Author: Sterling Gray

A sport’s fans dating advice

Most of my advice is directed at men, but I’m pretty sure you women will be interested too.   Over Thanksgiving, I encountered a serious relationship barrier – football. It offended my girlfriend, on a personal level, that I wanted to spend any part of that day doing anything but looking deep into her eyes and whispering…well, thank you.   Why women feel so threatened by sports is beyond me. I mean, if I had been doing homework, or mowing her lawn, she wouldn’t have slammed down her turkey baster and yelled about Thanksgiving being a time to be together and talk. If I had been doing anything else, she may not have even missed my presence, except when we sat down to eat and my assigned sweet potato soufflé is missed. But sitting down to watch the Lions take on the Packers? A personal affront!   But the good news is, my girlfriend and I were able to make a compromise. I think that’s the key to any good relationship – giving up the things you want in favor of the person you want. The opposite is true if you want to develop a relationship with your Xbox (or other selected video game console) – you must give up the people you want in favor of the things you want.   So this Christmas, whether you do it...

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Up for discussion: What would you do?

“You’re probably the closest thing I’ve ever had to a girlfriend,” David told Nicole last week in an email.   “I know I’ll never have a chance with you, but is it okay if I email you more frequently? I want to have someone to share my feelings with.”   It was a brutally honest and self-aware email. Funny too. At one point, David apologized for being afflicted with what he called NADE – Non-Alcoholic Drunk Emailing disorder. David’s always had a good sense of humor.   That wry wit is just one of the things that Nicole appreciates about David. He’s also polite, and looks for the best in people. But, as is the case with most girls he has known, Nicole’s attraction ends there.   You see, David has muscular dystrophy.   It started to manifest around age five. One birthday he was running around wreaking havoc, messing up his room, playing with kids his age in the yard. By the next birthday, his body had started to change. Dystrophy causes a degenerative weakening of the muscles, and soon he couldn’t bear his own weight.   Now, at age 30, David has the body of a 12 year-old. He’s in a wheelchair.   Nicole isn’t a bad person. She is kind and selfless, and could never be accused of being shallow. But David’s situation reveals a cold...

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What would you do?

“You’re probably the closest thing I’ve ever had to a girlfriend,” David told Nicole last week in an email.   “I know I’ll never have a chance with you, but is it okay if I email you more frequently? I want to have someone to share my feelings with.”   It was a brutally honest and self-aware email. Funny too. At one point, David apologized for being afflicted with what he called NADE – Non-Alcoholic Drunk Emailing disorder. David’s always had a good sense of humor.   That wry wit is just one of the things that Nicole appreciates about David. He’s also polite, and looks for the best in people. But, as is the case with most girls he has known, Nicole’s attraction ends there.   You see, David has muscular dystrophy.   It started to manifest around age five. One birthday he was running around wreaking havoc, messing up his room, playing with kids his age in the yard. By the next birthday, his body had started to change. Dystrophy causes a degenerative weakening of the muscles, and soon he couldn’t bear his own weight.   Now, at age 30, David has the body of a 12 year-old. He’s in a wheelchair.   Nicole isn’t a bad person. She is kind and selfless, and could never be accused of being shallow. But David’s situation reveals a cold...

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Up for discussion: Anonymous? Not so fast

What would make a woman lean out of her car window and scream at a guy on a bicycle as she passes? I’ve been wondering about this ever since it happened to me several times over the summer. It still surprises me that it happened. I mean, Utah Valley is a pretty bike-friendly place. Bike lanes are common and traffic jams are not.   Despite what people may say about Utah drivers (always forgetting that they are referring to themselves), I’ve noticed that drivers usually keep an eye out for bikers; I’ve been saved more than once during moments of incaution by a cautious driver.   But some people are idiots. One day I was cruising down University Avenue, going 25-30 mph, and a woman passenger screamed so loud as she passed by that I almost swerved directly into her car. If a man on a bicycle collides with a swiftly moving automobile, it means blood. My blood. I’m not excluded from this behavior, though. I don’t try to endanger the lives of other people, but I’ve said plenty of bad words from behind my steering wheel, words that I would never, ever say otherwise. Would I ever say these types of things to people’s faces? No. Would the passing screamer have endangered my life had she known me? Probably not.   So why do we do it? Why...

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Jekyll and Hyde

After class on Tuesday, I knew I needed some stimulation to get me home. I headed for Scoops Ice Cream. I was second in line. The kid ahead of me looked just as excited about the ice cream as I felt. Ice cream is a great equalizer – it makes us all children again. He was getting a waffle cone, which gave me an idea. I had a buy one get one free discount on my starving student card for Scoops. Five minutes later, he was eating free ice cream. As we left the shop, he stopped in the doorway to thank me. “Thanks dawg.” He looked right into my eyes. “I had a hard day. You don’t even know.” I was taken aback by his sincerity, but pleased. “Hey, no problem bro,” I said. “Have a good one.” Ten minutes later, I was at the bus stop with my bike, and my goodwill had run out. It was hot, and the sugar from the ice cream was wearing off. I was grouchy.   Another cyclist arrived at the scene, and she stood next to me. When the bus came, the two-bike rack was already carrying a bike. There was room for only one more.   As the pedestrians started to load, the girl and I awkwardly waited, until she broke the silence. “Where are you headed?” “South Provo,”...

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