that conversation is terrifying.

Therefore, wanting to talk to you overcame his natural defense mechanism to avoid the possibility of saying "I...uh...and...I" and not looking cool/suave/awesome.

You should take that as a good sign. Honestly, you should take that as the best sign.

Two things to keep in mind:

1) he tried to talk to you, and now does not feel awesome because he didn't sound awesome when you talked.

2) not sounding awesome will discourage him from stepping up to the plate again. Risk Aversion and saying "I...um...and...I" go hand-in-hand.

SO, if you want to move forward I would recommend finding a chance to talk with him. Help him feel awesome, find a way in the conversation to say his story was awesome (please use the contextual equivalent for awesome, be that "moving" or "inspiring" or whatever seems appropriate).

Then suggest a common activity with low stress, like talking over lunch or getting some coffee.

It will show that his moment of perceived non-awesome wasn't actually non-awesome. Which will prompt him to step up to the plate again.

And I'm 99% sure he wants another chance at that plate.

 

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