I still remember it like it was yesterday. I guess that’s how you know you’re getting older, when you say things like that… but really, there I was, a senior in High School, in my best friend Larry’s bedroom on a Friday night, eyes fixed on a very competitive battle royal in my n64 game of WCW/nWo Revenge, and binging on whatever bullshit we picked up from 7-11.
Sex and drugs, it wasn’t.
Larry, pen in hand, was writing feverishly with a scheme he cooked up to get Big Sandwich Girl to be his girlfriend.
Big Sandwich Girl was a girl Larry sat next to in fifth period Spanish, a cute “girl next door” type- code for average– whom he had shared his homework with. You see, a girl who would have been otherwise somewhat intimidating to little High School Larry suddenly became humanized, and thereby what Larry considered accessible, because she ate these ridiculous looking big sandwiches for lunch every day in fifth period Spanish.
After all, when do you ever see a pretty girl eating a big sandwich?
Larry considered his logic sound and penned a letter spilling his guts to Big Sandwich Girl.
I was cautiously optimistic. My initial theory on what later became known to me as “The Sexual Marketplace” was that it worked in egalitarian levels. Everyone can be assigned a number, from one to ten, and would naturally end up with their numeric equivalent. A seven wouldn’t date a five; a nine wouldn’t date a six.
While this made sense, as it turned out, this wasn’t exactly how it worked.
I remember sitting in Global Studies that year in front of a pretty, yet throughly unremarkable girl named Sarah Moland. While Moland wasn’t much better looking than me- she looked kind of like a freckled, busty aardvark- I felt she was at least one numeric notch above me so I never had any true aspirations to pen my own awkward letter to her.
To Larry’s credit, I was too much of a pussy for that during my Senior year in the crisp Spring of the late 1990s.
One early morning Sarah plopped down in her desk into a pouty slump. As we had usually made polite chit-chat, I asked her what was wrong and she explained to me that she been hooking up with the exceedingly handsome, most popular boy in school. She was sad that he
didn’t want to be her boyfriend was confused; needed time; was too scared to commit.
I was floored. Not because this kid didn’t want to lock down aardvark Moland, High School kids tend to believe each others bullshit like women in a sewing circle, but confused as to why Mr. Quarterback was hooking up with Moland in the first place, as he was at least three numeric notches above her according to my in-progress theory of “levels.”
So, why bother with Moland?
Big Sandwich girl ignored Larry’s heartfelt and uncomfortable ramblings, and the aardvark ended up hooking up with the football star for the rest of the year.
I was thoroughly confused. There was a gap in the Sexual Marketplace; the theory of “levels,” although logically sound, was flawed… and at the time, I couldn’t understand why.
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