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peter rice (updated)

14 Jul

Had a little more to add at the bottom of Peter Rice’s story.


ryan stokes

24 Jun

I was terribly shy around boys, even when I was in college.  I hated to make the first move, and avoided it at all costs. This caused much frustration with my friends, who insisted that I needed to be more forward if I ever was going to find myself a man.

One winter, we decided that we would attend a winter formal that the medical student association was putting on. I agreed to go, assuming that I would meet a soon-to-be wealthy physician who would provide me with a home, children and a no-limit credit card. My roommates entirely ruined this fantasy when they told me that I had to bring a date.  As in, provide my own. I had no idea who I would ask.

It was around this time, that I began hanging out with this really attractive guy from work. He was nice and funny and cute, which my roommates informed me were all good reasons to date a guy. So after a lot of encouragement from my homies, I decided to invite Ryan Stokes to the formal.

The setup to get him alone just to ask him was pretty elaborate.  I explained to him that I liked to study in the library of his dorm, which the school had just recently began locking.  After having dinner with him and another friend one night, during which I had ample chances of asking him, all of which I avoided, I asked him if he would let me into the library.  As he was fumbling with his key, I nervously stared at my feet and blurted out a too-long explanation of the formal and asked him if he would go with me.  He turned around, and looked at me, clearly surprised that I was “going there” and hesitated.  When he finally answered, it wasn’t the emphatic yes, followed by a passionate kiss and an invitation up to his room that I had expected.  Instead he said a little awkwardly, “It’s a possibility.”  And then he left.

I was PISSED! I went into the library and opened my law book, but I was unable to concentrate due to how appalled I was by the nerve of Ryan’s pseudo-rejection.  I started texting my friend Rachel Miller, who was home waiting to hear how things went.  When I told her what Ryan had said, we trash texted him for a while until I began to feel better off without him.

The library was really quiet, and though I was a bit humiliated by the spurn, I decided to remain there and finish reading the assigned chapters.

A little while later, Ryan came in wearing his pajamas and carrying a pad of paper.  Because we couldn’t speak in the library, he began writing me a note.  It basically said that he didn’t say yes right away because he wasn’t sure if he had anything proper to wear, but that he found a suit in his closet and all he needed were dress shoes, which he could purchase the next day.  He said he would be happy to go with me, but warned me that he could not dance.

I ignored his lack of enthusiasm, and immediately began naming our future children.

As soon as he left the library, I grabbed my phone and texted Rachel, “OMG, he said yes!”  After about ten minutes with no response, I went to check the status of the text on my old school Nokia, and realized with absolute horror, that in my excited haste, I had texted the person below Rachel in my contacts list: Ryan.

I was so mortified.  I immediately gathered up my books and hurried as far away from there as I could.  Ryan never mentioned the text, and we had a splendid time at the formal. Now, years later, I cannot look him in the eye without remembering that moment of absolute horror when I’d realized what I’d done. And yet we’re perfectly comfortable commenting on each other’s photos and liking each other’s statuses.

max hurtz

24 Jun

When I was in second grade, I fell in love with Max Hurtz. He was a child genius and from what I remember, one of the nicest guys I’ve ever known. On the playground, we would play tag and alligator with just each other (not as fun, but love makes you do crazy things). I could never tell if Max felt the same way about me, but he did make me a special valentine with bugs drawn all over it that said “how long will it beetle you’re mine?” No, I don’t still have it. Okay, I do.

When we advanced to third grade, our relationship changed dramatically. We were both in the gifted program which meant everyday we had to leave our regular classrooms (which were next door to each other) and walk together down the long hallway of the basement of our school and all the way upstairs to the other side of campus to where our gifted class was. After spending a few hours being really smart, it would be the end of the day, and we would walk back to our regular classroom for dismissal. We always made sure to take our time walking back, because if we took long enough, we wouldn’t have to participate in classroom cleanup. We used avoiding classroom cleanup as our excuse, but in truth I think we recognized how valuable every second we spent together was.

Max and I became very creative in our attempts to lengthen our journey. There were bulletin boards all along the basement hallway of artwork drawn by the first graders.  Each day, we would examine each piece very carefully and comment on the potential that the artist may or may not have had. When we reached the end of the hallway, I would always open my pencil case and “accidentally” drop it, spilling my pencils all over the place. We would pick them up one by one, sometimes kicking them in the direction of where we’d come, so we would have to walk down the hallway again. Our teachers never caught on.

We were inseparable until I moved away in the middle of third grade. I was devastated to have lost my first love. I think we planned on writing, but we never did.

Years later, when I was in high school and feeling particularly lonely and desperate, I decided to try to track him down. After only a few days of internet stalking, I was able to find him, which was a particularly amazing feat considering this was before MySpace or Facebook or really any social networking site. We began exchanging e-mails, and I realized once again, that he was in fact the love of my life. I was just mature enough to know, that any proclamations of our rekindled love would have to wait until college, when we would be coincidentally reunited at the same school, possibly in the same dorm if I could pull the right strings.

While waiting for the universe to bring us together, life got in the way and our stars never aligned. It was in college, which we attended several hundred miles apart mind you, that I once again found him on Facebook. Turns out, he was majoring in Musical Theatre. He ended up graduating a year early and moved to New York with his boyfriend to pursue a career on Broadway.

I tell myself that he realized if he couldn’t have me, no other girl would do.

we may be friends on facebook, but…

24 Jun

I come from a rich internet lineage.

My father is a computer programmer, and growing up, we always had at least three home computers.  I remember being one of the first kids in my middle school to get on AOL.  And for as long as I can remember I’ve been getting myself into some sort of online shenanigans.  My parents grounded me in sixth grade after I proudly announced at the dinner table that I’d been in chat room telling old men that I was a 20 year old pole dancer trying to put myself through nursing school while single-handedly raising my 4 year old daughter.  In high school, I created multiple screen names so that I could fuck with my friends.  I was socially ridiculed because of things I wrote on my online journal. I made friends online, and lost friends online.  I’ve done it all: Livejournal.  Facebook.  Myspace.  Twitter.  You name the online social network, and I am or have been a part of it.

And because, in my late twenties, I am still at just about the same maturity level I was in sixth grade, I am still getting myself into all kinds of trouble online.

A few days ago, I was showing a friend of mine pictures of this girl I went to high school with who married this other guy I went to high school with and their baby pictures.  My friend asked me for some detail about this girl’s life that I didn’t know.  She said, “I thought you guys we’re friends.” And I replied, “Well, we’re friends on Facebook, but…”

And it was then that I realized I use the phrase all the time.

So I went home and really looked at the people on my friends list.  Now, I have always considered myself somewhat selective when approving friend requests.  I don’t accept ones from people I don’t know, who say I “sound cool.”  I also don’t accept requests from people I hated in high school.  If I hated them then, I’m sure they’re even more of a douchebag now. And yet so many of my so-called friends are people I barely know. What’s worse is that my interactions with most of these “friends make for some pretty darn ridiculous stories. These are those stories.