19 April 2011

the champion

I will admit to being extremely narcissistic. I’m a writer—self-absorption is practically in the job requirements. These posts don’t come out of nowhere. They involve quite a bit of unhealthy self-obsession.

I think that we’ve established that most people don’t think like me. And I’m okay with that fact. Someday I will find someone who finds my idiosyncrasies charming rather than terrifying. Unfortunately, I had deluded myself recently about someone liking me a little.

My college has a website on which people post missed connections. For example, a common post would say something like “Brunette guy in the dining hall:. I see you around campus all the time and you always smile at me. Maybe next time we run into each other on purpose.” You get the idea. People post on this website about attractive strangers that they are too afraid to speak to in real life.

I find this website oddly fascinating. Also, since I became aware of this site,like any normal human being, I have become even more self-conscious when I’m on campus (yes, it’s possible for me to be even more self-conscious). I never expected that I would be on this site, mostly because I never win anything.

I noticed this trend when I was in sixth grade. At the beginning of each math class, we would play a game called Krytpo. The teacher would randomly select five numbers, as well as a sixth “target” number. The goal was to use mathematical operations so that the five numbers equal the sixth. The first person to achieve this feat was the winner. For some reason, I really wanted to be the winner. There was no prize, and no real incentive for me to try, but I just wanted to be the one to shout “Krypto!” and be met with the jealous looks that I always shot at the winner. You’d think that I would win at least once during the schoolyear, but I did not. I realize that math is not my strong suit, but the laws of probability were on my side. I think. I may have calculated it wrong.

My point is, I never won. Nor have I ever won a raffle. Even though a guy that had a crush on me was operating the t-shirt gun, I have never caught a t-shirt at a sporting event. Granted, I couldn’t catch the shirt even though he shot it directly at me. He ended up just giving me one out of the box.

When I heard about LikeALittle, I knew that the chances of me being on the site were slim to none. There are a lot of people on this campus, and having a post about me on the site would involve someone actually noticing me. Yes, I realize that that last sentence was dark, but it’s how I feel and I’m allowed to write what I feel here. Plus it’s true.

Imagine my surprise when I read a post about a dark-haired girl with very long hair that eats lunch on Tuesdays at a specific dining hall at a specific time. I have dark hair that almost reaches my butt. I eat lunch on Tuesdays at the same place at the same time every week. I know that these characteristics are not the most distinctive, but a tiny bit of me hoped that my losing streak would be over. Could I have possibly won?

Today was the first Tuesday since that post. I decided to stick to my routine and carried on as usual. As expected, no one came up to talk to me. When I checked the site later, I saw that the author had updated about how he liked the girl’s blue shoes. I was wearing my brown grandma shoes (I know, I know, which ones?).

Even though I knew that there was next to no chance that the girl in the post was me, I was still a little bit sad when I knew for a fact that it wasn’t.

Finding out for sure that it wasn’t about me brought me back to my sixth grade math classroom, working frantically on something that really didn’t mean anything but nevertheless feeling disappointed when I lost.

Then I remembered that the premise of the website is kind of creepy and got over myself.


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