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Monday, May 30, 2005 by Jon

I'm afire right now, and I hope I capture all of my thoughts and feelings from today. Brian and I took a daytrip back to Springfield for Jenifer's graduation party. We left at 3pm and came back at 3am, and everything in between our twelve hours was so very good. On the drive back, a lot was going on in my mind about our trip and things from the past few days.

1. Cling to your childhood imagination.

Margaret moved back to London this morning. First, my heart is genuinely depressed that an ocean separates me from my friend. I may not see people who live within 90 minutes of me often, but if I know they are far away distance-wise, I feel very disconnected with them, and therefore very sad. It can break my heart.

I was helping Marge pack last night and she had a cardboard tube for packaging posters. I picked it up and suddenly remembered when I was eleven or twelve, and how I could entertain myself for hours with one prop. At 21, this poster tube was a poster tube. At age 11, this poster tube was a bazooka, and I was defending my army base from attack by my enemies. I vividly remember rolling and jumping around on my sister’s bed, evading enemy fire, and then popping up and shooting them down. And I did all of this with just a pool stick.

I’ve known Brian for ten years now too. And of all the times I’ve been over to his house, I have not once ever set foot in his bedroom. But today, I got to see it, and it was cool. We had some downtime before going over to Jenifer’s, so we went over to his house. And his room is everything I would imagine a young Brian room to be, filled with sports memorabilia and things that reflect his personality. Two things stood out, his basketball hoop and his WWF wrestling figures and wrestling ring. B told me how he would spend hours shooting hoops in his room, pretending to hit game winning shots like all young boys do. He pointed out the part of his floor, where it noticeably was sunken in, because he always jumped around making his shots. The WWF toys were even more nostalgic, with a lot of old wrestling icons and his ring. He would spend hours imaging wresting tournaments play out, and he even had the creativity to create bleachers for his ring and turning other action figures (like the X-Men) into substitutes for other wrestlers based on appearance/ability.

I wish I had the same creativity and imagination to do these things now. The poster tube was a poster tube. I actually tried to recreate the magic in Margaret’s living room of me being in a jungle surrounded by enemies, but it wasn’t happening. And that is a terrible shame, and I hope I can cherish and hold onto whatever of my childhood imagination that I have left. There is just something righteous and wholesome in that ability.

2. Remember hobbies you had as a kid.

On the drive to Springfield, Brian and I were reminiscing about things, and one of those things was EA Sports NHL ’94, the best hockey video game ever. The game is over eleven years old, but we still knew a handful of starting lineups from that game. And we got so excited over it. So the plan at Brian’s was to find his old Sega Genesis, his old games, and bring them back to Champaign with us. And to our joy, we found them, along with NBA Jam and Street Fighter II. And yes, we know a lot of people, real and fictional, in both of those games too. “Charles Barkley and Kevin Johnson for the Suns!” we exclaimed, while sharing our joy with Tyler on the phone. It’s not Amare Stoudamire and Steve Nash, but it’s what we knew as little kids, and it seems almost larger than life now. We’re going to have some old school Sega fun tomorrow.

3. Cherish the ones who knew you when you were young.

After Brian’s, we headed over to Jenifer’s where we spent most of the evening, seven hours to be exact. In those seven hours, there were plenty of old stories shared by a lot of old friends. Jenifer’s house was the site where I shaving-creamed “Asian Stud” (fyi: not a self-given title) into the driveway during the TP War of 1999 between the guys and girls. The shaving cream stained, and for two years, every time it rained, Jenifer’s parents said the letters would reappear on their driveway. At least we can have a good laugh about it now.

We've all grown up. Everyone was having a good time with people they knew when they were young and na├»ve and innocent. I played baseball and soccer with Brett since I was eight. Meagan was my first date to a dance. Brian and Brandon had a fight over a prom date. Brian’s infamously funny picture was with Brittany, Nicho Ajit Brian and me were inseparable for one summer, Jenifer’s house was the site of many hangouts, and there is more and more and more. I don’t go back to Springfield, often, so this was all very special and reminiscing.

The celebration was for Jenifers college graduation, which means that other friends from my grade there were also done with college and at a crossroads for where to go. There was a lot of conversation about what everyone was doing next, the next steps in our own personal journeys that take us away from each other. As time goes on, it becomes more and more real, much more real than graduating high school. It's just life. People change and situations change. But in this atmosphere, it didn’t seem like anything had. We all knew who each other was, because we all knew each other when we were young, and that’s all it was and that was that. Just one garage full of people who inherently know they enjoy each others company.

