Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


People, Not Parts

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Monkey which is mid-afternoon or 4:22 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

A funny thing happened this weekend that reminded me of two things from my youth.

I won’t go into what just happened, but it involved gossip and reputations.
What it reminded me of, however, was two girls I knew in the sixth and seventh grades.

When I was in the sixth grade, a lot of us had already started that magical time of our lives called puberty. Naturally, some of us developed at a somewhat faster rate than others. For instance, my voice changed one weekend to the start of the rumbling basso profundo whose mellow tones you heard almost two years ago, reciting poetry. But, it was the girls who developed early that had the most problems.
There was one in particular that made quite an impression on me. Her name was Lindsey and she had the unfortunate last name of Popper. Naturally, having developed a figure in the sixth grade led to all sorts of ways to use that name in childish ways. But, what I remember of Lindsey wasn’t that she developed early, really. I remember this girl who moved from Atlanta, Georgia to the very different suburbs of Chicago being shy and lonely. She had very long hair, and she used it to show me an interesting little trick. In one of those strange moments of childhood intimacy, we were together in the back corner of a classroom with no one but the teacher around. She pulled one of those long hairs and made it into a kind of noose or leash, then she caught a fly and used her hair to make a “pet” out of the fly. In that small moment, I saw the sweet, tender girl that she was, not the false reputation that her body had earned her from jealous girls or spiteful boys. She was just another child of God, filled with wonder at the world and sharing that magic with me.
We became sort of secret friends after that, because, then, as now, I was tragically unhip and I knew it. We hardly talked after that, because her “boyfriend” liked to pick on me, but, every once in awhile, Lindsey and I would share a secret smile and remember that day when she was just a person revealing herself to another person. I learned more about the opposite sex in that moment than probably any other. Sadly, I forgot it for many years and I’m only relearning it now.

The other girl, from the seventh grade, was named Marcy Bloom. Also an unfortunate name for nice girl who, if you’ll pardon the pun, blossomed early. We were in a music class together that was a big deal. The teacher was very well liked and at the end of each semester, her class put on a small production with dance moves and top 40 music of the day. I shudder to think about the fact that we actually danced to “The Stroke (aka Stroke Me)” by Billy Squire.
In any case, I’d been out for a couple of days for some reason, either family vacation or illness, I don’t remember which. So, as a result, I was behind on learning the feeble dance moves that uncoordinated adolescents were capable of learning. Marcy was assigned the task of helping me catch up. I was rather not well accepted by the “cool kids” back then, seeing as how I was a total dork, so she was a little apprehensive about me to start with. Add to that the fact that every guy in school used to watch her chest when they talked to her and, well, I think you can probably see why she was less than happy with having to deal with me. But, I made up my mind to just be nice and polite and make a lot of eye contact. By the time I was caught up, she was totally at ease around me and even gave me a hug for something I did or said.
The lesson learned? Women, especially those who God has blessed a little extra, prefer to be looked in the eye, not the nipple. A lesson that serves me well even now.

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Between saying and doing many a pair of shoes is worn out."
   --Italian Proverb

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