April 19, 1996: I wore my best blue t-shirt and converse sneakers, made sure my clear braces were as non-yellowed as possible, applied my (No) Escape by Calvin Klein perfume and made sure to draw in my eyebrows extra carefully. It was the anniversary of Waco, my mom's birthday and the day that I had been scheming and planning for for at least 2 weeks. Right before second period, I spotted him kneeling by his locker, I rolled up, mustered all my courage, and asked Jon to the Sophmore Semi Formal. He laughed and asked me "Can I get back to you?" and I walked into my English class on cloud 9, positive that it was only a matter of hours until he revealed the good news. Though I didn't realize it at the time, there was basically no chance in hell he'd say yes. He was cool and had apparently been cool through all of middle school and I was a nerd that had transferred into the school at ninth grade. His friends drank, and my friends drank Hawaiian Punch. I had an awkward period that lasted from age birth to age 26, and let me assure you high school fell squarely in the middle of that shit.
Anyway, the end of the story is that he obviously rejected me by telling me he didn't know his plans for the dance and didn't want to "string me along." Right after the rejection I had English class which happened to be a tour of the library for the thousandth time that day and a dewey decimal info session throughout which I sobbed uncontrollably. This sounds ridiculous, but I vowed that one day he'd be sorry he didn't ask me out, not in a Columbine-type way, but in a wistful way. So essentially I have spent the subsequent years of my life doing everything- working out like a goddamn maniac, going to SHAMAZING schools, working for Gawker.com, getting a nose job, becoming the outstanding, considerate and humble person that I am today - all in an effort to rise above that rejection, which for some reason really fucking hurt. I don't understand - I'm so good at so many things - taking reading comprehension tests, being a friend, writing admissions essays, drinking and not throwing up - why can't I be good at being cool? Even when I wear my hot ass Botkier bag, DVF shirts and expen$$$$ive jeans, why am I still a nerd in cool clothing?
This weekend is my friend Grant's wedding, which I'm really pumped for. Jon will be there. He might even be reading this now, which would be really awkward, but in honor of Black History Month, the truth will set me free. Just so you know, this post was not necessarily supposed to be funny, but I felt like writing it anyway, so if you're not into it you can actually go suck it.
Upon review, it has occured to me that "the truth shall set you free" is a quote from Jesus and not from MLK Jr.