Developers are really not generally ones for spontanenous make-out sessions (aka Code jocks can talk themselves out of anything)

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/07/13 03:35 -04:00, original URI:

Just got home a little while ago, and I am definitely BWI (blogging while intoxicated). This is something that a friend of mine warned me about, but I think it'll be okay.

The only real risk is that sometimes you can have an idea that seems like a really good one at the time (since you are drunk) but once you are sober you realize was not as good as you thought it was.

Kind of the beer goggles approach to blogging for software developers in that weird place that I call:

Not too drunk to write code, but way to drunk to be checking code in.

Many developers (as well as some testers and program managers) who have similarly blurred work/life balances will know what I am talking about.

Anyway, I was with some friends at a club and we ended up having a very random conversation.

We were at the bar, so those things can happen.

Someone else who was getting a drink was telling her friend that she had seen What Women Want the other day (that movie I talked about back in I am 20 out of 21 and flexible on the capital punishment issue) and she was asking her friend if she ever was sitting with someone who they suddenly found themselves making out with.

They got their drinks and left, but the question lived on with us.

I pointed out it has happened to me, though I don't usually remember initiating anything -- I am much more of an "almost initiate but back off at the last minute" kind of guy, which allows it to either happen eventually or never happen, depending on the preference of the other person.

While still taking the first -- potentially embarrassing -- step of admitting interest.

The other times that spontaneous make out sessions happened, it was either completely the other person, or maybe no one initiated and it just happened. Like spontaneous combustion or something.

And no, this is not a "being drunk" kind of thing -- I learned years ago to keep it holstered when drinking; it is just better for everyone.

For example, I didn't make out with anyone tonight. :-)

It reminds me of an incident from nearly two decades ago -- I was at a party at Johanna's house, the last party where I ever seriously drank beer. I had way too much, and I was sitting with Johanna out on the stoop. Suddenly I realized something:

Michael: Jo, can I ask you something?
Johanna: Sure.
Michael: I have to throw up now. Should I go (a) go inside to the toilet, (b) go behind the bushes over there, or (c) do it right here on the sidewalk?
<<pause while Johanna, who was also pretty drunk, thinks about this>>
Johanna: If you do it out here then people will get it on their shoes later when they leave. But if you try to go inside you may not make it due to lines. I'd go with the bushes.
Michael: Very sound reasoning. will you excuse me for a moment?
Johanna: Certainly.
<<pause while I go off to throw up>>

Now what was most odd about this was the way that a pressing need/want to do something came up, yet there was a surrealistic pause to analyze the issue and weigh options. Who the hell takes the time, or at least spend the time they have in that particular way?

But have you ever found yourself in one of those situations where you are irrevocably committed to that kiss that you know will become a make-out session in a real Liz Phair Why Can't I? sort of way (ref: here and here), yet you take the time beforehand to analyze it with the other person?

I am not sure what the hell this is -- I mean the only thing you can really accomplish here is to talk yourself or the other person out of it. Maybe it is intentional auto-sabotage? But it has happened, and it kind of makes me think that these rare spontaneous make-out sessions weren't my idea (since if they were I wouldn't trying to be talking anyone out of anything).

Though it isn't like this is such a common occurrence that I have a real statistical universe from which to draw conclusions.

But I was having lunch with a friend the other day, and I remember at a previous lunch she related something like this happening at a party. Though she hadn't mentioned any attempts to talk anyone out of anything so I suspect that maybe this is just me (or anyone who thinks themselves generally unworthy?).

The decision of the group of people (my friends who were there and the people sitting around us who got into the conversation) was that for most people it only happens when one or both of the people involved have been drinking, and there are seldom huge conversations beforehand. for normal people the spontaneous make out sessions are rare but when they do happen they are truly spontaneous make out sessions.

The secondary conclusion (based on my experiences and one other guy's -- a guy who was also a software developer) was that software developers are the only ones who would make the mistake of talking their way out of it, of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and wearing it like a shawl. And that we should really try to work on that.

I agreed to take it under advisement (though the situation is not all that common these days so it feels like a fairly theoretical point....

So how about regular readers -- any spontaneous kissing with people you haven't kissed before?

