Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Someday Somebody's Gonna Ask You a Question That You Should NOT Say Yes To

A couple of months before my freshmen year of college, my friend Alex, cyber-introduced me to a high-school friend of hers named Bryan Ryan. Both of us would be going to A&M in the fall, and since no one else from my graduating class had chosen to be an Aggie, I would take whatever introductions I could get in an effort to make that first week less awkward.

This was the dawn of Facebook (Remember the time before groups and news feeds? When reading someone’s profile page required no scrolling, and he or she only had the one picture?), so I got to know the basics there; the rest I learned through AIM conversations.

Sidebar: Oh, AIM. How I miss thee, and thy constant reliability to relay my messages quickly and with jazzy emoticons that winked and flashed different colors and to not constantly kick me off like some other chat servers I could name *coughcoughfbcoughcough*

What I learned about Bryan was that he was going to major in history, was super-involved in his church, and was kind of a douche. Seriously. He once reprimanded me for typing the word “shit” in a sentence. Before I had even met him.

So it came as a surprise when I finally met Bryan (after getting lost on Southside in the middle of FOW and getting berated by him for texting him to ask directions, as texts were not in his cell phone plan, and now he’d have to pay 25¢ extra for my plaintive error) that he was a bit better in person. Besides, at this point, I didn’t have many allies on campus and I couldn’t afford to be picky.

Sidebar: Bryan himself will tell you the he was kind of a jackass at the beginning of our fish year. Nevertheless, let it be known that he grew into a ridiculously fun and goofy guy who takes great delight in a well (or ill) timed “That’s What She Said” joke

We became friends. We quickly formed a tight-knit little group of good Catholics and future St. Mary’s Superstars (adding up the number of Awakening leadership and speaker positions we’ve accumulated over the years hints at a slightly nepotistic culture). I was happy to have found a home with these girls and guys, and enjoyed my newfound freedom by going to Wal-Mart at three in the morning to buy hair dye, engaging in “group therapy” sessions at the RY until dawn, playing mud-football on Simpson Drill Field and possibly (definitely) trespassing to go through the semi-truck graveyard and take a turn on “the zipline.” Mostly nocturnal activities, as I spent my days slaving away behind my computer...


There was just one itsy-bitsy, teeny-tiny problem. Bryan was a huge flirt. And I really did not like it when Bryan flirted with me.

My frustration with all of the winks and suggestive comments and knee-touching came to a head at the annual Advent Party (yes, college students actually planned and put-together a party celebrating Advent). We were in the kitchen, hovering by the queso Crock Pot and hoping someone would bring more chips. I was regaling the group with my roommate’s and my newest scheme in our life plan: we had concluded that when our future fianc├ęs proposed in the distantly distant future, we wanted him to play “Question” by the Old 97’s, because it was the cutest song EVER and it would make us cry.

It was at this specific point that Bryan put his arm around my shoulders, leaned in close and whispered, “Oh, honey…you want me to make you cry?”

I had had enough. I sucked in a deep breath and practically screamed—

“BYRAN RYAN! We will NEVER date!!”

You know how in movies, whenever there’s a party and one of the characters says something inappropriate or embarrassing  really loudly and the DJ scratches the music off and everyone turns and looks?

I’m pretty sure that happened. Bryan attempted to recover his dignity, and I looked interestedly at my fingernails.

This incident has since become quite the joke amongst us oh-niners, but to this day, I’ve remained true to my word: Bryan Ryan and I have never dated—though Bryan still flirts with me obnoxiously on occasion, just to irk me.

But, hey, points for consistency, right?


  1. E,

    Sometimes, people just don’t know when, where or how to flirt…

    So there I was, dating this great looking blond…and life was good. My cougar wounds had healed nicely. I had just moved to the DC area and was loving every minute of it.

    Now I had met this girl by proxy while we were deployed to different parts of the country. She worked with and had become best friends with my best friend, a girl named M. Though we had never met, or really communicated via anything, M had talked each of us up to other. So when it came time for M’s birthday, when we were all state side, we finally got to meet. And things went great…at first.

    Turns out we were both stationed in the DC area and were able to get something of a relationship going. The problem was, that though I was several years older, she made my catholic school boy self feel a bit out classed in the RMOS and what not category. I had no issues with this as I had been deployed for 15 months and can't say I was terribly picky at this point…but apparently her extensive proficiency in this area was soooo not ok to joke about.

    One day, after we had been dating for a few weeks on the way back from church of all things, we started playing the “would you rather game.” I had never played before, but picked it up pretty fast. The game went back and forth with some very ridiculous dilemmas and I held my own, until I started getting flirty.

    I started taking the questions down a completely shameless and scandalous road. Unfortunately, I had no sense what’s so ever of boundaries. I’ll keep this PG, but my last “would you rather” question involved a pinecone, AstroTurf and may have implied a vast “experience,” with which she could draw on for her answer. While I thought I was being playfully cute, she did not. (We all know whose opinion is the only opinion that matters at a time like this.) Next thing I know I’m literally being thrown out of the apartment grabbing, clothes and keys as I leave, ne’er to return again….or so I thought.

    When I was at the elevator, and had just finished dressing, she calls my name, sandwich/pizza-less of course, and is like, “Are you really just going to leave like that?” I’m thinking, that you just threw me out of your apartment in my boxers; so, yeah, I’m really just going to leave like that.

    (Once I write someone off, they’re pretty much dead to me. Throwing me out like that was the quickest way to a one way ticket to, never going to talk to you again, ever, status.)

    But, I said in fairly calm, if not curt voice, “Yeah.” She replied that I should come back in and we could talk about it…now this was a 180-degree flip from the “get the hell out” that the rest of the apartment complex and I had just got done hearing. (As I was walking back to her place, I couldn’t help but hear Admiral Akbar’s warning in the back of my head: “It’s a trap!”) However, I went back to hear her out. Once I was back in her apartment, we apologized to each other for our rash/rude comments.

    Now it was getting later in the day and I had promised my sister that I would hang out with her and her family that afternoon. This girl did not want to hear that. As a result, she tried to “flirt” using all her womanly, eh hem, “charm” to keep me from going. I was on the event horizon looking into a vortex of crazy, with the worse “would you rather ever” before me: afternoon delight with pure crazy or back to an undetermined amount of celebrant time that would be free of drama.

    I walked away. As I have said before, I have done crazy and a croquet mallet to the face had taught me “that no matter how hot the blond is, there is some guy some where that is tired of putting up with her shit. “

    The next day I fell down the eHarmony rabbit hole.


  2. And yet you told me to date him...

  3. I've been reading this blog and not commenting, but I couldn't help it when I saw I got a shout out. Glad to know you and Bryan Ryan got to be such great friends. :-)

    - A -