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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shameful Behavior

I posted this cartoon once, but it was such a long time ago that I'm sure many of you missed it.  I thought it was worth another look.  Especially since my post today is about dating--my dating in the long distant past!


I  was remembering today, an incident from my freshman year of college.  I had been asked out on a date by a fellow freshman, whom I'll call Michael Shaw.  (The name has been changed to protect the guilty; in this case, the guilty meaning me.)   Michael was about 5' 7" tall, blond, blue-eyed, had the build of a linebacker, and wasn't bad-looking; not knockout handsome, but he was pleasant enough to the eye.  He had invited me to a  movie--I don't recall which one--and we walked to the theater.  Freshmen were not allowed to have cars on campus, but this wasn't a problem, because it was less than a mile from my dormitory to the theater.(And back in those days I didn't require oxygen to walk from one telephone pole to the next!)  We chatted about our classes on the way, then talked about our famillies on the way back.  He invited me to dinner at his parent's house the following Sunday, and without really thinking it through, I said okay. 

I say I didn't think it through, because actually, meeting a guy's parents could be construed as a serious step.  We had only dated a couple of times prior to the movie, and there had been a week or two between dates.  It didn't occur to me to say no.  So, the following weekend, Mr. and Mrs. Shaw came to the campus and picked us up at my dorm and drove us to the next town to their home.  They were very nice people, and we had a lovely meal, but all the while, I felt I was being "sized up" as a future daughter-in-law prospect.  This made  me more than a little uncomfortable.  First, because I had only dated Michael a couple of times, and second, I had agreed to these last two dates because Homecoming Weekend was only two weeks away, and I wanted to be sure of a date.  Yeah, I was that shallow.


I only felt luke warm toward Michael.  It wasn't because of his height--I was only 5' 2", so he was plenty tall enough, it wasn't his looks--as I said, he was fairly attractive.  It was because I was finding him boring.  My dilemma was to dump him now, because he obvioulsy liked me more than I like him, and chance being without a date for Homecoming, or keep things going past the big weekend.


Like I said--I was shallow.  I opted to keep seeing him for a couple more weeks, which meant holding his clammy hand and kissing him goodnight a few times and pretending to be interested.  All because I really, really wanted to go to the Homecoming Dance.  I'm not proud of what I did.  Michael was a good person and deserved better treatment than I gave him;  the week after the dance, I told him I didn't want to see him anymore.  I offered no explanation; I didn't take his phone calls, and avoided him on campus.  Since we were in different academic programs, it wasn't hard to do.


I don't know what ever happened to Michael; I lost track of him after freshman year.  I just know that I was sorry afterward that I had treated him badly, but was afraid to apologize for fear he would think I wanted to resume dating him.


So today, for some unexplained reason, Michael came back into my mind, and I'm still embarrassed at the shallowness of my behavior back then.  If you're out there somewhere, Michael, and you remeber taking me home to meet your parents--I'm the one who tasted succotash for the first time and loved it.  I'm sorry.  I'm not so vain as to think  you are still carrying a torch or anything, I'd just like you do know you did nothing wrong.  I was just a spoiled, selfish , thoughtless bitch!

How about you?  Have you ever mistreated someone for selfish reasons and regretted later, but never apologized for your behavior?

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26 comments:

Unknown Mami said...

I have some very shameful stories. I was young, stupid, and thoughtless. There is one person in particular that I would love to apologize to.

A 2 Z said...

Hi Eva,

The only thing I feel guilty about is not getting back at the people that were mean to me i.e. ex-husband. I was brought up a strict catholic and the nuns always brainwashed us with treating other people the way you would like to be treated. I had this fear in me that I should always be kind to others or else....I have other faults of course!

My name is PJ. said...

Hi Eva, I don't believe I ever "michael-ed" a guy, but have I treated people regrettably? Oy. If they all moved into one general geographical area, it would be the 5 boroughs of New York City. If they formed a club, the officers would probably be my siblings.

