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Friday, April 25, 2008

History of My Love Life, Episode 2: Specialized A-hole, Part 1

Last time I told the story of how my lovely beau Ian and I got together. This time, I relate the three-part saga of Specialized A-hole. Yes, girls really do go for jerks. Read on:

Part 1

It was one of the heaviest winters in recent years, the winter of 2003. I was finishing up my Junior year as a full-time student at the University of Utah, while working part time as a file clerk at a medical malpractice law office. I went to school all day Tuesdays and Thursdays, and worked at the law office Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. So it must have been a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, because I was leaving my apartment for work one morning following a very snowy night.

There were four of us girls living in my apartment at the time, and we had only one covered parking space which we shared weekly. It wasn't my week, so my car was parked half a block away on a side street. That winter had so much snow that there was always a danger of snow plows blocking in your parked car when they cleared the road. This is what had happened the morning I met Specialized.

I tried digging, and removed much of the snow from around my car, but couldn't get it out of its parking spot. The wheels just kept spinning on the slushy ice beneath them. So I went in search of help. Wait, no, first I called my dad, because whenever something wrong happened with my car, I always called my dad so he could make it right. Even once when my car broke down in Chicago on a cross country road trip I called my dad. As if he could somehow help me from across the country. Anyway, he said to me, "Well, what you should do is find a couple big strong guys to help you get your car out." Click. Thanks, dad. So I went in search of help. The only guy I knew in my apartment complex was my roommates' home teacher, Michael ("home teacher" is Mormon-speak for friendly priesthood watchdog, making sure you're on the right track). So I knocked on Michael's apartment door, and Specialized opened the door.

"Hi, you don't know me, but I live over there," I said, pointing across the center courtyard. "My car is stuck in the snow on 11th, and I was looking for a big strong guy to help me push it out." I explained that Michael was my roommate's home teacher, and I thought he might be home. But he wasn't. Specialized kindly agreed to help me out instead.

I'll admit, I was immediately attracted to Specialized. He was tall, broad, and handsome, with a bit of a fashionably sensitive appearance. Although not in a gay way. More of an alternative/punk way, which was pretty cool in 2003.

While we walked down to 11th, we introduced ourselves, and I learned that Specialized came from Cedar City. This was a major connection point for me, because I have gone to Cedar City literally every summer of my life for the Utah Shakespearean Festival. I mean, even when I was in the womb, I was there, so I've had a lot of experience with Cedar City and Southern Utah in general, and I love it down there.

Down at my car, I climbed into the driver's seat and tried the gas while he tried pushing from behind, but still no dice. So I got out and we tried rocking my car together. It looked like we might be able to push it over the hump, but we could only get it just so high before the weight of the car was too much for us. So Specialized suggested that we go back and get his car and a rope and tow me out. Up in his apartment while he was digging out a rope, I noticed he had an old school NES and a huge game collection (which would later become mine, sweet sweet revenge!). I thought this was pretty awesome, because I love old school NES. So this was another connection point. Silly little things, these, but these and many other little things helped build upon my attraction so that by the time my car overcame that hump thanks to Specialized's towing, I was smitten. I thanked him for his help, and told him we'd have to play some NES some time. Then I went to work.

Over the next couple days I wracked my mind trying to figure out how I could see Specialized again. Doesn't seem like rocket science now, does it? But back then I was still rather nervous and unsure about how to express romantic interest in boys. (I used to "stalk" boys I had crushes on in my college classes. A little high school-esque? Maybe even a little junior high? Yes, yes, but I was a late bloomer, what can I say? More on this stalking in a future episode.)

So anyway, I finally told my roommate LaNae about my dilemma, and she helped me come up with a suitable stratagem: I would invite Specialized to dinner at my place as a way of thanking him for his help, and LaNae would invite her boyfriend over as well, so it wouldn't be awkward just being the two of us. Perfect! But now I had to invite him, and that made me a little scared. So I settled on leaving a note on his apartment door, because, as you know, I handle things much better in writing than in person.

The day of truth came, and Specialized actually showed up! I had made my specialty: Tahitian Stir Fry. It was delicious. After dinner, we opted to watch a movie. Specialized was impressed at my large collection of illegal Divx movies. He was also impressed by my collection of music DVDs. "I thought I was the only one who bought these," he said. By the end of the night, I concluded that the attraction was mutual, and indeed that night kicked off the first part of our relationship.

We had great physical chemistry, and many common interests. And Specialized was very sweet. Well, he knew how to behave sweetly, let's just say that, because after parts 2 and 3, I concluded that he doesn't actually have the ability to feel. I suppose I should have seen the warning signs that showed me that this relationship wasn't entirely healthy. Specialized was very flaky. He'd commit to things and not follow through, and he'd disappear for several days without a word only to reappear as if nothing happened. One day he disappeared for good. Just up and left without a word. I understand that it's not altogether unusual for boys to disappear like this. I suppose they figure it's easier just to leave than to face the person they're leaving. (Note to boys: man up and at least say something to the girl instead of just disappearing, alright? Save her a little hurt.)

At first I was worried about Specialized. He had recently moved into his sister's house to save money, and so I couldn't just knock on his door. And he wouldn't answer my calls or return my messages. What if something had happened to him? We had tickets to go to the Death Cab For Cutie concert, and the day of the show, I still hadn't heard from him. I ended up going with my roommate Katie instead. It was a great show, but it was harder to enjoy with a lump of worry in my throat. I also was in possession of his hiking backpack full of his NES and game collection at my apartment. I didn't think he'd just leave without retrieving them.

I eventually looked up his folks in Cedar City and called down there. I asked for him without identifying myself. I just wanted to gauge whether they were worried about him. They didn't seem to sound as if he had been involved in a terrible accident or anything, so I was relieved that he was at least probably not dead. A few days later I received an email from Specialized saying he heard I had called down to his parents, and he wanted me to know he was ok. He had gone down to Southern California to help a friend in crisis.

And that was the end of it. He didn't write, call, or attempt to see me again.

I was very hurt and angry at the whole situation. Eventually I decided that as revenge I would keep his game collection for myself, and give his NES to my roommate Paula, since I already had a system. I sold many of those games for a nice profit. Mike Tyson's Punchout and Contra are reasonably rare and desirable games, so I got quite a bit for those. I also still have the backpack. It's a great hiking pack that probably cost a lot of money. But it's mine now.

The stupid thing was, in those short months before he disappeared, I had fallen in love with the guy. But I didn't tell him that, not then. I didn't tell him I loved him until it was no longer true. That happened in part 3.

It took me several months to get over Specialized after part 1. I should have left well enough alone, but a year later, part 2 began.

Next time: Episode 2: Specialized A-hole, Part 2

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natabird said...

I love these posts. Very entertaining. And it's hilarious (but appropriate) that you call him Specialized. Looking forward to the telling of the next episode.

Sra said...

I'm glad you're enjoying it. I worried for a minute that I might be boring people to death, but then I decided that I don't care, this is a story I want to tell.

The Over-Thinker said...

What a fink.

And I'm glad I'm reading these "late" as I can now greedily pop over to the subsequent post. I am nothing if not impatient.

The Over-Thinker said...

What a fink.

And I'm glad I'm reading these "late" as I can now greedily pop over to the subsequent post. I am nothing if not impatient.

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