Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Manton vs. Woman - Part Uno

Every now and again someone will bring to me a story about how a guy asked a girl out with a love note or concocted a screen name especially for the event of talking to a certain girl. I hear those stories and I laugh. I do not laugh at the person (well, not all the time) but mostly because they haven't got shit on me when it comes to bad news and women. At this point, I would like to say that the term 'women' is used loosely, but if I used "young women/ladies" I'd be called a craddle robber, pedo, etc. and there is enough evidence of that already.

For this entry and others, I would like to share with you, the reader, how poorly I have related with females. No one can tell for sure what it is that made women dislike me. It could be my stutter, my stupid hair cuts I had from the age of 3 onward, my awkwardly tall body, my more awkward plump body, my inability to decipher codes (she sneezed - totally wants my shit). Maybe the fact that I think I'm dumb, not very fun to be around, and am rather bleh when it comes to the attractive scale. That or my massive overconfidence.

I will now zip backwards to a time of innocence, of MC Hammer and his parachute pants, of New Kids On The Block and Hey Dude! Elementary school will be the first stage; the formitive years.

The first experience I had with liking a girl came with Ali Gletow. This was pretty much well-worn territory with every boy in my first grade class, because, well, everyone sort of liked her. The big coup was to have her grade your spelling tests. So, every time the test was finished, we'd pull out our red correcting crayons (why is red always the color of failure?) and anxiously await to switch partners. Some of the boys would switch amongst themselves, and if we knew what being gay was when we were 6, the rest of us would certainly call those guys homosexuals.

After the big rush every week, it got to be a hassle. Knowing that I was slower than the rest, and seated as far away as possible, I gave in to my homosexual urges of just switching with Scott who sat to the left of me. It turned out well since no one would date her until she was in 6th or 7th grade, but I think he was 18 or so at the time, so we never really had a shot. I look back and think of all the energy they wasted, and hope it takes a year off of their life while I reap the benefits.

Kids have a wonderful way of naturally pairing people together. This was never more evident than in 4th grade, when it was time for the first Canteen Night. No one knew what a Canteen was, nor how it related to a dance in our elementary school's multi-purpose room, but no one really cared. What we all DID know, however, was that we needed dates, as dictated to us by Saved By The Bell. Instead of basing these dates on trivial things like feelings and attraction, we did it by the easiest way possible: physical similarities!

People were paired off based on hair color, height, width, and all of the other important things. Geoff and Erin were paired together because they were shorter than the rest of us, thereby making a suitable couple. I was chosen to be with Kristen, a longtime friend, and fellow eyeglass wearer. No one knows who really laid down the rules about who got who, but we all followed them. If we knew how to dance, and thought that slow dancing wasn't incredibly weird and awkward, we would have looked like we were straight out of a musical. Instead, all the boys stood on one side of the gym staring at all of the girls on the other.

None of the relationships lasted a month after Canteen Night, even with such strong similarities.

Part 2 will delve into 6th grade, when things start to get hot. And by hot I mean emotionally crippling.

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