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One Year and 1,600 Miles
How I Was Branded a Creeper

Under normal circumstances, Iíd typically not discuss my own personal life here in the literature section. I donít want anyone to get the idea that I would use it as my blog or my soap box (because I never do that, right?) but because February and, consequently, St. Valentineís Day often bring up the topic of romance and, consequently again, heartbreak, I felt it fit the theme. In a way, itís also a form of catharsis for me, so I hope you at home are able to get something from my story too.

January 31st will be the anniversary of my girlfriend asking me out. Crazy how a year can just fly by you in an instant, isnít it? It was my last semester of college in that cold midwinter 2011, necessitating merely two more classes to graduate and, due to a quirk in scheduling, my algebra course started a couple weeks after the other and thatís really when this story begins. Mind you, I hate math. The professor immediately struck me as the rigid, inflexible old-timer who had been doing his job far too long to really be of any merit, so I knew right away I was going to hate everything about this course until the very bitter end. And right then, she appeared.

I glanced up from my desk as an absolutely stunning SSBBW stepped past me to claim a desk off to the side. She was gorgeous, with wavy dark-brown hair. She was well-dressed (I would later learn she actually designed some of her own clothes), well-groomed and had a real aura of intellectualism about her. I heard a voice in the back of mind that said, ďIf you donít try to ask her out, youíre going to be asking yourself the ĎWhat Ifí question forever,Ē So I made up my mind and decided I needed to speak with her after class was dismissed. This was no small undertaking as Iím sure you well know; I had never had the guts to ask anyone out before this very moment in time.

When class let out, I swiftly stepped over, introducing myself and citing I had seen her around campus and was glad I finally had the chance to speak with her. Iíll never forget her truly Churchill-like reply as she looked up at me and said, and I quote, ďOh,Ē Realizing she didnít have much to say, I offered to escort her to her car and finally managed to get her to talk back at some length. Her name was Wietske and I noticed during our first conversation we had a lot of things in common and many likes alike. I left campus that day feeling pretty pumped up; I had finally found the courage within to talk to a beautiful woman at-length and I didnít even swallow my own tongue trying. Then all Hell broke loose.

The next time class met, the teacher was going to give us a test. Fine, I told myself, because if he tested first and lectured after weíd all get out at the same time anyway and Iíd have my shot again. But of course that didnít happen because itís never that simple. The test came last and I was done easily a good 15 minutes before Wietske was. I stood in the hallway a time to collect my thoughts, wondering what I could do to idle long enough without looking like a stalker when, wouldnít you think I was living in a sitcom, she walks out and sees me standing in the hall like a 6í4Ē statue of a stalker. To make matters worse, the first thing I tried to say was really two things at the same time so I sputtered nonsense. She hurriedly made her escape as I nervously attempted to ask her to coffee. Soundly defeated by a hearty mix of dramatic irony I thought reserved only for romantic comedies and my staggering incompetence, I headed for home, ready to never bother this lovely lady ever again, soundly defeated and branded ďCreeperĒ to boot. And then, something strange happened.

The night prior to the next class, I had an unusually vivid dream (not that thatís at all unusual for me) wherein a young lady I had never met before rushed up to greet me, insisting I go with her and talk with her. I woke up misty-eyed and lamented to a friend that ďGuys like me are still allowed to dream those things, huh?Ē Later that day, at class, I had decided to not harass Wietske again. However, as I was taking my sweet time folding my reading glasses away I noticed she was standing there, waiting. Turns out she was waiting for me and she asked me to coffee. There, we spent the next nine hours just talking like old friends. Later on in the evening, when I realized it was getting late, I took her over to a local restaurant where we concluded our first date, Monday, January 31st, 2011. (As an aside, I later learned Wietskeís friends and family encouraged her to give me a chance, despite her initial misgivings. Since then, one of her joking pet-names for me is ďCreeperĒ).

A lotís happened in that yearís time and the age-old question ďwhen will I know Iím in loveĒ has been answered Ė for me, at any rate. Like those before me I canít well answer that for anyone else. For me, I know it because due to circumstances beyond my control, Iím now 1600 miles and halfway across a continent from Wietske. I know it because my heart aches every night and everything I do and say has some association with her and the wonderful one year I had to spend with her. Someday, I will return across that 1600 mile trek and go back to her. That will take time, effort and, yes, money but I will make it happen. It isnít the one you can live with; it is the one you canít live without. Thatís what you look for when you talk about ďLoveĒ. Itís will, not euphoric emotion.

So, in February 2012, what can you learn from my tale? Well, for one thing, slow and steady wins the race, I suppose. You know how I managed to talk with Wietske and not choke? I managed to do this because I actually went online and looked up guides to intersex communication and nonverbal cues. Seriously, Iím not joking; things like that are universal and knowing these things consciously will help during that first date when both parties involved are the most nervous. Letís face it, weird as it sounds itís a lot less creepy than obsessively reading Facebook pages. Not that someoneís ever done that to me or anything, haha, no. And after that, she and I took things slow and steady with periodic lunch dates and movie marathons. We rarely got the chance to see each other more than once a week due to our schedules but that made that one day a week all the more special. We didnít rush, we didnít dive. We took our time and enjoyed every minute of it.

If you want to know more, seriously go back into the archives here on SSBBW Magazine to February 2011. I wrote up an extensive guide just for this exact purpose. I know it works because it was the methodology I put into motion back then. I stand by it and you could learn a lot too if youíre interested. Thank you for letting me share my story with you and I hope on St. Valentineís Day or Singleís Awareness Day or whatever it is you choose to acknowledge that itís never hopeless. Across one year and 1600 miles, itís never hopeless. Trust me on this one; I know what Iím talking about.

Written by: Jeff M.

"New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual."
~Mark Twain
"Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true."
~Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850

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