4. Laughter, or getting overly-excited about small things, is great for the soul.

Lots of games of Taps and Pong, and they were intense and exciting, especially since we’ve all played them in college with other people, but not against each other, and the games got close. Letting yourself go and just being on fire and excited with life is absolutely thrilling. Like what we do at TAF basically. That’s how you should live your days. And you might as well. What other choice do you have when the choices are joy or blandness?

I think my drive in life is to stay forever young, and that means staying young at heart. It explains a lot of what I do and what went through my mind today I believe. Clinging to my imagination, remembering things I played, reconnecting with old friends, and just being happy. I say young at heart, Erika calls it immature. Maybe it is both. But odds are I’m right and she’s wrong, haha.

And of course, there is always the "home" issue in going home. But by this I mean Springfield in general. I love Springfield dearly, with all my heart and maybe more so than those who are there, but will I return? A lot of my friends seem to have come back, for long or short periods, and I can’t blame them. It’s a good place to grow up, a good place to get a job, and a good place to someday raise a family I think. But I think I owe it to myself and well, everything and everyone else, to go away and do something different. It could be as close as Stl or Chicago, or it could be Europe or Africa. Who knows, but I’m sad to think that it might not be Springfield like I once dreamed.

Regardless of whether or not I was able to express what I was thinking about in these words, today was a beautiful day. If only I could have seen more fresh old faces with more time.

Brett and others.

High school best friends Meagan and Jenifer

Four years ago, these guys were in a fight over a prom date. I think they dont care anymore.

Clockwise from bottom: Brian, Me, Brittany, Tilldo, Meagan, Sweaty, Jen, and Brando

I think when I "think," it can better be described as dreaming, because I'm always thinking of idealistic thoughts. Reaching and hoping for something utopian. Wishing and wanting more.

I'm a lucky mofo.
Springfield love.

And lastly, this song speaks volumes of what's been occupying my mind recently, on many different levels.

Snow Patrol - Run

I'll sing it one last time for you
Then we really have to go
You've been the only thing that's right
In all I've done

And I can barely look at you
But every single time I do
I know we'll make it anywhere
Away from here

Light up, light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I'll be right beside you dear

Louder louder
And we'll run for our lives
I can hardly speak I understand
Why you can't raise your voice to say

To think I might not see those eyes
Makes it so hard not to cry
And as we say our long goodbye
I nearly do

Light up...

Slower slower
We don't have time for that
All I want is to find an easier way
To get out of our little heads

Have heart my dear
We're bound to be afraid
Even if it's just for a few days
Making up for all this mess

Light up, light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I'll be right beside you dear

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Saturday, May 28, 2005 by Jon

A good day. Went up to Wrigley with Erika and her parents to watch the Cubbies. The game was fun, the Cubs offense broke out, but Prior got hurt. Sad.

- Erika's dad brought some Cubby Bear root beer for the trip up. It's amazing.
- One of my favorite things is coming out of ramps/tunnels/stairs in stadiums and all of a sudden hearing the sounds of the crowd and seeing the green grass of a baseball field. Beautiful.
- A guy sitting THREE seats in front of my caught a foul ball, WHILE he was talking to his secretary on the phone.
- I didn't actually see Prior get hit. I was staring at the red Budweiser rooftop across Waveland, beyond the left field bleachers, and thinking how the Cubs could install a Jumbotron out there. I heard a big "OOHHH" and saw Prior on the ground in pain, and Aramis getting up in foul territory with dirt on his uniform after making a diving catch. The ball ricocheted off of Prior's elbow all the way to the other side of third base. Not good. You could hear the ball hit his elbow. And I was in the upper deck.
- There was this really cute kid sitting in front of us, decked out in Cubs gear. A friendly peanut vendor told him if Derrek Lee hit a home run in this at bat, he'd give him a free bag of peanuts. The guy walked away, and in beautiful baseball fashion, Lee hit a home run to dead center on the next pitch. Everyone seated around the kid began yelling to the vendor to get him his free bag of peanuts. The kid, no more than 5 or 6 years old, was so happy. It was awesome.
- If I ever live in Chicago, it will be in Wrigleyville (and if I ever live in St. Louis, it will be in the Central West End).
- I wore Derrek Lee's jersey, and Erika wore a Prior jersey. Lee went 3/3 with two hr's. Prior got hurt. I'm clearly much better luck. But It's ok, I love Erika. In a completely asexual way, if any of you were wondering by her constant appearance on here.
- I'm going to get Cubs season tickets someday.

