Oh, there he goes off to his room to write that hit song "Alone in my principles."
Question #90299 posted on 09/20/2017 6:56 a.m.

So Ardilla...

Have you ever wondered if Fake Vermilion reads The Board? Whatever happened with her?

...Repeat Offender


Today's Board header quote :

"Your imagination is yours. You can remember the past you choose, rehearse the future you want, and identify with the real and fictional heroes and events of your selection. ~John-Roger and Peter McWilliams"

"Is this quote meant to comfort and encourage? 'Cause if so, it's not working." --Me

Dear re-peet,

Watch yo'self. We ain't 'bout to re-take re-offense 'round these parts. Nonetheless—because your question amuses me and it soothes my cake-battered ego(?) to think someone actually remembers something I wrote—I will suffer it.

Ah, Fake Vermilion. It seems only yesterday she creepily texted me "You look nice in the sunlight," and I dramatically and successfully weaseled my way out of a date with her by doing... nothing, really.

As far as I know, she doesn't read the Board. Regarding what I said previously:

Fake Vermilion:  You look great in blue...;)

That's the last text I've received to date, and I hope it's the last. It probably won't be. This is the recompense I deserve for texting promises of romantic interludes to numbers I don't know, I suppose. And for not ever calling the first girl. 

It does not comfort me at all.

--Ardilla Feroz really doesn't want to go on that date but also doesn't want to tell her he thought he was texting someone else entirely

It was indeed the last text, and in two months later in Board Question #82588 I expressed my hope she'd moved on, up, or away... as well as my realization that I was incorrect.

Dear Harbinger,

She moved for the summer and returned to the place from whence she came. She hasn't instigated any further contact, nor have I mistakenly texted her again.

For now, the drums of war are silent. For now, Dobby is free. 

--Ardilla Feroz

**Correction** I went to a dance days after this posted and was bear-hugged within thirty seconds. Fake Vermilion didn't move. She was just on vacation. 
I've made a serious mistake.

Luckily for me, not long after this she started dating a guy and until mere days ago I thought for some beautiful reason they'd gotten married. I asked a friend of mine (shoutout to The Happy Medium) what she was up to now, and apparently she never was married or engaged, but broke up with that guy she was dating and is now living somewhereabouts in Provo. If we're being real here—and maybe, just maybe we are—she's probably not a bad sort, so I think it was a little unfair of me to act like she was off her rocker, even if I had zero interest in dating her. Crazy person.

One exciting relationship update I can give you—I know what you're thinking, "Ardilla? A relationship?!?" but I'll remind you it is 2017 and basically anything can happen this yearis about a different woman I've actually previously mentioned on the Board, believe it or not. I've known her for probably the past 15 years, though I guess I initially met her when I was a toddler. Are you excited? I'd love to tell you and the Board all about her. We'll call her SeaWorld Girl.


We swam on the same club swim team as teenagers, but on opposing high school teams. She excelled at what she did, so she ended up swimming at BYU and was someone I'd occasionally run into on the rare occasions I actually got up to swim in the early mornings (I did not swim at BYU). SeaWorld girl was exactly the sort of person I was interested in—intelligent, conservation-minded, athletic, and utterly out of my league. When I finally did ask her for her number, she was, like, a senior at BYU and I did so in one of the most awkward ways possible.

At this time I will now share something that pains me to read. It will probably pain you to read it as well. I am sorry, but this maladroit attempt at social interaction is how I first asked SeaWorld girl for her number. This is the message I sent to her on Facebook. 

(To be read aloud in a Scottish Brogue) Och, me lass! Ah hope the day's bin sunny an' bright for ye an' tha' you enjoyed yer bangers an' mash for brekfas'. Alsoo yer swimmin' in the loch, ah hope twasn't too frigid. Did ye by chance see Nessie? Also, ah had a question for ye--an' I'll speak this one in a dialect more familiar--tha' of th' Americans. I'd like to give you a call, but I don't have your number. After considering a long and complicated plot involving sparrows, white-capped chickadees, a pigeon, black paint, masking tape, a pizza box and an envelope made of a post-it note (but seriously) I decided the best way would simply be to ask you for it. I'll forever understand if you'd rather not surrender those ten digits, but my question remains--can I have your phone number? Best, Ardilla

P.S. Don't trust the on-campus cats. They're definitely up to something.
She responded thusly:
Haha wow Ardilla, that was circuitous, but of course [sweet digits go here].
In hindsight, any girl who offers their number after reading that mess is obviously someone who you call as soon as you get an affirmative reply. But no. Nooo. I didn't call that week, month, semester, or even that year. In Board Question #80968, I 'fessed up to this procrastination disaster:

My longest time elapsed between getting a girl's number and actually contacting her with the intent to ask her on a date was fourteen months. She declined because apparently she was moving to California to work with orcas at SeaWorld. When she showed up in Utah again a few months ago after her work with everyone's favorite monochromatic sea mammal I attempted to ask her on a date again. She declined. At the present I believe she's spending time with sea otters, which are both more proactive/dependable than the average guy and less likely to go bald.

