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Orange Crush

Jun 28, 2009


In a stunning turn of events, Mary El has released a public statement concerning her 3-month crush:

"I saw him wearing a chunky silver ring on his left middle finger. I do not condone random jewelry wearing by men, especially jewelry trends that went out of style when I was still in high school. After two seconds of consideration, I have decided to withdraw my giddy feelings and will now simply nod professionally whenever I see him."

Mary El went on to say she regretted that she did not have a crush, because it had made her life so fun for the spring season, but "seasons change."

(EDITOR'S NOTE: So do fashion trends, Captain. Get a clue.)

Last week suddenly became dull when I ran into Captain Can't Follow Through in the hall. What eloquent soliloquys will he force upon me this time? I wondered, secretly hoping he'd remember that he had suggested lunch the last time we spoke (and I may have e-mailed him inviting him out for drinks...he was on his way to Afghanistan, though. Typical.). He lifted his hand to wave at me, and that's when I saw it -- a chunky, silver ring on his middle finger.

My gut reaction was to ask him if he was trying to bring back the grunge movement, but I decided instead to get over him. It was time, and the hideous jewelry wearing was the perfect excuse for me to move on.

I'm sure I'm going to get flack for being so harsh about a little piece of jewelry, but most ladies understand. There are several categories of jewelry wearing, and very few are acceptable in my eyes:

1) Wedding ring - Duh, if you don't wear it you better have a great excuse.

2) Chunky silver - You're stuck in the 90s when it was briefly cool.

3) Bling - Only if you're black can you truly pull this off, and even then you better be truly ballin'.

4) Gold chain - This immediately indicates you are a greasy womanizer, and you are probably very hairy under your shirt.

5) Bracelet - Only acceptable if you have one of those conditions that requires a bracelet to let people know you have a condition that requires a bracelet.

6) Right hand/Class/Organization ring - Only slightly impressive if you went to an amazing Ivy League college, but it really just comes across as arrogant. If your ring doesn't represent a school then you're just arrogant.

7) Earring(s) - SO not cool anymore.

8) Ear spacers - Since when are white guys with spiky hair African? Scary, weird, and your ears are going to look really stupid when you're 80.

9) Nose/tongue/lip/nipple/"other"- That trend went out in the early 2000s. You're trying too hard and it's working against you. And you're gross.

10) Dog tags - HOT (but only if you're military).

Without a crush I had little to obsess over -- weight (depressing because it's stuck), hair (depressing because summer is its worst season), shoes (depressing because I'm still lamenting my lost black patent leather peep toe), cupcakes (depressing because eating them will perpetuate the depressing weight problem)...what's a girl to do?

Just when I considered watching a romantic comedy and crying into a carton of ice cream, I was saved by someone so gorgeous, so muscly, so scrumptious, he can only be known as Hot Redheaded Neighbor (you may remember him from "Cheese in the Time of Boredom").

It was 8 a.m. and I had overslept. Noli needed to go out, so I grabbed the first bra I saw (purple) and skipped brushing my teeth or even glancing in the mirror. I shuffled down the hallway in my pink pajama pants and wifebeater with hair a mess and breath unspeakable. Noli and I scurried into the elevator, and I pressed the "close doors" button. But then they re-opened, and in came Hot Redheaded Neighbor, all freshly shaven and in his work clothes, smelling amazing and looking yummy yummy.

"Wow, wish I could sleep in!" he beamed.

I naturally wanted to move in closer, gaze into his blue eyes, touch his bicep, kiss him passionately in the elevator...but then I remembered I hadn't brushed my teeth and I looked super scary, so I backed away.

"Oh, I just have a weird work schedule. I was up till 1 a.m. working," I explained. Then I panicked. We had exactly 27 seconds till we would reach the bottom floor, and my mind had gone blank. Say something else, idiot! my inner monologue screamed. "Um, where are you going?" I asked him, noticing a duffel bag on the floor.

