Definition 1: a flower name, a member of the mustard family, is cultivated for its attractive flowers.
Definition 2: a person who, because of shyness, unpopularity, or lack of a partner, remains at the side at a party or dance.
No kidding! I was a wallflower.
A while ago, someone asked me to write about my dating stories. (Remember that, Jean?) My reply was, “You don’t want to know. They were pathetic.” The truth is they WERE pathetic indeed! People may think that I am just kidding. When we were at school, I probably organized more school dances and trips than anybody could have imagined. I had a group of good friends who always helped me out for the organization. They were there to fill the party dance floor and be the participants for the trips. When I was organizing a big event, I almost always needed to rally a group of faithful supporters to make the place look less empty. I guess it is like organizing a political protest; you just need to find a group of people who can carry the placards and shout loudly. (Hehehe….) So, there must be some interesting love encounters or courtships for me! Well, not exactly.
Although I loved dancing, I was a wallflower at most dance parties. For an event organizer, the only down time would be when the music started and everyone moved towards the dance floor. Then what? Shouldn’t I, the organizer, just get invited as everybody else and then move into the dance floor with a tall handsome partner? Ha, things just don’t happen exactly the same way as you have planned. Put it this way. I am still waiting for that once in a life time dance. Hehehe….
A typical scene at those university parties would be I, Moir, dancing with a group of girls who didn’t get invited by male partners. We would take up quite a real estate at the dance floor and just enjoyed having a blast. Occasionally, one or two might get invited for a dance. Not me, though. People seemed to assume that I was either occupied with a dance partner or too busy to care. Or, like a guy friend once said, it was intimidating to ask me. (Why? Didn’t I say I loved dancing? I don’t bite!)
Most people would think that a busy body like me who had a large social circle would not be short of any boyfriends or even short of dates in that sense. The truth was that, other than the group-dates, I would be the one who cooped up at home sleeping or watching TV whenever I was not working. I would be the one who got calls from friends who talked for hours on the phone about their emotional crisis. My emotional crisis was that I was lacking those opportunities to have emotional crisis. (Hehehe…. That actually sounds like a good thing.) I was always the rock for others but my puppy love stories somehow did not turn out to be the way I wanted and here is one of them.
One day I invited this guy (Mr. P) I had been communicating on and off for a long time to a dance that I helped organize. I met Mr. P while we were in high school. He was two years of my senior in high school and we both were members in the target shooting team. At that time, I was in my senior year in the university and he was a lieutenant in the army and planning to take military as a profession. (I once also dreamt about going to the military university.) We started writing to each other after a high school reunion. We really hit it off. We planned a couple of dates but our meetings often got cancelled due to his training and my busy schedule.
On this day for the big dance party, I was looking forward to meeting him again. At least, I thought that I “booked” my own dance partner this time! Mr. P arrived early and we had a great dinner together. We took a walk after dinner and I showed him around the university campus before we headed towards the dance party. Shortly after we arrived, I was busy introducing him to my friends who knew in advance that this guy of my interest would be finally showing up for the party.
I thought everything was going well for the date. Then I had to move around to help out for a bit. Later, I came to discover that he was dancing with another acquaintance of mine. We danced probably twice for the entire evening. Most of the times, he was dancing with somebody else. I was disappointed because he knew I would be only busy for a while before the party started. We were supposed to spend some quality time together.
Before we met, I have thought about how the day would be like but nothing happened as I have hoped for after the music started. After the late party, we were supposed to take the same bus home. However, he decided to take another bus instead with one of my classmates because they lived in the same city. But, I lived one city next to him and he could have taken the same bus with me! I waved goodbye to him with one last glimpse of him. On the bus alone, I cried all the way home. I went through my typical Julia1492’s self reflection routine again and again on the bus. What did I do wrong? What went wrong on the date? Was it me? What was he thinking?
Some people always go through different stages of the emotional roller coasters; shock, denial, anger and finally acceptance. I went through the same emotional upheaval for a while after the date. First, I was simply surprised that he somehow ignored the fact that he was the one who seemed to be so interested in me and wanting to come. Shouldn’t I, the date of the evening, be considered as his dace partner? I was then in denial that maybe I was just too busy to give him enough attention that night and I was a part to blame for the outcome. Then, my anger kicked in later on after the date. Wait! Didn’t we set up this date for a long time in advance? Didn’t he say that he was looking forward to seeing me again? Maybe, I was not attractive enough! (#%_*#&%!!) The knots were churning in my stomach on the bus home. The long-haired girl told me later that he asked her for her phone number and address on the bus. Finally, I came to the realization that maybe he’s not interested in me.
Tears helped ease the pain, but I was usually quite good at controlling my tears. A few days after the party, I got a letter from him as nothing had happened. He continued to write to me. (I don’t know why!) The letters kept coming to inform me when he would be in town. (Why bothered?) However, at that point in time, I was totally discouraged by this process of communicating with him. I didn’t ask him why he missed all the chances I offered to him at the party. I have millions of questions for him: Why did he let me take the lonely bus home alone while he hopped on the bus with that long hair girl? Why did he continue to write to me and expect me to keep investing our emotions in something that he did not cherish when the opportunities came to him? Why did he act like nothing had happened on the phone? I stopped replying to him after that last dance. Bye, bye, Mr. P, my friend.
After each pathetic encounter, I redirected my attention to things that would keep me occupied. There were not too many stories such as this one later on, but a few more also ended with pathetic results, including this Honda Motor plant manager from India or Pakistan who asked me to be his third or fourth wife. (He told me that the wedding would be like a whole village celebration event lasted for weeks. Hahaha…) I decided not to waste my time for something that I simply could not control. I’d rather wait for somebody who would love me to death and cherish me for who I am.
One of the guy friends later told me, “I thought you have many boyfriends because you are one of those busy girls at school and you were always surrounded by so many friends.” How many girls out there would die of being lonely at home because people simply ASSUMED that they would be out on dates on Friday nights? Thank God, I had too many things to keep me occupied then. The truth was that I was tired of wasting my time looking and waiting for a date to come knock on my door. I was too busy and I simply didn’t have time to go through the process again and again. I openly admitted to friends that I needed to find someone who seriously cared about me. I just didn’t want to play the same old courtship game of being rejected and hurt over and over again. So, this is the end of my pathetic love story, not too much love after all!
1. To Jean, I don’t know if my story is qualified as being pathetic. At least I think it was.
2. To Friends from high school who still remember my Mr. Pig: Some things are better remained to be kept in our heart forever.
3. A song I came across one day totally sums up my feelings for all my pathetic experiences. Here is the link.