Oy, What a Jerk I Was!

I subscribe to the Chicago Tribune. On Sundays, it includes Parade Magazine. Last Sunday a guy wrote an essay about how when he was a boy in high school, a junior I think, a girl asked him out to a turn-about dance. He can still remember the elegant parchment and calligraphy invitation she hand made for him. She was an attractive, nice girl, but for reasons he still doesn’t fully understand, he lied and said he had a conflict and refused to accept her invitation. She wasn’t heartbroken or anything, but as he looks back on it all these years later he can’t believe he was such a jerk, and he can’t understand why he just didn’t accept the invitation.

Boy, could I relate to that article. I have a whole list of similar things I did as a skinny, geeky boy that I would give anything if I could only go back and handle those situations as the mature, sensitive and confident adult I eventually became. I’ll share three examples. Predictably, they all involve girls.

1. Girl A, who attended a different high school, calls and invites me to her senior prom. I was caught completely off guard; I accepted at first, but after I hung up, I sort of freaked out about it, called her back and told her I had changed my mind. I can’t tell you how many times I have kicked myself for being such an idiot. There was no rational reason in the world for me not to accept that invitation.

2. Girl B was a casual high school friend. One day I saw that she was wearing a cross. I promptly gave her a self-righteous Mormon lecture, about how we don’t wear the instrument of Christ’s torture around our necks. Why, oh why would I say such a stupid thing? I’ve spent most of my life since kicking myself for being such a jerk, and desperately wishing I could have that moment over again.

3. I got home from my mission in mid-October 1979. I planned to go back to BYU Winter Semester, just after New Year’s in 1980. I spent the intervening months working at an automotive parts factory to earn money for school.

One day I received a letter in the mail from Girl C, who also worked at the factory. She expressed how much she liked me, and she would like to go out with me. I knew who she was; she was a cute, tall, slender girl, although I didn’t know her personally at all. Since I was only going to be there for a short time, I didn’t want to get involved with anyone back home, and it was easier for me to just kind of ignore the letter and pretend I had never received it. But in retrospect, this girl had the courage to express an interest in me, and the least I could have done was acknowledge her letter and explain my situation, rather than pretending it didn’t exist.

Are there things in your past that you’ve spent a lifetime obsessing about how poorly you handled them, and wishing that you could get a do over?


  1. “Are there things in your past that you’ve spent a lifetime obsessing about how poorly you handled them, and wishing that you could get a do over?”


  2. Mark Butler says:


  3. I read a very similar story recently in Meridian Magazine.

    The Prom Invitation

  4. Kevin, I really hope you’re not looking for details. Don’t we all have some of these?

  5. Kevin Barney says:

    Oops, that’s the one, Justin! Please ignore the thing about Parade Magazine, it was the article at Meridian that Justin links to. Sorry for misremembering the source.

  6. Kevin Barney says:

    I’m only looking for the stories to the extent people feel comfortable sharing them. Kaimi’s and Mark Butler’s initial responses were pretty funny.

  7. I get the feeling that this is intended as group therapy.

    Hi. My name is John and I am a jerk (or have been in the past).

    Um, yeah, I was a stupid teen who was occasionally a jerk to the girls I dated (or didn’t, depending). I look back on it with a lot of regret today. However, I am sure that I have made their therapists happy.

  8. Elisabeth says:

    Kevin – ah, now I see where you developed your ability to turn down a date with such finesse. You are suave! (swah-vey) :)

  9. Kevin Barney says:

    Yeah, Rico Suave…

  10. Aaron Brown says:

    I’m such a nice guy, I don’t have any stories about my being a “jerk.” How could I? But I have put my foot in my mouth on occasion. Wanna hear those stories, or is that too far afield?

    Aaron B

  11. Prudence McPrude says:

    Aaron – how quickly you forget! I cry myself to sleep every night over the way you used me up and then tossed me out like yesterday’s trash. Shame on you!

