Anyway, for the life of me, I couldn’t remember his last name (and I don’t even have the pregnancy brain excuse to hide behind). But we shook hands, gave each other the ten second update on the last decade, and parted ways – he went back to his laptop, and I went back to my desk to replace everything on my calendar with a day long appointment entitled: Mutter “What The Eff Was His Last Name???” To Myself.
There was no getting around it, unfortunately. By the time I got home, I had to pull out the yearbook. And the one I found wasn’t even the good yearbook. Most theologians agree that on the 8th day, after a bit of a rest, God made the word “awkward” in anticipation of Mike Garvey’s sophomore year. As usual, He was right on the money.
Or so I thought.
After tearing past my gangly drama club photo to get to this kid’s last name (that was me you heard yelling “THAT’S what it is!” around 6pm tonight), Lisa took a turn leafing through and reading the little notes my classmates left for me. Here’s pretty much how it went down:
LISA: Man, you had a lot of women chasing you in high school, huh?
ME: Yes. With machetes.
LISA: No seriously. All these girls wanted you.
ME: What are you talking about? Most of those girls didn’t even know me. My mom had to pay them to sign my yearbook.
LISA: Right. So when Susan wrote “Dear Mike, I’m so glad we became belly-button-friends because you’re sooooooo cute!”, it was only because your mom slipped her a twenty?
ME: What? Susan said what now? Jesus. I don’t even remember that. (Garvey’s Note: Which is true – I made every effort to keep my belly and the rest of world as separated as possible.)
LISA: And your mom must have really ponied up for Alice to write “Dear Mike, I’ll never forget you and the bus rides home after school. We really should go see that movie one of these days. I’ll be waiting for you to call!” Mike, she’s waiting for you to call.
ME: Alice? Alice? Who the fuck was Alice? She probably wrote that for all the nerds. Because I think I would have remembered a girl talking to me. Especially on a bus.
LISA: Mike, you’re delusional. Look at all of these. Here’s a flirty one. Here’s another. Here’s another. Here’s one in poetry-
ME: Look, I was a flirt, I know that. I was the chubby kid who tried desperately to be your best friend just in case it turned out that was the best way to get a peek at your bra. (Garvey’s Note: This is true, too. It was a shot in the dark and rarely worked. No wait, I mean never. It never worked.) What you’re reading here is a cross section of a dark era for me, a sample of unlucky adolescent girls who were kind enough to remember my feeble attempts at flirtation simply for the purposes of getting something relevant down on paper.
LISA: Mike. This is what girls write when they want you to ask them out, dumbass.
ME: ... So, you’re saying as early as sophomore year, I could have gotten some?
LISA: If you were kidding about your mom paying these girls off, then evidently you could have gotten lots.
ME: But I...
MAEVE: Gonna go ahead and back mom up on this one, dumbass.
ME: Son of a bitch. So, want to call Alice?