Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Sean Gavin

I wouldn’t say that I had any enemies, or archenemies in High School, but I can’t deny that there might have been one or two people that I annoyed in an inchoate, ambiguous sort of way. Let’s call this person Sean Gavin (names of the innocent are changed – though I tend to be rather strict in my definition of innocent). At one point, a mutual friend, let's call him Enrique, asked Sean, “Why do you dislike Julie so much?” and Sean’s reply was, “She’s just so … so … JULIE!”

Well, I never!

For me, the most memorable moment was when I was playing Friday afternoon football with the guys. Yes, I was the only girl, and yes, several members of the football team were there, so the boys were hoping for a fairly rigorous game, but so was I. I like the physical challenges football presents: kicking, catching, running, dodging, and twirling, twirling, twirling your way to freedom. Sean Gavin was convinced, however, that I was there to ruin his Friday afternoon football game. Apparently a smoldering rage had been building up because about halfway through the game, after his team had gotten a touch down (I had been in the play on defense), he came up behind me and, literally, picked me up and threw me into the end zone. Needless to say, I landed hard on my butt. I’m pretty sure I exclaimed some sort of explicative. I don’t remember his response. Can anyone explain that to me?

I can only speculate that, coming from a rather large, traditional, upper-middle-class, Catholic family, that Sean had some rather particular ideas about what a girl should be – and what she shouldn’t be. I came from a smaller, traditional, lower-middle-class, Lutheran family; somehow I doubt that the expectations for a girl were quite the same. I was smart (though, to be fair, I’m not sure he had a problem with that, exactly, more just the way I liked to use it playing devil’s advocate), I was independent, I liked to flirt – basically, yes, I just liked to be me. I guess, maybe, Sean had part of it right.

The funny thing is, Sean and I had quite a few friends in common (yes, he was actually nice to others), took many of the same classes … in fact, I kind of had a crush on him. Maybe Sean was a lot more like me than he was prepared to admit; both of those things would probably still send him into a frenzy of frustration. Nonetheless, in a strange, masochistic way, I sort of miss being around Sean, where I could so completely annoy someone with so little effort. That kind of power never ceases to amuse me, even if it does lead to my being occasionally tossed into the endzone.

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