I remember the night of my high school graduation fondly; there were tons of funny things that happened, but I've long forgotten many of the smaller coincidences and friendly exchanges. Two things I strongly remember, however: the romantic revelations of the evening.
First and foremost (and still one of my favorites to date) was the conversation between myself and one of my graduating friends' fathers. He walked up deliberately, greeted me, and we shook hands. However, he didn't let go of my hand, but looked me straight in the eye, and said, "You know, I think you only like me for my daughter." I looked him straight back and evenly replied, "Well that's not true at all. I also like your tie."
Later, at the graduation after-party, he approached me again and suggested that, if I should pursue his daughter, he would be quite pleased about that. He further noted that "interest has been shown" by his daughter. I thanked him for his confidence in me, but declined the opportunity to pursue my friend as I was not romantically interested in her.
At another point at the after-party I was pulled aside by one of my beautiful friends (and she, a model!). She confided that she had had a crush on me for most of the school year. What a pride booster! I have no idea what I said in reply, but I have confidence that I told her that I was flattered, but that I was not romantically interested in her.
A couple of years later I met up with the father's daughter; she was engaged to a young man she met at college. During our conversation she informed me that, when she and her father were discussing the engagement, he had commented that the young man "is okay, but he's no Kurt McKee." Another vote of confidence, albeit an awful thing to say in that context!
Throughout my college years I have felt that I have fallen from people's highest opinions and my reputation has declined. (The last time anyone has offered a daughter to me was 2005, but that one doesn't count.) Luckily, along came my friend Eric by way of his blog: "Going through a day knowing that at any moment the secrets of your heart could be "laid bare" really made me think twice about the true state of my heart and mind." Spurred on primarily by that, I'm working to make decisions that I'll be able to respect. Of course, making decisions that I think are right and good does not make me a good man. Already, however, I respect myself more, which is a good step for me.