The Brad Aune Syndrome
So many times out there
I’ve watched a happy pair
Of lovers walking in the night
They had a kind of glow around them
It almost looked like heaven’s light
I knew I’d never know
That warm and loving glow
Though I might wish with all my might
No face as hideous as my face
Was ever meant for heaven’s light
But suddenly an angel has smiled at me
And kissed my cheek without a trace of fright
I dare to dream that she
Might even care for me
And as I ring these bells tonight
My cold dark tower seems so bright
I swear it must be heaven’s light
I had this thought the other day. Longtime readers of this blog may know of some of my struggles with the opposite sex, both literally with girls and against my own self-image. I won’t go much into that in this post (hopefully), but I will detail for you some events I’ve experienced these past few weeks. There’s a girl in my ward named Erica. She’s from Spain, but came to the U.S. on a leap of faith. Since she arrived here, she’s felt a bit lost and confused as to her purpose and future here, and quite homesick. I took it upon myself to help her through this time, making Spanish food, taking her to concerts, etc., and just trying to be a good listener. For a while it was going wonderfully. Since I spoke Spanish with her particular accent I could relate to her in a way nobody else in the ward could. I worked with our FHE group, of which she was a part for a while, to help her fit in better. I invited her to the apartment’s weekly game night, even having her teach us some Spanish games using some Spanish playing cards I bought on my mission. I very nearly got her a job here (and still may, come January), something that she previously thought was impossible due to her student visa status. In short, I tried to everything I could to mean something to this girl. And you know what? For a while it was fantastic. I lost myself in service. And, more than that, I for once felt that I made a difference in somebody’s life that nobody else could have accomplished.
She opened up to me. She started talking about her own life and what had brought her half a world away. She thought I was pretty funny, and always enjoyed my jokes (and made several of her own which made me laugh as well). We talked about how much family means to each of us, and she even shared with me a list she made, kind of like mine, that describes what she’s looking for in a guy. She gave me, not the kind of firm hugs of friendship, but the real grab-you hugs of something more. We even spontaneously danced together while making dinner, a scene which I always envisioned doing with the one I love, frequently. I was planning on asking her to hear the BYU choirs sing at the Tabernacle this past weekend.
Then I met her boyfriend.
The Brad Aune syndrome gets its name from an incident in high school. My brother Ben really liked Monae Sanderson, but Monae at the time was going out with Brad Aune. Consequently, Ben really really wanted to hate Brad. Make him out as the bad guy. Deduce what his flaws here that would make Monae break up with him. Trouble was, Brad was a really awesome guy. Ben really couldn’t find anything out about him to hate. Hence, his mixed feelings about Brad really grated on him.
A corollary to this can be found in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I am not familiar with the Victor Hugo work, so I will be pulling this from the Disney movie. When Quasimodo sings the song above, he is, of course, referring to the fact that he believes that Esmerelda loves him and that, finally, he can get that shot at romance that he’s seen in other glowing couples. He truly loves her. What happens next? Eventually he finds out that, although she may love Quasimodo’s heart, she’s in love with Phoebus the captain of the guard. Problem is, Phoebus really is a good guy, and although Quasimodo may try to hate him, in the end they work together because they’re both decent-hearted wonderful individuals. One just happens to be a hunk and charming, while the other is sincere, yet ugly as sin. So which one does Esmerelda choose? The good-hearted hunchback or the good-hearted hunk?
In Provo and at BYU, there are thousands of good-hearted guys. Pres. Spencer W. Kimball has stated that any two people (male and female) can get married and have a successful marriage if both are working toward the same goal, that of eternal life. Many guys are hoping that the boyfriend of their current crush is a complete jerk, so that when she finally wakes up and realizes this, she’ll break up with him and go with the nice guy. However, in reality, at least in my life, it’s more likely that she’ll marry this guy, then introduce me to her friends at the wedding as the guy that she used to have a crush on that reminds her a lot of her new husband. Anyway, my point is that, although I don’t know Erica’s boyfriend that well, he seems like a really nice guy. He treats her well, does a lot for her, and even came to our church meetings this week to be with her. At the end of the block, she came up to me, said, “Thanks for your help with the job search. I hope it works out this January!” then gave me a firm handshake and walked away, arm-in-arm with him.
Wedding announcements in the mail
Couples by the score
People start a life together
People I should be happy for
Kissin’ couples on the lawn
The couch, a bench, a chair
Now why should I smile?
It’ll still be a while
If I ever get a share
Tried to catch her eye
But she just passed by
With some other guy
Never Had a Girl.
Now playing: Heaven’s Light – Disney – The Hunchback Of Notre Dame