  12. Kevin Barney says:

    Aaron, foot-in-mouth stories are definitely on topic.

    Prudence, I love it!

  13. Julie M. Smith says:

    Hm, Kevin, what does that tell us about you that you confused Parade Magazine with Meridian Magazine?

  14. Kevin Barney says:

    Julie, I was trying to figure that out myself. I guess they are two of my sources of light fluff reading, and so apparently interchangeable in my mind.

  15. Elisabeth says:

    Ah, but Parade has the Ask Marilyn column! There’s nothing light or fluffy about the woman with the highest IQ ever recorded in history.

  16. Kevin Barney says:

    I’m with ya, Elisabeth. The main reasons I read Parade are the celebrity nuggets on the inside front cover and Ask Marilyn, which is a really fun column.

  17. Steve Evans says:

    There’s no Ask Marilyn in meridian magazine? Cancel my subscription at once.

  18. I keep thinking that I would love to redo several experiences in my confident maturity. The problem is that these experieces keep occuring with me recognizing them two years latter. So, saddly, for me, it is Oy, what a jerk I am (but I won’t realize it for a couple of years). Sorry in advance.

  19. When I was doing Alanon, I was thinking about people I had harmed, and wondering about making amends. I had said some very harsh, unkind things to a perfectly nice girl when we were in high school.

    I asked God to give me the opportunity to make amends. And within a week, I saw her at a restaurant, for the first time in over fifteen years. And I apologized. She, of course, had forgotten all about it.

    It was really cool. Alanon rocks.

  20. Uh, as to the original post, I’m sure they’re over it…no point in crying over spilled milk, as they say. I’m not sure what obsessing over ‘lost dates’ can do now. Unless girls A B or C are still single…

  21. Prudence McPrude says:

    The real Prudence is not amused when fake Prudences treat us to their sad attempts at humor. The real Prudence recommends that all fake Prudences depart forthwith or she will call upon the powers of heaven and reduce her wicked opponents to a pathetic heap of ash.

  22. I’ve told a similar story in a guest post at some other blog (toward the end, past my opening theological meanderings). Surely I’ve been as much of a jerk as anyone else!

  23. Stapley #18,
    I have no idea what you just said.

    I once told a non-Mormon girl that she wasn’t in my “Personal Eternal Plan.” I was happy to make out with her in the meantime, though. We broke up.

  24. Elisabeth says:

    All these lamentations about snubbing girls and how much their feelings may have been hurt makes me smile. Sure, no one likes a jerk, and teenagers are duty bound to be jerks in very unique and extremely maddening ways, but girls can take rejection just as easily as boys can. Girls don’t fall apart and melt into a puddle of tears because some boy didn’t reciprocate or express interest in them. They pass around nasty notes about them during school assemblies or toilet paper their houses.

  25. Oh no, E, my gentile girlfriend did indeed “melt into a puddle of tears.” It’s father’s day! Give us our pride!

  26. Elisabeth says:

    Ronan- If you take pride in humiliating women and making them cry, no number of Father’s Days will redeem you.

  27. Kevin Barney says:

    For me, the lament isn’t over lost dates, but my own boorish behavior. And it seems an ironic punishment to me that, while the girls involved in these stories have probably forgotten all about the incidents, I have lamented them (and others) all of my life. The innocents get the short-term pain, while the guilty gets the long-term pain. There is a certain justice in that.

    Speaking of ironic punishment reminds me of that episode of the Simpsons where Homer goes to Hell and is sent to the Ironic Punishment Division, where he is force fed massibe quantities of doughnuts. But the punishment doesn’t work; no matter how many they jam down his throat, he loves them and keeps eating them. For all he knows he might as well be in heaven.

  28. Seth R. says:

    I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to my entire Priests Quorum for multiple incidents.

  29. Ann. I’m in Al-Anon! I have a sponsor, the whole bit. We are so each other, you and me.

    I’ve done that same thing, too, asked for the opportunity and it’s presented itself.

