Phil had my Facebook account for a whole summer, and it was bad.
I didn’t check Facebook for probably two months, and when I saw what he had done, I was rather displeased. He had told me that he was just going to crunch some numbers, find some averages, draw some bell curves, you’re usual human analysis business. Turns out that he was pestering some of our mutual friends, making me look like a huge asshole. That simply would not do.
For the past two years, we’d been chatting on Skype almost every Thursday night. I should’ve noticed that that had stopped happening. I could never really get the hang of Thursdays.
11th grade started with chaos. It was a sort of fun chaos, but overall not the most ideal of circumstances. A lot of people were mad at me for things that I hadn’t done. My optimal girl had transferred schools. I was lost.
My friend Helena went out for lunch with me, and we went to that place near the school that makes excellent grilled cheese sandwiches. Ooh, they were delicious. And Helena had come with me to lunch for a reason. She had some gossip for me.
“I know what girl you’re into,” she said slyly.
“Oh, okay,” I nodded, playing along. I don’t get “into” girls, physically or mentally. If it ever seems like I’m into a girl, it’s because I’ve been spending too much time in Excel. But sure, I’d love to hear what you have to say.
Helena grinned, and she told me the name. At first, I didn’t even recognize the person. Her? I’ve barely spoken to her. She’s attractive, sure. I think she’s intelligent, but it’s hard to tell based off of the little amount of time we’ve spent interacting with each other.
Now, why would Helena think that? She was friends with this girl, or at least acquaintances. I smelled a ruse. There were only a few possibilities for why Helena would tell me that I was into this girl. One, it was a simple misunderstanding. That happened to Helena pretty often, so sure. That’s plausible. The second option was that this girl was into me, and she wanted Helena to tell me that I was into her so it would stir up some sort of weird psychological complex to make me more attracted to her.
I like the second option better, because that meant a hot girl was into me.
So I started hanging out with this girl some more. She seemed eager to get to know me. Not too eager, but there was something. She certainly wasn’t as eager as I was expecting. I started overanalyzing some more, and that was where I spotted the conundrum.
She has a boyfriend already. So she’s probably not into me.
Another facet of the conundrum: Her boyfriend lived in Philadelphia, across the country. Oh, so now I’m stealing this guy’s long distance girlfriend. I wasn’t really game for that. I would honestly only do that if it were an accident.
And yet, this girl kept hanging out with me, more and more frequently. We would talk on Skype every Thursday night, as well as just about every other night of the week. Tensions rose. Everybody in our social group assumed that we were going to start dating soon. I developed all sorts of bizarre plots to get the ball rolling, such as developing a mathematical formula dictating how to behave around her, or drinking an obscene amount of soda until she felt obligated to kiss me. And as crazy as it sounds, that last one would have worked if I hadn’t been so sleep deprived.
I had developed something called The Cake Formula, named after a concept described in a song by the band Cake. Using this mathematical formula, which utilized all sorts of variables that I’m pretty sure I had made up off the top of my head, I decided that in order to get her to like me, I had to stop being friends with her and act slightly mean, but not too mean. There was some sort of balance between negative one and zero in terms of how nice I was to her, and the best possible position was either just a touch above negative one or just a touch below zero, because those two numbers were the asymptotes.
Again, I made up this formula off the top of my head.
Naturally, that didn’t work at all. So I developed The Light Switch Method. You spend some time being nice to her, and then you spend some time avoiding her, and then you switch back and forth. On and off, on and off. I did this for a decent amount of time, eventually optimizing it based on empirical data, showing that for this girl in particular, it was best to stay off for approximately 26% of the time and stay on for the other 74%. Note that this could mean a quarter of a day off and then the rest of the time on, or it could mean a quarter of a month off and the rest of the month on. I never did get around to optimizing that facet of it.
For once the stupid plots and ploys were actually getting somewhere. Her long distance relationship with the Philadelphia guy was getting more strained. No longer would I be her Number Two. Soon I would be up at Number One.
Now, get this: There was a pattern to it. The first girl that I asked out in 8th grade had Listed me at Number Three. Then the next girl had no List, in 10th grade. This girl, the following year, had put me at Number Two. So even if things didn’t work out this time, the pattern would follow that next time I’ll get a girl without a List, and then finally the fifth girl would have me at Number One. 3 then X then 2 then X then 1, with X being a Listless girl. Right?
No. Fuck you. You can’t extrapolate a pattern from only three data points. Who do you think you are?
The girl broke up with Philadelphia guy in February.
She asked me out shortly after.
Phil finds out, and he tells me that he had already asked her out over the summer using my Facebook account.
Hold on. Stop everything.
If Phil had asked her out using my Facebook account, then that was why she had thought that I was into her at the beginning of the year! And I was only into her because I thought that she was into me! In reality, neither of us were into each other, but everybody thought that we were! This was insanity! This was one small event causing a preposterous chain reaction, and every part of that chain reaction was entirely, one hundred percent pointless!
Welcome to my life.
So I wasn’t actually into this girl, and this girl wasn’t actually into me, and we had spent half a year feeling obligated to flirt with each other and inevitably date. We were going out for about a week. Then we mutually broke up. It was all good fun.