"Just out of town for business," he said. My heart sank. This was the best encounter we'd had yet, and, indefinitely, I would not have any more to build upon it. The elevator reached ground level, and the doors opened.

"Well, have a nice time!" I smiled.

"Sure thing, see ya later!" he smiled back.

The next few days, every time I would walk by his door I'd get a little sad. It normally wouldn't have affected me that much, but I had nothing else fun to obsess over. I began to realize, over the course of the last year and multiple run-ins, I didn't know much about him. This is what I did know: he drives a big truck, he has a tattoo on his right arm, he loves my dog (and the feeling is mutual, which works out nicely), he has equally hot friends, he must have a decent job because it's expensive as Hades to live here, oh, and he smokes. The last one isn't that appealing, but for a fantasy, it adds to the "bad boy" aspect, so it's forgivable. But there was one other fact that bothered me -- he lived with his girlfriend, or so I thought. I studied my memories and tried to remember why I thought that. I never saw any female walk in or out of his apartment, but for some reason I thought for sure he lived with a girl. It didn't matter, though, if he was just going to be a faraway crush. I can't help it if I have eyes, can I? Anyone can look, I just would have to restrain myself from touching.

Saturday was errands day, and since it was hot and humid I put on a strapless maxi dress and threw my hair up in a ponytail. It was an effortless yet elegant look that was wasted on the myriad of children and married people at Costco. When I got home, I popped the trunk of my car and sighed as I realized I'd have to make at least two trips to get all the unbagged groceries inside.

"Need some help?" a deep and delicious voice sounded behind me. I spun around, and there he was -- home from business and better looking that I remembered.

"Oh, hi! Um, are you going that way?" DUH of course he is, he lives there! He nodded, flicked his cigarette, and held out his arms for me to load them up. Again, my mind went blank. We had at least 30 seconds to walk from my car to my door, and I couldn't say nothing. Desperate for a conversation starter and also to find out more info, I blurted out, "I have a really embarrassing question for you!"

(I am shaking my head in shame as I write this, btw.)

"Uh-oh," he looked at me, confused.

"Well, I'm really asking for my friend Sabrina. She saw a friend of yours not too long ago and has been bugging me to find out if he's single."

He stopped and grinned at me. "Well I'm single, if that's what you're asking."

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG! "No no! I'm asking about your friend. For my friend," I clarified.

His face changed to a thoughtful look. "Do you know which friend? Was it when you had that barbecue and we walked by?"

"Oh, yeah maybe, I'm not sure."

"Well find out and I'll let you know," he smiled again. "And by the way, you can't cook meat around a man and not offer him any. Next time you barbecue you have to invite me, all right?"

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG! "Oh, sorry! Of course I will!" I stammered. We had been standing at my door, so with that I thought the conversation was over. I turned to walk inside.

"You're not going to make me finish my cigarette alone, are you?" he said, putting on his best sad puppy face.

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG! "No! No! Of course not!" And then my nervous reaction went from Blank Mind disease to Can't Shut Up syndrome. But he humored me, and when he was finished with his cigarette he told me he'd see me later. Yipee! my inner monologue squealed. New crush!

Oh, one more fact: he doesn't wear jewelry.


  1. Dog tags, Oh YES! My bf was in the USMC and the last name on the butt is hot too, haha!

  2. Ewwwww, but he smokes!!! And I agree, tacky jewelry can be grounds for immediate dismissal. Somebody must make a stand for what is right in this world, big clunky man-bling is just plain wrong.

  3. ooooooooh can you sneak a picture of him?!?! i want to see!!!!!

  4. Definitely liking this new "crush". Keep writing more on him. And I must be totally out of the social circuit, because it is very rare for me to see a black man with ear spacers and even they don't look good wearing all that bling...on their neck or fingers, and in their ears and teeth. Hate it!

  5. ahhhh!!! That was the night of my going away BBQ he was talking about! I remember that. So basically, I think he now probably thinks that I'm your fictional friend Sabrina. hahaha...

  6. You do realize he was totally hitting on you...right? Just get him some nicotine patches and everything will be okay.