    I’ve done too many things to list here, but there was this guy who Sarah asked to sweethearts (it was girls choice) and he said yes, then he kind of strung it along, saying he had to go to Vegas and couldn’t go on the day date (geez, the production the kids make nowadays).

    I’m sort of sorry I embarrassed Bill a few months ago by yelling at the Sunday School teacher when he put down Lot’s wife. I thought it was quite cold of him, but Bill was embarrassed.

    And she found out he had a girlfriend who was 15 and couldn’t date, so he told Sarah he’d go with her to sweethearts, but wanted to spend the day with his girlfriend (I have no clue how that all worked out with not dating).

    And all Sarah’s friends got indignant and this poor kid walked around with his head hanging down and feeling guilty and I thought it was funnier than heck.

    He was just a friend, not her crush. He totally apologized, but she was committed to being mad and she broke the date and asked somebody else and had a good time.

    Now when I see him, I want to tell him how funny I thought it all was.

  30. My initial thought when reading this post was how relatively harmless your experiences have been. My second was that you need to be careful, asking questions like this, because other people’s experiences could’ve been much more painful for them.

    I once rejected a boy in high school who took it very personally and started writing me really long letters, like 20 pages long. Then one day he invited me over because he wanted to talk to me. So I went over to his house, and he told me he’d been contemplating suicide because of me.

    I was having with a lot of emotional issues myself at the time and just couldn’t deal with him at all. I said I was sorry and I bolted.

    I felt bad for a long time about that.

    But I also secretly felt relieved that I had rejected him. He was obviously emotionally unstable. Which later events completely bore out (last I heard, years and years ago, he was in a mental hospital).

    (I swear I don’t make this stuff up.)

  31. Elisabeth says:

    Susan – that’s such a sad story! I’m sorry. It’s tough growing up. I feel prompted to tell sort of a similar story. I was a bit of a nerd in high school, and felt a fellow kinship with the nerds, and especially the nerds who sang in our performance choir. One especially nerdy guy and I became pretty good friends – I thought he was weirder than the average nerd I typically hung out with – but he was an amazing singer, and really funny.

    We were pretty good friends while at school, but soon lost touch after graduation. A few years later, my sister told me that she was shopping in my hometown and some strange guy came rushing up to her yelling – “hey, Elisabeth!!”. Turns out it was my singer-friend who mistook my sister for me, and he spent the next half an hour telling my sister how I was one of his only friends in high school, how our friendship meant so much to him because he’d been struggling with his sexuality through high school and that I was one of the few people who didn’t treat him like a freak. Don’t know why I’m telling this story now, but I think about him sometimes and it helps me to remember how important it is to treat everyone with love and respect – you never know what they are struggling with, and you never know how much a kind word or two can mean to them.

    crap, i’m going to be late for church.

  32. My junior year of high school a girl asked me to go to prom with her. I wasn’t interested in proms at all and told her I coudln’t go for “budgetary reasons” or something like that. She was a nice girl and I later felt bad as I was sure it took some courage to ask someone.

    Consequently, out of guilt, I accepted another girls invite to go to prom senior year (again, I wasn’t that interested in going). She was a nice girl too and I don’t horribly regret going. What I am embarrassed about is that I got my driver’s license the same day as that prom. If I hadn’t passed the driving test that day my mom would probably have had to drive us.

    Arghhhh … just the thought of that happening still makes me cringe.

  33. I won’t go on about all of my regrets in life–too many to name–but reading this thread has brought back some dating humiliations in living color.

    Is it any wonder people prefer to “hang out”?

  34. 1. I would have been more organised on my mission.

    2. I would have given a Book of Mormon to my classmate anyhow, despite the fact our gospel conversation had been interrupted (and I never saw her again).

    3. Despite a girl who ended up becoming my girlfried ditched out at the last minute as my prom date, I would have asked others to dance (there a few girls who weere there without dates who sat out the entire dance). Or I would have asked a junior to the dance. She was in the locker next to mine and I liked her.

