MMP - Springtime is for Lovers

What you are about to read was, for some time, the defining experience of my young adulthood. It was only with the events at the end of the story that I was able to – heh – unhinge myself from this revolving door of romance, so that my very existence no longer depended on it. Let’s begin.

Since childhood, I had self ostracized, and my peers were only too happy to help. The result was that by the time I entered high school I had constructed walls around myself. These were no ordinary walls, no sir. These were FDA Approved, USDA Grade A Certified Impenetrable Walls, MD, PhD, EdD, DDS, FTP, QED, etc. Nothing got in or out of these walls, no matter what. I had secured myself in my own little world, where everyone knew my name. What’s more, around the outside perimeter of these walls I had installed state-of-the-art “get away from me” vibe emitters. No one even dared come near.

Until I got to college, that is, and a girl named Emily drove right past the emitters with a wrecking ball and smashed it all to pieces. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. It was the summer of 2003, right before I started at RPI. Summer orientation number four, two days in which roughly 240 incoming freshmen converged on the campus to learn their way around, sign up for classes, meet with professors, meet each other, and so on. At one point they herded us all into one of the larger auditoriums on campus. They had broken us up into groups of about a dozen, based on where we were staying for the two nights, so we entered this auditorium one group at a time. Naturally, the groups were segregated by gender, all boys or all girls.

So my group entered as one of the first and filed into the second row of this particular auditorium. You all know me – I was at the front of the line, and so I would have had the seat on the end. Ordinarily, this would be no problem, except that the seat in question wasn’t one of the shiny yellow ones that comprised the rest of the assembly space, The real chair had broken or something, and been replaced with a small ugly red one. I refused to sit in it, and so I moved up to the last seat in the next row. As it happened, a group of girls began filing into that row, and the girl at the head of that line ended up sitting next to me.

There she was, and boy was she ever there. Never let it be said that redheads or blondes are somehow inherently more attractive than brunettes. If you were to look up the word “cute” in the dictionary … well, I think you see where I’m going here. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was utterly captivated. What’s more was, they then began splitting us off by major to go talk with our advisors. Guess who else was a physics major? Yup. I had managed to sit next to the only [del]female[/del] phemale physics major at that orientation. If I wanted, I could go right now and find the seats we sat in.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Awww.” Well, hang on to your hats, because here’s where it gets interesting. I went home again, and nothing happened for about two months. Except I think something did happen. At the time I had a retail job working a cash register in a clothing store, and some of you may know that gets rather boring. So I had plenty of time to think. ‘Nuff said.

Anyway, the end of August rolled around, and back to RPI I went. I found her again at the end of that round of orientation. Classes started. My life quietly became Classes and Her. We hung out a couple of times.

One Saturday night, about two weeks into the semester, as I was lying in bed, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I suddenly felt as if I was hanging over an abyss. A bottomless abyss, an abyss of pure oblivion. It was the abyss … of emotional independence. Scary, right? Well, fortunately, I was saved. My salvation came in the form of none other than the face of Emily, staring – no, smiling down at me, and all was right in the world again.

Except, I sorta had a confession to make. I had gone from not knowing to knowing exactly how I felt about her, and, raised like the mensch I was, I couldn’t just not tell her I was attracted to her. So the next day, we talked. I told her. And, raised like the mensch I was, I impressed upon her that she didn’t need to give me an answer. No pressure.

But there was pressure on me. Slowly it weighed more and more heavily on my heart. As the days passed, the weeks passed, I became consumed by it, saturated by it. I was no longer me; I became a walking mass of affection and adoration disguised as me, taking my classes, doing my work. (It did an okay job). Slowly I went insane.

Two weeks passed in this manner. Finally I knew what I had to do. I cornered her after lunch one day, and my world came crashing down. I cried. For hours, I cried. I know I mentioned this before, but RPI’s male/female ratio is so bad that the first girl I fell in love with was taken two weeks into the semester. I suspect it wouldn’t have made a difference, actually. The spark just wasn’t there. And for most people, that would have been the end of it. Cry for a while and then move on. But you all know by now I am not most people.

I kept it going. Yeah, that’s right. I held on to my feelings for her. Why? I don’t know. The romantic in me wants to say it’s all I had. I think that’s correct, to a point. I hung on for dear life and didn’t let go. I convinced myself that I was happy this way, loving someone who did not love me back. Someone whom I was lucky to run into every so often. And yet, someone whose smile literally made my day. How could I do otherwise? I saw no alternative. She made me feel how she made me feel and that was that.

Well.

Two months later. I had hiked up the hill a ways to a local church. Her concert choir was performing, so I figured I’d go. Of course, her boyfriend was there. Duh. Of course, they sat next to each other while the other groups performed. Duh. Of course, they were quite comfortable with one another. Duh. I walked home in tears that night, and that’s when I knew I had to change things. I had a conversation with a close friend of mine, and he convinced me to cut off all contact with her until I was okay again. So I did. One month later, we started talking again. She was remarkably accepting of what I had done and why I needed to do it.