And if so, is it really spontaneous or so you do your damnedest to talk your way out of it first?

And finally, are you a software developer? :-)


This blog brought to you by ? (U+003f, aka QUESTION MARK)

John Cowan on 13 Jul 2008 11:28 AM:

(I assume that this request is meant to exclude SMOs with SOs, or people who in the ordinary progress of things become SOs.)

I've had several SMOs with non-SOs in my life, and I definitely wasn't drunk at the time, since I've never taken a drink.  (My family history has always made it seem like a bad idea: my dad was one of eight siblings, and six of the seven others were alcoholics.)  The OPs definitely hadn't been drinking either, although none of them are teetotalers.

In one case, I don't vividly remember how it started; we are talking some 25 years ago.  There was definitely plenty of talk, though, but more like "Is this a good idea?"  resolving to "The hell with worrying about it."  The OP called off the SMO somewhere between second and third base (a very liberally measured second base), and that was that: a kiss the next morning got, umm, aborted.

The other more recent instances were with an OP who, I came to realize, was expecting me to set the boundaries whereas I was expecting them (more or less by default) to set the boundaries.  The SMOs were good, but the whole idea turned out to be bad, and I decided not to start any more, because they were leading the relationship in a direction that was going to be unfortunate.  So I backed off permanently.

All of us remain friends to varying degrees of closeness.  "It wasn't so much that [Miles Vorkosigan] picked up so many women, but that he never seemed to put any of them down."

(If this is TMI or TMA (too many acronyms), TN.)

(Oh, and I always check the "Remember Me?" box, because it's nice to be remembered.  I just thought you might want to know.)

Michael S. Kaplan on 13 Jul 2008 2:02 PM:

Very funny! And not TMI or too many TLAs. :-)

The whole issue of talking one's way out of a situation reminds me of that old joke with the geek who rides up to his two geek friends on a brand new bicycle. They ask him where he got it and he explains that a beautiful woman rode up to him, took off her clothes, lay naked on the ground, and told him to "take anything he wants." His geek friends approve of his choice, saying "Good thing you picked the bike, the clothes probably wouldn't have fit!"

Geeks -- we are our own subculture (emphasis on the SUB).

sam i am on 13 Jul 2008 10:22 PM:

maybe i was drunk or high at the time but i recall being turned down by a geek

a geek who looks a lot like you

what does that do to your numbers?

Michael S. Kaplan on 13 Jul 2008 11:18 PM:

Samantha, that moment was not a comfortable one where people are talking and find themselves kissing -- it was one where one person leaned in and the other pulled back and declined gracefully. So I don't think it counts here?

I think I'm kind of in the aftergame anyway, these days. :-)

Claire l. on 14 Jul 2008 1:02 AM:

You have become much more standoffish in your old age Michael.  (^_^)

Andrea on 14 Jul 2008 3:01 PM:

reminder: over eight years ago, you were one of the participants in just such a "make-out" session.

You were a fair kisse, maybe more agressive than I was used to. At least you weren't too messy. The fact that you weren't a smoker was a bonus (the lack of nonsmokers is the one thing I miss about America).

I am a huge fan of the spontaneous make-out. Especially with geeks. Their surprise is amusing; their appreciation, intoxicating!

Michael S. Kaplan on 14 Jul 2008 3:26 PM:


I think you meant kisseR rather than kisse. And yes, thanks for the reminder. Things are definitely different now that I am in my "old age" and all....

But you still sound like an American, even today.

Andrea on 14 Jul 2008 3:48 PM:

Maybe I meant kisseE. You did not become aggressive after you were over your shock. Kind of endearing!

I'm still an American, just not someone who wants to live in the USA.

Igor Levicki on 3 Aug 2008 10:12 PM:

>>I'm still an American, just not someone who wants to live in the USA.<<

To want to live in the USA one must be an American, and the only way to believe in the american dream nowadays is if you are asleep :-)

Michael you stud, you...

Michael S. Kaplan on 3 Aug 2008 10:52 PM:

No comment, other than too say I'm really not....

Andrea on 1 Oct 2008 5:13 PM:

He is, Igor. Maybe he is out of practice now. But he is.

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