see me watching, learning truths.
Once upon a time Michael Kelso fancied himself in love with Jackie Burkhart. He likes saying 'once upon a time' because their relationship, as Hyde once pointed out, was a lot like a fairytale; it was soppy, fantasised and, ultimately, make-believe. Still, it didn't change the fact that he truly, honestly thought that he loved her. He knows now that he didn't, at least not in the way a boy is supposed to love a girl.
He knows because, after his initial outrage, he started watching Jackie and Hyde together. He saw the way that Jackie tried not to be so shallow, how she commented on books (that weren't Mills and Boon) and music (that wasn't ABBA), and how she didn't talk constantly about cheerleading or her hair. And he saw the way that Hyde looked at her, his sunglasses not quite able to mask his captivation. Hyde was always watching her, even after she'd left the room, just waiting for her to come back. Kelso thinks that that's what love really is: being mesmerized by someone even when they're not there.
He knows Hyde loves Jackie long before Hyde tells her. It's obvious. He's surprised when the others are shocked by the declaration. Maybe he's not the stupid one after all.
He knows that Donna and Eric are considered the 'soul mates' in their friendship group; Eric's loved her since he was five, after all! Kelso is in no doubt that they love each other; he just wouldn't look to them for a model of the perfect relationship.
None of this stops him trying to get Jackie back when she and Hyde break up in a whirl of misunderstandings, slutty nurses, and 'I love you's that just couldn't be returned (not now, not yet). He never said he wasn't selfish. He knew he didn't love Jackie, no matter how many times he said he did, but she was still warm and familiar and he misses that. A nagging voice in the back of his head that's sometimes Fez and sometimes Donna say's that he really shouldn't be doing this, but he ignores it as long as he possibly can.
Eventually though it becomes clear that he was never in the running, not really, and it's sort of a relief. Jackie loves Hyde and Hyde loves Jackie and they should be together except they're both too stubborn and pigheaded to do anything about it. Ever he can see how stupid that is!
So he does what he does best and interferes in his friends' lives (they might complain, but, honestly, what would they do without him?), and he doesn't understand why they've taken to looking at him like he's suddenly sprouted a second head (which would be so cool!) but, then, they tend to look at him that way a lot of the time so he doesn't let it faze him. He's a man on a mission, like James Bond only prettier. And he's pretty sure James Bond's friends wouldn't be dating other people to make each other jealous (they wouldn't need to, they'd all have guns and fast cars and could have anyone they wanted).
When they get back together, Kelso likes to think that he's a lot responsible and gives himself a pat on the back (or tries to until Fez finds him, asks him what he's doing, and then pats his back for him to make it easier – his friends rock). He may be kinda stupid some of the time...okay, a lot of the time...but he thinks maybe that's what makes it so easy for him to watch his friends without them realising.
And he may not be smart, but even he knows that Hyde and Jackie are meant to be. It doesn't take a genius to work that one out.