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Maynard's Brother?

My Worst Date

By Kristy LoxtonPublished 6 years ago 9 min read

When I was still a mostly innocent adult-type person, long ago, I lived in another world called Kalamazoo, Michigan, where you can buy t-shirts that literally say, “Yes, there really is a Kalamazoo,” where the public library has a large piece of artwork that proudly displays the meaningful message: “Tattoo Sue from Kalamazoo Plays a Mean Kazoo”, the only city where Primus will open their concert set, with “A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H… I got a gal…” (sing it with me if you know it) “from Kalamazoo…” I was a freshman at Western Michigan University (go Broncos!), and I had not yet learned that frat parties for me, would be fraught with nothing but terribly awkward social interactions, gyrating hips, men with too-grabby hands, and awful music. Hence, one night, I found myself at one of these disturbing events.

A budding feminist (the moderate kind, you know, who would like still shave her armpits and wear bras and stuff) as I liked to fancy myself, I was immediately outraged at the situations I found myself in. A faceless hand in the crowd grabbed my ass before I could turn around to see who it was, I was certainly the only person with a vagina not wearing makeup, and perhaps worst of all, they were playing Christina Aguilera. I mean, really? I frantically tried to find my roommate who was my only hope of salvation, as she had brought me there. She would certainly want to leave immediately as well.

To my sheer horror, I found her, talking very intimately with some big-shouldered, jersey wearing, beefcake. “Hi Kristy!” she said cheerfully, “This is Derek, He’s a Bronco...I mean, a real football player.” She said “football player” like I should really be impressed. Like I had ever watched a football game in my life. Like she had no idea I was a nerd who read a lot of Stephen King and only enjoyed crowds if there was some very loud and angry music playing.

I shook his hand, because I figured that’s what you’re supposed to do with someone of elevated status. “That’s really great for you.” I turned to my roommate, “Lisa, can we go?”

The look on her face told me that I shouldn’t push the issue. “I mean, whenever you’re ready, just like, let me know, ok?” She nodded enthusiastically. Defeated, with slumped shoulders, I set off to find my only true friend at the party: the keg.

“One red solo cup, for a very inexperienced, underage drinker, please!” I ordered to the guy manning the keg.

“Aye, Aye, Cap’n!” He saluted my efforts. Finally, some respect, I thought, sourly.

One red solo cup led to another, led to another, led to another. If you have ever had the pleasure of ingesting any Michigan Microbrews, particularly of the Bell’s variety, you know that these are no ordinary beers. Oh, no, ma’am, not at all. They are the kind of beers that will set you on the fast-track to alcoholism in a jiffy, if you are so inclined. They are the kind of delicious, amazing beers, that once caused me to vomit in the flower pot of the notorious Bell’s biergarten. They are just the sort of beverage that set the stage for many of my young adult-ish misadventures.

Needless to say, quickly I was inebriated. Suddenly I was approached by a rather tall, thin dude wearing a hoodie and a gray beanie. I instinctively jerked away, but then noticed he wasn’t wearing the requisite Abercrombie and Fitch frat attire. I stereotyped him quickly by his appearance and judged he was alright to talk to.

“Hey, do you like Tool?” Did I like the greatest rock and roll band in all of history?!?! I was so happy to be able to engage in a conversation about something I loved!

“Do I like TOOL?!” I repeated, excitedly, dragging out the name of the band in the long “oooooo” syllable, as if that would better explain how I felt.

“Yeah,” he said, “You know Maynard?”

“Do I know MAYNARD?!” Apparently, at this point, I was only able to repeat questions, rather than answer them.

“Yeah, Maynard, the lead singer of Tool…”

“Yes, I know who he is! He’s amazing! He’s…” My vocabulary was severely stunted. Finally, I was able to have a “real” conversation with someone, and my words were nowhere to be found.

“Well, I’m his brother.”

“YOU’RE HIS WHAT?!?!” I could barely contain myself. I was starstruck. I found myself staring at a human being who arrived on this planet out of the same glorious womb as MAYNARD HIMSELF. I studied his eyes, searched his features for any similarities I might find to my beloved MAYNARD.

“His brother, we grew up in Grand Rapids, just north of here… Anyway, do you want to go out sometime? Do you think I could have your number?” I nodded enthusiastically and took out my hemp wallet (I certainly did not want to carry a PURSE) for a piece of scrap paper. I closed one eye and carefully wrote down the number to my dorm room. Believe it or not, hardly anyone had cell phones at this time. “Thanks, are you doing anything this weekend?”

“You mean tomorrow?! No, not at all!” We made plans for him to meet at my dorm room. From there, we would decide on a place for dinner.

Just then, Lisa tapped me on the shoulder, a signal to take me home. I was so relieved that I didn’t have to make any more conversation with him, that I forgot to introduce her. We scurried home, and immediately laid in our respective bunks.

After a few hours, my beer buzz started to wear off, and reality began to set in. “Hey Lisa,” I called to her from the bottom bunk, “Do you think Maynard has a brother?”

“I think so, why?”