It’s been two and a half years since then, and that is when our friendship began in earnest. It has developed to the point where, in a few weeks, she will be driving 5.5 to 6 hours from her home in Maine to my home in New Jersey, from which location we will be going into New York City to see Avenue Q.

Naturally, she’ll need to stay the night – at my house. If I could, I’d like to go back in time almost three years, and find myself while I was still infatuated with her. I’d say to myself, “Look. In three years you’re going to have her in your house, sleeping in your bed. Only you’re not going to be in it with her. And you’re not going to care.”

Now, I suppose you’re wondering what happened in that 2.5 year gap. That’s really another MMP in and of itself, but in brief: the day after I cut off contact with Emily, I started noticing that I had been talking to another girl, named Selina. Selina and I were together for 19 months, until the relationship hit a brick wall named Rebecca. Rebecca and I were together for maybe 3 months, until some very unusual issues about kissing poured down like acid rain and dissolved it away last October. I’ve been single since then.

[Paul Harvey] And now you know … the rest of the story![/Paul Harvey]

In keeping with this post about love, here’s today’s Alcoholic Beverage: Rum!

Almost missed this on the first pass through. Happy Monday, everyone!

I want to know about the acid rain kissing! It sounds painful. Or is a new way to express, “burning with desire”?
ducks and runs
carried a torch for Mike since 6th grade–all thru HS, college and even after, when we were both married to different people etc. He died a few years ago–ETOH abuse. My life with him would most likely have been hell, but I still think sometimes, Mike

Great MMP, Rifty. Sorry the ones with female bits don’t appreciate you at RPI. Maybe in Florida… :wink: And let us know how the visit goes–maybe she will now carry a torch for YOU!
I am sick as a dog today. I know you are all excited to read that. Going to the Rx as soon as it opens to get my drugs. Quiet day today for me. Roofer comes today.
I think I’ll surf for a new job today as well. Calling grad school tomorrow (hopefully I will have a voice) to FIND OUT.

Ummm Rifty. I hope this doesn’t alter your life or anything, but Springtime isn’t for lovers. Virginia is for lovers. I have that on good authority, because I saw it on TV and the Virginia Tourism Commision says so. And $14 billion worth of the lover’s money kind of says that Virgnia probably really is for lovers. I mean, who ever thinks of springtime as being all romanticky? Not me. That’s for sure.

ETOH ? :confused:

I’ve been up since 0430, and I don’t understand why everyone else doesn’t do the same.

I’m going nuts trying to get with the guy who did our mortgage preapproval, so I can find out if everything is valid in NC. I did manage to talk to the agent, and of the 3 who’ve seen the potential VunderLair, we’re the only ones who are interested so far.

As far as romances go, I had 2 that got away from me. The first was a girl named Valerie, from my 7th grade math class. Cute and sweet as pie, even today. It would have been one of the all-time great mismatches…

The second was my high school sweetheart. Long story that I won’t go into now.

Ah, young love. It warms you with the heat of a thousand suns, and then scorches you with the same amount of heat when it end. But the heart builds up a nice base tan that way.

We did go see Tom Silva Friday night. He t
alked for an hour, mostly about how to make your home more energy efficient. Only wish I would have seen him before I replaced the water heater a couple of months ago. And this had to be one of the saddest trade shows I’ve ever been to. Not a lot of companies there selling home improvement things. But we found a good seafood restaurant on the way home.

GF got a new job. She won’t be selling furniture anymore. Starting next Monday, she will be making dental retainers and such. But that puts her on the same work schedule as me - 8 to 5 Mon-Fri, weekends and holidays off, and on a salary, not commission. Now I’ll have to fight her for the shower in the morning and to see who gets to cut the grass.

Nice MMP, Spats. Now I’m all depressed about my love life. Thanks a bunch. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m annoyed. At what? you ask. And why is that unusual? you add under your breath. On Saturday, I got an invitation to my niece’s first birthday party, to be held in Maryland on May 20. This annoys me for many reasons. Firstly, the invitation requests I RSVP by May 5. I received it on May 6. That is very unlike my Type-A sister-in-law to mail things late. Secondly, I am in the midst of plans to go visit my family in Maryland this coming weekend–the 13th. And thirdly, The New Jersey Dopefest is scheduled for May 20, and I already volunteered to bring the plastic utensils. I’m very annoyed. Fourthly, my niece’s birthday is March 14. Grr.

I don’t know if it’s right to be annoyed about this, but I sure am enjoying it.

In other news, I did nothing important this weekend. I saw MI3, but that’s not important, really. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. Jonathan Rhys Meyers took his shirt off, though, and that was worth the price of admission. (Not that I bought the ticket–my roommate treated.) And stuff blew up. I like that.

VunderBob, you guys looking in Elizabeth City and Moyock too? I work with quite a few people who live down that way.

And as for getting up at 4:30, sometimes I am. I’ve only been on a regular sleep schedule for 3 years, and it still hasn’t wiped away twenty years of irregular sleep schedules.

Sweet story Riffers. I just read a pit thread about the horrors of dorm life, so I had been feeling all sad for you college kiddoes.

