More Annoyed than Amused

Acute Clarity

Posted by parsingtime on September 9, 2009

You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget  – The Road, Cormac McCarthy

While I was in college I took a computer science class to complete some requirement to graduate.  It was a huge weedout class and it is the only class in college where I would go pick up the handouts and leave. We had code writing assignments every week and one week I needed help getting my code correct.  So I went to talk to the TA. The TA was some old Indian guy, and by old I’m sure he was probably 27-30.  When I was 19 or 20 that seemed incredibly old. He had thinning hair and spoke with a slight accent.

So I’m sitting there in a chair next to his desk trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong with my code and he reaches out and pushes back my hair and tucks it behind my ear. The kind of gesture that someone you know well might make.  And because I was a naive 20 year old whose experience with the opposite sex was extremely limited I just kept talking and ignored the gesture. Looking back on it and I wish I had said, “Dude, what are you doing? Don’t touch me. ”  Was he hitting on me? Were my stray strands bothering him so much he just couldn’t stand it? Was this some sort of cultural way of asking me to go steady that I didn’t know about? Who knows, but it was awkward and I never went back for help.  

We’ve already established that I like Taylor Swift and that I watch a lot of music videos at the gym right?

The point of this whole college follicular folly is that Taylor Swift has some new video where she plays a nerdy girl in the band and has a crush on a football player who is dating a cheerleader.  Anyway, in this video nerdy Taylor and football boy are sitting on a bench and he brushes in her hair away from her face.

I can’t watch this video because of my hair brushing incident.  I remember moments of awkwardness/embarrassment with such acute clarity it is painful. This wasn’t even that embarrassing more just cringe inducing and yet every time I see Taylor playing the nerdy band kid I think of this random TA from comp sci class.  

Similarly, whenever I see the Ferris Wheel in downtown Houston I think of Hank, who kept yammering on about this amazing dessert at the restaurant we were at and then when we ordered the ginormous chocolate monstrosity told me he was on a diet. It makes me shudder in ickiness that I went out on a second date with him.

I have a history of mortifying moments….remind me to tell you about that one time I tucked my skirt into my panty hose at a New Years Party.


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