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Friday, May 27, 2005 by Jon

Oldest friends Justin and Erika

Holy crap thats scary

Margaret made us amazing sandwiches (after watching Adam Sandler make the amazing sandwich in Spanglish). It took us a few tries to take the picture, and it was so good so we kept eating it. So thats why we have so little sandwich left in the final shot. Does my hair look like a fro?

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005 by Jon

Another night turns into another unable-to-sleep night for me. So I facebook.

- There are no other Erika Mahon's listed, but there is an Erica Mahon (Syracuse) and an Erica Mahoney (Portland).
- One other Brian Royer (IU), and one other Steve Ettinger (BU).
- No surprise, there are 144 Jon Lee's, of Asian, African, and Caucasian descent. And this includes NJ Jon Lee. About 140 John Lee's. Might I have the most common male name?
- One other Justin Chiu. No other Erin Chious. 9 Jeff Chengs.
- 33 Britney Spears. Non of them not the famous one.
- 161 Sarah Johnsons. And only 17 Grace Park's?
- Ok no, about twenty or so more Michael Smiths' than Jon Lees'.

Yea. I cant sleep. Someone help me sleep. You see what I'm forced to do to pass the time?!?!?!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005 by Jon

Hooray. Its Erika's birthday. Too bad shes only 20, because Im still looking for someone to go see Augustana with me.

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by Jon

Someone come to the Augustana concert with me Friday! You have to be 21.

In other news:

- I'm in love with my new facewash. Yes. My facewash. Its for MEN.
- Looking at xangas, I saw another "wuwu", but not Anna Wu. Five minutes later, I saw the xanga name "SteveIsEvil", but not our Evil Steve. Weird.
- A screw in my glasses broke the other day, so I've been forcing myself to either go to bed right after taking my contacts out, or blindly doing various things. If needed, I would tape it where my screw popped out to hold my lens, but the lens kept falling out. So I am a genius, and used a staple to firmly hold my glasses together.
- The movie he is referring to below is Napoleon Dynamite, which takes place in Idaho? Erika, you'll enjoy this:

BizzKill1: maybe i should've gone to boise
thendxcrd: uh oh
thendxcrd: someting wrong?
BizzKill1: no..haha, justin sent me this cnn story about the best growing places to live
BizzKill1: boise's # 1
thendxcrd: hehe
thendxcrd: told you so
thendxcrd: im moving to boise.
BizzKill1: no way man, after seeing the movie!
BizzKill1: well i'll visit
thendxcrd: yes because all of idaho is like that.
BizzKill1: (that's a bold faced lie)
BizzKill1: that's what i do, stereotype
BizzKill1: if you're fat, i think you eat a lot
thendxcrd: hahaha
thendxcrd: t-t-t-tool!

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Thursday, May 19, 2005 by Jon

Well I'm just an unhappy camper.

- Every night this week, I've gone to bed tired and sleepy, yet I still toss and turn for an hour at least before I can sleep. And then I wake up more tired than I should be in the morning, and it isnt pleasant.

- As I was tossing and turning tonight, I calculated in my head that over the past year or so, I've probably spent, not joking, 12-14 hours just sitting in my car, waiting for the people I'm picking up to come outside and get in the car. This isnt mean to be calling everyone out, because YOU ALL DO IT (except for B, Evil, Alex, and Jeff), but you know, just come outside faster. I could do a lot with an extra 12-14 hours, and I won't bang my head into the steering wheel anymore.

- More tossing and turning lead to thinking that in reference to the rest of white America, I will never always just be "American." Our society and culture, and probably some things I do, just make it that way. Yup. I'll always be different. It's more bitter than sweet.

- Also, I don't know if I'll ever live as Christian as I wish I could. But maybe that's how its supposed to be, and that that is the point of Christianity, that we'll always...suck. You know, with the whole Jesus dying for our human sins. If I was perfect, Jesus would just have been chillin.

- Lastly, TAF, TAF, TAF, TAF. I realized, while tossing and turning, of so much more things I need to do. Oh boy. Swing Choir. Time to start dancing in front of a mirror.

