Monthly Archives: July 2015

Hot Comic Book Guy


When I was twenty, I fell in love with a man I mostly invented. I say “mostly” because there was a guy that definitely looked like my invented man, and had the job of my invented man, but whatever else he was…. I can’t really tell you.

I fell in love with a guy I called “Hot Comic Book Guy”, named so because a.) he was hot, b.) he owned the comic book store, and c.) I didn’t know his name.

I seemed to me it was fate that we met. I walked into the comic book store he owned to start a pull list, and there is really nothing more fateful than that. I mean, what are the chances he would be in the store he owned and working right when I needed to read New Mutants?

The comic that brought me in to gaze upon him.
The comic that brought me in to gaze upon him.

A few months after this, I moved up north to go to college, and rationality dictated that I get my pull at a closer store. But love, especially this kind of love, is irrational, so I kept my pull list with hot comic book guy and tried to get back every few months to pick up my comics, and sort of surreptitiously stare in his hot comic book-y direction and ask how he felt about Young Avengers.

Needless to say, I didn’t really know anything about him aside from how much I was in love with him. Then, in between those times where I saw him for about five minutes as I handed him my money, I toyed with all sorts of ideas in how to get him to date me, such as leaving my phone number on a receipt, or just plain old asking him out.

I did none of these things.

Let me paint you a picture of me in my twenties. When I saw my reflection in the mirror, or a store window, I saw a misshapen Tweedle Dee waddling from one place to another. My mother kept pointing out to me that I should really control my mustache problem, so I spent hours looking at a face I didn’t really like looking for more hairs to pluck. It’s probably no surprise that, seeing as I thought I was probably the ugliest creature to walk the earth, it was difficult for me to find the courage to profess my absolute and totally true love for the man I knew nothing about aside from the things I made up in my head.

How I saw myself…
Years went by before I finally got my health problems solved (hypothyroidism), which led to significant weight loss. Also, by that time, my mother had successfully shamed me into waxing my upper lip obsessively. I wasn’t really feeling better about myself physically and mentally, but I thought I should be, so I worked up the courage to ask him out.


I totally did…


Instead, I did what any scatter-brained girl would do in this situation. I got flustered and accidentally left my wallet on the counter after paying for Runaways… There was no way to contact me aside from my dentist’s business card, either. So, imagine my surprise when I got a call from my dentist telling me that they had my wallet, and that a nice young man from a comic book store had dropped it off for me.

Imagine my further surprise, then, when at my next appointment I find out the horrid, terrible details of my temporary walletlessness.

After dropping off my wallet, Hot Comic Book Guy scheduled an appointment with my dentist… and then he went on to meet a very charming young lady in the waiting room. So charming, my dentist tells me, that the two got engaged to marry.

And that is the sad, wholly pathetic ending to this story. I had inadvertently introduced MY Hot Comic Book Guy to his wife… and his wife wasn’t me.


And this is why you don’t build up fantasies around people that make them so perfect you never act because you are afraid you are not good enough.

That One Time I Was a Hentai Game

Once upon a time, a guy liked me, so he asked me out. Sadly, I was very uninterested him. And though mine is a history of of not saying no (I’m embarrassed to say that I said yes to someone in high school, and then avoided him for a year), I finally had the courage to say, “Yes, but as a friend.”

I thought we’d have a lunch in a brightly lit, populated place, talk about Fullmetal Alchemist, and then never go out again. As you guessed, I thought very wrong.

Probably how he saw me throughout the not-date.

When I try to explain why this situation rubbed me the wrong way, I am aware that I may initially sound irrational to you. He was doing what any typical guy would do when he met an attractive girl such as myself. We happened to have two classes together, and we walked together. I’m friendly and bubbly, so he mistook it for interest in himself. He asked me out, as all of us should do when we like someone. I said no. It’s typical. It’s not something to feel weird about. It happens every day, and it really isn’t a big deal.

I have many guy friends who worry about being creepy, as this (spoiler alert) guy turned out to be, so they don’t ask a girl out at all, for fear of that act alone being creepy.

I’m writing this, because I want you to know that as long as you’re not the way I’m about to describe, you’re normal. I would never have thought any more of it if I had just said “as a friend” and he continued to treat me as a friend. Asking me out is fine. Pushing it…. well… that’s not okay.

So we did the not-date thing. Then, my birthday came along, and though our friendship level was literally the fifteen minutes it takes to walk between classes twice a week, he gave me a Sasha Lazard CD (which I still haven’t listened to) and asked me out again. I asked, “As a friend?” and he said “Yes.”

Since he insisted it was as friend, I tried to be okay with it. I didn’t personally feel we were at gift giving level, but I tried to go with it.

Things started getting weird then. He would be places I happened to be at, and I would find out through friends of friends that he had fantasies of us having sex (disclaimer: fantasize all you want, just don’t tell people who are going to tell the person who has no desire to be with you in that way). It was a whole lot of things that didn’t feel “as a friend.”

Then he gave me an expensive DVD for Christmas in front of the class so I didn’t feel like I could reject it. The whole thing made me awkward though. The only way he could have known I wanted the DVD was if he was eavesdropping on my conversation with my friends earlier that month. Next, he gave me a DVD boxset of a series I had mentioned my roommates were really into and wanted me to watch. This was in three months of knowing him.

When I graduated, he gave me a Nintendo DS as a present even though I had purposefully become cold and distant toward him, to the point I stopped walking to class with him. Because he was playing it like we were friends, I did not know how to decline these increasingly expensive gifts, so I took them, and I told my friend that keeping it was his penance for making me so damn uncomfortable.

I want to point out here that I never got him a gift in the nine months I knew him, and I always paid for myself the two times we went out for lunch. I let the people who told me about his fantasies know that I was uncomfortable, and they said they tried to talk him down but he continued to crush on me. Though I feel I shouldn’t have to explain that I wasn’t asking for it, I know that’s the comment I’ll receive most on this post. So yes, I was very clear that I wanted to be friends, and then I was very clear I didn’t want to be even that even as he persisted.

It wasn’t until I moved to Japan when my friend and I were playing a hentai dating/game for fun that I realized what he was doing.

A hentai game is a Japanese game dedicated to dating… or rather, sex. You meet an array of girls, and you have to up your experience points by talking to them. The more experience points you get, the more likely you can give them a present. The more you give them presents, the more expensive presents you can give them. The more expensive presents you give them, the more likely you get to have sex with them. People who have played Persona may be familiar with this concept.

Note the player is only Level 1. He’s going to have answer some questions correctly and give some presents.

Now let’s look at what this guy did: CD to DVD to DVD Boxset to Nintendo DS. Hmmmm…

What’s worse, it’s often a premise in hentai games that you can find out where your chosen girl is on certain days of the week, and just happen to be there to surprise her (which she enjoys in the game, provided you say just the right thing). So did this guy. This is ringing so many bells I feel like I’m at church.

What I must have looked like to him.
What I must have looked like to him.

To this guy, I was that hentai girl. Every time I accepted an increasingly expensive gift because I was uncomfortable, I was fueling his fantasy that he just needed to play me the right way. To him, as long as I accepted his gifts, he was going to win me.

And that is creepy. Not the asking me out when we really didn’t know each other thing. I want to reiterate that. Asking a girl out is not creepy. Not accepting her rejection is.

So yeah. If you think that geek culture is socializing a lot of our men wrong, boy… have I got more stories to tell.