Here we are, about to embark on another post. Let’s see how odd and disjointed this one can be. Jeff Junior

For the last prompt I asked, “What would your name have been if you were the opposite sex?”

I chose Tiffany’s answer:


“My name, if I’d been a boy, would’ve been Brandon. The awkward part about that is that my (now ex) husband’s name is Brandon. Talk about weird.”


Yes, Tiffany, that is really weird. I’m sure Freud would have something to say about that. That would be like me marrying someone named Bea Arthur.

Actually, my name would have been Laura. That name is neither here nor there. Anytime someone in a TV show or a movie is named Jeff they are always about the same character. It’s always the ex boyfriend of the love interest. He is boring and stable, somewhat kind, wears khaki pants. Basically, he’s always the “nice guy.” There’s never a super cool, edgy guy named Jeff. There is never a “dangerous” Jeff. No one ever says, “Look out for that Jeff, he can kick some a*s.”I want to aspire to that but I don’t have any role models. I’m on my way though because I’ve never found a pair of khaki pants that I like. I think they look good on other men, but not me. When I wear khaki pants I always feel like I should have a nametag and be working at a retail store like Best Buy or something. It’s not that cool that I’m always looking for them, but it’s cool that I haven’t found them yet.

Don’t believe me? Check these out.

Now, back to the original suggestion, Brandon. There is Brandon, my elementary school friend, who hosted my first slumber party. We watched Friday the 13th. Brandon Roy, basketball player. Brandon Tartikoff, a longtime NBC executive who appeared on the ‘Saved By the Bell’ episode about not doing drugs. There was Brandi, who was my first crush.

Aaah, yes Brandi. It was fifth grade and I was beginning to come out of my shell. My mom made me wear a shell to prevent scoliosis. No she didn’t. We would sneakily talk in class. So I was hoping that she would like me too for a long time. Then one time after we came in from recess, her friend, Susan came up to me as I was tying my shoe.

Susan: “Hey Jeff”

Jeff: “Hey Susan”

Susan: “What are you doing?”

Jeff: “Tying my shoes. They’re Nike’s so it’s important to have them tied so that you are able to run easier. Otherwise you’re not taking full advantage of the shoe. They’re not like the new Reebok Pumps, but they’re pretty good. Wanna see how fast I can run?”

Susan: “No, that’s okay. Hey, what do you think of Brandi? Do you like her?”

Jeff: “Huh. Uh. What? Yeah. I don’t know. Pssshhh. Ummmm. Wanna see how fast I can run?”

At that point in my career I was still one of the faster kids in the class. What I lacked in height I made up for in speed. Obviously, it was impressive to no one else but me.

Susan: “Um, no.”

Jeff: “Okay, that’s cool. Are you sure?”

Susan: “Yeah. I’m sure.”

Jeff: “Not even one time around the class…”

Susan: “No.”

Jeff: “Okay. Did you know I’m above average in Sit and Reach?”

Susan: “Oh.”

Jeff: “Yeah. It’s true. Also, I can do more pullups now than I will ever be able to do again in my life. When I’m thirty I’ll probably get a pullup bar and be able to do no more than three pullups.”

Susan: “Anyway. Do you want to “go with” Brandi?”

This is precisely what I had been hoping for. This decision would set me up for the rest of my dating career. Junior high will come next and my reputation will be cemented as a cool ladies man. That will lead to high school where I will surely then date hundreds of women. I paused to pretend like I was thinking. Then I uttered the words that would indeed set my dating life up for the rest of my dating career.

Jeff: “Ummm. Maybe we can just be friends.”

What? I had been waiting for this moment and I said the opposite of what I was feeling. I liked her! I think I had just heard that line in a ‘Perfect Strangers’ episode. When she reciprocated I went the other way. That was indeed setting myself up for the same thing for a long time. This is not the last time that it happened. I was afraid of girls well into college. I successfully put out the “maybe we can just be friends vibe” for a long time. I believe Brandi was more successful. She married a guy from high school and has kids now. Probably kids that aren’t afraid of the opposite sex.

I look back on it now and think, “What a Jeff thing to do.”

But, Jeff did end up with a pretty kickin’ wife.

Next prompt: “What is a word that you use regularly that you aren’t really sure you know the meaning to?”


About jeffhoughton

I'm a sometimes writer, actor, comedian and an all the time adventurer.

One response »

  1. Leah says:

    I agree. You have an exceptional wife. My role in middle school was Susan. I always was the liaison for my friends.

    … the other day I used the word “factitious” and realized that I had used it incorrectly but could not, for the life of me, remember how to use it correctly. It bothered me until I went home and got out my dictionary and looked it up.

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