Yup. I'm a bucket of sunshine. At least I got a Wienersaber today with my meal.

...yea. I hope the kids dont get the humor of this shady and uber-phallic toy.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005 by Jon

I just bought the Augustana songs on iTunes!!!

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005 by Jon


Hanging out before some of us leave.

Grace is gone. But I'll see her Taiwan.

Hannah and Susan came to Champaign to watch the Wandering Sons in concert. It was good.

Hannah and a portion of my infamous wall of frames.

So I just went running, and I think people who say they run 4 miles, but run it "really slow", yet finish in 40 minutes, are actually running quite fast and dont know what theyre talking about.

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Monday, May 16, 2005 by Jon

Does anyone else thing Karen Lai looks like Summer from The OC?

Crash - Good movie, really good. But what to take from it (other than a good soundtrack)...

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Friday, May 13, 2005 by Jon

Representin' ma boy Jared.

Augustana on May 27th, in Indianapolis! Huzzah! Come one, come all. Yes, you SHOULD go see them because they're awesome. Theyll be in NYC soon (attn: Dave, Marge, Jenny, Alex) and Detroit and Chicago later this summer.

I saw this online:

Those yellow arrows point to the silhouettes of me, Erika, Justin, Erin, Grace, and Roger, from when we saw them in LA. Yes, we're on an official Augustana photo. Awesome.

Listen to their first single, "All the Stars and Boulevards," online here (as well as my favorite "Boston"): PureVolume. Their myspace might be better quality though: MySpace

And I also saw them on this site with the likes of Oasis and Ben Folds, tied to tv shows on the WB. Maybe they'll be on a "fresh" episode of One Tree Hill or...Everwood. Haha. I'm hoping for The O.C.

And lastly, here is an article about them:

Augustana To Tour With Stereophonics
Epic recording artists Augustana are hitting the road with Stereophonics for a tour that began April 24th at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver.

The California-based quartet (vocalist/pianist/guitarist Dan Layus, guitarist Josiah Rosen, bassist/keyboardist Jared Palomar and drummer Justin South) will be previewing material from their much-buzzed-about Epic debut All The Stars And Boulevards. The album, produced by Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young), arrives in stores this summer.

Led by first single "Stars and Boulevards," the album introduces the foursome whose roots can be traced back to the winter of 2004, when college classmates Layus, Rosen and Palomar left Greenville, Illinois to pursue music in California. After recruiting South, they bounced around the country, sharpening their sound. They eventually landed in Chicago, where they continued to write and record. A demo made its way to O'Brien, who jetted to the Windy City to find out if the band could deliver the goods live. He discovered that they could. A few months later, they were in Atlanta, recording their debut album in O'Brien's Southern Tracks studio.

"All the Stars and Boulevards" hits airwaves on the 23rd.
Their debut cd of the same name comes out June 28th.

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Thursday, May 12, 2005 by Jon

ok! for the second time tonight, it seems that yes. aim has added to the maximum buddy list quota! yes yes yes!

I was more excited when I thought this a few hours ago. And then my buddy list got weird. But I think its fixed. I have 204 buddies, and more to come.

Yea. Ok. Im uber-excited again.


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Tuesday, May 10, 2005 by Jon

Finishing up a paper right now on the concentration of ownership in the mass media and the effects that it has on our society. Fun stuff let me tell you. But yes. I was writing some lines and I wanted to mention how our government has been using checks and balances in our ____ year history. I did the math in my head.

1776 -> 2005 =

At first, I thought it was 229 years, since 2005-1776=229. And I was like "whoa, that was close, whew". And then I realized it isn't July 4th yet. So...yea, you guessed it, our country is 228 years old. Huzzar.

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Monday, May 09, 2005 by Jon

tennis > studying for finals.

Carolyn Huang: May 2 - June 4
Michelle Hsu: May 11 - May 19
Jessica Fu: May 16 - June 7
Betty Lee: May 18 - June 1
Ruth Ann Day: May 23 - June 6
Roger Lin: May 24 - Aug 26
Dave Hsu: May 25 - Aug 27
Christine Chen: May - Aug
Angie Huang: June 10 - June 27
Mike Weng: June 10 - June 27
Steven Wang: June 10 - June 27
Jon Lee: June 11 - Jul 1
Alice Wang: July?
Bryan Liu: July?
Margaret Chen: July?
Alex Chen: July?
Wil Chung: July?
Grace P: May 26 - Aug 18

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Thursday, May 05, 2005 by Jon

Kate Beckinsale just got better, because apparently, she is half Asian. Hot.

edit: ok maybe not.

