I think enough time has passed that I can tell this story. While I’m in easily the most functional and fulfilling relationship of my life, I don’t pretend I was always the suave, self-assured man you see (read?) before you. And through one unfortunate incident, I discovered that not having a way with the ladies doesn’t only hurt me.
Before I begin, a disclaimer: you don’t know this girl unless you happen to be one of the very few college friends in whom I confided at the time, and those were very few out of respect for her dignity. But this is about a real girl, and I swear this is true to the extent I can describe the incident while preserving her anonymity. I think I’ll call her Misty.
Misty and I had liked each other for a while. We both knew it, our friends knew it. But we danced around the issue because it would be an awkward relationship to strike up, and frankly I never had stones to close the deal. After enough time had passed that I was sure we’d passed irretrievably into the “friends” zone, something subtle changed and it looked like we’d have a last chance.
That chance, our Waterloo, as it turned out, came in the form of going dancing one summer night. I brought the idea up artificially casually and she accepted artificially casually, but before it could feel too much like a date, one of us suggested taking some friends along. The proposition was quickly seconded, and that evening found me driving a carload of people to under-21 night at a local club.
My memory is a little hazy on my reasoning, but I was wearing shorts and sandals to go dancing. Not smooth, but Misty had made similarly poor fashion choices. That left us among the tables for a lot of the time we were at the club, drinking ginger ale and talking while our friends got their groove on. The was a lot of conversation and ginger ale, then even more conversation and even more ginger ale. Things seemed to be working out well for our intrepid hero. Things were even better on the way home, as I dropped off each of our friends, saving Misty for last.
Finally, it was her turn and my big moment. Misty and I stood under the moon, under the clear summer sky, and gazed into one another’s eyes. We made small talk about how much fun we’d had. We talked about our friends’ foibles, and our own, and about our plans for the remainder of the summer. We talked about the weather. Ten minutes stretch into 30, which became an hour. And longer. I was calm and assured and doing my best to achieve sexy. My conversation was witty. I can remember she was angling her head and showing me her throat, which any anthropologist worth their salt will tell you is an invitation to mate, but I just couldn’t bring myself to lean in and kiss her. What only hindsight revealed to me were the signs of discomfort that were sprinkled between her signs of interest.
I wish I had caught on. Her big brown eyes had me entranced but in limbo, and I continued to stretch out the moment.
I think things would have turned out differently if she’d just grabbed me and kissed me. I think that less ginger ale would have affected the outcome. I think I had the chance to take my destiny in my own hands. The only thing I know is that I was really startled when I felt a drop of water hit my foot, then a second.
I had a moment or two to be confused. Did I mention the moon and the clear summer sky? I didn’t remember it clouding up; a glance upward confirmed that it hadn’t. But there went a third drop and a fourth. My sandals were an early warning system.
I looked back down at Misty’s big brown eyes and saw that they were bigger than ever. Our gazes locked as the proverbial floodgates opened, and a wave of liquid hit me. It drenched my feet and spattered up to my knees and blossomed out across the sidewalk. She was past the point of stopping and for easily ten seconds, she vacated four hours of stress and ginger ale, and with it any chance we had of being anything but star-crossed lovers. When Misty was done peeing all over my feet, she stayed frozen one more epic beat. Then she turned and fled into her house. It was months before I even saw her again.
To you men out there, lack of courage is one of the most destructive forces in the world. Learn from my example and get to first base before you end up wet (I have to assume that a golden shower is at least third base, which is taking things too fast).
And to Misty, I’m sorry. I’m sorry it happened, I’m sorry you probably never forgot it either, and most of all, I’m sorry that after 15 years I still can’t think of the story without laughing uncontrollably. All I can say is, if you’re still upset, read the post before this one.