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RelationshipsNCHS Superintendent’s Notes – October 12, 2016

By Ernie Fowler – Nashville CHSD #99

One thing hasn’t changed much since the days when I was a high school student. Boys still flirt with the girls and girls still flirt with the boys. I don’t miss those days. I wasn’t a good flirter in high school. I wouldn’t know how to go about it now. There is a certain sadness in seeing a 55 year old married man attempting to flirt with a 25 year old woman. I was at a meeting one time when I saw a certain “mature” man trying to get close to a much younger woman. I watched and listened as he tried to dazzle her with his charm. When he went for his line that would “close the deal” the young woman responded with something to the effect of “that sounds like something my dad would say”. The gold chain wearing Casanova’s ego shriveled like a slug that just had salt thrown on it. I was disturbed by this spectacle but, at the same time, somewhat fascinated that grandpa had the guts to think he had a chance with a woman who was clearly out of his league.

I wish that I could have summoned the courage and confidence necessary to approach a certain young lady who I was smitten with when I was in high school. Ah yes, in my 16 year old eyes, she was the epitome of “hotness”. She was…..a cheerleader. She was way out of my league. Unlike some of my classmates, I played it safe. I settled for being her “friend”. For a 16 year old with a crush, “friend” is the most vulgar of “f-words”! I wasn’t going to risk hearing that line….”oh, I just want to be friends”. I certainly wasn’t going to be one of those ordinary guys who asked out a supermodel babe and who either got laughed at or flat out rejected. No, I would spend my high school career in the friend zone with my dignity intact and without her having to tell me that we are “just friends”. She would never know that I would have given my left kidney for a date with her. I would have thrown in my right lung if she would have consented to call me her boyfriend.

I had buddies who were fearless about asking out any female. I saw these guys as Pee-Wee Hermann. They saw themselves as, in today’s terms, Brad Pitt. I was content to stay in my league. They believed they could be successful in any league. They struck out 99 out of 100 times but they kept swinging for the fences. They worked to get to the peak of the mountain…..the girl’s phone number. They usually found themselves plunging back down to reality. Despite their clumsy attempts and ultimate rejection, they took solace in the fact that they actually got to talk to real girls. It did teach me to take pride in whatever level of success that we achieve. It is ok to swing for the fences. It is ok to pursue guys or girls that are out of our league. My wife says it paid off for me.