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005 by Jon

My Microbiology class is in room 228.

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Tuesday, May 03, 2005 by Jon

Erika was witness to the time being 2:28am on some sort of medicine commercial. And I was looking up shortstops in my fantasy baseball league, and Edgar Renteria is batting .228. Sweet.

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Monday, May 02, 2005 by Jon

TAFers in Taiwan: Summer 2005

Carolyn H: May 2 - June 4
Michelle H: May 11 - May 19
Jessica F: May 16 - June 7
Betty L: May 18 - June 1
Ruth Ann D: May 23 - June 6
Roger L: May 24 - Aug 26
Dave H: May 25 - Aug 27
Angie H: June 10 - June 27
Mike W: June 10 - June 27
Steven W: June 10 - June 27
Gloria P: ?
Jon Lee: June 11 - Jul 1
Alice W: ?
Bryan L: ?
Margaret C: July 4?
Alex C: ?
Grace P: May 26 - Aug 18

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by Jon

I just noticed it again.

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by Jon

The number 228 appears to me nearly every day. Usually it involves me noticing the time every afternoon at 2:28, or catching a song 2 minutes and 28 seconds into it on my iTunes. I told Margaret about it earlier tonight. Afterwards, I watched Hurricane, a good movie, though highly fictionalized despite being based on a true story. An important part of the movie details the whereabouts of Denzel Washington's character at exactly 2:28 am. And I watched that part of the movie at 3:28am. Maybe I'm just kinda crazy, but I see signs (which is also a very good movie) in a lot of things. And I think maybe I should start writing the screenplay for my 228 movie.

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Sunday, May 01, 2005 by Jon

Two high quality articles taken from Traci. Damn straight it's time I got some recognition, har har. And I'm siding with the guys of course.

Ode to the Nice Guys
This rant was written for the Wharton Undergraduate Journal

This is a tribute to the nice guys. The nice guys that finish last, that never become more than friends, that endure hours of whining and bitching about what assholes guys are, while disproving the very point. This is dedicated to those guys who always provide a shoulder to lean on but restrain themselves to tentative hugs, those guys who hold open doors and give reassuring pats on the back and sit patiently outside the changing room at department stores. This is in honor of the guys that obligingly reiterate how cute/beautiful/smart/funny/sexy their female friends are at the appropriate moment, because they know most girls need that litany of support. This is in honor of the guys with open minds, with laid-back attitudes, with honest concern. This is in honor of the guys who respect a girl’s every facet, from her privacy to her theology to her clothing style.

This is for the guys who escort their drunk, bewildered female friends back from parties and never take advantage once they’re at her door, for the guys who accompany girls to bars as buffers against the rest of the creepy male population, for the guys who know a girl is fishing for compliments but give them out anyway, for the guys who always play by the rules in a game where the rules favor cheaters, for the guys who are accredited as boyfriend material but somehow don’t end up being boyfriends, for all the nice guys who are overlooked, underestimated, and unappreciated, for all the nice guys who are manipulated, misled, and unjustly abandoned, this is for you.

This is for that time she left 40 urgent messages on your cell phone, and when you called her back, she spent three hours painstakingly dissecting two sentences her boyfriend said to her over dinner. And even though you thought her boyfriend was a chump and a jerk, you assured her that it was all ok and she shouldn’t worry about it. This is for that time she interrupted the best killing spree you’d ever orchestrated in GTA3 to rant about a rumor that romantically linked her and the guy she thinks is the most repulsive person in the world. And even though you thought it was immature and you had nothing against the guy, you paused the game for two hours and helped her concoct a counter-rumor to spread around the floor. This is also for that time she didn’t have a date, so after numerous vows that there was nothing “serious” between the two of you, she dragged you to a party where you knew nobody, the beer was awful, and she flirted shamelessly with you, justifying each fit of reckless teasing by announcing to everyone: “oh, but we’re just friends!” And even though you were invited purely as a symbolic warm body for her ego, you went anyways. Because you’re nice like that.

