This column first appeared in Issue 30, Volume 63 of The Easterner
So I might have created a blog to ask U.S. Women’s National Team goalie Hope Solo out on a date.
Do I think she will respond? No, but that was never the objective.
The idea came after I read an interview in which Hope expressed that she gladly welcomed new love interests. I thought, “Hey. I’m not athletic, good-looking or rich, but why not give it a shot.”
Look at that, I made a pun about taking a shot at a goalie. See Hope, I can be incredibly charming at times.
Given the chances a short, mustachioed male with no college degree has with an Olympic gold medalist, things are not tipping in my favor. But why should that stop me from asking?
I have spent a large number of my 26 years living in fear of being turned down or unaccepted. Whether it was a job I was afraid to apply for or that karate class I ran out of in tears when I was in third grade, I let fear take the wheel.
It is exhausting. I am constantly figuring out ways to not reach for what I want. Every opportunity feels like another promised failure. If there is a chance I might lose, I do not want to play at all.
My mother was diagnosed with cancer in November of 2011. In March, 2012, I sat in a hospital room for two weeks, fortifying my heart for the goodbye I knew was coming.
On May 22, we found out the chemotherapy was working and the cancer was shrinking.
My mother had a snowball’s chance in hell, so all she could do was swing for the fences. She is not in perfect health; the cancer still takes up a large part of her lungs. And the fear has never left. She just decided to stop letting it drive.
I decided I wanted to live like that: no more shying away from a chance at happiness, no more cowering in terror that I may fail. Of course I will fail. I will probably fail a million times.
I will take classes that land me right on my face. I will apply for and be rejected from countless jobs. I will take my first fly-tying class and end up in the emergency room with a fish hook stuck through my pinky. It is inevitable.
But maybe that fishing hook ends up on a line instead of in my flesh. Maybe I snag a perch by the pinky, instead. OK, so I know absolutely nothing about fishing.
And yes, Hope Solo is going to reject my request for a date. I will get an extremely polite form letter from her publicist telling me to “cease and desist” and “understand there is legal precedence that says I could face charges,” and all that other playful stuff.
When I get rejected, I will curl into a ball and cry while eating cookie dough and drinking bourbon. I will spend all day watching “Law and Order” marathons, questioning the meaning of life.
When the bourbon runs out, I will turn off the TV, take a shower, and find a new celebrity to ask out over the internet.
And Hope, if you are reading, I am willing to go on just about any adventure you can think up. But I will still never go to a karate class.