Boys I Have Tried And Failed To Seduce, Part One: Butterfilmreferences

April 7, 2011

I developed a bit of a fondness for improv in my adolescence. For me, it was just like socializing: I had to perform and think on my feet. But when I did it on stage, I got applause and laughter.

One of the highlights of my mildly illustrious improv career was pinch hitting for a theatre sports team from beautiful Thorold, Ontario. They needed a fourth member and a girl to be able to participate in a school board-wide competition. I had nothing better to do because I had no life. It was a match made in, well, Thorold, Ontario.

I became quite fond of my teammates. They reminded me of a lot of the geeks I had known in my three years in the self-contained gifted program and month in a Dungeons and Dragons club (I didn’t play, but I did pretend to in exchange for getting to spend winter recesses inside) and I had a soft spot for most of their kind back then. But I had an even softer spot for one particular member of the group.

R was most definitely geeky, but he was also about as good-looking as I thought that a boy with short hair could get back then, which made him both accessible and dreamy. We got along well, we shared an interest in improv and we both enjoyed my sense of humour. Even with my chronically low self-esteem, I figured that I had a good shot.

My original plan was to make my move after the competition, but an irresistible opportunity presented itself backstage before the show. As we were psyching ourselves up for battle, the boys started talking about butter fetishes. Having recently gone through a 70’s film phase, I figured that I knew exactly what to say to impress him. And so I flashed R my best attempt at a naughty smile and I made a perfectly timed Last Tango In Paris reference.

But it didn’t exactly go over as well as I’d planned. R just kind of looked at me blankly and moved on. I slunk away and hung out with my parents until showtime. We won the competition and I scored some platonic hugs and platitudes out of it, but it wasn’t enough to lighten my mood.

It never occurred to me that the problem might have had more to do with my reference than me back then. I had begun to learn to start conversations at the beginning and provide context when talking, because other people couldn’t read or follow the thoughts in my head at that point, but I was probably still a year or two away from realizing that different people have different cultural references.

On that night in the late nineties, I genuinely believed that every sixteen-year-old boy knew their Bertolucci. And I knew for a fact that I was the only girl to ever fail to get a sixteen-year-old boy’s attention with an anal sex joke.

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2 Responses to “Boys I Have Tried And Failed To Seduce, Part One: Butterfilmreferences”

  1. Aloisia Says:

    It truly is difficult to find qualified persons on that topic, however you sound like you know exactly what you are talking about! Thanks


  2. […] watching us play pool and knew his primary colours! I was totally going to redeem myself for the R fiasco of the previous summer! I was going to get laid! Or at least […]


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