When I was young, I didn't think about the ramifications of what I said and did.

Mommakin said...

I have indeed...

The Good Cook said...

Everyone (in their youth especially) has treated someone poorly. The hope is as we grow, we realize how fragile human beings are and we become much more gentle in our treatment.

You weren't so bad. Many a girl has "hung-on" until after the prom, homecoming, a holiday, etc...

Good Post.

glnroz said...

ahh heck,, ease up on yourself. We all have probably "Michaeled" or have been "Michaeled" at one time of another, but I do know what you mean. lol

DJan said...

Yep, I did it too. Maybe there's something universal about learning to care about other people and we need to grow into it. All you need is to be on the receiving end once to realize how it feels...

Candice said...

"Have you ever mistreated someone for selfish reasons and regretted later, but never apologized for your behavior?"

Uh, absolutely not! ;)

Suldog said...

I think we all have some things in our pasts that we're not particularly proud of. To admit to one, in public, and offer an apology, takes courage. Well done.

Double Wide Mom said...

YIKES! Too many times. A few of them I have come across on Facebook and fortunately neither of us mention it!

JennyMac said...

I was a terrible friend once and I did apologize but 15 years later. I am glad I apologized and was remiss to wait so long. Glad to say we are friends now.

jules said...

Aww. You aren't terrible or selfish! We just have to figure things out, trial and error when we are young and dating!

Steven Anthony said...

I had one date that I treated so bad, yrs later I saw her and tried to say I was sorry, she refused to accept it saying I had hurt her to deeply:( it was like a knife to my heart...

K A B L O O E Y said...

Yup. You're human and you've clearly grown up into a more sensitive person. Maybe you made the transition faster because you know you were wrong re: Michael?

Mimi said...

Yeah, there were a couple of sticky situations when I was dating.

I'm just stopping by from SITS to say hello & welcome!

Blackberry Jam Cafe said...

You're very brave today. I think if most of us are honest, we all said or did things we regret when we were that age. At least you put it out there - dang, Eva - now I feel guilty I haven't made all the apologies I need to. This is going to take a while......
Susan

Mary K Brennan said...

I broke up with this wonderful guy in Senior year of college. He was perfect. I was just too young to settle down and I wasn't ready to date just one person. I've often thought of him over the years.
Then as luck would have it, we ran into each other 7 years later. I was in a bad relationship and now had the perfect excuse to get out. Mr. Wonderful gave me a second chance, and 2 years later he asked me to marry him.
And we're living happily ever after!

The Retired One said...

YOU??? Shallow?? I shant believe it!

It is so cute that you have felt guilty all these years for just dating someone a few times....
it is what most kids are doing now all the time...
Besides, maybe YOU were HIS arm candy and he wanted to strut you on his arm and HE wasn't even serious..you never know.
But if you feel better by confessing your sins, that is good!
You are a sweetheart, Eva.

Unknown Mami said...

I linked to you today!

Char said...

Ahhh, you sweety, you. That's great that you felt the need to apologize AND had the guts to do it. And.Yes.I.Have.
(and no, I'm too big of a chicken to ever bring it up publicly.)

you rock Eva!

xoxo

lakeviewer said...

Yeah! Shallowness is not a badge we wear with pride; nevertheless, we can list a few incidents...

Eva Gallant said...

Steven: It makes you feel like crap!

Jules; I guess so, but I still feel bad about it.

Ann On and On... said...

Most of us have done one, two or a handful of bad things. It doesn't make us "bad" mostly temporarily stupid.
What's more important is that you see it as inappropriate,

Welcome to SITS Eva!

Lluvia said...

yes! Oh my gosh! I treated a guy like crap. He loved me and I didn't..but the sex was really good, and that is the only reason why it lasted so long.

Brian Miller said...

yeah, college was pretty rough for me...i did not treat many very well until i met my wife my sophomore year...

Tam said...

Oh honey! You ain't the only one! Did you ever see the movie Flatliners? I could flatline the rest of my life and probably never make it all right.