Fourteen. Months. Stupid. If this were Fake Vermilion's number, this would be the first step of a winning strategy, the second step being to lose her number entirely. But it wasn't. This was someone I was actually interested in. When I finally did get around to calling her, I invited her to go with me to Bonneville Seabase, some saline hot springs west of Salt Lake where for some reason there are tropical fish on the day after Christmas. My short phone conversation with her, actually just a series of voicemails, led to me pen these words mere days after:

It would seem my definition [of a date] is too abstract to come across in how I ask people on dates, because it just happened again where I invited someone on a date and they could not come; they asked me to tell them all about how the activity went next time I saw them and in my mind I was like the whole reason I was planning on dropping my Lincolns on snorkeling was so I could do it with YOU.

Sure, I'd visited San Diego some weeks prior and texted her for all kinds of SeaWorld advice (as it was Thankgiving, she was ironically in Utah, which I'd just left) but apparently it had come to naught. The next week—after Christmas, when maybe she wouldn't be so busy with family—might have been a prime time to ask her out again and determine her interest once and for all, but at that time I was busy with... well, we'll just call it a personal project. Shenanigans aside, my hope for me and this girl continued unabated.


This answer is now longer than a kindergartner's verbal attempt to frame a rival classmate for the mysterious demise of the class gerbil (my personal hunch? Allie, in the craft closet, with the glue stick), so I'll summarize the next three years rather easily by saying I occasionally reached out to SeaWorld Girl through Facebook or shared some video related to seals, platypuses, armadillos, or dolphins, which she now trained. I even texted her again about San Diego stuff when I went there in November 2016... but she wasn't very responsive. 

To anyone who has actually read this far, it should now be apparent I really had no ongoing relationship with SeaWorld girl. But maybe, just maybe something could come of it?

Well, just a few weeks ago I was scrolling through the largely uninteresting Facewebz (how can it all be video ads?) when I happened upon perhaps the saddest thing I'd heard since that conference talk about the cruise ship passenger who sits in his cabin and eats canned beans the whole timeSeaWorld Girl was engaged. 

And despite all rational evidence to the contrary—I mean, we hadn't spoken in months— I was devastated. I wished to ask her, "SeaWorld girl, did I not send you a video of a platypus? Did I not share with you the marvelousness of 'Dillo Jean? Did I not attend your birthday party when I was three? Was this not enough? How else could I have indicated my romantic interest in you?" 

Of course, I did not say it. For although part of me hoped maybe she would dis-engage (ha I'll be reusing that pun), the rest of me knew the time for dialogue had long since passed. It did not help my mood that I also found out about her engagement the same day I was receiving recognition for the otherwise fruitful personal project I'd once decided to be a higher priority than asking her out that cold, bleak Christmas break. Might something have happened betwixt us if I'd done things differently? It's impossible to know, but in that moment I nonetheless wondered.

If there is a lesson in all this (besides, perhaps, not procrastinating the personal), it might be that I overestimate my own importance. While I sometimes imagine myself to be one of the main characters in someone else's story (looking at you, John-Roger and Peter McWilliams), it's likely I'm far more often the guy running through the background with a bike. Yes, running, maybe even with a cool vest. Perchance in SeaWorld Girl's story I was just weird enough to merit a second glance, but as soon as I passed out of the frame I might have known I was consigned to oblivion. 

As this answer takes a turn for the darker, I'm less-than-optimistically reminded of some lyrics from Robert DeLong's song "Long Way Down."

[In] the end, the end
Everyone will go away
In the end, the end
Everything will go

So take it in, don't hold your breath
The bottom's all I've found
We can't get higher than we get
On the long way down.

Take care of yourself, Repeat. I should probably do the same.


--Ardilla Feroz


Dear Pete and Repeat Were Sitting On A Fence,

Ardilla was rather magnanimous about this, but a word: if you have a legitimate reason to re-ask a question (which, here, you do), please, Please, PLEASE, do not use the "Repeat Offender" method of doing so. There have been reader-writer interactions that were taxing to both sides based around that 'nym, and we'd all rather just move along.

Anyway. Thanks for reading and sticking with us! Hopefully that didn't sound too grumpy.

-Frère Rubik, feeling downright kingly in his sweats and with a fluffy blanket 'round his shoulders