the thrill of the chase
'LOVE: You want more time with your cutie but you feel a bit like you're hounding him. To flip this around, become less available. He'll love the Thrill of the Chase!"
first of all, the fact that i have been reading cosmogirl horoscopes should probably give you some idea of the kind of week this is shaping up to be. still, i cannot deny that this phrase disturbed me, particularly because it popped up on almost every page. it turns out that not only do guys love the Thrill of the Chase, but they are in the Hunt for the Big Fish, and furthermore, while they may claim to hate the Hunt, girls actually love the Thrill of the Chase even more. i guess it beats being compared to big fish.
but in all seriousness - what on earth is the Thrill of the Chase? and why is this magazine - seemingly aimed at the collegiate crowd, with its references to paying rent, part-time jobs, and professors - full of quotes like 'you can catch a trout every day, but you're really in the hunt for the big one' and 'see why ignoring his phone calls and flirting with other guys will improve your relationship'?
of course, that's what i get for drowning my sorrows in mental junk food. at some point this week - i think it was last night - i made a conscious decision not to think anymore. i had five midterms scheduled between monday and friday, two within five minutes of each other monday, in addition to job interviews and a new issue of the observer coming out, and the sheer amount of information my brain had to process effectively shut down all other functions. i could not even get out of bed; i just lay there, flat on my back, staring at the ceiling, repeating over and over: 'elements of leadership and power in roman imperial art are easily observed in the varied pillars and columns such as...'
or, for a change of pace:
'elements of early jewish philosophy in medieval courts are easily observed in varied polemical documents and manuscripts such as...'
it became hard to tell, after a certain point, what midterm i was studying for.
but somehow i pulled through that first nightmarish day. it was truly miraculous. made it to both tests on time, finished them both on time, and still managed to stay awake for the classes afterwards. it was about then that, rubbing my eyes for probably the tenth time in five minutes, i realized that the skin under my eyes was bruised.
'huh,' i thought. 'i wonder how that happened.'
and then, being slow, i rubbed my eyes again.
after school that day i went to one of the other dorms to study, figuring it had to be quieter than my dorm, which is home to a significant proportion of the stern population. i spread my books out of the table and promptly conked out for three hours.
by the time i woke up again, it was dark outside, and i was so thoroughly confused i figured it was better to just go home and go to sleep. i had only a vague idea of what time it was, and i couldn't read my watch. so i rubbed my eyes all the way back to my room, threw away my poor abused contacts, and told myself i would study when i woke up in the morning.
now comes the Random Acts of Pain.
i knew something was wrong as soon as i opened my eyes, maybe because it took awhile to get them that way. i don't know if i was blogging the last time this happened, in july of 2005, but i have had eye infections before, so i know what they look like. of course, the last time i had an eye infection, i was at home, where i left, among other things, my glasses.
no way, i thought, looking in the mirror at my dracula eyes. not during midterms. no way.
i went to the nurse, and while i was relieved to find out that i didn't have an eye infection, this was somewhat mitigated by the fact that she still insisted i not wear contacts.
'it is not good,' she said. 'you have pre-infection eyes.'
'preinfection?' i thought. 'is that like hypertension?'
' if it does not clear up by tomorrow we will start you on the antibiotics,' she said. 'just rest your eyes for awhile. try not to read things or look at computer screens.'
'you can't be serious,' i said.
she frowned. 'midterms come and go. you want to keep your sight, don't you?'
'i have four more midterms before thursday.'
'well, wear glasses, and strain your eyes as little as possible.'
'i don't have glasses.'
she laughed. after awhile, when she realized i was serious, she said, 'well, get some.'
i assured her that i would do this, knowing full well that it was extremely unlikely. luckily, when your eyes are bloodshot all the time, no one can tell when you're actually about to cry.
unfortunately, the other side effect of not being able to see is, you know, the tendency to not see.
this proved to be even more difficult than i thought it would be. i have no idea how people got along in the middle ages. i really don't. i was only wandering the public with uncorrected eyesight for about six hours, yet i am not sure that all of my friendships will fully recover from today. there is something about being knocked over that people just don't forgive. i think my most truly damaging crash was the one involving a lead guitarist i played with last year. not kindly disposed towards me to begin with, she was especially unimpressed when i bashed her in the face with a wooden door.
'i'm sorry,' i said in the direction i assumed she might reasonably be standing, 'i'm really, really sorry, i didn't mean it...'
'you slammed me in the face with a door,' she noted coldly.
'i didn't see you, i'm sorry, i feel awful-'
'i'll bet,' she said, and walked away.
the security guard standing by the offending door said to me, 'boy, this school is dangerous when you walk the halls, isn't it?'
however, as i sit here on my bed, ignoring my atom-sized textbook prints in favor of cosmogirl's comforting neon letters the height of lindsay lohan, i wonder if it isn't just the Thrill of the Chase.