Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How about that Steve Rogers?

Let this be a cautionary tale to me not to go getting my hopes up about a guy I spoke to for only about ten or 15 minutes. First impressions, I have discovered, can be awfully deceiving.

I will not go into all the details of why I have decided, in what I believe to be an act of stunning common sense, never to see our acquaintance from yesterday again. Suffice it to say that he talked about himself for almost 3 hours straight, allowing me maybe 2 sentences in edgewise. Those of my readers who have met me in person are well aware that few things in this world or the next can halt my talking, yet for one of the first times in my life, I had almost nothing to say as I listened to him drone on and on about himself. I do occasionally have the problem of finding guys boring and last night's event could be categorized as Exhibit A on the list of reasons why. I believe it was the second worst date I have ever been on, the first being a fiasco in London of which we generally do not speak. On the other hand, I did get a delicious dinner out of last night (at a very nice restaurant too) and I finally saw Captain America, which I enjoyed and would have enjoyed even more if not for the company, so the proverbial silver lining appeared in this as it does in so many situations.

Tonight I have a dinner party scheduled with the ISI girls: Cathryn, Serena, Marjorie and Tyler, at Tyler's apartment. Sarah (my roommate) will probably stop in later. It should be a lot of fun; I'm excited to regale them with stories of recent events, and to hear their own adventures along similar lines. And on Thursday, my mother arrives for her weekend visit! I can't even wait. Among other things, I know my apartment will become exponentially prettier and more elegant after she's been through it with her magic decorating touch.

Now a final word about Captain America. Two of my more cynical male acquaintances referred to it as "an insult to the intelligence," which I thought was taking a rather dim view of things, albeit that the film did require lengthy stretches of completely turning off one's brain. But come on. This is Captain America, not a philosophy class, right? It was still a worthwhile watch. At any rate, my favorite moment in the entire film came near the beginning, and was entirely predictable if you know my thoughts on quiet heroism in guys. In the scene, a grenade is thrown at a group of American soldiers; most of them run for cover, but our hero Captain America doesn't hesitate to jump on that grenade, clutch it to his chest and yell for everyone else to get away. As I watched that, I clutched my hands to my heart, eyes shining, not even trying to hide how impressed I was. That kind of instinctive self-sacrifice is perhaps the quality I admire most in a man - yet how can men like that be found? True heroism becomes apparent in a tense moment of danger, but in the normal course of everyday living, heroic virtue is often much harder to recognize. I am trying to develop my ability to recognize heroic virtue, even if it is hidden below the surface, not readily apparent to most passersby. I'm trying to learn how to accurately read other people. If I'm being honest with myself here, if the disappointment of last night was any indication, I have a long way to go.

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