And I'm just calling one last time not to change your mind
But just to say I miss you baby, good luck goodbye
--"Bobby Jean", Born In The U.S.A.
As I've mentioned before, I am a big comic book fan. And, as any comic book fan knows, you will be the subject of hundreds of embarrassing moments that are almost unavoidable given the lifestyle. Perhaps its that time you thought buying that fedora was a good idea; or that time your mom yelled "I'll pick you up at 8!" in front of all the cool kids at the comic convention; or that time someone asked you who would win in a fight between Batman and the Hulk, and you went into an extremely detailed break-down that disturbed the person who asked the question. All of these are ultimately harmless "character builders", and everyone has them. On the comic book podcast In This Issue, they will occasionally share these amusing tales, calling them "Embarrassing Nerd Confessions". Their openness has inspired me to share some of my embarrassing Springsteen confessions, so strap yourself in - it is pretty cringe-worthy. Ready? Let's not beat around the bush:
I thought the above lyrics would be good to text to a girl.
Ugh, I want to kick my own ass after typing that. But, now that that is out in the open, let's go back a bit. It was college, and I was in my golden age of drunken texting. I would get a couple of shots in me and think my texts were worthy of Bartlett's. Some texts would be humorous, but most of the time I was sending a message at 4:17 AM that elegantly stated, "what r u up to". Most of these texts would go unanswered, but I was a young man; a little failure would not deter me.
Upon this occasion, there was a girl who I had seen maybe a handful of times. However, my charm was starting to wear thin (shocking!), and the girl was doing what was probably the most polite and mature thing you could do in your college years: just ignore me. Now, this wasn't the first time, nor the last time, things would end this way with a girl. But, I'd just like to breakdown how my reaction to this has changed over the last few years:
Early 20s Rory: "She hasn't responded to my text in two days! Oh no! This is it. I'm doomed. She hates me. What did I do wrong? Will I ever find love? I'm going to die alone. But maybe she lost her phone? Or should I wait another day? Should I give her a call? Or maybe just another text? Will that seem too desperate? But what do I have to lose? Heaven's to Betsy, what a pickle!"
Late 20s Rory: "She hasn't responded in two days? Ah well, guess she's not that interested. I wish her the best in all her future ventures. On to the next."
Unfortunately, I was still in my early 20s. So, feeling a bit depressed, I went out drinking with some friends (including fellow blog editor Steve). And a thought started brewing. Who never fails with the ladies? The Boss, that's who. So, perhaps I could use his coolness to win the heart of this girl (and, for the record, I do not believe this girl had shown any positive or negative feelings about Bruce Springsteen in the brief time I knew her).
The message was typed. My finger hovered over the send button. And, then, I made an excellent decision: I talked to Steve about it. Steve had (and still has) one of the best relationships I know, so I figured I would take his advice. He told me, politely, that it probably would not be a good idea. However, looking back, I could tell he was biting his tongue, fighting back the urge to call me an idiot and slap me upside the head. And, with that, Steve saved the day, and the text was deleted.
The next day, as I sobered up, I realized how close I was to adding another embarrassing drunk moment to an ever-growing list. An important lesson was learned, and I curtailed my drunken texting. (Side note to all single people struggling with this: delete the phone numbers of your exes. They will just linger their in your phone book, and can cause nothing but misery.)
So, perhaps I misled you all, as the embarrassing action was not seen through to its completion. I just figured I'd share it all with you - it was cathartic to get it off my chest. We all make embarrassing Springsteen-related decisions, so no need to feel bad about them. If you've got any such confessions, please feel free to share them in the comments!