Jan 262015

In the spring of 1989, at UAH in my Introduction to Philosophy class, there was a girl named Carol whose eyes were the greenest, most lustrous things I’ve ever seen. They were pools of molten emerald.

She sat several rows over and slightly further forward, so we’d have opportunities for eye contact as Dr. Cling would lecture. I let her catch me looking at her a few times over the course of a couple of weeks. I finally got up the nerve to keep looking back when she looked at me, and got a little reaction out of her.

I can remember Carol’s little smile and slight eyebrow raise even today and feel funny inside.

The 43-year-old me understands that a word after class is next. “Hey, want to get some coffee?” Even the 20-year-old me knew and was good with that.

The 18-year-old me quivered with pleasure at the positive reinforcement, and then promptly did nothing with it.


Obviously it all worked out. This is not a lament. I remembered it though because of this morning’s 95.1 banter, as well as a recent Kelly Kazek piece. It seems that today, in these missed-opportunity situations, you’re supposed to write a Craigslist ad describing the interaction and hope she a) reads it; b) recognizes herself in the description; c) finds it more intriguing than creepy; and d) actually follows it up with contact.

That seems like an awfully steep mountain to climb.

Guys, you have to talk to her. If you don’t, someone else will in a similar circumstance. Step with confidence, make eye contact again, smile, and go.

Work on your sense of humor. Making her laugh will get you 20 to 30 seconds of attention from nearly any woman (and almost certainly any woman you’d want to hang with). Self-deprecation, in moderation, is a promising vein of ore here.

Just please don’t walk away and then write a goofy lament to the universe.

Anyone know of one of these ads ever working (in real life, not a movie or book)? If so, let me hear from you.

 Posted by at 10:00 am
Jan 132015

I see people I’ve known for decades throw all the levers to full reverse in an effort to send their lives in some radically different direction—with their families, with their careers, with anything they can change (or think they can change). (I’d actually dearly love to know what one is thinking, but she and I haven’t been in regular touch in several years, and it looks really silly from the outside, and I doubt she’d receive a WTF? call from me favorably.)

I know I’m blessed. Lea and I have been together for 20 years, and in May will have been married for 18. I love our church dearly. I’m making a living in the same close family of fields I decided I wanted to go into in 1991. My sole large regret is that I smoked cigarettes, and my only (mildly) wistful tug is that I wish I’d gone away to college.

I spend essentially no time agitating about what might have been.

How much of that is that really good things have happened to me?

How much of it is that I’ve consciously chosen not to manufacture discontent?

 Posted by at 8:39 pm

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