It is morning, and we are nursing our hangovers and asking ourselves the age old question: Was that fifth martini really necessary? We are feeling sheepish, because we're wearing a combination of clothes that makes it perfectly clear that we might still be drunk. We are periodically weeping over a movie about talking cars. We are pathetic. Pa-the-tic. We recall many other occasions in which we have made questionable judgments with regard to alcohol, in both the procurement and consumption of. We intend to commit to electronic paper the story of the first time we obtained alcohol, and how that led to us nearly being suspended from school, but how it was truly someone else's bad judgment that time. We attempt to type the following sentence: I've been involved in many an ill-conceived plan. But this is how it comes out: I've been involved in many an ill-conceived man. The salt of truth rains down on the slug of our dignity.
I've been involved in many an ill-conceived man. Many of these weren't men at the time, but rather adolescent males who inspired me and members of my female cohort to hatch plans guaranteed to make us look ridiculous. Looking back now, I can't understand what we were even thinking. Here is a sample male:
Never in all the man plans did one fail as miserably as Plan JK. JK was an intelligent preppy boy (not our illustration fellow, above) who I developed a crush on around my junior year in high school. Plan JK: Defcon 5 strategies involved announcing to any and all that I liked JK, doodling his name in between the Smiths stickers on my pee-chee, and gazing at him through the window that connected our math classes. Had I not lied my freshman year and claimed algebra was too hard so that I could be moved to pre-algebra – I was afraid of two older boys in my algebra class – I might have actually been in the room with JK. Instead I sat next door, enjoying the mathematical stylings of Harley Potampa – which sometimes involved him drawing on his undershirt to make a point – and starring at JK as I developed Plan JK: Defcon 4.
It became obvious to me that the reason I had yet to pique JK's interest was that I wasn't preppy enough. The solution? Wear my mother's clothes to school. My mother at this time wore a lot of crisp, pressed shirts from The Gap and owned penny loafers. These I gathered and began wearing with zeal. One day it was cutoffs, polka dot tights, and a
It still wasn't working. I was wearing preppy clothes – I was wearing the fuck out of them. Nothing. It was time for Plan JK: Defcon 3. I needed to actually interact with JK, but how was I going to do that? The answer was obvious: I was the photo editor for the school paper, and I could get him out of class to take his picture. Throwing aside all photojournalistic integrity, I convinced fellow newspaper staff members that we needed to do a center spread feature on the diversity of fashion styles at our school. We would photograph different students who had a "look". JK would be our smart preppy guy.
I have no clear memory of the actual photo shoot. I can tell you this: it did not result in JK taking any interest in me whatsoever. My friend Kristin would later remark that never has anyone ever been less interested in another person. She probably told me this at the time as well, repeatedly, but I wasn't listening.
Plan JK: Defcon 2 was met with similar failure. Kristin would drive me past his house on a regular basis – as in 6 times in a 15 minute span – after school. We would listen to the song The Darkest Blues by Stephen Duffy, over and over and over again, because it contains the following lyrics:
I can't forget you no matter how I try
I can't forget you no matter how I try
For every time I see you my heart dies
Every time I see you my heart dies
I am the one that you ignore
You are the one that I adore
Oh won't you come back again?
Nevermind that there was no coming back for him to do, as he was never there in the first place. The ignore and adore part struck a chord that was deafening, and I couldn't hear the rest of the song.
Plan JK: Defcon 1 was really more about retribution for all my wasted time and money. It was simple: I selected the very worst photo from the fashion shoot to print in our center spread feature – the one where one of his feet looks freakishly huge. The rest were flattering, and featured him straddling a chair while using a graphing calculator. The one that was printed was not – it's just him sitting there with his legs crossed reading a book to his big, freaky foot. I include this here, for all the internets to see: