Monday, February 14, 2005

...A Very Special Valentine's Day Edition

The closest I’ve ever come to living like a rock star came during my junior year of college; the year I spent living in a fraternity house. Our house was in the unique position of being technically off campus, so we were not under the university’s jurisdiction, but physically located right across the street from the campus library and a very short walk away from the freshman dorms, making our house the most desirable location in town when it came to revelry and hijinks. It was not uncommon, even on nights where no official parties were being thrown, to have large crowds gather at our doorstep in hopes of finding some sort of hedonistic activities in progress.

My bedroom was adjacent to the main living room, the epicenter of most of the wild activity that occurred in the house. While an occasional inconvenience, particularly on nights when I had a major test to study for (making the house’s proximity to the library nothing short of a godsend) or when I just felt like hitting the hay a little early, it came with incredible benefits as well.

Interesting how the weirdest things can change a person’s fortune. After having had a steady girlfriend for most of my freshman year and an at least respectable dating life the first semester of the following school year, the second semester of my sophomore year I became absolutely convinced I had been involuntarily sprayed with female repellent. I couldn’t get a date to save my life. I began seriously considering consulting with a dentist to see if I had a particularly bad case of chronic halitosis that nobody had the heart to tell me about and also thought about getting some sort of a part-time job to pay for the nose job I was convinced would make me more attractive to the opposite sex. My female woes were only made worse by the fact my roommate at the time had just started dating a new girl that semester who he fucked often and loudly. Nothing like the sound of balls slapping ass to remind you that you’re not getting any.

But move me into the most high profile room in a popular fraternity house and you’d think I was freaking Wilt Chamberlain or something. It was a very good year. I’m humble enough to acknowledge that my luck with the ladies that year possibly had as much to do with the fact that the ladies in question thought sleeping with me would gain them access to our parties without having to pay the standard $5 cover charge as it did with their uncontrollable animalistic desire to jump my hot bod. All I know is that I’ve never quite experienced anything like this before or after. I mean, I’ve had other periods in my life where I’ve had a pretty active dating life, but it always took a decent amount of work on my part. This one year of my life all I had to do was make sure never to venture all that far away from the living room.

I think I’ve generally always had a pretty good sense of being able to appreciate the here and now. As I watched many of my buddies couple up into exclusive relationships, I knew instinctively that I would have plenty of time in my life to do the serious, one-on-one relationship thing, but the timeframe in which you can be as promiscuous as you want without being thought of as a total pig because of it is pretty short. Far from feeling envious of my coupled friends, I failed to understand why at the prime of your life you’d waste so much energy and take so seriously relationships that weren’t likely to last more than a few months. I ended up not taking my own advice later on that same year but that’s another blog for another day.

Suffice it to say I was quite happy with my single status and having the time of my life. But when Valentine’s Day rolled around that year, as I sat around the fraternity house, alone, watching as so many of my fraternity brothers, whose committed relationships I looked down upon every other day of the year, receive well thought out gifts and smooches from their respective sweeties, an immense sadness began to come over me. I did get a box of cookies that year from a female friend who sometimes doubled as a friend with benefits, but I got the impression she was something of a Valentine’s Day junkie who got gifts for just about everyone she knew (even though she brought the cookies to me, the card was made out to the fraternity as a whole which was probably appropriate in more ways than one), so it did nothing to absolve my depression of feeling as if nobody thought of me as someone special.

Before calling it a night I thought to check my mailbox. As I went to college in a very small town, the chances of anyone being so formal as to mail a card or gift as opposed to simply hand delivering was pretty slim, but out of desperation I thought I’d give it a shot. In my box, I found a nice surprise. Granted, I was 20 years old, but I was nevertheless touched that a certain someone still thought me special enough to write a nice card to and even go so far as to send my favorite Valentine’s Day treat – a gigantic 7 oz. Hershey’s Kiss.

What special lady had such a high opinion of yours truly? Who else: Mama.

To good Jewish mothers everywhere (and good goyish ones too) and especially one in the East Bay who probably stopped reading this at the “balls slapping ass” comment, Happy Valentine’s Day.
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