Monday, July 28, 2008

Sorry 'Bout That! - The Snub

Today's apologetic post moves back to junior high. And like one of those epics on television, it spans the course of three years (which is a long time to someone in junior high) from the B7 to the A9.

Back in those days grades were designated with a "B" and an "A" because some students advanced to the next numeric grade or graduated in June, but some did so in December. So at any one point in time you had the B and A of a grade, like B7 and A7, coexisting. After half a school year, the B7 would move up to A7 and the A7 would move up to B8. Got it?

I was a little nothing plebe nerd B7, the lowliest of the low. There was a girl in the A7 I had known from Mrs. Capps' class, whom I will simply refer to as "J" so as to protect the innocent.

I had a crush on J. I would pass her every morning because her homeroom was in the direction of my first class and her first class was in the direction of my homeroom. So our paths would cross. She would wave and say hi to me and I would give a feeble wave back because I was all nervous and shy and everything.

This continued through the semester and never went much farther than that although on a few occasions we actually had a short conversation. And she never suspected a thing, even though I had even dreamed that we had gotten married. And I had dedicated a song to her, the one in the YouTube video at the bottom of this post. Nope, she never suspected as far as I know.

After that, fast forward to when I was an "A8" and she was a "B9." That semester I saw J more often, and we talked more although I still never let on how I felt. My friends and I used to go to the tutorial room during lunch and goof off, which drove Caroline Tse, the poor girl who was supposed to oversee the operation, crazy because the room was supposed to be used for tutoring. So first apology in this post is to Caroline (or Carolyn, I'm not sure about the spelling) for being so bad.

I remember talking to J on the phone also, although I don't remember under what pretense since I was certainly too shy just to call her up for no particular reason. Or maybe she called me. My brain is fuzzy.

John, one of my friends (John Jones, part of the unrelated Jones trio of himself, Alan and Michael) used to talk to J a lot also.

Then the semester ended and summer vacation began. We all went to summer school. Us very few Asian guys were looking forward to the arrival of the girls from a neighboring junior high, Audubon, since they did not have a summer session. The Asian (at that time "Oriental") girls from Audubon had a reputation for being hot stuff.

None were in my class but I was still thinking about J anyway. John and I used to hang out a lot, especially that summer, and one day the subject turned to J. He told me that he liked her and wanted to ask her to "go with him." Well you might imagine that totally shocked as well as alarmed me because here was some guy trying to muscle in on J. Didn't he know how I felt about her even though I never gave the faintest clue?

So I told him how I felt. And then the battle began. I don't know how I did it, but I managed to get him to step aside. That in itself was a feat, but even more, I managed to get him to call her and ask her on my behalf to go with me! Now isn't that the stupidest thing you ever heard of? It's true, though.

John kept his word. He talked to J and asked her the magic question, third-party style. I don't think George Costanza on Seinfeld could have engineered this any better than I did. John was truly a noble fellow.

Then he gave me the good news: she had said yes!

Summer vacation ended and the new semester began. John and I moved up to the B9 and J was an A9. You are probably wondering what happened between J and me. The answer: nada. Nothing. I was so terribly shy that I avoided her because I didn't know what to do. John kept bugging me to talk to her and I kept putting it off.

December rolled around and the A9's graduated, including J. And I remained consistent in my inactivity.

We ended up at the same high school although I didn't see her that much. When we did talk, we never talked about what happened (or what didn't happen). Recently I was looking through my old Dorsey yearbooks and came across an autograph that I think was from J but I'm not sure since I knew more than one person with that name and she didn't sign her last name. But I think it was her. A very nice message about our past friendship.

J was always really nice. When we were in Mrs. Capps class, I used to think she was capable of great things, of accomplishing whatever she set out to do and I admired her for that - admired her more than anyone else because she had so many talents. Smart, outgoing, talked 100 miles per hour but always had something interesting to say. Always.

So this blog post is to officially make a sincere apology for treating her in such a miserable way. Actually, not too long ago through some strange circumstances I was able to relay this to J via a mutual friend, but that's another post in the future somewhere. So she knows.. but I still needed to get it off my chest.

So J, we've gone on our own divergent paths since our junior high days but this is your song from long ago and far away! (I even picked a version that sounds like the scratchy 45 rpm record I used to put on the turntable)





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