me in college. ah, the good old days.
me in college. ah, the good old days.

His name was Aaron. Something about the way that he debated with our Global Studies 101 professor made me all twitter pated. Later that week, biking out to Sandspit Beach, I pedaled past him and a friend. He was as cute as I remembered, and this time, shirtless. My 19 year old heart skipped a beat when he sat next to me in class the next day. I was a proctor for the Disabled Students Association, so I took meticulous notes during every class, with my name on top. He leaned over and doodled on my paper and spoke to me after class and made me laugh.

I stopped wearing sweatpants and began wearing makeup to that early morning lecture. I started a “date Aaron” campaign by employing all the “tricks” we females sometimes do…coming a little early to class to buy a coffee and wait outside “checking our phones” like we are important. Hair-flips and pencil tricks we “learned” from Cher on Clueless. Casually stretching so I could turn and make sure he was looking at me. I made sure there were always empty seats next to me so he could sidle in and make me nervous giggle. Oh, I cringe to remember it all now.

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

This was back in the day when only people with a University email address could be on facebook, and we put ALL our information on there – past and present addresses, phone numbers, pictures of last night’s kegstands. I scoured the UCSB directories online, figured out his last name, Facebook stalked him, found his AIM screenname, and checked his profile.

He had a “blog.”

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I did not know what this “blog” contraption this was. It was on xanga, the relic of the blogging world.

I read some of what he wrote. He also wrote for our school paper and was pretty talented. I laughed out loud, I looked at pictures of his family, memorized his address.

And I thought, “I like writing. I can be funny. If I get a blog, this is something we can talk about.”

So I did. In 2005, I wrote my first blog entry about a day at the beach. I had gone to feel properly sorry for myself. As I have learned from movies, in order to feel truly sorry for yourself, you should be looking out the window while it’s raining, or flopped on your bed. Well, at this point I lived in a triple on the top bunk, and it barely rained in Santa Barbara (if it did, we skipped class and played drinking games). So I went to the beach, where I might gaze upon the waves and contemplate my relative smallness.

As I was pouting, a man with only one arm and one ginormous belly pouring out of his open Hawaiian shirt walked by me, whistling.

I went home and stopped feeling sorry for myself. Because I had two arms, and I could type this new blog thing. I sent Aaron a message. He wrote back. We met up at a club in downtown SB which no longer exists. We danced all night and kissed all night and I thought he would be the love of my life.

me and beachAs far as college romances go, this one was mostly amazing in that it was something that I dreamed of for a long time, plotted with my friends, imagined our whole lives together (well, mostly how we would date during college and I would be his muse and he would be in my profile picture). And we hung out a few times. Then it was over.

But I have been blogging ever since.

This is the 401st blog post I have written on this site. Blogging has taken me through college, my first real job, around Europe and Central America, through unemployment, and been my challenge and salvation in four years of teaching. It brought me to the front page of the Huffington Post. It gave me a radio interview in Canada (I freaking love saying that) and connected me to so many different people. I have logged and loved my life. Written things I could not say out loud. Realized feelings because I could write them here.

I googled that boy tonight. He lives in LA and dates a girl with a mohawk and does marketing. He hasn’t posted a written blog since February 2012.

We didn’t part on great terms, but I owe him a thank you. If I had never found blog…I would have so many words and feelings and moments lost. I heart blog. So thank you, Aaron. I thank you.