Love

I think this would fit into the series better closer to the end but seeing as it is Valentine’s Day I decided to bump it up in the rotation.

Last spring I was spending a lot of time with two different girls. These were (and still are) purely social, non-romantic relationships, but for a while I was seeing each of them in social settings multiple times a week. This is saying something for me as I rarely leave my apartment for social purposes multiple times a week. The first girl and I share all kinds of similar interests, she fits in well with my friends, and we have all kinds of things to talk about together, but I don’t find her particularly attractive. The second girl is cute and funny, but we have very little in common. Guess which girl I fell for.

I find this distressing. I like to think I am beyond this type of shallow thinking. I was the nerd who would fall for the cheerleader then be depressed because the cheerleader was only interested in football players. That bitch! (This is false…my school had neither cheerleaders nor football players. But you get the analogy….) Of course, the funny thing in that old cliche is that the nerd is being just as shallow as the cheerleader. So I guess I really AM a lot like him.

It’s probably been about four years since it first began to dawn on me how much the ladies like me. One of the moments that stands out happened at a Fourth of July party. I was talking with an old friend I probably hadn’t seen since high school. When I told her that I worked with autistic kids she did the typical old “oh that’s great and super rewarding” routine. Then she said, “Plus you must get laid ALL THE TIME.” And I was like, “Yeah tota- wait what?” And she was like, “I mean…that’s like automatic action when a girl finds that out.” This had somehow never really occurred to me before. And while it is certainly a bit of an exaggeration, it did get me to reevaluating a lot of things.

I used to really play up the whole nice-guy-all-the-girls-want-to-be-friends-with-but-nobody-wants-to-date persona. And perhaps there was a time in high school and in my first couple years of college when this was fairly accurate. I sort of had this routine going where I would fall for some girl, rationalize all the reasons it was never going to work, then get all mopey for a few months. But as I began looking back I started seeing GLARING moments of opportunity that I had missed. More often than not, I was the reason those relationships never developed. More importantly, in the back of my mind I’m pretty sure I knew that at the time, but for whatever reason chose to keep my distance. And you know why? I have absolutely no fear of rejection…but I’m terrified of anything that may work out. Relationships are full of vulnerability and uncomfortable conversations and mind reading. I don’t really want most people to know me that well and I’m sure I’ve missed out on lots of good things because of it.

To be clear…I have no regrets about any of this. That’s not to say I wouldn’t maybe do things a little differently if I were starting over again at 15, but in the end I’m actually pretty happy with the fact that I don’t have a long history of failed relationships and one night stands. And while I may look back and shake my head at all this, in retrospect I can’t deny the fact that I’m pretty happy to not currently be with any of those girls. I have a pretty clear head, a clean conscience, and a good life.

So…what have I done with the knowledge I started to acquire four years ago? Frankly, not much. I guess the downside of not having a long history of failed relationships and one night stands is you sort of get in the habit of complacency. I LOVE that Taco Bell commercial where the guy is talking in his head to the two girls at the next table like “HEY TURN AROUND AGAIN YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO” and then they do and he goes, “Oh no…what now!” This a pretty good summary of me at a bar. They ALWAYS turn around and I NEVER do anything. Which is fine because I have next to no interest in picking up girls in a bar. I’m definitely not a pick-up-girls-in-a-bar guy. It’s just that every once in a while I wish I was.

So I know everyone is dying to hear what happened with my situation from last Spring. Well I hate to admit it but at 29 years old I fell back into that old pattern, developing a crush on the girl who would have been absolutely HORRIBLE for me and then spending lots of time moping about it and drinking and listening to sad music. Which is really pretty pathetic. I mean, I think it is a swell, intriguing persona to have when you are young, but at some point that shit’s gotta stop. Everyone wants Weezer to make Pinkerton again but they can’t. The reason Rivers Cuomo makes terrible music now is because he grew up.

Thank goodness I snapped out of it pretty quick. I have to give my good friends JR and Jen some credit here…which I’m sure will come as a complete surprise to them. JR and Jen are my favorite couple…and I’m definitely not one for having favorite couples. JR has been one of my best friends since middle school and somehow I like him even more now that Jen is around….this is something that rarely ever happens with anyone. They are the rare couple that is obviously head over heels in love yet somehow manages this without being fucking irritating. Just being around them always shakes me from any pragmatic idea I may have about “settling” for someone. And after visiting them in Tennessee last June I realized that I was all torn up over the wrong girl. For that matter, the girl I shared all the common interests with wasn’t the right girl either. They are both still good friends but that is all, and that is how it should be. Sharing common interests isn’t enough. Neither is just being cute and funny. What is? Fuck if I know…but JR and Jen have it figured out and if I don’t have that I don’t really want anything else.

I will be accepting no follow-up questions.

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8 Responses to Love

  1. Carin says:

    well i was all ready with follow-up questions and then you squashed my freedom of speech.

  2. chareelouise says:

    I would settle for second favorite couple. totally not a question, just a statement.

  3. doctorwaffle says:

    “Relationships are full of vulnerability and uncomfortable conversations and mind reading.” Boy howdy, that is spot on. Dating can be a total minefield of emotions and guesswork.

    People really like to put marriage on a pedestal. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of that in the past, also. But I really believe that relationships of any sort are really about being able to say: “I think that life will be a little better if I see this person every day.” It’s such a cliche that you should be with your best friend, but it’s totally true. It means much less uncomfortable conversations and mind reading.

  4. lilslik says:

    I have a few things to say about this. I don’t want it to be as long as my reaction to your death/heaven post so I’m going to make it a little more organized.

    1. I used to love falling in love. Now I don’t want to fall in love until I know the situation with the person is for real – meaning new relationships in my past were fun, now they are scary. I don’t want feelings for someone unless I know it won’t end in heart ache, thus ending in marriage…. which brings me to number 2.

    2. I’m wouldn’t say I’m scared of something working out, ending in marriage, because there are lots of perks to that situation – including hanging out with your best friend for life. However, being a girl, like it or not, our whole lives so far are built up to “getting married.” In that way, I feel like something working out is like finding a script of the rest of your life that up until now was a secret. Not that i put that much weight on being married, especially because I have a feeling the rest of my life is going to be exciting, but if you think about it, fairy tales are ‘the princess met her prince and they lived happily ever after. ‘ That’s it? Why is the rest of their lives not a story anymore and just summed up with the phrase happily ever after?

    I know a fairy tale is a bad thing to compare real life to, and I feel like I have a balanced view of the real world, but it’s hard to break out of that mold.

    I liked this:

  5. Lynsye says:

    thanks for making me consider my situation. I’m glad I did.

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