Earlier this week, a friend of mine told a little story that I love. He’s a professional photographer, and he had just done engagement photos for a very happy couple. He got to know them well enough to learn their background. Here’s how he told the story:
A nerdy guy fell in love with a beautiful, beautiful girl in high school. He wrote her love letters. He told her he would do anything for her. She wasn’t having any of it and dated not-nerdy guys all through high school. Then she dated hot guys in college. Her life got vapid as guy after guy used her then ditched her. She had a kid. She kept dating hot but awful guys. Then, one day, she decided that she should call the nerdy guy who fell in love with her from high school, because these other guys were bad people and the nerdy guy was the best person she could ever remember meeting. Now she’s going to marry the nerdy guy and they’re happy and madly in love.
I thought it was a great story about the triumph of love and about how people can grow and change, finally realizing what’s most important in life. It seemed like a pretty clear-cut happy ending to me, so I posted this feel-good story on Facebook for my friends. I quickly found out that other people viewed the story through very different lenses.
“Yeah, now that’s she’s used up,” one friend commented, and he followed it up by expanding on his thought. “This woman has a bad track record and she’s defaulting to her last best option; but, people rarely change, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t have an affair or leave him for the next hot guy. Good luck, nerd, I sincerely hope it works out well for you, but keep your eyes open.”
Another woman told the story of her own bitter experience of having rejected a nerd in high school, focusing on the hard lessons she learned from her own behavior.
Read the rest of this entry »