But springtime IS for lovers. Three years ago in the spring I was just as you felt for Emily, except multiply that about 5x, given the age factor. :wink: Anyway, today I’m the poster child for Happily Married.

Good MMP, and well written, Rifty. I feel like I know a little bit about you.

It was a quiet weekend at the Rebo abode. I needed the break!

Last week I found out that my request (last year) for helicopter survival training has been approved. I’m going on Wednesday. It’s mostly lecture, but the physical part is you sit in a mockup of a helicopter in water. They blindfold you, and turn the helicopter upside down and you escape to the surface (of the swimming pool. Then you have to put on the flotation device (some kind of coveralls?) while treading water.

I requested it last year, before I started HCV treatment. I hope I can handle it! I need some good vibes from y’all.

(Oh, the training is so that I can go offshore to a rig. I work in the oil production business as a designer.)

It’s medical jargon for alcohol. You know, -OH (Spats help me out here!)

Ya know, upon reading Rebo’s post, I have realized that I am the most boring person on the planet. Plants are more exciting and active than I am. Essentially, she WANTS to be drowned in a helicopter and then get dressed underwater. Odd ambition, to be sure–but novel and intriguing, nonetheless.

Me? I just want to remember to floss each noc.

spats, that’s a great narrative, really.

Your story brought me back to my freshman year in college. I wasn’t you before that, truth be told I was somewhat of an alley cat in high school. But the first week at SIU, I met a girl in my dining hall that totally, completely and without reservation, reached into my chest, removed my heart, toyed with it for a few weeks, then tossed it on the side of the road.

You at least have a happy ending. Not the one the 18 year-old you would have wanted, but happy nonetheless.

Today seems anticlimactic for a few reasons. Some major things I’d been working on for the last month or so all would down on Friday. Just a couple form letters to clear the details up and they’re history.

Of course, the way this place works, I’ll have something pop up to occupy me in no time.

And the weather!!! It’s what I like to refer to as a “lack of weather” today. Mid 70’s, sunny, light breeze.

Happy Monday!

Well shut my mouth! How totally cool. I watched part of a program where they were trying to fix the oil rigs that were bashed by Katrina. The complexity of the rig was amazing! <bows to the coolness of Rebo>

God, don’t get me started on spring and love and such. It’s like hormones are in friggin overdrive. Boobs come out of their winter burrows (read: hooded sweatshirts) and manifest themselves in sundresses and skimpy tank tops.
…um…what were we talking about again?

This one is in South Mills, which is halfway between ECity and the state line on 17. I’ll have a 30 mile commute to work, vs. the 20 mile one I have now from the east side of Hampton.

[Monte Burns]
Puuuurfect…
[/Monte Burns]

Thanks!

I don’t actually design the rig. I design equipment that gets put on top of the wellhead down at the “mudline” as they call it. (The bottom of the ocean.) That equipment is called a “tree” and it has lots and lots of valves to direct the flow of oil (and gas) to where they want to store it. Sometimes it goes to a big tanker, sometimes it goes on shore of it’s close.

It’s a cool job!

Ah, my freshman year love still haunts my dreams occasionally. Luckily, when awake, I recall he was a freakin idiot who was very sorry when I married the Klingon…but that’s another story.

I won a $2.00 bet on the derby. Unfortunately, I lost about $22 on the other bets I made. :frowning:

But now I’m off to the vet with Number Two Pug. Something is wrong with her. She’s not acting like herself. Please send good vibes.

More later.

Tupug

Boobs! :smiley: Hehe.

Thanks all who enjoyed my little story. Like I said, for a while it sorta defined me, and that hasn’t completely gone away. So now you have a little piece of The Rift-Man to take home and show the kids. :stuck_out_tongue:

Rebo, you are officially the Coolest Kid, until someone else does something really cool. Bully for you!

It’s true. Ethanol has an -OH group, as do all the alcohols. I suppose the ET indicates that ethanol is the one in question. So, MEOH would be methanol, and MEOW is the sound a cat makes. Right rigs? :smiley:

Drae, that’s quite a pickle you’ve got there. Sounds like your SIL really dropped the ball. A birthday party that’s five weeks late? I could see a week, maybe two if there’s some extenuating circumstance, but five? That’s just crazy. Are you going to go to the party or the Dopefest? Inquiring minds want to know!

:: good vibes to Pug’s pug #2 ::

I sent an e-mail to my mother to find out if I’m the awfulest of awful aunts if I don’t go. I would much rather go to the Dopefest. I probably will. I understand why SIL waited so long for the party–my brother had the chicken pox and looked like a leper for quite some time, it makes sense. But I’m still all annoyed and stuff. Hopefully, I’ll get down there this weekend and at least lessen my Awful Aunt status.

Oh yes, I have SO been there. :slight_smile:

Laying in bed last night after the wife fell asleep, I was thinking about how easy it is with her… so easy its difficult not to take it for granted sometimes.

Remembering the painful betrayals of loves past is definitely enough to make me appreciate what I have now.