The nice guys don’t often get credit where credit is due. And perhaps more disturbing, the nice guys don’t seem to get laid as often as they should. And I wish I could logically explain this trend, but I can’t. From what I have observed on campus and what I have learned from talking to friends at other schools and in the workplace, the only conclusion I can form is that many girls are just illogical, manipulative bitches. Many of them claim they just want to date a nice guy, but when presented with such a specimen, they say irrational, confusing things such as “oh, he’s too nice to date” or “he would be a good boyfriend but he’s not for me” or “he already puts up with so much from me, I couldn’t possibly ask him out!” or the most frustrating of all: “no, it would ruin our friendship.” Yet, they continue to lament the lack of datable men in the world, and they expect their too-nice-to-date male friends to sympathize and apologize for the men that are jerks. Sorry, guys, girls like that are beyond my ability to fathom. I can’t figure out why the connection breaks down between what they say (I want a nice guy!) and what they do (I’m going to sleep with this complete ass now!). But one thing I can do, is say that the nice-guy-finishes-last phenomenon doesn’t last forever. There are definitely many girls who grow out of that train of thought and realize they should be dating the nice guys, not taking them for granted. The tricky part is finding those girls, and even trickier, finding the ones that are single.

So, until those girls are found, I propose a toast to all the nice guys. You know who you are, and I know you’re sick of hearing yourself described as ubiquitously nice. But the truth of the matter is, the world needs your patience in the department store, your holding open of doors, your party escorting services, your propensity to be a sucker for a pretty smile. For all the crazy, inane, absurd things you tolerate, for all the situations where you are the faceless, nameless hero, my accolades, my acknowledgement, and my gratitude go out to you. You do have credibility in this society, and your well deserved vindication is coming.

Fu-zu Jen, SEAS/WH, 2003

Ode to the Nice Girls
This rant was written because a nice girl finally snapped.

I've read the tribute to the nice guys; this is my response.

This is my tribute to the nice girls. To the nice girls who are overlooked, who become friends and nothing more, who spend hours fixating upon their looks and their personalities and their actions because it must be they that are doing something wrong. This is for the girls who don't give it up on the first date, who don't want to play mind games, who provide a comforting hug and a supportive audience for a story they've heard a thousand times. This is for the girls who understand that they aren't perfect and that the guys they're interested in aren't either, for the girls who flirt and laugh and worry and obsess over the slightest glance, whisper, touch, because somehow they are able to keep alive that hope that maybe... maybe this time he'll have understood. This is an homage to the girls who laugh loud and often, who are comfortable in skirts and sweats and combat boots, who care more than they should for guys who don't deserve their attention. This is for those girls who have been in the trenches, who have watched other girls time and time again fake up and make up and fuck up the guys in their lives without saying a word. This is for the girls who have been there from the beginning and have heard the trite words of advice, from "there are plenty of fish in the sea," to "time heals all wounds." This is to honor those girls who know that guys are just as scared as they are, who know that they deserve better, who are seeking to find it.

This is for the girls who have never been in love, but know that it's an experience that they don't want to miss out on. For the girls who have sought a night with friends and been greeted by a night of catcalling, rude comments and explicit invitations that they'd rather not have experienced. This is for the girls who have spent their weekends sitting on the sidelines of a beer pong tournament or a case race, or playing Florence Nightingale for a vomiting guy friend or a comatose crush, who have received a drunk phone call just before dawn from someone who doesn't care enough to invite them over but is still willing to pass out in their bed. This is for the girls who have left sad song lyrics in their away messages, who have tried to make someone understand through a subliminally appealing profile, who have time and time again dropped their male friend hint after hint after hint only to watch him chase after the first blonde girl in a skirt. This is for the girls who have been told that they're too good or too smart or too pretty, who have been given compliments as a way of breaking off a relationship, who have ever been told they are only wanted as a friend.

This one's for the girls who you can take home to mom, but won't because it's easier to sleep with a whore than foster a relationship; this is for the girls who have been led on by words and kisses and touches, all of which were either only true for the moment, or never real to begin with. This is for the girls who have allowed a guy into their head and heart and bed, only to discover that he's just not ready, he's just not over her, he's just not looking to be tied down; this is for the girls who believe the excuses because it's easier to believe that it's not that they don't want you, it's that they don't want anyone. This is for the girls who have had their hearts broken and their hopes dashed by someone too cavalier to have cared in the first place; this is for the nights spent dissecting every word and syllable and inflection in his speech, for the nights when you've returned home alone, for the nights when you've seen from across the room him leaning a little too close, or standing a little too near, or talking a little too softly for the girl he's with to be a random hookup. This is for the girls who have endured party after party in his presence, finally having realized that it wasn't that he didn't want a relationship: it was that he didn't want you. I honor you for the night his dog died or his grandmother died or his little brother crashed his car and you held him, thinking that if you only comforted him just right, or said the right words, or rubbed his back in the right way then perhaps he'd realize what it was that he already had. This is for the night you realized that it would never happen, and the sunrise you saw the next morning after failing to sleep.