    4. I would have gone to university as soon as I got home from myt mission.

  35. This reminds me of the time when ate a stake youth dance, a girl sat back down in the middle of a dance with a friend of mine. He was a bit clumsy and geeky, but that was pretty rude. It was hard for him to ask a girl to dance, and he only did it because we encouraged him. Needless to say he never came out to a dance again.

  36. Wow, Kevin! As a “skinny, geeky boy” you had attractive girls asking YOU out? For me (also a skinny, geeky boy), it went like this: An attractive girl in high school would call me and say, “Gary, there’s a dance coming up, and I immediately thought about you. I have this friend that needs a date and….”

    I think in our youthful zeal for youth, we say and do things that at the time made sense, but doesn’t now that we have miles and miles of wear and tear of experience on the chassis.

    The key is that we try to learn from our past experiences so that we don’t continue to repeat such hare-brained things.

  37. Seth R. says:

    Like all missionaries who served in Japan in the early 90s, I taught free English classes to interested people twice weekly.

    The first place I served in in Japan was Iizuka. A small town of only 70,000 on the island of Kyushu where the growing suburbs of metropolitain Fukuoka competed with ubiquitous rice patties and bamboo forests. There were four of us missionaries stationed in Kyushu (in a non-air conditioned apartment with no central heat). Aside from a handful of exchange students from Australia, we were the only Caucasians for miles. I ended up living in Iizuka for 8 months (a very long stay even by Japan’s standards).

    Our church meetinghouse, where we taught English classes, was a rickety old two-story shack with peeling brown paint, uninsulated windows and doors, poor lighting, and a upstairs floor that creaked so violently I had a constant suspicion the whole structure was going to collapse. The building was blazing hot in the summer, and freezing in the wet winters.

    My first senior companion, was a personable, outgoing missionary who had served in the area for a long time and was at the tail end of his mission. When he arrived in Iizuka, the members were dispirited, sacrament meetings were absolutely grim, and the Branch President and RS President had recently had a particularly nasty row recently (shouting in sacrament meeting and stuff like that). Through months of committed service, my companion and the junior missionary I replaced had turned the place around. Members were smiling again, church was happy. Things were looking up for the branch, even if baptisms were still non-existant (typical of rural Japan).

    Looking back on it, I think he was the best missionary I ever knew. But I was far to self-absorbed to really notice.

    The only downside of my companion was that he was so committed to the people he knew. Looking back on it, I really don’t see this as a downside anymore, but back then I had an idea that we were supposed to be meeting new investigators, baptizing people and going out and finding some more. But my companion typically had the entire week scheduled with meetings with old friends. The typically term for the type of folks my companion loved so much was: “eien no kyudosha.”

    It means “eternal investigators.”

    These are people who are comfortable with their relationship with the missionaries and unwilling to take the next steps into church activity and membership. English classes were “jam-packed” with eien kyudosha.

    There was “Tom” a high school principle teacher with excellent English, a rare sense of sarcastic humor, and penchant for learning impolite words in English. There was “Rick,” an unusually opinionated truck driver with good English skills, and a penchant for showing up at English classes slightly inebriated. And there was “Emi” a sweet little grandmother with moderate English skills and a penchant for taking my companion and I out to eat at some very nice little family-run restaurants throughout the valley.

    Our group of missionaries had divided English classes into four groups: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and a children’s class. My companion handled the beginners, the other two missionaries taught the advanced and children’s classes. I taught the intermediate class: students with enough English that I could communicate with them (my Japanese skills were almost non-existant) but unskilled enough that I had to improvise with what Japanese I knew to conduct class.

    Looking back on it, those were beautiful days. We were busy, we knew a lot of people in the community, lots of old friends whom we met with regularly, a busy English class, friendly church members, constant opportunites for acts of community and individual service, and we missionaries somehow always managed to be at the center of EVERY community festival, celebration, or event. The missionaries were extremely visible, and well-liked in Iizuka.

