To Carrie with fondest regards

While I may be happily married now, my mind from time to time will wander back to some girls I once had a crush on. It was rare when I would actually date one of these girls because my shyness would get in the way, but once I actually dated one. It was a fluke situation that I ended up with her but never-the-less I did. Her name was Carrie and she was gorgeous. She was a runner-up in the Davis County beauty contest and she was miles out of my league but ironically she actually seemed to like me. So for our first (and only) date I decided to take her ice skating in downtown Salt Lake. I picked her up, brought flowers, opened her car door and even played a CD of music I knew she liked. It was very “studly.”

We arrived at the skating rink, put our skates on and went out on the ice. It was a group date with some of my friends and that lessened the tension of a normal first date. As the night went on I began to doubt myself. Now “doubt is the seed of failure” someone famous once said (that someone being me) and once you start to doubt yourself you are bound to mess up. So to make things more exciting I started telling her that I liked to make movies. She asked what kind of movies and I said “oh you know, action movies” That was a lie. The closest I got to action movies was one called “Instep” a mockumentry about a male dance group. But she got all excited, “oh action movies”, she swooned, “I love action movies, do you do your own stunts?” “Yes”, I lied, “every single one.” Now as if that wasn’t bad enough I kept going. “Sometimes I just like to do a crazy stunt just to keep myself in the game, you know I will just run through traffic or jump off my roof and what not.” “Can you do a stunt now,” she asked? I told her I would, for her. I said I would do the worst crash on ice she has ever seen. I warned her “you might think I died, but remember, I am a professional.” She went and sat on the bleachers and I began to wonder if there was a way out of this. Maybe I could tell her there was too many people, or maybe the ice would start to crack. But in that moment standing there alone on the ice, surrounded by hundreds of families having fun, I had a very teenager thought. I must make this girl my girlfriend! If that meant flying head first into the wall, I must insure this happens. Immediately I began receiving strength and courage based off of the image of Carrie and I spending summers together, maybe growing old together, buying a cabinby the lake and living happily ever after. It was all based on this moment. I could do it! I had to do it!

So I began to speed around the giant rink and prepare for my greatest, or worst, moment. I would just take it slow but make the fall look painful. So once I felt I had the adequate speed (not very fast at all) I took my right foot and just threw it in front of my left foot. With that single motion I felt my whole body rocket through the air and with a little puff I hit the ice and slide to a stop on my stomach. I looked up and, by golly, I was fine. No broken bones, ripped clothes, or scrapped knees. I looked right at Carrie and she was clapping and cheering, so I skated over to her, so full of manliness that I think I gained three chest hairs in that single moment. She was laughing and said that I was great and called my friends over. When they arrived she began to recite my lie to them. My brother who was in the group and knew I was lying said “well Travis, why don’t you show her just how great you are by going as fast as you can, and then falling.” I felt a lump in my throat and said of course I would. I was afraid of nothing. Carrie and I were going to have a cabin someday and this would all be in the past. Of course I would do it!

So I began to speed around the giant rink again. I felt like I was going so fast that I would have given the flash a run for his money. Once I reached the straight-a-way I threw my foot in front of the other and felt my body rocket off the ground, but this time something went terribly wrong. His name was Billy, or Charlie, or something, and he was cutting across the rink at the same time as I was flying. I hit Billy (or Charlie) at about a million miles an hour. I slammed him to the ground with such force that I swear we should have popped out in China. But the ground stopped us, and we were just spinning on the ice. Billy (or Charlie) was screaming and I could feel my stomach grinding his face into the cold ice. Meanwhile at my pants, all the stitching said “screw this strain” and just gave out allowing a giant rip down my left leg. We came to a stop and Billy’s (or Charlie’s) mom threw me off her child and pulled his sobbing body off to the bleachers where he was reviewed for any signs of a lawsuit. Laying there, half awake half dreaming, I thought about my life. First about my ripped pants, this was going to be tough to explain to my mom, plus the huge hole invited a lot of cold ice against my bare thigh. I then thought about the kid. He was only probably five and I felt awful about rubbing his face into the ice with my body. Lastly I thought about Carrie, I wondered if she saw this, maybe something else happened a building collapsed or a giant robot attacked the city. Slowly I opened my eyes and I looked up and saw Carrie. She was not cheering, no clapping for the stunt man, just a look of disgust on her face. She looked at me like I hit the kid on purpose.

The rest of the date was awkward and uncomfortable. I wished I could have said that it was awkward because you could see my scooby doo boxers through dinner but the fact was, it was because I hit a kid pretty damn hard and dragged him across the ice. I dropped her off at her home. She forced a smile to me as she went into her house, but it was more of a pity smile. Her smile seemed to say, ” You poor little man, we could have had a cabin by the lake, we could have been so much more but you were so foolish, you did not know how to lie”

After that she avoided me like the plague. I learned a lesson that day, to be myself. From then on if a girl asked me what kind of movies I made I always would say “male dancing videos” and I would bust out some leotards and show her what it was all about. Needless to say that also sucked, so now I just tell them I like football.


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