Past Self Help

June 5, 2018

Yesterday I gave myself a small moral lecture. Browsing through bibliographies. I happened to see the name of a noted labour scholar, someone I went to college with, and I remembered that we had gone out on a date once. I didn’t realize it was a date at the time. In fact, I didn’t realize it was a date until I ran into him a decade later at a party in San Francisco.

We were having a nice chat, college acquaintances who had become academics with similar views, when he said, Do you remember we went out to dinner together in college?

Something about his bemused style of inquiry triggered the sudden awareness that the occasion was supposed to have been a romantic one. I remembered the dinner, but only then did I grasp that I had misunderstood the larger context.

Yes, I said. Of course! We went to Mazzotta’s for calzones.

A brazen effort to rewrite a date as just a friendly dinner. It did not succeed.

It was a little weird, he said. You talked about snuff films the whole time.

Moral lesson: pay more attention to other people, and remember that they may not see you as you see yourself.

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