    Yet I had my gripes, just the same. Almost all of them were petty, and shortsighted. My main gripe was with several of my companion’s “friends” whom I felt were absolute dead-ends from a proselyting standpoint. They weren’t going to convert, and I didn’t see why we should waste much time on them. It didn’t help that my Japanese speaking skill progressed very little during my stay in Iizuka. So typically I would accompany my companion to meetings with “investigators” and sit there sullenly staring at couches and my surroundings in silence, sipping my wheat tea (don’t worry, it was completely kosher).

    Aside from developing a continuing fondness for chilled wheat tea (yum!), I neither contributed nor gained anything from these visits. After a month, I stopped even trying to take notes for my Japanese study. I personally had almost zero real connection with the people we met, and while they were exceedingly friendly and remained devoted to me long after my companion transfered to another city (about 5 months into my stay in Iizuka), I did little to deserve or maintain their friendship. I was never very brave socially and had a hard time applying myself to the serious study I would have needed to communicate with the people.

    So perhaps it’s unsurprising that I started thinking that we ought to “cut-loose the dead weight” in our contact list. These eien kyudosha weren’t going anywhere, and these weekly social visits were not doing anything to “spread the Gospel” as I saw it. At first, I kept these thoughts to myself, then I occasionally expressed them to my companion. He would look at the floor, nod his head in agreement, agree with my assessment that there weren’t going to be any baptisms from these people any time soon, and sympathize with me. Then he would look up and say “I know these people aren’t going anywhere, but they’re my friends and I can’t just abandon them. Maybe when I leave, you can stop visiting, get some fresh blood into this contact list.”

    I liked my companion, so I accepted this and left it at that.

    While I was almost comatose at most “investigator meetings,” my intermediate English classes were a different story. I had much more scope for communication with these people and could connect much better. I also discovered, for the first time in my life, that I was an excellent teacher. My manner was engaging, my class was energized, and I had a way of making difficult concepts in the English language both accessible and understandable. A testament to how well I was doing came in sweltering mid-July when I had almost twenty students packed into a tiny room with no air conditioning (other than an open door and window) at 1:00 pm. AND THEY CAME BACK EACH WEEK! I was doing very well, and the other missionaries noted that I was getting lots of compliments. It was something I prided myself on.

    My first companion transferred. As predicted, I didn’t really push meeting with the “old friends” much with my next senior companion and he naturally had other concerns and prospects of his own. Most of the relationships ended that way.

    But the English class regulars remained. In particular, Emi (the grandmother who took us to restaraunts) remained absolutely devoted to both me and my intermediate class where she was a regular. Those English classes were one of the highlights of her week. I complimented her growing English skills on several occasions and suggested that she might be ready to move-up to the advanced class. Each time, she would simply smile and protest that her English skills weren’t nearly that good and insist on staying in my class.

    Not that I noticed much. I was far to self-absorbed and wrapped up in my poor missionary performance statistics (which I had to report weekly to the mission home). Stats which had some basis in reality – I wasn’t a very good missionary in my own estimation. I didn’t pay Emi much mind and rather took her frequent generosity for granted (under a facade of bows and thank-yous). I also eventually concluded that she really wasn’t quite as good as the other advanced students. So maybe she was right. I didn’t dwell much on Emi one way or the other.

    I also had a pressing self-concern: I wanted to try my hand at the advanced class and had had my eye on it for several months. I enjoyed the opportunity to use my intuitive skills in teaching and comprehending the English language. I felt I would have more professional scope for this in an advanced class with advanced students. Besides, I had gone through the rough Church-produced intermediate lesson manual several times and I was bored with it.

