One of the first boys who liked me that I liked back (an elusive juxtaposition “my whole life” until the ripe old age of 14) came into my life during a trip up the steps of the Washington Monument. There were two guys and two girls on this expedition – my friend Betsy, who was the object of affection of O.V., the boy I actually had a crush on, the erstwhile Ed and me. On the way to the monument we witnessed a horde of motorbike cops headed to what was most likely a Vietnam War protest in another part of the city. I noticed that Ed was upset and angered by this display on the part of the “man” – did I mention this was the late ‘60’s? I inwardly shrugged my shoulders with the thoughts, what’s the big deal? Why stress out about it if it doesn’t affect our plans? Did I mention I had (have?) the emotional depth of a kiddie pool?
We continued on our way to walking the steps to the top of the monument and by the time we had ascended to the top, Ed and I were a couple. And by that I mean, halfway up the 897 step climb he held my hand and put his arm around my shouder as we took in the views from the top. Ed later told me that the reason he formed an affection for me was because I didn’t “bug him” or make him try to talk about his feelings about seeing all those cops.
I now know that I had inadvertently allowed him to go to his cave, as described in Men are from Mars/Women are From Venus, to process his feelings thus earning me major points. Thing is, I knew in my heart of hearts that I didn’t bug him mostly because I just didn’t care. If I had cared about him at all at that point I would have used all of my Venusian wiles to try to coax him out of his cave, thereby sabotaging any chance at being his girlfriend over the next several months. (Yeah it didn’t last. Go figure.)
I write this now because it’s nice to know what the heck that was all about and why it was such a big deal to him. Lesson learned: if you want your man to adore you, leave him alone when he’s in his cave. If necessary, try not to care and, if that doesn’t work, pretend that you really have a crush on someone else anyway.