The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Kiss my feet

I had two friends that were dating when I was a senior in college named Ridg and Christy. Ridg I'd known since Freshman year. He was the son of two psychology professors who was pursuing a degree in political science and had aspirations of entering the world of politics; he was well-read, well-spoken and a charming and seductive individual. Christy, on the other hand, was an artist: she was a skilled photographer and a dabbler in other forms of artistic expression. I'd only known her since the beginning of that senior year, but I'd fallen in love with her immediately: she was lively, exciting, fun, and beautiful too. I was never quite sure whether she realized how much I liked her, since I was rather shy and unexpressive. Ridg didn't initially realize I was interested when he embarked on his relationship with her a month or so into the first semester, but I later told him I had been interested in her after they started dating.

Their relationship only lasted maybe two or three months, unsurprisingly, since it became a rather stormy relationship. The storm clouds emerged quite of a sudden some weeks in. All of us surrounding Ridg and Christy became worried, and talked concernedly amongst ourselves. It's not clear exactly what started it, but it was pretty clear that I was somehow the catalyst. They only acted up when the two of them were together in my presence. Ridg told me that things went quite calmly when I wasn't around, and I remember meeting up with them one evening so we could all go down to the dining hall together for dinner and observing the transformation. When I swung by Christy's room to walk down to the dining hall, the two of them were talking quietly, but as the three of us walked toward the dining hall, the quiet discussion escalated until it was their usually stormy conversation.

To clarify, these stormy conversations weren't really fights. It wasn't your typical lover's spat or the argument of an old married couple. It was more competitive than that, like a game. Before I was there, they would have agreeable, easy-going conversations about the typical things college students talk about, then when I entered the picture it was suddenly this contest of oneupmanship.

I can probably best illustrate this with one evening when I was talking with the two of them in Christy's room. I believe Christy was trying to prove to Ridg how persuasive she was. To prove it, she would persuade Ridg to kiss her feet. Hence, the rules of the game were simple: if Ridge kissed her feet, she won; if he didn't kiss her feet, he won; there was no time limit (she could try and try until she gave up). Quite startlingly, Ridg won this round, but it wasn't for lack of trying. Christy tried a whole array of tricks: she tried to be assertive and forceful; she tried to be seductive and promised rewards; she tried to be mean. She even tried to use me against him, presenting her foot to me and asking me to kiss it (which I was immediately going to do), and then taking it away saying "No, I know Joe would willingly do it for me, unlike you." In the end she broke down, quite upset (or so I thought) that Ridg could be so cruel as not to do such a simple thing for her. But Ridg saw through this attempt to make him feel guilty, and she finally gave up and conceded defeat. Ridg told her that her acting was pretty good, but that he still could tell she was acting. For me, the thing was quite exhausting, since I was much more malleable and easily manipulated than Ridge and would've given in at the first moment. But Ridg stood firm.

This strategy was probably not the best way to build a long term stable relationship, but I can't deny it was interesting to be in the middle of it. Just as I had been friends with the two of them during the relationship, I remained friends with them afterwards, but I always remember fondly that stormy first semester of Senior year.

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