Tag Archives: Relationships

27

A year ago, I published a blog post about turning 26. It was one of my more serious posts, as it was the first time I’d ever opened up about having an anxiety disorder. **Cue the line of eligible bachelors**

Since writing that post, I’ve done a lot of work on my anxiety. I’m by no means cured, but I’ve definitely become more lax about sharing drinks with people. I even ate a fish taco off a hotel floor, which, by anyone’s standards, is downright irresponsible. A death wish, some might say. (Full disclosure: I spent the next day googling variations of: “Do microwaves kill herpes?”)

Since writing that post, I’ve been working on myself. Working on the ability to speak my mind, the ability to let things go, and the ability to get up and talk to people, even when I feel like they hate me.

But perhaps one of the hardest things I’m working on is learning how to value and appreciate myself. I spent a good part of last year thinking, “What the hell is wrong with me? What do they have that I don’t? Am I not ____ enough?” I leave this blank because, depending on the day, I’d fill in any number of descriptors. Spontaneous enough, confident enough, cool enough, pretty enough, funny enough, bold enough, open enough, creative enough. I didn’t feel enough. Period. I felt like an inconvenience in someone’s day, an intruder in their “group.” And while these fears have always lived in the back of my mind, I suddenly found them catapulted to the forefront. It felt like everything I’d feared about myself – my lowest, most self-hating thoughts – were proved true. And that felt terrible.

But today, more than a year later, I’m able to ask myself why. Why does someone else get to dictate how I feel about myself? Why do they get all the power? All of my power?

I’m also starting to realize that people come and go. Friends, boyfriends, lovahs, even husbands – they come and go. There’s only one person I can count on spending the rest of my life with. And that’s me. So isn’t it about time I came to peace with myself? Wouldn’t it make sense to start learning how to love myself? How to feel whole with myself, by myself?

This has been my focus. Which is why I nearly lost my mind when I came across the following:

meme2

If she’s hot and single, she’s crazy.

???

Now to be clear, I’m not saying I’m hot. I’m saying, as a single woman, “What the fuck?”

This meme hit me so hard because it is, quite specifically, the very thought I spent months beating myself up over. The fact that I am 27 and single baffles people, from my dentist to my relatives. I take this meme — even if it was made in jest — to mean there are those who view my singleness as an abnormality, like my childhood snaggletooth. I take it to mean that men must look at me and say, “Oh, she’s single? Well, what’s wrong with her then?”

Why does something have to be wrong with me? There are so many reasons why a woman would be single — why do we automatically assume that she’s a compulsive car keyer?

Maybe she likes being independent. Maybe she’s focused on other things. Maybe she’s just having fun. Maybe she doesn’t feel like doting on anyone, save her cats, friends and family. Yeah, maybe she got her ass dumped. But maybe he was unfaithful.

Maybe she’s just not into you, brah.

Why does a girl need to be spoken for in order for others to believe she’s cool? Why is a woman seen as worthy, valuable, “a catch,” or sane only when a man deems her fit for marriage? 

I realize this post might have crossed the line (several lines, really) from thoughtful to impassioned. And if you thought you were getting into another post about cats or germs, my sincerest apologizes, as I’ve certainly led you astray. To be clear, I’m not making sweeping judgments about men or any other group of people, and I’m certainly not trying to brand myself as a wronged woman in pursuit of justice. I love being single. I also loved being a relationship, when it was healthy. There’s nothing wrong with being in or out of a relationship, as long as you’re happy.

Happy is what I’m focused on. Not who makes me happy. Just being happy. Period. And if THAT’S what makes me crazy, cool. At least it’s not my cats.

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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.