Sunday, September 13, 2015


I loved going to dances as a teenager. If there are four things I'm good at, it's first impressions, non-toxic breath, interacting with humans, and anything close to functional coordination.

Dances are the best way possible to meet women. They get to see how few friends you have, without the months-long constant interaction required of anyone to understand how funny you are.1 This can obviously only result in things you see in historical dramas like Better Off Dead, where you end up dancing with the cute French girl.

The best thing about going to a dance as a hopelessly forgetful and optimistic teen is that every time you think this is going to be the dance you don't stand in the corner trying to pretend like you're by yourself by choice.

That said, the Perry men were quite legendary in their performance at dances, and we all independently developed and rigorously adhered to the following set of rules:

  1. For the first slow song, go get a drink
  2. For the second slow song, go to the bathroom

This is because, like losing WWI generals learned everywhere, the frontal attack is suicidal. Going up and speaking to a woman? If you manage to make it through the machine gun fire of competing men and wade through the mine field that is her friends, the light just isn't dim enough to give you enough time to tell sophisticated jokes before she realizes you're funny looking and you drive a Volkswagen Vanagon.2

No, as they learned in the Brusilov Offensive and at Vimy Ridge, and as you've learned over the years, your only chance is in using infiltration tactics! Write snippy blog posts. Milk all the self-deprecating humor you can. Build up a repertoire in the area you move to over the course of six years. Gradually extend your network of acquaintances so your name is known for miles around. Some poor unsuspecting law student is bound to get caught up in the (over) hype, stumble across the blog, laugh once, maybe twice, meet you briefly at a party where you fein disinterest, and...

Then, four years ago this October, you can approach her at the dance and coolly seduce her with witticisms carefully crafted and honed, trading off of your reputation, and with a smooth collection of her phone number you've broken through the trenches into the great unknown country beyond.3

1. One of my earliest memories in Elementary School was getting assigned to sit next to one of the cutest girls in class, Sadie, and realizing that this was my big break, knowing that it took months of sitting next to me in class for someone to think I was funny. To this day, I mistakenly presume this is the result of an extremely sophisticated sense of humor, and not just overwhelming pity.
2. Which, in the greatest of ironies, would turn out to be the absolute coolest car anyone at high school drove. I don't pray for much, but I pray for them to release a throwback version of that car pretty much every day. I would buy it immediately.
3. But, and I mean this in the strongest way possible, so many many horrific crash and burn failures brought you here. Let us try and forget.

1 comment:

brittney perry said...

There's a "all's fair in love and war" comment to be had here... but I just can't figure it out. And I'm glad you were such a brilliant military strategist by the time I came along.