This is for the "I really like you, so let's still be friends" comment after you read more into a situation than he ever intended; this is for never realizing that when you choose friends, you seldom choose those which make you cry yourself to sleep. This is for the hugs you've received from your female friends, for the nights they've reassured you that you are beautiful and intelligent and amazing and loyal and truly worthy of a great guy; this is for the despair you all felt as you sat in the aftermath of your tears, knowing that that night the only companionship you'd have was with a pillow and your teddy bear. This is for the girls who have been used and abused, who have endured what he was giving because at least he was giving something; this is for the stupidity of the nights we've believed that something was better than nothing, though his something was nothing we'd have ever wanted. This is for the girls who have been satisified with too little and who have learned never to expect anything more: for the girls who don't think that they deserve more, because they've been conditioned for so long to accept the scraps thrown to them by guys.

This is what I don't understand. Men sit and question and whine that girls are only attracted to the mean guys, the guys who berate them and belittle them and don't appreciate them and don't want them; who use them for sex and think of little else than where their next conquest will be made. Men complain that they never meet nice girls, girls who are genuinely interested and compelling, who are intelligent and sweet and smart and beautiful; men despair that no good women want to share in their lives, that girls play mindgames, that girls love to keep them hanging. Yet, men, I ask you: were you to meet one of these genuinely interested, thrillingly compelling, interesting and intelligent and sweet and beautiful and smart girls, were you to give her your number and wait for her to call... and if you were to receive a call from her the next day and she, in her truthful, loyal, intelligent and straightforward nice girl fashion, were to tell you that she finds you intriguing and attractive and interesting and worth her time and perhaps material from which she could fashion a boyfriend, would you or would you not immediately call your friends to tell them of the "stalker chick" you'd met the night prior, who called you and wore her heart on her sleeve and told the truth? And would you, or would you not, refuse to make plans with her, speak with her, see her again, and once again return to the bar or club or party scene and search once more for this "nice girl" who you just cannot seem to find? Because therein lies the truth, guys: we nice girls are everywhere. But you're not looking for a nice girl. You're not looking for someone genuinely interested in your intermural basketball game, or your anatomy midterm grade, or that argument you keep having with your father; you're looking for a quick fix, a night when you can pretend to have a connection with another human being which is just as disposable as the condom you were using during it.

So don't say you're on the lookout for nice girls, guys, when you pass us up on every step you take. Sometimes we go undercover; sometimes we go in disguise: sometimes when that girl in the low cut shirt or the too tight miniskirt won't answer your catcalls, sometimes you're looking at a nice girl in whore's clothing - - we might say we like the attention, we might blush and giggle and turn back to our friends, but we're all thinking the same thing: "This isn't me. Tomorrow morning, I'll be wearing a teeshirt and flannel shorts, I'll have slept alone and I'll be making my hungover best friend breakfast. See through the disguise. See me." You never do. Why? Because you only see the exterior, you only see the slutty girl who welcomes those advances. You don't want the nice girl.. so don't say you're looking for a relationship: relationships take time and energy and intent, three things we're willing to extend - - but in return, we're looking for compassion and loyalty and trust, three things you never seem willing to express. Maybe nice guys finish last, but in the race they're running they're chasing after the whores and the sluts and the easy-targets... the nice girls are waiting at the finish line with water and towels and a congradulatory hug (and yes, if she's a nice girl and she likes you, the sweatiness probably won't matter), hoping against hope that maybe you'll realize that they're the ones that you want at the end of that silly race.

So maybe it won't last forever. Maybe some of those guys in that race will turn in their running shoes and make their way to the concession stand where we're waiting; however, until that happens, we still have each other, that silly race to watch, and all the chocolate we can eat (because what's a concession stand at a race without some chocolate?)

By Jessica Leigh Griffith
Copyright 2004-2005 by Jessica Leigh Griffith

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