    To top it off, there was a new student in the advanced class. A pretty twenty-something female student from the nearby tech college named Saya …

    My eighth month in Iizuka, I got a chance to make my move. The rest of the missionaries had completely turned over. I was the only “old-timer.” I simply suggested to the missionaries that I take over the advanced class. They agreed easily enough and there I was.

    After a couple of advanced classes, I found that Emi had followed me into the advanced class. She really wasn’t a bother, and I should have been fine with it. But for some reason that I still can’t understand to this day, her presence irritated me. She was obviously behind the other students, but that shouldn’t have been a big deal. Maybe it’s just that I wanted to move beyond the intermediate class, and here it was, following me. Maybe it was the fact that a couple of the classes in question, Saya and Emi were the only students and I was a young male and Saya was a young female (NOT that I had the guts at that stage in my life to every try anything with any girl).

    Whatever. Whether due to ambition or hormones, at the beginning of my third class, I suggested that she would do better in intermediate class. When she protested, I put my foot down. The other students looked uncomfortable. Quietly, Emi left.

    Two weeks later that November, I was transferred out of Iizuka. I believe Emi was at my going-away party. But honestly, I can’t remember.

    On the train ride to my new assignment, I remember feeling bitter that I was being transferred right before Christmas, and I probably wouldn’t get any presents since no one in my new area would know me.

  38. Kevin Barney says:

    Great, and painful, story, Seth R. Thanks for sharing.

  39. Elisabeth, I loved your last sentence, “Crap, I’m going to be late for church.” I can’t get on the computer Sunday mornings, it’s bad for my marriage :).

    Dang, Seth. If I hadn’t done the same sort of thing myself, I’d think you sucked.

    We have a woman in our ward, I’ve talked about her before, she’s totally socially inept. I’ve confronted her a couple of times and I think maybe traumatized her at this point. She kept singing with the guest singers we had at ward events, so rude, or she would talk out loud. I finally told her off about it.

    Then I told her her daughter needed extra help or she would have real trouble in school (everybody worried about the poor child, but nobody would say anything), I would have wanted to know that about my child.

    Then I told her to stop calling me “Sister Ball”–I said it was pretentious and it bothered me. I thought that was a compliment because I said we were good enough friends she could call me my first name.

    You’d have to experience her, but I guarantee if you came into my ward just before church, you’d know who she was. She makes her presence known big time.

    The thing is, she’s not mean, she’s annoying and obnoxious, but she’s just so lost and lonely, yet she alienates people. Dang, Seth, I suck.

  40. Well anne,

    There’s always the Atonement. Hope it works in my case, because that isn’t the only painful story from my mission or afterwards.

  41. D. Fletcher says:

    This thread is a thoughtful reminder to Mormons and social therapists everywhere: we normally think how difficult it is for girls to find dates and be loved, but we forget how hard dating is for men. It was nearly impossible for me, despite the “gay” issues. Nobody ever coached me on how to get along with girls, how to talk to them, how to ask them out, how to love. I guess it’s something one must learn on one’s own, but still…

  42. We took our kids to a roller rink last year and a girl was flirting with my oldest son (who refused to skate because he won’t do anything he’s not really good at, especially in front of other people). She kept wearing his hat and got mad when he let another girl wear it too. told him before we left he should give her his hat (he has an endless supply, thanks to his dad’s work), so he did. I got all panicky imagining him saying, “My dad says I should give this to you,” or something equally dorky, but he didn’t. He was cool and the girl was thrilled.

  43. Kevin Barney says:

    Susan M., your story reminds me a little of an episode involving my little brother. He’s autistic. He went through a phase once where he wanted to go inline skating at a roller rink as often as possible. He would skate by himself for hours on end, day after day; my mother would bring a book and watch him. I want to say this was when he was about 17 or 18 or so. He was tall, thin, blonde and fast, and cut quite a dashing figure skating around the rink (I went and watched him skate once when I was on vacation). Several times girls would be interested in him and want to meet him, but my poor mother would have to try to gently explain to them that that wasn’t possible. (She tried to express this as gently as she could without going into personal details, but some of the girls were offended, I think, not fully understanding the situation.) When she told me those stories, it broke my heart that my brother simply didn’t have the mental or emotional capacity to talk to those girls and flirt with them as any normal teenage boy would want to do. That is one of the great experiences in life that he will never have.

