I remember her name. It was Barbara.
Millennia ago when I was an undergraduate, the all-male college I attended offered upperclassmen the opportunity to take one course per semester at a nearby, affiliated all-women’s college. My longtime friend and roommate, Murph, and I decided to give it a shot, and we registered for some kind of psychology course – damned if I can remember which one. We figured it was a great opportunity to meet girls.
On the first day of class, it was apparent that there would not be more than a handful of males in the class. Sweet. We sat in the back of the large amphitheater-type classroom so we could survey the array. One girl immediately caught my eye.
She was a brunette who sat about four rows in front of us. She was not like many of the ditz-brain types who babbled on about last week’s mixer, wild fraternity parties or other mindless crap. Nor was she like the legions of hippies of the day, who prided themselves on seeing who could look most like an unmade bed and smell most like a hamper. No, this girl had class. I had come to learn that her name was Barbara, and I was quite taken with her.
After a few classes, I shared with Murph my infatuation with Barbara, and he would often say, “Yo, what the hell is wrong with you? Just walk up to her after class and introduce yourself.” This, of course, was so much bluster, because he would never have walked up and introduced himself to any girl. The fact is, we were both too shy to make such a bold move.
Still, during the semester, before each class, I would promise myself, “Dammit, today is the day I’m going to talk with that girl.”
Well, one day, after class, Murph and I had the following exchange:
Me: Waddya think? I finally talked to Barbara today.
Murph: You’re full of shit. You didn’t talk to her.
Me: Are you nuts? You were right there!
Murph: Asshole! She sneezed and you said “Bless you.” You call that talking to her?
Me: Well, she did say, “Thank you.”
Murph: You are such a sorry ass.
Me: I’m a sorry ass? Well you didn’t talk with anyone.
Murph: I still say you’re a sorry ass.
Me: Screw you.
Murph: Waddya say we have a beer?
The semester finished without Barbara ever sneezing again, and that was that.
*** For the one or two of you who don’t know who George Costanza is, lookee here.