It was the early to mid-2000s, back when teens began giving up on grammar in favor of chatspeak, when all you needed to be emo was black mascara, and when Justin Beiber had yet to inflict his scourge upon the world; and I hated all boys.

This was a result of bad stalking experiences more than from any one specific terrible relationship.  I was a plump 6 where 10 could have its pick of thinner and beautiful chinitas and mestisas, and I was an adorable Asianesque Maggie Gyllenhaal in a sea of Megan Foxes and Nicole Scherzingers. My one distinguishing trait was being a geeky chick, and geeky chicks were a rare enough species back then that I soon befriended similarly geeky guys who were, apparently, attracted to me like moths to that metaphorical flame.

Except I was the one who felt burned out. There were nice guys who took the hint and backed away after I said I wasn’t interested, and had friends around to talk them out of it when they relapsed. But then there were the stalkers: the ones who called me up at all hours of the night, who wrote me long impassioned emails about nothing, who pestered me incessantly while I was out with friends. There were those who claimed I was dating them, others who proclaimed I was their girlfriend, even one who intimated I had several one night stands with him, wrecking my reputation to beef up his own (which few people believed, fortunately). One girl went so far as to claim she knew everything about me, as she stalked whatever aspect of my life she could reach to garner this information. (I only met her once before, and was unaware of her crush until her friends started coming up to me, asking about our ‘relationship’.)

It was a horrible time. Because these boys (and one girl) belonged to the same geek circles I was in, I was forced to cut myself off from most of these groups for my own peace of mind.  And I was mad. Were these people so deprived of girl companions that they start obsessing over the first who was nice to them? I decided I was going to finish the remainder of my university life single and drama-less.

Two months later, a guy asked me out. We’ve been sharing Japanese classes since freshmen year, but never really talked until recently. He was nice and friendly, was something of a geek (he would fix friends’ computers and help out with programming assignments without asking for anything in return), and had an unusual sense of humor.  People knew him around campus as the “nice Chinese guy with the Mac book” and also for the several white shirts he wears almost everyday (he admits to not really caring much about fashion). He was tall, on the skinny side (but with broad shoulders and a large frame), thick messy hair, a wide grin and a roughly 3.5 GPA he barely studied for.  He spent his childhood and the better part of high school in Canada, and he had a deep, comforting voice that, though unaccented, was very obviously Canadian in manner.

And I wasn’t sure. He was nice, and he was cute in a naive geeky sort of way, but we’d only been friends for a week, and two months isn’t that long a time to remember all the stress and havoc naive geeky boys can wreak on my life.

I’m still not sure what made me say yes. Maybe it was the hopeful way he was looking at me, maybe that  something in his manner that told me he was already trying to compensate for the rejection he thought he was going to get from asking me, a trait none of the other guys had ever displayed.

So I accepted.

Late last November, several years later, we were married.

He’s filled out his frame (a lot) and is no longer skinny. His hair’s not as messy as it used to be, and he’s gotten a taste for nice dark coats and a nicer wardrobe, which I’d like to think is partly my doing.  I am no longer angry at boys, which is mostly all his doing.

What do you get out of all this? In writing, don’t let bad experiences at rejection keep you from taking a chance at working on something that you feel will pay off. (See how I spun that to fit a novel / writing analogy in. Boom.) Sometimes you get a lot of wrong so you’ll know when that one right comes along.  I’d like to think that all those bad experiences helped me realize the ones that weren’t right for me, so I’d know when the right guy came asking.

A very belated Valentine’s to the hubby. <3

Click picture for image credit.

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