Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Timely Repeat Lesson From Theo

If i told you things i did before
told you how i used to be
would you go along with someone like me
if you knew my story word for word
had all of my history
would you go along with someone like me


The song I blogged about yesterday, "Young Folks" by Peter Bjorn And John, is well on its way to being played into the ground by yours truly. Today I realized what the song is actually about – and I continue to marvel at how this song came into my life like GANGBUSTERS (to use a favorite term of Charles Barkley).

It's a wonderfully sweet topic: early courtship. Yes, I understand that sane people don't use that word choice unless referring to the latest box social, but that classic term is one of the most apt to describe the awkward dance of personal introductions under the shade of romance.

Of course, you won't find any more insight into my current inner monologue on this topic in this forum. Which leads me to the next installment in my "Best Of" (using the term as lightly as possible).

Originally posted in two segments 365 days ago – I have decided to repost in its entirety – but not before one more verse from my Song of the Moment:


i did before and had my share
it didn't lead nowhere
i would go along with someone like you
it doesn't matter what you did
who you were hanging with
we could stick around and see this night through


--

LESSONS FROM THEO

One of my earliest memories is of Theo Huxtable talking to his friends in the locker room during an episode of The Cosby Show.

I know it is one of the earliest memories because I can not envision what that scene looked like, but I remember the ideal behind it, and my reaction to it.

Basically Theo went on a date with Some Girl the previous weekend, and all the guys wanted to know how far the date went. After he lied, Theo was congratulated in a shower of HIGH-5s and chauvinistic remarks. Theo felt awful, but not as bad as he felt when Some Girl found out.

I remember thinking, "If Theo wanted to achieve what he embellished, his goal would have a higher success rate if the mission was kept below radar." This message stuck. With the lone exceptions of a venting session in East Room #1252 and a tell all "Springer-style" exposé at a Waukesha custard stand, I've pretty much kept all my endeavors close to the vest.

I'm also very glad to have friends that also subscribe to this theory. Many of my friends work against the stereotype of the hard drinker, ho nailer and boastful ego that is the typical romantic male. (However, I must admit that we are the virtual baseball card trading, video game playing, sarcastic and cynical stereotype commonly associated with boys half our age)

MySpace has shown the latest example of Theo's Therom in play. I have a friend who recently began dating someone. I was not told this, I saw it though various investigative photographs on MySpace. Very recently my "Single" friend was now classifying himself as "In a Relationship" on MySpace. I applaud this efficiently friendly declaration of rather large news for my friend.

On the other side of the canyon, girls may choose to proclaim such developments from mountaintops, or worse call each other in late night pajama talk gushing, "The man I am going to marry just spilled coffee on me!"

I don't discuss romance that often. It's not just because of what I have learned from Theo. I also realize that my guy friends just don't care that much. And it's not that I don't care about their romantic developments - they just know I'm not going to be passing around HIGH-5s to stories including sexual baseball metaphors.

This Cosby Show scene, with Theo immersed in locker room guy talk, was the first time a key social reality was exposed to me: boys high school locker rooms are no place for tact, and a worse place for secrets.

Unfortunately I lapsed one time, just one time, to this tenet. Oh why did I divulge my true belief about Natalie? A girl who I found on MySpace weeks ago married, and with multiple kids?

The social impact of clandestine locker room carnage was also vividly written in the novel Death By Strip Mall. For an account on high school, and its aftermath, that is a polar opposite of the wholesome lesson heavy Cosby Show I recommend this book to any reader, agent and publisher.

Sadly, the lessons mentioned here from the Cosby Show may be the only high school based jewels that can survive the test of time. With MySpace and cell phones now as high school as lunch table politics and locker combinations I don't know how any fictional high school tale will ever be the same.

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