Thursday, February 08, 2007

...The Object of Her Affection

It’s interesting how our own personal experiences tend to shape our perspective of events. Everyone is buzzing these days about the wild story of the astronaut who traveled 900 miles in a diaper to confront a romantic rival.

And all I could think when I heard the story was, “Why hasn’t anything like this ever happened because of *ME*?”

Seriously, I can think of all of one time in my life where two women actively competed for my affection. I was 14 years old on an overnight Jewish youth group retreat. Late Saturday night I was sitting on a couch with Debbie, a not all that bright (she was in the slow learners classes) but very cute blond, when I found myself flanked on the other side by Gabby, who wasn’t as traditionally attractive as Debbie but far more intelligent (she had skipped a grade), who made it clear she was there to fight for me. After a couple hours of this delicate balancing act, Gabby finally whispered to me, “I’m going to get up now. One of us has to go…one of us has to”, effectively removing herself from the competition. Probably a good thing too because Debbie let me kiss her with tongue and go under her shirt later that night, which seemed far less likely to happen with Gabby.

That was nearly 20 years ago. To date, nothing like this has ever happened to me again. Sure, I’ve dated a number women over the years, even had long-term relationships with a few. But nobody has ever deemed me a prestigious enough catch to really be worth going crazy over.

Nobody I’ve broken up with has ever seemed to find the event to be all that traumatic. None of my exes have ever come to the realization after we were finished that I was a prize worth treasuring and actively fought to get me back. No one has ever had such an obsessive crush on me as to do anything to cause embarrassment to herself. Heck, even Gabby, from the story above, seemed to more or less be over it by the next morning.

When I heard the story of the love-crazed astronaut, I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous of the guy who was the impetus for her behavior. Sure, we can laugh at some details of the story – her traveling the whole way in Depends undergarments, her ridiculous “I just wanted to talk with her” alibi, etc. But it must be a huge ego boost to know that an otherwise intelligent, decorated, professional woman was perfectly willing to degrade and humiliate herself and throw away a brilliant career all for the chance just to be with you.

But aside for one isolated event from before I even needed to shave, I wouldn’t know. As Rod Stewart once said, Some Guys Have All the Luck
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