Before you read on about the tumultuous times in the friendship of Herb and Michelle, you might want to catch up on Chapters 1 and 2 first.
Chapter 3: Losers Together
I figured out the perfect formula for love at the turn of the century. You can blame it on hormones, but I place fault on the movie “When Harry Met Sally.” I was only 15, but I knew that true love always stemmed from friendship.
So, this was my technique:
1. Identify the male. He should already know I exist on some level.
2. Find out everything about him, put myself in his line of vision, involve myself in the things he was involved in, and pretty much just stalk him.
3. Become best buddies.
4. Read into every possible glance, conversation, touch, smile, sign of attraction, or possible flirting.
5. Over analyze everything late into the night.
6. Listen to sappy Sarah McLachlan and Jewel songs and imagine they are about him.
This plan was fool proof! That is, if what your goal was is to have a whole slew of dudes who considered you to be "one of the guys."
There was the Intellectual, the two Crazy Fun Ones, the Tall Drink Of Water, the Emo Dude, the Classical Musician, the Professional, a few Super-Spiritual Guys, the Athlete, and of course the ones who Needed to Be Fixed.
In between pining and creeping, I managed to maintain several great gal-pal friendships. My two best friends from high school also went to the same college. One was my roommate, Steph, who had met the love of her life at 16. The other was Jocelyn, affectionately known as my shadow.
Jocelyn was a year behind me in high school, and we always joked that she copied everything I did. But truly it was more of a “Great Minds Think Alike” Situation. I was first chair bass clarinet; she was second (except for one semester in middle school where she gave me a run for my money). I was drum major, and then she was drum major. I decided to study music education; so did she. I picked an excellent university, and then a year later she followed me there.
What could have been a relationship based on jealousy and competition was a beautiful friendship. The day I graduated from high school, we held each other in the lobby and wept uncontrollably.
Would we ever survive without one another?
I missed her so much when I went to college, so I talked about her all the time. By the time she joined me a year later, her reputation preceded her. But what got her noticed was quick wit, stunning beauty, and adorable innocence.
Suddenly, every male head was turning in her direction. On any given day, I could have named three dudes who were publicly smitten by her.
I couldn’t take it!! Of all the men on campus, the ones who were most under the spell of Jocelyn tended to be the ones who had me under their spell. There were so many love triangles that semester, you could have seen a prism on our campus from space.
Newly single Herb was one of them.
Herb’s relationship-that-should-have-been-me turned into nothing more than a six week rebound relationship. Since I had given up on dating him not once, but twice, after this break up, a relationship with him never even crossed my mind. Instead, I tried to fix him up with my BFF Jocelyn, or any other girl who caught his eye (and yes, there were others. I think we had the same creeper disease).
One fall day during my sophomore year, we hatched a plot to get ourselves dates with our current love interests. Our great scheme included Herb making plans with the dude, and me setting something up with the gal. Then the four of us would magically end up together, and ta-da, true love would be found.
But you know what happened, right?
Cute dude and charming gal never showed up, leaving Herb and I alone. A double date turned to a single date, but with the wrong person.
And guess what happened that night….NOTHING!
We sulked about our pathetic relationship statuses and whined about music theory. “Well, at least we’re losers together,” I said as the opening credits to some chick flick began.
And this is how things continued for several weeks. Single comrades, each other's cheerleaders on the quest for love, never noticing who was there all along.