What follows is an article written for the next issue of the Phoenix.
The holidays are always a strange trip. Like time travel without the flux capacitor. People from the past float into town from all ends of the earth and suddenly you’re having conversations that should have been ended seven years ago. You find yourself in Denny’s on a Friday at a table with the two girls who you had a crush on in high school, making small talk. After the pre-bar crowd has left and before the post-bar crowd arrives the three of you are alone, save the serving staff, trapped in 1997.
When I say you, I mean me.
There is a Tragically Hip song called “38 Years Old”. I don’t currently have it on my iPod for some reason, but a Google search turned up the lyrics for me, which include the line “38 years old, never kissed a girl”. I remember back in high school listening to the song while waiting for the bus, before iPods, back when I’d actually have to have that specific Hip disc in my Discman.
I used to listen to the song and think, “well no matter how bad my luck with girls is now, I will surely do better than that fellow.” Now granted the fellow in the song had spent 18 years in prison for murder, which may have limited his dating opportunities, but I was sure that I would have no problem. Girls, well I’d figure them out sooner or later.
Let me be honest with you and say that I didn’t have any clue in high school. My approach to girls was so heartbreakingly sincere and out of date that I was like a character from Dawson’s Creek, prone to thinking that everything was so significant. Everything was true love, or more typically true love lost. When dealing with girls I lived in an irony free zone.
So I get to OUC under the impression that everything is going to be different. I can laugh at my situation now. I wrote a series of articles for the Phoenix about the trials of my dating life. People seemed to identify with them, though perhaps in the way you identify with someone who has a tragic case of lupus. Pity.
Ladies and Gentlemen: Pity equals not sexy.
Now granted I at times cast a gay shadow, though I assure you I’m not. In high school I was on the “gay list” which was thoughtfully created by some of the popular girls who wanted to decide which of us in their grad class enjoyed gladiator movies. Oddly enough none of their friends were on it.
So what is the point? Why am I taking up important Phoenix space that could be devoted to OUCSA-K showing us that omnipresent editorial cartoon of Premier Gordon Campbell riding a rocket? Isn’t there a minority centre opening somewhere on campus?
The point is that after 10 years of wanting a girlfriend I am still single. Ladies, Gentleman there is nothing I’ve wanted for 10 years. Oh granted I’ve wanted to be a rock star for 10 years or so, and I’ve wanted the Oilers to win a Stanley Cup since… the last time they won a Stanley Cup. But there’s nothing realistic that I’ve wanted that long.
Ladies I am a great catch. I hold down two jobs and work at the Phoenix so I always have enough money to buy things like flowers, chocolates, Celine Dion albums and Etch-a-Sketches; all the things that really please a girlfriend. University English professors have forced me to pretend to have read enough poetry that I can be sensitive and caring. My mother taught me how to dress really nice like. I groom myself on a regular basis, even when amongst the French.
This is it; the last run. After this it’s San Francisco or some other spot for me. This is the return of the Soapbox. Back to remind you that I couldn’t come up with a good name then, and I still can’t. Back to let you know that as single as you may be, there is someone singler. It is a word. I made it up. We are back, to paraphrase that pompous ass of a poet Edwin, for one last spin around the sun.
Jeffery Simpson is an OUC student and freelance writer. He has written for Agent Magazine, the Peak, the Phoenix and several gaming and technology websites including IGN.com. Threats, anger and newly minted swear words can be directed to him via the Internet at email@example.com. He is online at jefferysimpson.com.