“That guy, I was talking to… He said he was Maynard’s brother… We are supposed to go on a date tomorrow.” My speech went low, embarrassed, at this point, at the thought of having possibly been duped by some random dude at a frat party.

“Oh my God!” Lisa squealed. “You know he’s from Grand Rapids, right?! I’m sure that WAS Maynard’s brother!!! Can you think of all the backstage passes we could get?! I mean why would someone SAY he was Maynard’s brother if he wasn’t Maynard’s brother?!” Sound logic, I thought. I felt revivified. Lisa had validated my decision. In that day and age, we could not take out our cell phones and simply ask Siri to verify whether or not Maynard had a brother, and if so whether or not, random dude at the frat party was him. I’m not sure how we ever survived the dark ages of information, blindly interacting with human beings, doing our best to decide whether or not we would have sex with someone without having performed a thorough Facebook-stalking… Anyway, I digress.

The next day I nervously awaited my date with the potential Maynard’s Brother. Lisa was getting ready to go out with Mr. Bronco Football Player. She handed me a pint of Southern Comfort. “Here you go,” she said, “it will get rid of your nerves.”

As my budding alcohol problem would have it, by the time he arrived, I was already half in the bag. “Hi!” I greeted him at my dorm room door. We sat down to talk, mostly about music. And we kept talking. And drinking. And talking. And drinking. The longer he sat on the edge of my bed, the more enthralled I became with him. He kissed me sloppily, and we never did end up going to dinner.

In the morning, I woke up next to him on my tiny dorm room bed. I noticed he had never taken his hat off. I groaned, my head throbbing, and reeling from the shame and self-induced guilt from having had sex with someone I didn’t even know. I hadn’t even bothered to get his name. And he hadn’t even bothered to take his hat off.

“Do you wanna hang out today?” he asked.

“No I can’t, I have class,” I said, rubbing my eyes, “I mean, I have class Monday, I have homework.”

“Oh, ok,” he said politely. “Do you think you could take me home?”

“Take you home? How did you get here?”

“I walked,” he said plainly. “I really wanted to see you.” I was trying to put this information together in my head. Why doesn’t Maynard’s brother have a car? I couldn’t figure it out, and the sun was much too bright.

“Yeah, ok, let’s go.” I couldn’t wait to get him out of my dorm room. I needed some space and time to figure out morally what I have just done, and what it meant for me as a human person posing as an adult. I’m sure the crushing weight of the hangover did nothing to help my emotional state, either.

We walked up the long hill of the valley to the parking lot where we found my blue Pontiac Grand Prix with the paint peeling off the roof because I had never bothered to have that recall fixed. We sat in the car, and as I turned the ignition, Tool’s Undertow blasted out of my tape player.

“Tool!” he said, grinning.

“Yep.” I replied. I turned the music down. Why can’t we not be sober? I just want to talk this over? For the first time in my life, Maynard’s voice was not pleasing to me.

Just then, he took off his hat, revealing a shock of bright pink hair. “I have to tell you something… I haven’t taken my hat off because of this.” He pointed at his head.

“Because you have pink hair?” I asked, confused. He nodded, grimly.

My eyebrows furrowed deeply, still perplexed. “I don’t care that you have pink hair.” He sighed, as if a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders, while I pondered why this man who boasted to be Maynard’s brother had just revealed his hair color as if he were playing out the final scene of the Crying Game. It was very likely, the most awkward interaction I had ever had in my life. We sat the rest of the ride in silence. His liberated pink hair, newly out of the closet, danced the junior high arm-length slow dance with my crippling self-judgement.

“Thanks!” he said, as I pulled up in his parking lot. “Can I see you again?”

“Why do you want to see me again?” I asked, unjustifiably irritated.

“Well, because…” he looked at his hands, “Well, to tell you the truth, you give really good head.” I experienced such an uncomfortable mixture of pride and shame at the same time that I nearly vomited.

“I don’t think so. I’ve got to go.” As I drove back to my dorm room, planning to take a long, hot shower after my first and only one-night stand, I pushed eject from the tape playing in my console. Not now, Maynard.

It’s 20 years later. Today, I’m closer than ever to qualifying as a real adult. I’m happily married, and to be honest, I still have not researched the details of my worst date ever. The way I figure it, either he was not Maynard’s brother, in which case, I was a fool, or he was Maynard’s brother, in which case I was a fool. Either way, I had had a date and slept with someone because of an assumed identity, because of appearances, because of pretenses. Weren’t those the very things that had caused me distress at the frat party in the first place? As it turned out, I was the same kind of jerk as everyone else. (Well maybe not AS much… after all, I didn’t eat MEAT…)

Anyway, Maynard’s Brother, if you are out there… If you exist… Dude with the pink hair… I just want to say, thank you. Thank you for eventually taking off your hat. Thank you for not being a total douchebag. And most of all, thank you for the lessons I learned from what was certainly my worst date ever.



About the Creator

Kristy Loxton

A human configuration of ancient stardust with a master's degree in Humanistic and Clinical Psychology.

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