Aug 182017
 

I stalked a woman once.

Well, not really. That sounds like I followed her around and took photos or something, and I didn’t. I spooked her, though (regrettably).

She was a regular customer in the service department at Madison Books & Computers, bringing machines in for her employer. She was an attractive blonde, maybe a couple of years older than I was (so, 24 to my 22). I was nursing a shattered heart from a broken engagement, which made me behave erratically because the various parts of my emotional self were firing unpredictably, with different intensities and efficacies.

So, as part of figuring out how to date again, I decided it would be a good idea to write this woman (I’d give you her first name, but I don’t remember it) a few anonymous letters over the course of a couple of weeks, leading up to telling her who I was and inviting her to lunch in the last one. Great plan. How could she resist my verbal charms?

Now I don’t remember what I wrote, which is probably my memory protecting me from cringing so severely that my face might really freeze like that. I imagine that even in the gay old early 1990s, there wasn’t really any way to do what I did without the creepy factor being the overriding one.

What I definitely do remember is that I named the time and place for lunch, and made it clear that if she didn’t show, that would be the end of it. So if she wasn’t interested, she could simply do nothing. Instead, I got a phone call from someone who said he was her boyfriend, politely asking me to stop contacting her. I assured him I would, and that was the end of my stalking career.

That was a really odd time, between Tammy and Lea. I did manage to see some high-quality women for a while. I clumsily alienated some others. It was like I couldn’t quite remember the melody of a song, but then I’d get a piece of it, be much too relieved, and sing much too confidently, generating new nonsense for me to navigate. However good or bad the movie was, “getting your groove back” isn’t a bad way to put it at all.

And of course, none of this is a lament. I’m much happier today than I ever imagined was possible.

But I’m sorry I spooked you on the journey, blonde woman.

 Posted by at 10:02 am
Jul 282017
 

Coca-Cola announced this week that it would remove Coke Zero from the U.S. market, replacing it with a newly-formulated product called Coke Zero Sugar.

I’ll select Coke Zero head-to-head over Diet Coke at a fountain, and it’s more mixable than most diet colas. But I have no real religion about it.

However, I certainly have experience in making a soft drink a big part of my life. I was very upset when PepsiCo changed the formula of Diet Mountain Dew in 2006. I set up a web site called NewDietDewIsYucky.com, and campaigned for months for the return of the original formula.

(I didn’t call it such at the time, but it’s really the first blogging I did. You can see a complete archive of the site here.)

I adjusted, of course. I drink the new Diet Mountain Dew. But I also drink a lot of other things. I’ve never again been loyal to a consumer product to the degree I was to 2006-and-earlier Diet Mountain Dew.

Judging from the social media churn, a lot of people have a similar adjustment to make when their one-and-only is removed from the market. I’m sorry, folks. All I can say is I’ve been there (and how).

As for Coke Zero Sugar, I will try it with an open palate. Coke Zero got most of the way to a real Coca-Cola taste, but there was an odd little synthetic glitch in the bottom of the gustatory experience. It’d be great if they actually get there with the new product.

 Posted by at 11:33 am
Jul 242017
 

Both of my boys are going to band camp today. In just a few weeks, they’ll both be marching at halftime. Aaron is a rookie this year. The calendar tells me I was a band rookie 33 years ago this month. I was two months older than Aaron is now when I first went to […]

 Posted by at 10:23 am
Jul 142017
 

Perhaps the single greatest naïveté of my life (well, so far) is/was what I once believed about Generation X and divorce. It went something like this: My generation is the first one whose parents divorced essentially without social stigma. So, they did it in greater numbers. So, my generation got a close-up look at divorce […]

 Posted by at 10:44 am

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