Whiskerino 2009

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  • posted: December 23 @ 8:45pm
Sophomore year of college, I had been dating this girl for a couple of months and she was hosting a birthday party for me, but before the party I had to go to a meeting for an group I was organizing whose goal was to design, build, and then staff and operate a boarding school in the Cyclades for politically-stateless orphan children. At that meeting, I met this woman from Germany who was in the States as an oper and taking a few classes on my campus and, actual truth, I fell instantly head over heels in love at first sight. After I'd only been talking to her for like 10 minutes, my friends dragged me away to go to my birthday party, where I broke up with my girlfriend so I would be free to date this woman I was in love with, even though I didn't even know her full name and had no idea how I'd find her again.

So the next day, I went by the office of the professor who was behind the whole school for politically-stateless orphans idea to begin with to see if he knew anything about this woman who'd shown up at the meeting, and there she was, in the hallway outside his office. She'd decided to go find him to see if he could tell her anything more about me.

We were together pretty much nonstop for the next couple of months, until I had to go to Greece for the summer to work on building this school. I spent 6 weeks building a cistern and walls and preparing to replant an olive orchard, sleeping every night on my sleeping bag spread on the floor of an ancient threshing floor, staring up at the most amazing night sky I had ever seen. I read _Walden_ on a mountaintop on the island of Andros. Water was so scarce that I took exactly one actual shower the whole time I was there--mostly the closest to clean I got was just from swimming in the Mediterranean.

Then I came home and found that my girlfriend had been finally accepted into uni back home and had to return to Germany, like immediately. So I drove her to the airport and put her on a plane and then set about making plans to transfer to a German university and to live there with her. I went to a conference on philanthropy and managed to sit down to talk with the guy who was then the head of Greenpeace for Europe, I the founder of the Green party in Germany if memory serves me correctly, and I told him my story and asked for help. He was incredibly nice and had lots of advice. I also had dinner with the Crown Prince of Liechtenstein and his girlfriend and they were also helpful and quite cool. But they all told me it would take some time to get everything arranged.

Then I spent basically every penny I had left after my excursion to Greece to by a plane ticket to Germany for winter break. I flew over there and my girlfriend's first words to me when she met me at the airport were "You didn't cut your hair." I was like, "Um ... why would I have?" and she explained, then for the first time, how her mother was going to disapprove of me, that she was already really skeptical because I was some silly American and that I really should have known enough to cut my hair. The next few days basically were just a whole lot more like that. My girlfriend back in her native Germany was an entirely different person than she'd been in America, way way more uptight and materialistic. She broke up with me after I'd been there about a week, but I had no place to go and no money, so I spent the next 4 or 5 weeks still there with her, mostly hanging out with her younger brother, whom I had become friends with when he'd visited the US previously. It was a very awkward, very painful Christmas and New Year. Everything stayed amicable with her, don't get me wrong, and I did have a lot of fun in many ways on that trip--it was the first time I ever went skiing, for example, and I got along really well with her brother--but it was a very difficult trip.

When I got home, I found that I had accidentally packed into my luggage this sweater, which had belonged to my ex-girlfriend's departed father, which she had loaned me while I was there because I had brought with me all the warmest clothes I owned but, having spent almost my whole life in South Florida, all the warmest clothes I owned were not really even close to appropriate for winter in Bavaria. She was supposed to be coming back to the US again for a quick visit pretty soon thereafter, so I wrote to her and asked if I should ship the sweater back or whether I could just give it to her when she was in town. I never heard back from her and have never had any contact with her since. A while back, I did some googling and couldn't find much of anything about her, but her brother is some sort of really bigshot international copyright attorney.

The sweater itself is not especially ugly, though it's not exactly beautiful either. But it's a pretty bad Christmas sweater story, enit?


zackle says:
Posted: Dec 23rd, 2009 - 8:48pm -
zackle says:
Posted: Dec 23rd, 2009 - 8:48pm -
zackle says:
Posted: Dec 23rd, 2009 - 8:48pm -
zackle says:
Quite a story as well.
Posted: Dec 23rd, 2009 - 8:49pm -
Scrivener says:
I forgot to mention the crazy love triangle with the history prof and this prof from the International Politics program. I'll have to write about that some other time.
Posted: Dec 23rd, 2009 - 8:52pm -
Scrivener says:
No one's even gonna read my caption, huh? But I really did have dinner with the Crown Prince of Liechtenstein...
Posted: Dec 23rd, 2009 - 8:58pm -
Andrew says:
I will relieve you of this German pre-marital sweater. I will pay a small fee, plus shipping if it is close to medium size and you are willing to part with it.

