Friday, March 21, 2008

Why you should never trust a man with a ukelele

If I haven't mentioned this already, I went to a very small liberal arts college. A very small, very rural liberal arts college. So it may come as no surprise that I chose to spend many of my weekends with my friends at the much larger and all-around more fun College Park campus of the University of Maryland. When Halloween weekend came around, there was no doubt as to where I'd be.

I showed up at Talia and her roommates' apartment a couple hours before the party. "I don't have a costume," I announced. "But that's ok, right?"

"Well," Talia said, we're all dressing up. And probably everyone who comes will be dressed up too. But you don't have to wear a costume, I guess."

"What? I didn't know everyone was going to be dressed up!" I wailed. "I don't have anything to wear!!!"

After a quick scrounge through Talia's bedroom, this is what I ended up wearing over my jeans and t-shirt: a striped Mexican blanket draped over one shoulder, a pink gel eye mask, and moon boots. For whatever reason, I was a hit. In a logic-defying turn of events, I suddenly found myself the receipient of more male attention than I had ever received in my entire life. Combined. All around me were sexy nurses, sexy cops, sexy teachers, and quivering piles of carefully glittered cleavage as far as the eye could see. And yet, guys flocked around me, in my blanket and moon boots, asking me, imploring me to tell them, Who are you???

"I'm Guadalupe," I would say.

"Who's that?" they asked, puzzled.

"Hey, Tal!" I said. "He doesn't know who Guadalupe is!" And we would both laugh and laugh. We thought this was really funny, but I'm thinking now it was probably more annoying. But that's me: Confidently straddling that fine line between funny and annoying since 1999.

Even so, I eventually attracted the attention of one guy in particular, wearing a Hawaiian shirt and a straw sombrero and carrying a ukelele. He was a friend of my friend Alan, and his name was Don Hall. Now, normally I don't use full names on this website, but in this case it's sort of hard not to. He was one of those both name guys, you know? He wasn't just Don, he was Don Hall! Exclamation point! In fact, that was his entire voicemail message, "Don Hall!" Beep. Hopefully his name is common enough that he won't google himself and find this, although if he does maybe he could finally provide some answers to a nine-year mystery. Hey, Don Hall, what gives?

But I digress. After chatting and consuming four eight ten way too many Jell-o shots, I soon found myself in the unique and totally unaccustomed position of being a willing participant in a full-on makeout session on the inflatable couch, in full view of everyone. And not caring! I felt liberated! I felt invincible! I felt...mmmm...kissingkjdfgolkdfjg...

After two ten twelve a whole lot of kisses goodnight, we exchanged numbers and e-mail addresses and parted ways, with promises to meet again. Well, you guys have read enough of my bitterly disappointed blog entries to be able to figure out how this story ends, right?

But no! Just kidding! I was young, and life hadn't yet reared it's hard, ugly, and fanged head. I was nineteen, naive, and still squishably soft and pure of heart. And so he did call, and I ended up driving down there again the very next weekend to see him. We were going with some of his friends to watch another friend play at an open mike night at a coffee house. I was nervous, though. I mean, we barely knew each other, and I would already be meeting his friends? Plus, how would we get along when not fueled by alcohol? How would he act? What should I do?

I shouldn't have worried. His friends were lovely, and he was delightful. He was beyond delightful. He was affectionate all night, opening doors for me, holding my hand in the car, putting his arm around me in the coffee shop. In front of his friends, even! And the way he kept looking at me gave me the shivers. I was in heaven. We planned to see each other again, the next weekend probably.

Back at school we communicated through e-mail and im conversations. As the next weekend approached and he still hadn't mentioned getting together, I finally asked him point-blank over instant messenger. He said that he had a lot of work to do, and he wouldn't be able to hang out. I said ok and tried not to think too much of it. But the next weekend was Thanksgiving weekend, and he was back home in Connecticut. By the weekend after that, I hadn't heard from him in weeks. And he hadn't responded to any of my e-mails.

I was baffled. What happened? What could I possibly have done? The only thing I could think of was perhaps my friend Alan had said something to him. It was the only explanation I could come up with, but what could he have possibly said???

I had no way of knowing it at the time, of course, but this was but the first in a series of increasingly baffling hot-then-cold rejections. Better get used to it, sister. For my first time, I'd say I handled it pretty well. Because I had no frame of reference for such an event, I treated it as a freakish anomaly rather than what it actually was- a depressingly common reality. I decided not to worry about it too much, and I moved on.

Until one night a couple months later, when I found myself back at a party in Talia's apartment. I happened to be standing near the door when he walked in. Him. Don Hall! I don't know what reaction I expected from him; maybe a hi and how are you? I even thought for a minute that maybe we would end up making out again, which just shows you how naive I was. Instead, his reaction was one that I had never seen before, but that I was certain to see again: frantic, darting eyes, embarassed half-grin; total deer-in-the-headlights. He made a half-hearted attempt at a hello, and then ran. He ran! He lost himself in the crowd and left soon after.

My curiosity, subdued until then, flamed anew. What?! What had I done?! Or perhaps, in my mind, the better question was...What did Alan say to him???

So, what did Alan say? The world may never know...

In any case, stay tuned for part two of the saga, What Alan Said: In Which I Make Out Under a Ping Pong Table and Am Horribly Embarassed Due to a Different, Completely Unrelated Reason, Being Actually Kind of Proud of the Ping Pong Thing


  1. Now I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for the next entry. I have no idea what I said! Did I even say something?

  2. I don't know, did you? You're the only one who will ever know the answer to this! (Unless we can get Don Hall in on the action). Think Alan, think!!!!

  3. Oh no! If Alan didn't say anything, it could only be one thing: Don Hall is ridiculously stupid!

  4. Whoa, whoa, whoa! What's wrong exactly with having two first names? Elucidate, please.

    And what is a Jell-o shot? (It's that generational divide again, R.)


  5. Wow, this is so much better than the previous entry. I thought that you'd lost it. Apparently not.

    Kid, I'll say it again, you should write book.

    n.b. Kid not being used in a diminutive fashion, but rather, in the fashion in which bogie might address bacall.

  6. I appreciate your renewed trust in me, Grump. I'll try to do better in the future, I promise! :P

  7. oh god- don hall blast fromt the past. he is have the BEST voicemail message. DON HALL!!! why are the most interesting people found in maryland? viva guadalope, mexican super hero!

  8. I went to high school with a Don Hall in CT...