  44. I had only been on my mission a few weeks and we were scheduled to go to dinner at the home of a member of one of the wards we covered. She was poor, middle-aged and single. So we could have dinner with her, she invited one of her friends.
    I did not know her at all and I don’t think my companion knew her very well. The day before this dinner appointment another family in the ward invited us over for dinner. My companion and this family were good friends. So we went to their house instead. We did not even call to cancel.
    This member lady had spent a lot of money, of which she had little, and spent a lot of time preparing this meal for us.
    This happened over 10 years ago and I still get sick to my stomach when I think about it.
    I don’t know whatever happend to this lady. I hope our behaviour has long been forgotten by her, but I know it will never be by me.

  45. D. Fletcher says:

    Kevin, you might like the musical The Light in the Piazza, which is about a women with a mildly-damaged daughter, who was in an accident at age 10, and couldn’t develop mentally beyond that age (though her body developed normally). Margaret, the mother, takes Clara to Florence, and has to deal with the Italian boy who is interested in Clara.

    It’s a very adult and sophisticated story, and musical (just shown on PBS last Thursday).

  46. Seth R. says:

    A little more lighthearted …

    My younger brother is also autistic. My family tells a story about when they went to the airport to see me off on my mission (I’ve told this before, but so what). I’d already boarded the plain. The family was watching the plane leave. Nearby was a well dressed businessman reading the newspaper. No one really saw it coming.

    My brother (about age 11) walked right up to the gentleman, sat down on his lap, put his hand on his shoulder and declared:

    “Let’s kiss!”

  47. Melinda says:

    My junior year of high school, this nice guy asked me to homecoming. After homecoming, he kept asking me out. The dates were well-planned, we had lots to talk about, and we had a lot in common.

    The problem was that he was dorky. He had naturally curly hair that produced a fifties-looking topknot. He tucked in his t-shirts. He was short and skinny. My brothers mocked him for all these reasons (and I think those were the only reasons). So I ignored him until he went away solely because of my brothers’ opinion of him. My brothers were dorks too for Pete’s sake!

    I still feel bad that I treated such a nice guy so badly. It was totally because I was an insecure dork myself, and therefore afraid of associating with other dorks. He wrote the nicest thing in my yearbook even after I treated him so badly.

    I wish I could apologize to him, even if it has been almost 20 years now.

  48. Kevin Barney says:

    Yeah, Melinda, I think our own insecurities are a big reason why we sometimes treated others not as they deserved to be treated.

  49. Thanks for the laugh, Seth, I was getting right bummed out.

  50. How about a funny one:

    For the second grade talent show I had some dinky little simplified Mozart piece to play. I mean really simplified; I am not much of a pianist and never have been despite my dad’s best efforts.

    A boy I had a little crush on was playing “Eye of the Tiger” on the piano for the talent show. So much cooler. I was extremely jealous.

    So I said to him, “I bet you can’t play MOZART!”

    He just gave me a great second-grade “huh?” kind of look. I was immediately mortified and have been ever since.

  51. Ana, that’s funny.

  52. I’ll just say this: most Neil LaBute plays are based on me.

  53. Mark Butler says:

    Well I will admit that one of the stupidest things I ever did was write a young lady I met just a couple of weeks before my mission off and on, and then when I returned after a discussion or two I decided we were not compatible, and not ever go out with her on a formal date, not even once. She didn’t speak to me for about five years after that.


  1. […] The above is a repost of a comment I made on Kevin Barney’s thread “Oy, What a Jerk I Was” over at BCC (see comment #37). […]

  2. […] “I’ll just say this: most Neil LaBute plays are based on me.” […]

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