Also I enjoy your self-painted rothkos
Posted: Dec 23rd, 2009 - 9:08pm -
Dschonn says:
I read every word and enjoyed it thoroughly. Crazy story.
Posted: Dec 23rd, 2009 - 9:50pm -
Steve-O says:
Longest caption ever.
Posted: Dec 23rd, 2009 - 9:51pm -
stanislaw says:
amazing story. i read the whole thing. what happened to the girl you dumped for the German?
Posted: Dec 23rd, 2009 - 9:53pm -
hankbobs says:
The things we do for love...

...why do we do these things for love?
Posted: Dec 23rd, 2009 - 10:15pm -
Tolleson says:
Great photo.

Caption: tl;dr – but I bet it's a good story bro.
Posted: Dec 23rd, 2009 - 10:23pm -
Scrivener says:
@stanislaw I have no earthly idea. I never saw her again after that night.

I pretty much just wandered into the place, supposedly under the auspices of this group I'd gone to Greece with, but once I got inside I just started talking to anyone who seemed interested. The prince of Liecthenstein's girlfriend was sitting in the back of a room during a presentation, looking really bored, so I went over and talked to her and after a little while she was taking me around the place, introducing me to all the VIPs. Four years before that, I was a homeless kid in high school and then there I was sitting at the main table at this philantrhopy conference, surrounded by millionaire donors and bigwig political figures and philanthropists, eating dinner with a prince.
Posted: Dec 23rd, 2009 - 10:29pm -
Scrivener says:
@hankbobs That's a damn good question.
Posted: Dec 23rd, 2009 - 10:30pm -
zbolin says:
I read the story and kept thinking there would be a punchline at then end. However even without a punchline I'm glad you told it...it makes me connect with your sweater. Thanks for sharing.
Posted: Dec 23rd, 2009 - 10:35pm -
Presto Beardo says:
holy crap, i can't believe I just read that, yet I am so glad I did.
Posted: Dec 23rd, 2009 - 10:47pm -
Karl says:
great story. great sweater. great beard. great cats. great.
Posted: Dec 24th, 2009 - 3:47am -
rachel says:
Posted: Dec 24th, 2009 - 6:27am -
emsiizilla says:
That really was a long-caption and I did indeed expect a punchline, but it was a really good story, even without one.

Off-topic, has anyone ever told you that you look like Neil Gaiman?
Posted: Dec 24th, 2009 - 7:22am -
Pip says:
That's probably the wildest story I've ever read on a facial hair growing website.

And that's saying something.
Posted: Dec 24th, 2009 - 7:43am -
ben says:
wow, you've lived an interesting life.
Posted: Dec 24th, 2009 - 10:46am -
mackle says:
epic caption - read every word. i think a lot of people never think to open up in such a way here on the Whiskerino but I love that you put it out there. I really feel a connection with that sweater now (seriously).

You're great peoples Scrivener. Merry Christmas.
Posted: Dec 24th, 2009 - 11:52am -
hale. says:
exactly what @mackle said.

i read the whole story, and like every time you leave a personal caption, i realize two things: 1 - there is so much i don't know about you, and 2- every time i learn something new about you, i like you that much more.

i really appreciate your open honesty, here in Whiskerino and outside of this with our friendship. you are by far one of the kindest, intelligent, humorous and most caring people i've met through Whiskerino, and i am thankful for the honor to call you my friend.

Merry Christmas Scrivener and to those you love.
Posted: Dec 24th, 2009 - 12:32pm -
hale. says:
ps, sweet cats.
Posted: Dec 24th, 2009 - 12:32pm -
Scrivener says:
Wow, @mackle, thank you for that comment. And Merry Christmas to you, too.

And @hale, I really appreciate your comment too. I feel very much the same about you and quite often wish that I lived down the street from you and we could sit around and shoot the shit far more than we can or do. Merry Christmas, brother.
Posted: Dec 25th, 2009 - 4:13pm -
Site closed!
Whiskerino. fin.