Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Personal Story

I don't share the following story because I want to make you laugh, or because I have delusions of inter-fame. I don't share it because I want you to like me more, or for the ad-revenue your page view elicits (well, that's not entirely true, it turns out all of the poor college student stories I had heard weren't exaggerations; on an unrelated note, check out the various fine products offered by local merchants to the left!).

The reason that I share the story is because it truly has had a profound effect upon me. I'm not proud of everything I did, and you might not be either. Please, though, keep in mind that I was a very socially-frightened seventh grader.




Also of note is the fact that I first posted this on Reddit, as response to the question, "What is the creepiest / funniest / scariest story of someone fixating on you?" This isn't exactly what the OP was looking for, but this is what the OP got. I decided to take it straight from Reddit, and I am aware of grammatical issues (like the fact that I vacillate between past and present tense). So, without further ado:

This one is kind of sad, and a bit weird. It starts all the way back in seventh grade gym class....
There was a new girl in our class, by the name of Amanda. She was mentally retarded, not too seriously, but enough to know just by the sound of her voice. We were in the midst of the wholly-awesome badminton unit (that, and fencing, are the only two real sports in my book) and someone was cruel enough to tell Amanda that I thought she was cute. I dunno if they were trying to be mean to me or her, but either way, it was mean. So Amanda takes this to be the truth and starts fluttering her eyelashes at me, strutting her stuff, etc. I try to be polite but not encourage the behavior, but it's difficult, and she doesn't take the hint.
The behavior continues; she follows me between classes, at recess, at lunch, everywhere. She tries to get my number but I know that it would be a pretty bad idea to give it to her. Finally, one day after a particularly rousing game of badminton, as we waited for the bell to ring, she approaches me and says, "hey jake do you want to go out with me?" to which I responded "I don't think I'm really ready for a relationship right now, Amanda.
Her eyes filled with tears and she looked at my for a moment before quietly asking, "is it because im retarded?" Hearing that pretty much broke my heart. I immediately stammered out some reply about how no, it wasn't; it was because I'm too young for a relationship and I don't really know her that well but I think we should definitely stay friends...
I still feel that in the pit of my stomach whenever I think about it.
She continued to follow me, at lunch, all the time throughout middle school and into my sophomore year. She could even get away with following me to my classes because teachers wouldn't get her in trouble with being late for class. Finally, one day she approached me, once more with tears in her eyes. She told me she was moving away, to Arizona, and that she would never see me again but would always love me.
My junior year, she found me on facebook. She still sends me messages periodically, two years later, low on grammar but high on... I dunno. Raw emotion.
I dunno if this qualifies as creepy or funny or scary, but it was definitely the most profound story of someone fixating on me.
Man, as I go back to the story, I remember parts that make me want to post it in the "Things That Make You Lose Faith in Humanity" thread. Some of the other students found it humorous, in that seventh-to-tenth-grade style of humor, and did their best to exacerbate the situation. They would send her fake love letters to her, telling her things like "I still love you but am too scared to talk to you." I would always gently deny that they came from me, but she was too fixated to believe me.
I am so incredibly ashamed that I didn't do more to get those sorts of students punished. It was mostly my seventh-to-tenth-grade fear of social persecution that kept me from reporting them, but also the fact that one day I told the gym teacher what they were doing, and he just told me that "that's just what happens in middle school" and we "just have to do our best to ignore it" or "Amanda will never learn."
I want to punch them all in the throat. I so much wish I could go back and do it.
Edit: As to those that say I ought to have told her the truth--that it really was the fact that she was retarded that I didn't want to date her-- and I've always vacillated on this one. I know that the fact that she was retarded was an aspect, but even if she wasn't, I doubt I would have gone out with her. I hadn't known her for that long, and we didn't share many interests, and she was waaaay too into Aaron Carter. I mean, if we got along really well and liked being together a lot and shared interests--important parts of a good relationship, no?--I think I would have thought much longer and much more carefully about it.

2 comments:

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