Boys I Have Tried And Failed To Seduce: Part Two

July 17, 2011

Little Red Nerding Hood

Two of my best friends threw me a surprise party for my seventeenth birthday.

It was a hell of a surprise. As a homeschooled, bullied and socially awkward kid with only three friends in the entire world – only two of whom actually knew each other – I wasn’t exactly expecting anything. I hadn’t really considered any parties, seeing as how I didn’t know enough people to populate such a thing.

Undeterred by those sorry logistics, M and N set about planning an event. They recruited C, a friend of theirs who had met me a few times and seemed to tolerate me, to be my honorary buddy for the night. Then they got in touch with parents to secure an appropriate date on my barren schedule, and arranged for them to get me to M’s house on some pretense or other.

When Mom, Dad and I got there on the big night, M invited the three of us in to watch a video. N and C were waiting inside with a cake and a tiny but impassioned “Surprise!”

I was genuinely touched by the whole thing. Touched by the fact that I had two friends who cared enough about me to put something like that together. Touched by C’s participation, even though we’d only met twice before and I’d probably made a typically Sarah impression on her. Overwhelmed by the gifts and the cards packed with heartfelt messages and the handmade and decorated cake that was soon consumed in its entirety.

But I was equally mortified. Being on the edge of seventeen, which is a pretty melodramatic age at the best of times, and being greeted by three whole people at your surprise party was the worst “This Is Your Life” setup that I could imagine.

According to a lot of people, high school is the best time of your life. I always kind of knew that it wouldn’t work out that way for me. Part of my reasoning was that I hated the notion that things might peak so early, and I was determined to have a life worth living after nineteen.  But the other part was that I always kind of figured that, if elementary school was anything to go by, high school and its culture were not going to be particularly kind to me.

Even so, I’d kind of assumed that I’d find a small group of outsiders to bond with and that we’d get into our own adventures, maybe start a Redd Kross tribute band or something. I didn’t think that I’d spend so much time sitting at my bedroom window, enviously watching the packs of kids who would pour into the park at the end of my street every summer weekend, wishing that, just once, I could be invited to something, or anything. Wishing that I wasn’t leading an existence so completely on the periphery of what everyone else seemed to be doing.

And, even though M and N were worth dozens of fairweather friends who might take me to a good bush party or two, I really did assume that I’d have more to show for seventeen years on the planet than a rent-a-buddy to fill out of my still-small celebrations, a personality apparently more effective than any chastity belt, and a life that could have been ripped from a Todd Solondz film.

So when M declared that we were going out on the town to have dinner and shoot some pool, I somehow got it into my head that I was being given the perfect chance to turn everything around.

Pool was really M’s thing (my only discernible hobbies at that point were watching Ingmar Bergman films in my room and buying the occasional pair of baggy raver pants, so it’s not like they could have selected a truly “me” activity for the night) , but I always enjoyed tagging along when she’d take me to random halls across Niagara.  I was miserable at the actual game , but I appreciated the opportunity to hang out in public with other people my age, which was something I rarely had the chance to do. It seemed like all of the pieces were there for a life-changing night: I was seventeen! The dancing queen’s age! I was going to Rack’N’Roll, an establishment crawling with lonely and horny young men! Surely even I couldn’t fuck this one up!

At some point during a long, drawn-out game in which neither N nor I could manage to do much more than send the cue ball careening in the general direction of our targets, what I thought might be my moment presented itself:  a boy came over and started to watch us. He seemed friendly enough, even though our utter lack of skill was driving him crazy, and he eventually started to talk.

“Hey,” he said, pointing to the crimson-coloured hoodie that I was wearing. “You’re wearing a red shirt.”

I was thrilled by this turn of events. This was it! I was going to flirt with the nice guy who was 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 fondled!

So I bent over the table, lining up a shot in my best approximation of “sexy,” and… pretty much made the exact same mistake.

“Well, you know what Freud said about red,” I said.

The boy looked at me, blank-faced, and backed off as N erupted into hysterical laughter.

And that was the end of my big campaign to change my life.

Yeah, I just wrote almost a thousand words to get to that. But now that you know how anticlimactic it was to read that, imagine how anticlimactic it felt to live it.

But even though the night wasn’t the life-altering event that I’d hoped it would be, two lessons I learned that night were enough to get my through the next two and half years of unwitting and unwilling chastity:

1. Freud and red. Bertolucci and butter. It’s all the same to most teenage boys. If you want to seduce one, you’re probably better off just saying that you want to have sex with them. Save the allusions for university.

2. These interactions are a two-way street. N wasn’t just laughing at me for my misguided seduction efforts, she was also laughing at him for not getting it, because the whole situation was absurd. Trying to hit on a boy in a pool hall by mentioning Freud isn’t really the best course of action. But it’s just as ill-advised to try to pick up a nerdy girl when you have never heard of the psychologist she’s talking about. We were equally at fault for not getting into each other’s pants.

In the end, I was able to appreciate that it wasn’t All My Fault. It wasn’t necessarily the wrong line. N and M thought that it was funny. He was just the wrong guy for my purposes. And, if I’d managed to find a couple of friends who got the joke – and me –  surely there was at least one romantic prospect out there who might do the same.

Some day.


6 Responses to “Boys I Have Tried And Failed To Seduce: Part Two”

  1. Darrell Says:

    Great story, and similar to my life at that age, except that I’m sure none of my friends would ever have done the party.

  2. Mat Says:

    Well, I’m one of those who came to your blog because of the Star. I was diagnosed with Aspergers at the age of forty eight; unlike others, not a relief, just a conformation. The diagnoses has actually unleashed a storm of confusion and pain….

    Can I ask: why blog at all?

    • I’m sorry to hear that your diagnosis has had such a negative impact on you.

      May I ask where your question is coming from, though? Do you find blogging in general pointless based on your own Asperger’s experiences, or is it just that you find my particular blog pointless?

      • Mat Says:

        Heavens, no! What I’ve read so far has been very touching and food for (too) much thought. For some reason, out of the blue, I’ve been told that I live in my head too much. I say why not, the rent’s cheap and it’s very roomy…

        I have been toying with the idea of a blog, to think about the things going on in my life, good and bad. Maybe my question should be: what has blogging brought you, what are you hoping to get from it? Do you tell people about your blog, or have your tens and tens of followers come across by accident?


    • Hey Mat,

      Sorry for the delay. My response got a little long-winded, so I’m turning it into a post of its own. It’ll be up soon. I hope you don’t mind being quoted!

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