**WRITER'S NOTE: PLEASE READ TMI PART 1 and TMI PART 2 PART 1 BEFORE READING THIS POST**
Well, I guess I delayed this long enough. It's time to finish the TMI Part 2 Part 1 post I did months ago and just get this damn embarrassing story out of the way. But I feel I need to provide a little more backstory to this:
It felt like I had been preparing for a girlfriend my entire life. This is why teenagers are stupid. 4 years is hardly a lifetime. Hell, I'm discovering now that it's not even a lifetime of college. I'm a 44 year old sophomore, but at least I'm not still living in the dorms. From 6th grade to 9th grade I had watched my classmates enter the dating pool. They were splashing around the pool with dates to the movies, holding hands, love notes being written, and the ever so important wearing of each others' clothes. Like a typical John Hughes movie, I was on the periphery. I wasn't even allowed near the pool. So I had to lurk stealthily in the bushes and watch and observe what my peers were doing. I realized in 7th grade that nobody else but me was running up to a girl that they liked and literally kicking them in the ass. I think I actually ended up bruising her tailbone. Later in on life I fractured mine, and I can tell you it's not a lot of fun to deal with. So on the apology tour that's coming up, I think she's definitely one of the first stops. Looking back on it, I think it was wise to have me banned from being within 100 meters of the dating pool. A movie would come on about high school and it would show the nerds, but the sad thing is, the nerds at least had fellow nerds to discuss their pathetic plans to become cool. I was watching the movie alone. I didn't even have a fellow geek pal to commiserate with about this. In 6th grade, Erica became a mom. I couldn't even get a girl to acknowledge that I existed. To say I was behind the curve is the understatement of the milennium.
Junior high was spent trying to gain as much weight as possible. I knew that I was screwed when the girls I liked weighed more than I did. I basically made Gandhi look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. I had Make A Wish volunteers looking at me with seriously hard glances wondering if they should ask me what I wanted. So Operation Crisco Sandwiches commenced. My vision around junior high decided to follow the path of Helen Keller, so the thickness of my glasses exponentially grew and I ended up looking like Maz Kanata, but only uglier. And no, I am not going to explain who Maz Kanata is, you have Google just like I do. Let's see, how else was I galactically unfuckable? Well, I had the personality of Hannibal Lecter, the sartorial sense of Betsy Johnson, and the annoying tendency to use arcane references like the harmonica player from the J Geils Band just like Dennis Miller did. If you're reading this post, I think you might correctly conclude that trait still has persisted to this day. I imagine that if a teenage girl were flying on a plane and there was an empty seat, if she imagined the person she would pray would never sit down next to her would be, I would be that person.
Freshman year of high school is supposed to suck. I was fully prepared to be mocked and ridiculed. It is always nice when expectations are fully met. At least I wasn't disappointed that the locker room would be any less awful than it was. I managed to avoid getting shoved into lockers by inventing a new game called "Making Your Nose Bleed." High school boys are less inclined to shove you into a locker when you are bleeding. So, I would punch myself in the nose to make sure that I could change in peace. Thankfully, many other boys kindly offered to punch my nose for me and thus began the years of getting sent to the principal's office for fighting. I think people marveled at how I could win so many fights. The secret is that I had been punching myself in the face for quite some time. For a lot of the other kids, getting hit was their first time. They didn't know that I was Ike Turner AND Tina Turner all in one body. The good news is that eventually I ended up wining enough fights that the guys just stopped bothering me, it wasn't worth the pain that they would experience. You want to become a great rugby player? Get bullied in high school. It's terrific practice for what will happen on the pitch.
Anyway, the chances of my getting a girlfriend were about as high as Trump winning Celebrity Jeopardy. But all I had to do was wait one more year. Just one more year and there would finally be an opportunity for me. You see, in 10th grade, I would finally have a group of people coming in that were just as pathetic as I was! New freshman! This is where all the planning, observing, and eavesdropping that I had been doing for four years would pay off. Summer vacation was spent feverishly working so that I had enough money to buy the wardrobe that I would need to enter 10th grade a new man. I decided the Moe haircut that I had been sporting for most of my youth had to go and I discovered the wondrous shaping ability of Paul Mitchelll mousse. Combined with Vidal Sassoon hair spray, my hair was going to elevated heights as was my social standing!
If there is an unsung hero in this tale of woe, it would be my absolute archenemy in high school, Frau Youse. Frau Youse was my German teacher, and she looked EXACTLY how she sounds - pinched nose, rail thin, and probably alive during the Cretaceous Era. Frau Youse loved to supplement my F's in German with comments like: "doesn't apply himself," "frequently unprepared," and "couldn't get laid if his life depended on it." I didn't fail German 1 as much as I was politely asked never to visit Germany under any circumstances. As Frau Youse was the only German teacher, the very idea of three more years was simply unbearable. So I decided that I would switch languages and take the only other language offered: Ebonics. Ok, maybe it was Spanish. Off with the lederhosen and on with the sombrero, I was finally free of the horrible Frau Youse! 10th grade would be Spanish 1 and I would be taking it with the new 9th graders! It was perfect! All good plans invariably go awry and this is where I messed up. I didn't realize Frau Youse was bi-fucking-lingual. That's right, she also spoke Spanish. So instead of getting cool Señora Stump, I got Frau Youse...again. Do you know how Frau she was? Even in Spanish class, her name was Frau Youse. Imagine learning how to count in Spanish by a Waffen SS oberstleutnant and you can understand my reticence to speak Spanish to this day. I simply don't believe that numbers should be shouted followed by clicking of boot heels.
Spanish 1 was my favourite class. Oh, the things we do in the attempt to woo the fairer sex. It wasn't my favourite class because I did exceptionally well -- Frau Youse made certain of that. I squeaked by with a D+, and I was so foolish to think I would not have to deal with her ever again, as her new hobby became Finding Ways To Give Derek Detention in the Hallway. It was my favourite class because of the lovely Freshman trio of Emily, Tara, and Julie. These were the targets of opportunity that I had worked so hard to be ready to approach. That October Day that would occur was conceptualized in my head as my triumphant entrance into the dating pool, and my imaginary conquests finally had faces and names to them. The hunter was finally allowed to stalk its prey. The most dangerous game is not lions or cape buffaloes. It's women. I would learn the hard way that two horrible eventualities would result when you are pursuing women. Either you get rejected, which is awful, or you are in a relationship, which is perhaps an even worse fate. So that's the setup. Tomorrow we will relive why Derek doesn't go to high school reunions. And I promise that tomorrow I actually will post it.