Tag Archives: Love

It’s Not You, It’s Me

I’ve decided to start dating again. Which means I’ve decided to go on one date and call it a year.

I’ve been out of the game for quite some time, but I understand it still works relatively the same: you meet at a bar, you forget meeting at a bar, you wake up to a mysterious text from “R. Dumbledore Glasses,” you exchange witty messages for weeks on end until finally someone says, “Let’s just get this over with.” So you meet.

Romance may be alive and well. But I will not stand for it.

My prep for this date begins well in advance. I spend an hour trying to make my hair look effortless. Like I totally forgot about the date (because I’m so busy and important!) that when I remembered, I yanked out my ponytail, walked into the wind and let Jesus take the wheel. I do my makeup lightly. I want him to think I’m a natural beauty. That I don’t even care about makeup. That my big, dark eyebrows are such a hassle (“Ugh! Genetics!”) and not in fact an elaborate illusion.

I imagine what I’ll say when he compliments me.

“Stop, I’m a mess!”

But I’m not a mess. I’m a masterpiece.

Next, I call my roommate into my room for the dressing portion of the program. I have no idea what to wear. My black jeans feel too fancy, my boyfriend jeans no longer fit. I’m not mad about it; I’ve always wanted an ass that won’t quit. But not having these jeans really spoils my cool/casual idea.

“What’d you wear last time you saw him?” She asks

“My Slytherin shirt,” I respond.

She nods, and tells me to wear the black jeans, a cotton t-shirt and my leather jacket. I put them on and observe.

“I look like a little dick,” I say.

“No, you don’t,” she says. “But we need to give you a waistline.”

We then attempt to tuck my shirt into my jeans in a haphazard way. Like somehow, I raised my arms, and the front, left edge of my shirt made a miraculous leap into the waist of my jeans, falling **just so**.

15 minutes later, we nail it.

5 minutes later, I have to pee and we have to start all over.

When I’m finally deemed fit for public viewing, we head to the kitchen for shots of tequila. My roommates and I started this ritual my first month in Chicago when, against all odds, all three of us had a slew of dates lined up. Before each date, we all took a shot. None of the men stuck. But the tequila did.

I meet my date at the bar and am pleased with myself for recognizing his face. It’s been over two months since we met, and the last we saw each other, I was so drunk I admitted to being a Hufflepuff.

In spite of this, our conversation flows pretty comfortably. We reintroduce ourselves, talk about work, friends and relationships. He asks if I’m on Bumble.

“I don’t have time. Wait, that’s a lie. I could make time, I just don’t want to. Dating is such a waste of mental space, you know?”

I sip my drink.

“Why? Are you on Bumble?”

He is.

Later, we exchange of pick-up line horror stories. I tell him my favorite: the time a man offered to buy me a drink because I looked “vulnerable.”

“I hate it when men offer to buy me drinks. It’s like, ‘Go away! I don’t want to talk to you!'”

We sit in silence for a moment.

“You know I’m going to buy your beers, right?”

“Yeah. Sorry. My bad.”

I sip my drink.

At the end of the date, he asks if I had a good time.

“Honestly, I can’t tell,” he says.

This shocks me. And it is at this point I realize I spent the entire date shitting on romance. I was the dating equivalent of a bad interviewer. Had our conversation actually been a job interview, it would have gone something like this:

“So, what interests you about this job?”

“Nothing really. I don’t even want to work.”

No wonder this man thinks I’m an asshole.

But I’m not an asshole. I just don’t know what I want, and, apparently, that reads loud and clear. I don’t want a boyfriend, but I enjoy the attention of men. I enjoy the attention of men, but I hate the power this gives them. This imbalance of power is a constant struggle in my life. I let everyone else dictate how I feel about myself. So when I say I don’t want to “waste the mental space on dating,” I mean I don’t want to waste time working through the self-loathing that inevitably follows.

Or as I prefer to put it, I’m just too damn busy and important!


The One That Got Away (Part 2)

(continued from Part 1)

The next day, I anxiously awaited a text from my betrothed. I began to lose hope until much later that night I finally received a text. I’d hardly call it a love note, but it was all I needed to launch myself back into planning our future together.

I decided to put him out of my mind for the night and the girls and I went to party downtown. Towards the end of the night, we wandered into a dance club. I don’t quite know how to put this, but lets just say it was a club that put me right back into my Save the Last Dance-fantasy, in which I play the part of Julia Stiles. It was amazing. I was frisked upon entry, and later surrounded by ankle length jean shorts, Swisher Sweats and a fair amount of illicit grinding. I looked to my friend Lauren, who was somehow already fisting a bejeweled microphone.

“This is the DJ,” she told me, gesturing to her new, unsmiling friend.

Unfortunately, I’d decided to wear my seersucker skirt out that night. Huge mistake. I looked like a fish out of water, or more accurately, a piece of lint in the chocolate milk. It was mortifying. At first, no one would take me or my dance moves seriously, but I managed to overcome all obstacles and woo them with my signature spastic routine.

I emerged from the club looking like a wet rat and smelling like the inside of a shoe. My white skirt was stained dark blue, presumably from the heavy amount of dark denim it had encountered throughout the night. My mascara was down to my chin, and I’d sweated off all four layers of my bronzer. I was a sight to behold, and at this point I was certain no male suitor would be offering to pay my cab fare.

As my friends and I prepared to make our way home, something glorious flashed across my peripheral vision: it was Marco. He was in a cotton button down shirt and slim fitting jeans. His blouse was unbuttoned and slightly askew, leaving no chest hair to the imagination. The wind whistled between the spikes in his aggressively gelled hair. He was beautiful. I marched towards my bronze beloved in a wordless daze. We embraced, and after feeling the dampness of my skin and clothing I’m certain he regretted it. I asked him if he had a Facebook, and he said no. It wasn’t my best effort.

We tore apart and I headed home with the rest of the girls. I sat the entire cab ride home with my head out the window like a Labrador en route to the park, startling every passerby with my delirious grin. My damp, sweaty locks blew about my face as I let the warm Florida breeze dry my streaky bronzer. I was a woman in love.

As soon as we got back to the hotel, I received a text message from Marco. I was floored — usually, I’m the first person to initiate a creepy SMS exchange, so I enjoyed the change in routine.

His first few texts should have warned me that there would be trouble in paradise. To put it mildly, he used far too many emoticons for my taste. His fondness for exclamation points nearly threw me into a cold sweat, and with each winky face he sent, I became haunted by visions of him giggling like a little girl.

Next, he began persuading me to come back out to go for a “drive.” I was skeptical. Not only did I question his sobriety, but I also wondered if he had a legal driving license, or U.S. citizenship for that matter. When I told him that I was in for the night and that I had eaten too much peanut butter to come back out, he proceeded to send me the most uncomfortably “romantic” alliteration I have ever encountered.

I was horrified and confused. Where had we gone wrong? I’d imagined our romance as a beautiful thing that I would someday write about like in “Under the Tuscan Sun” or “Eat, Pray Love.”  His lewd words soiled my dream, and I didn’t think I’d be able to rekindle our innocent flame.

Unsure of how to tactfully decline his offer, I didn’t respond. After that, things cooled off between us. We stopped talking to each other, and by that I mean he stopped returning my messages.

To this day, I haven’t heard from him. I’m not in the least bit surprised, but I wish him the best of luck wherever his white linen pants may take him.