a small anecdote that fits into a larger pattern
Monday. 2.3.14 3:51 pm
So there's this adorable person who sits in front of me in one class.
I don't think many people are adorable in a serious sort of manner that implies attraction, but here he is, and there I am, swooning for some unknown reason.
Immediately upon noticing him for the first time, I had one thought, and today I confirmed that my thought was, indeed, correct:
I have a problem.
Wednesday. 1.29.14 9:02 pm
"Do you remember back in freshman year, when it was supposed to snow but ended up just pouring freezing rain...?"
"I wasn't here--I was up at [my first university], until the next fall, but I was dating someone down here, and he was so mad at me for getting snow days and snow."
I'm sitting in the only open school building with a latte from the only open coffee shop and a friend I care about. We talk, and watch people outside take photos of icicles--I count them to him as they come and go. It's a Wednesday, but we don't have class because it snowed, last night, for the first time in eight years, in our town.
The theme of the day is Now and Then. Our conversation starts with a very obvious display of my total and complete distrust, which was built over years of being blindsighted with in-person meetings such as this one. It progresses when I realize that, this time, he isn't here to spring anything on me. We're drinking coffee and talking.
I am immensely relieved, but try not to show it.
He talks about habits built up throughout college, and how it's time to start taking responsibility for how unhealthy habits affect him, and I'm grinning so hard that I want to throw myself out the window beside me. The fact that he's even thinking about how he's been and how he wants to be is incredible. I'm proud. I'm beaming.
...And I'm nervous. Something about casually sitting down with him in a public place with no reassuring cuddling makes me so nervous that I blush out of nowhere and trip over my words. It's embarrassing. I'm the master of composed, and here's this perfect person, who cha-chas into my life and makes me mispronounce one-syllable words.
In a lot of ways--like this one--I almost give preference to when we were eighteen, and the world was simple, and eating right beside him was easy and not terrifying, even though that came with me liking him romantically (which, even with reciprocation, was complex enough that I am now deeply glad to be platonic). These days, we're so much more complicated and weird; I can fool myself all I want by being comfortable with him when we're watching movies or playing video games, but hell if I can't get myself together for half an hour when it's two in the afternoon and neither of us is wearing pajamas.
Every once in a blue moon, I think back to that dumb eighteen-year old girl, sitting in her papasan chair, laptop in tow, texting the boy she likes about snow...and am a little envious of how easy she has it. Meanwhile, in the present day, I sit across from the grown version of that boy and wonder if he's considered, lately, how strange our friendship has become.
Saturday. 1.25.14 7:09 pm
The same person who tried to tell me that you close your eyes when you sneeze because otherwise they'll dislodge is the person who told me that "bisexuality isn't a real thing."
I don't even have to make an argument. This is delightful.
How Not to Hit On People
Monday. 1.20.14 3:14 am
i.e. a typical night, when I'm not wearing the lesbian hat
I'm drunk at my favorite bar, and I know you're only in town for one night. You're a firefighter, great, and you have nice blue eyes and a fairly symmetrical face. That's fantastic, and I'm sure women look at you and think you might be a catch. But you're not, and I really don't need a refill on my vodka cranberry, because it's still two-thirds full and watered-down from the melted ice, as you may have noticed (but probably didn't, because you're flailing around like you've never seen a woman in your life). Any sort of attention would have alerted you to the fact that I'm taking my time on this particular drink. No, really, thanks but no thanks on the drink offer. No, really.
Let me teach you a lesson, Matt from New York.
You can't touch girls to get their attention. You see how my friend's older brother is telling you to leave, right now? That's because even the slightest touch says to a woman (and any male who might want her safe), "I'm aggressive and don't care whether you're comfortable or not. I would like to touch you."
Matt from New York, that is gross. You shouldn't have started out by patting my side with the back of your hand. Now, he isn't happy with you--and, even worse, your douchebaggery has caught my attention. Unfortunately for you, you're from out of town, and don't know me as the bar regular who enjoys long walks on the beach, moonlit dinners, and reaching into douchey men and pulling out their insecurities. You don't realize that me telling him that it's okay is a terrible thing for you.
Hello, Matt from New York. I'm just annoyed enough to play this out.
You ask questions that leave huge, gaping silences between us, and that is awkward, because I'm not attracted to you and would mind gazing into your eyes for long periods of time. Let me teach you how to hit on women.
"That's a closed question--you need to ask open-ended questions when you're trying to talk up a pretty lady," I tell you, dryly. Like what? Like..."What's your favorite city in the United States?"
We talk about that. You tell me that it's San Diego, and when I mention I've visited San Fran, you go into how your friends and yourself took a go-cart tour around the city, once, and how it was also nice, and I really want to take a moment, here, Matt, to mention how I was distinctly right about creative, open-ended questions and how they tend to open up conversations.
Then your friends come, and I apparently have a "bad attitude problem."
You've made another mistake. Or, more like a string of mistakes. First of all, maybe your friends should also learn to keep their hands off of the shoulders of women they've just met. I tell them, "You don't know me," and they look vaguely uncomfortable, like no woman has ever said anything like that, before, to them. You reassure them that's it's my attitude, and I agree; your friend still persists, saying, "You two look good together. ...No, really. Matt's a nice guy. Are you nice?"
"No," I tell them. I'm being serious.
Still, Matt, you stay. Obviously, you're starving for more education on the matter of women.
Here are a few things:
1. Negging is not a valid method of pickup. Women see through the "bad attitude" shaming, and, if you've found someone really bright and painfully sober (which is still pretty drunk, in this case, let's be honest, Matty), for what you're trying to do, she will only get angry.
2. Being a firefighter doesn't make you cool.
3. You and your friends are handsy and it's creepy. Tell them (and remind yourself) that, when you're hitting on someone, maybe you all shouldn't treat her--a total stranger--like family. Or a paid whore.
4. As it has been said on Orange Is The New Black: If you want to get laid, maybe pretend you're interested in that person.
This is fun, Matt from New York. Let's do this again, sometime. I'm really enjoying this.
--What? It's up to me, whether you stay or not? Well, you're here with family. I couldn't possibly. We're having so much fun, but... You know these people, and you're with someone who knows the town, Matt from New York. You should go with them so you're guaranteed a good time.
I make a lot of sense? I'm smart to say that?
Gosh thanks. My stupid little woman brains were working really hard to find a way to get you the hell out of my sights.
[fun note: My spellchecker is set to Spanish, for the semester, because I'm using that more than English, so my entries might have a fun twist in the form of misspelled words. I'm sorry!]
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