Cliff Gardner

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

This is the NPDA out round loss of breakups

Leaving my double-octa finals round at NPDA last year, I felt really confident. I didn’t think there was a single position in the round we were losing, or at least nothing that we could lose on. When the judges called us back in, I remember giving Sean and little smile as if to say, “we’ve got this.” When the decision was announced as a 4-1 against us, I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I had never been that shocked in my life. This was too early in the tournament for my career to end, I thought. For a second I wanted to get up and walk out of the room in frustration, but I needed to hear the reasons for decision. I knew I would be replaying this moment in my head for a long time.

When the judges were explaining their decisions, I felt even worse. Maybe they made sense in the minds of the judges, but they really didn’t make sense to me. It would have been easier had Sean or I messed up in that round…that way I could point to something and say, “well, ok, it’s our fault.” The inarticulate reasons they gave made the pain I was feeling much worse because I couldn’t justify why I was feeling it. It’s been almost a year and when I think about that moment, it still hits me right in the gut.

Yup. That was pretty much how I felt this morning when Mandy broke up with me.


  • Oh no. Are you serious? No. you're kidding. you have to be kidding

    By Blogger Ian Samuel, at 2:20 PM  

  • Oh Thomas, Ian and I are crying for you. But remember, unlike debate rounds where there is no decision reversal, relationships can be mended. I will keep you two in my thoughts.
    ps this is caroline.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:25 PM  

  • way! I'm with you man. This can be fixed. I'm here if you need to talk.

    By Anonymous Alan, at 3:31 PM  

  • Glad we got to talk today...

    By Anonymous sam, at 3:47 PM  

  • Holy fucking shit. I understand the railroaded feeling, it happened to me this past May after I moved to a new city following a 3-year relationship. Then poof.

    Do me one thing: surround yourself with friends. There's no better way to approach it. Chin up, man, chin up.

    By Blogger Matt, at 4:28 PM  

  • Tommy, this has to be a joke. I really really REALLY can't believe that this would happen. Call me. Call me right away.

    By Anonymous Sharl, at 8:07 PM  

  • I am very sorry for you. I hope you're doing OK.

    By Blogger Mike Owens, at 9:07 PM  

  • Awe! Thomas! I'm so sorry you are going through this right now... Trust me that the right thing will happen... this will pass.

    you're great!

    By Anonymous bridget, at 10:47 PM  

  • Omgosh ...I'm so sorry! I hope it'll work out.

    P.S. Thanks for your optimistic words about my camera.

    By Anonymous Holli, at 7:02 AM  

  • I wish we were still on for tonight so we could talk. I still have a phone though :)

    See you next week hopefully.

    By Anonymous Amy, at 8:48 AM  

  • :-(.

    I am so sorry, Thomas.

    By Anonymous Christine, at 12:04 PM  

  • I feel this is the appropriate time to cut a slice and serve.

    By Anonymous Tiff, at 12:46 PM  

  • Oh man.... why?

    By Anonymous Kim, at 1:19 PM  

  • This is like one of those national tragedies... like Nick and Jessica, Brad and Jen, J-lo and whoever... Wow. One does not know how to react.

    By Anonymous melissa, at 2:00 PM  

  • Whoa, shit dude. That's not good. Take care of yourself right now.

    By Anonymous shea, at 7:24 PM  

  • I have delayed in commenting because I don't know what to say. Just know I am thinking of you.

    By Blogger Marie Ann, at 7:58 PM  

  • I'm so sorry. I can't think of what you must be feeling, but let me know if you need to talk.

    By Anonymous Amy K, at 8:44 PM  

  • Thom--

    My computer has been on the fritz lately, so this is the first chance I've gotten to actually hear what had happened--I can't believe this went down, but I feel for you, and I hope that it can all work out for the best someday. Good luck, my friend.


    By Anonymous Eric, at 10:39 AM  

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