I’ve never received flowers from a guy.
I don’t know if I just keep picking the wrong guys, or if they throw out the standards of decorum when they find me, but in a cruel twist of fate only possible in real life I — the kind of girl who cares about things like that — am 28 years old and flowerless.
I will say a guy once bought me a good bowl of soup.
A soup date is a cheap one. But let’s forget about that and just roll with the punches.
I have to play the cards I’m dealt, folks.
In some ways it was almost romantic comedy level perfection, the soup date. Just a bouquet of flowers short.
It was a second date. Which is entirely more nerve-wracking than a first date. On a second date you know he saw something in you and it’s hard not to wonder what.
I bought a new shirt. I wore red lipstick. I sent a container of chopsticks flying across the table because I was nervous.
“What did you do on the weekend?” he asked over soup.
I had watched chick flicks and hoped he would text me.
“Watched some movies,” I said. Casually.
“Pride and Prejudice,” I said.
“Why are you laughing?”
“It’s funny you should say that,” he said. Just before our date he had been for drinks with a friend who had asked what he was getting up to later.
“I’m taking this girl out,” Soup Guy had said. I’m sure he omitted that it was just for soup and that he didn’t buy me flowers.
“What’s she like?” said the friend.
“Well, she’s kind of hard to describe,” said Soup Guy, “but the best way I can explain it is that I think she thinks she’s a character in Pride and Prejudice.”
I didn’t know if that was good or bad, all I could be certain of was that somehow he already knew me too well.
(From my favorite movie, “You’ve Got Mail.” RIP Nora Ephron).
Even though I am clearly in a different league than Soup Guy (let’s just get that on record), I acquiesced to his offer for more drinks after the soup. In hindsight, knowing the woe and heartbreak he would later unleash on me, I probably shouldn’t have.
Listen up ladies: never be impressed by soup — always hold out for the long-stemmed roses.
Regrettably this was not a principle I could adhere to myself. I was as weak as anyone else in the face of Soup Guy’s charms. He had many, many charms at his disposal.
“You seem bored,” he said at the next place we went to, referring to my life. This guy was like a living stack of tarot cards.
“Well, that’s because I am. I need a better job. I’m not good at making money.”
“Of course you’re not,” he said, “you don’t understand what motivates people.”
I gasped. “That is not true,” I said, “I understand perfectly well.”
I rattled off a list of truly motivating things like being nice and giving back.
“No,” he said, “you have no idea.”
I told him I wanted to go back to school and get my Master’s. Maybe in business. Maybe I’d do it online. Maybe, maybe, maybe.
“You should do whatever you’d be most engaged in,” he said looking at me.
A few moments later I ruined my red lipstick by leaning in to kiss him, and decided I was going to become a journalist.
How did journalism come out of nowhere and smack me like a bag of bricks?
It was the challenge to be engaged.
I’ve never been one to spend time on my weaknesses, and the only thing I’m good at is writing. If I wanted to be engaged, I needed to be a writer.
Writing is all there is for me.
Some people can add, but I don’t have math to fall back on: all I have are my words.
As I took the GRE, applied to school and started the semester his words kept ringing through my head: “You should do whatever you’d be most engaged in.”
Being engaged became my mission. I fully engaged in everything. Over-engaged, perhaps. If there was a club — I joined it. If there was a holiday — I celebrated it.
On second thought, sorry to everyone I annoyed with my over-engagement.
But it was ultimately good advice and it’s what lead me to a sports journalism class with a great group of peers and an awesome professor.
And that sports journalism class led me to another sports journalism class this semester, which is why I’m back blogging again.
It’s my assignment to write a blog about sports once a week this semester. This counts as my introductory blog post even though the first time I said sports was two paragraphs ago. (Or at least I hope it counts, we’ll find out when I get the mark on it).
So we are all going on a journey together. I am going to learn about sports and sports writing and you are going to join me.
By the end of this semester I’ll be a competent sports writer. I think it’s actually the field I want to go into. But we’ll figure that out as we go.
And by the way, yes, it’s still my life’s dream to get a bouquet of flowers. The soup turned out alright though, don’t you think?
“That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.” -Charles Dickens, Great Expectations