Last spring was my swan song. I was a senior on last leg of my final lap. I was a free man once again and my disengaged attitude toward fraternity involvement found a renaissance. I signed up for every intrafraternal event I thought I could stomach. I sought to cram four years of fraternity living into four short months, when into my life walked the girl my closest fraternity brothers could come to know as the “mailman.”
This girl, we’ll call her Olivia, sat at the helm of a sorority close to us and was a strong personality — the type that could swill half a bag of Franzia and still command a troupe of sloppy sisters. She was of above-average looks, but still a downgrade for someone of my looks and gentility. I bet she was a knockout as an underclassman, before complacency struck. In essence, she had the makings of a soft six with a very nice smile. She was loud, brash, and on the arm of a boyfriend of more years than I have fingers and toes to count.
Going back to her nickname, we called her the mailman because I chased her as a dog chases the mailman. I couldn’t understand why I was pursuing her. I didn’t know what I’d do when I caught her. I couldn’t decide if I even wanted to catch her. A reputation as a home-wrecker is one I circumvent. In the simplest of terms, she seemed like a challenge and the chase promised to be thrilling enough in itself.
Though I fell on my face (metaphorically and literally at times) in my pursuit, I was beginning to win favor over her mid-calf-Nike-sock-clad, cargo-rocking, tennis-shoes-to-every-function significant other, so I struck for the jugular. I had her on the hook and her boyfriend reeling. I was inches from consummating my journey into her heart, but I withdrew just as it donned on me that I had a destination in sight. I decided I wasn’t even in it to fuck her. For some reason, abjuration seemed like the right move. I knew it would foster confusion and perhaps really cement her wavering feelings — if that’s even what I was after.
In a sick sort of way, the realization that I can flip a girl’s emotions like Jim Harbaugh flips a four-star commit was delicious. As the scoreboard ticked closer to a W for me, I had to ask myself: What’s the prize here? I’m not that into this girl, so why do guys like me chase girls in whom we aren’t necessarily interested?
Is it because these girls are inherently good looking? That’s painting with too broad a brush. Do we want to big-dick another guy by stealing his girl? Maybe, but that seems like a move born out of insecurity. Is it for a well-earned score? Maybe. Is her affection an achievement? I think we’re getting closer. It’s almost seems like psychological warfare.
In time (long after I fell off this girl’s trail), I came up with an all-inclusive answer: Because it’s a challenge and it’s a thrill. Guys like me need to challenge their looks, ability to lie, and penchant for smooth talking. And the ultimate challenge is the forbidden fruit. Blazing a trail to her bedroom is a testament to a golden tongue, immutable confidence, style and just enough whiskey and wine to close the deal. In other words, it’s practice followed by a heat-check.
So, as the great JFK once said, “We choose to chase these girls. We choose to chase them, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”.