Loved and Lost

Welcome to the Valentine’s Day edition of Down With The Norm.

To get into the spirit, let’s talk about the times that stupid cherub Cupid royally fucked me over.

My first was innocent and sweet. Dylan. I was fifteen, and so was he. I’d never kissed anyone before, and he graciously showed me how in his basement, my entire body burning red as he leaned me against the pool table and gave my eager lips their first peck.

The next one I remember is Alex #1. I met him at the Singles Ward. Neither of us took church seriously, and we’d leave early to make out in his car. It was something fancy, like an Infiniti or something that I was supposed to be impressed by. He was at least 5 years older than me, had pale skin and orange-red hair, and talked about working out more than he actually worked out.

Next was Joey. He showed me Fall Out Boy and the Oreo Cheesecake Shake at Sonic. A true emo boy who took his feelings out on a guitar. He had no idea how to follow through on plans, and, as Joey did, bailed on our Halloween date to go to a haunted house with his buddies instead. So I, desperate for somewhere to be, went to Alex’s (Alex #2, that is), who was just a friend, I swear. I don’t remember how that night ended, but the next morning began with a spinning head and pain in every place imaginable. Part of me blamed Joey, and we went our separate ways.

Somewhere between Joey and the next one was Brody. Brody raped me, and that’s all I’m going to say about it here because that horse was beaten to death four posts ago.

And then there was Joe. He was 25, and a brand new pharmacist. He was boring, but nice, and therefore deserved a chance. I gave him one for six whole months. I think he may have been my first breakup. I vomited both before and after, I have no idea how to handle disappointing people. Last I heard, he’s still friends with my ex-roommate. She had a habit of keeping in touch with those I’d left behind.

After that was Alex #3, because I hadn’t yet learned my lesson. Alex #3 was different, though. We met thanks to Tinder, our first date in a quaint European-style cafe for brunch. We eventually got kicked out after four consecutive hours of blissful conversation. He took me bowling after, and a month later, I was all but living with him. I invited him to a fundraiser gala where he’d meet my parents. He took me with him to Banana Republic to find the perfect suit. The night of the gala arrived, and I was dressed in an elegant, floor-length red dress, jewelry, and a face full of makeup I’d been working on since I’d gotten home from work. He rang the doorbell, and to my dismay, he wasn’t wearing the suit we picked out. Just jeans and a simple t-shirt and jacket. My face sunk into my throat, which sunk into my chest. He was breaking up with me. He said he’d coincidentally ran into his One That Got Away the other day, and decided he had to chase her instead. I closed the door slowly, gripping the sides of my gown, and sauntered to the gala alone, hoping that no one would ask me for an explanation.

This wouldn’t be the first time I’d be left for someone else.

Tim was somebody I’d admired from a distance since high school. He and his girlfriend back then had exactly what I was craving; a seemingly blissful, happy union between two blissfully happy dorks. He was a bleeding heart liberal, a D&D nerd, a motivated millennial with a master’s degree at 24. He only asked me to coffee because his girlfriend wanted to be my friend. It took me months to agree (thank you, crippling anxiety), and by the time I did, they were broken up. He and I clicked over iced coffees and side hugs. Our second date was at the cinema, and afterword, he declared his like for me. I was giddy, and proclaimed mine for him. And we swiftly became each others’ dorks. A few weeks later, he asked to come over. After skirting around the issue for a moment while petting my cat as an excuse for not looking me in the eye, he asked if we could not date anymore, as he was too anxious.

I found out on Facebook that he’d gotten into another relationship not 2 weeks after he dumped me.

Will met me at a Halloween party. He told me I had something “special,” something so alluring that he simply couldn’t keep his eyes off of me. (I was dressed as a PlayBoy Bunny, in true Elle Woods fashion, though, so that more than likely explains it). He was sincere, sweet, and genuine. The last time he attempted to see me, he had to work late at the Apple store, and he was terribly sorry. He waited until midnight on a Thursday to explain why he never showed. And now, it’s been two months since I’ve heard from him, so I presume that that’s over.

Then there’s the one that blindsided me. A Facebook acquaintance, initially, turned best friend, turned Cat Sitter, turned boyfriend all in a matter of a month. I panicked and withdrew, then reached back out again. He panicked and withdrew and begun a hiatus of which I see no end. But as soon as I get closure on that one, I’ll pass it on. I’m sure you’re dying to know, just as I am dying to get it over with so I can stop feeling like I’m about to fall off a cliff of emotions.

I’ve heard the “it’s not you, it’s me” bullshit a handful of times. The sting of being left for another girl only lasted a day or two, and honestly didn’t even alter my self-esteem. I’ve had terrible experiences with relationships and dating. I actively, deliberately, obnoxiously avoid them at all costs, but they evidently just happen sometimes. I keep using the excuse that I’m not ready, but I think that’s a lie. Relationships scare me because they require some degree of sacrifice of freedom. They confine me, suffocate me, and I inevitably either run, or make him run. They require vulnerability, trust, and communication. All things that I am still doing my damn best to develop.

Despite all this, or maybe because all of this, the weight of loneliness is getting heavier day by day. And sure, we can blame some of it on our society’s commercialization of love; Valentine’s Day.

Here I sit, almost 24 years old, with two cats and no idea what a healthy, meaningful relationship is, much less how to be in one.

I don’t need chocolates or flowers or teddy bears. I don’t need a date or a card. But damn would it be nice to be loved in the way I need to be loved for once.

Securely.

M.

 

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But A Number

The other day, my little sister McCall and I went on an adventure to the Holy Krishna Temple to participate in their Festival of Colors. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s basically some religious celebration in which people gather at this temple in the middle of freaking nowhere to bond together over the throwing of chalky, neon-colored powder. I highly recommend this event, it’s the cheapest, messiest form of entertainment I’d ever participated in.

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There we are, all pretty and tinged. (I’m the short one.) As I mentioned before, this event was boisterous, in the best kind of way. Strangers became friends (or enemies, based on your mood) by flinging handfuls of color at each others faces, limbs, and glutes. I’m For some reason, being in a crowd full of people covered head-to-toe in neon chalk gives you all the confidence in the world.

Everywhere you looked, you’d see strangers kissing strangers, guys slapping random girls’ butts, homeboys holding “Free Kisses” signs, and, my favorite, photobombers. 

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I don’t have a clue as to who this guy is. Maybe he cleans up well. We could totally be a couple.(: 

It is a rare person who escaped that event without having her personal bubble ravaged by some dude who thought she had a nice tush. 

However, it’s even more rare to be asked if you’d like a “handprint on your ass.” Yes, kids, that’s a direct quotation. A spirited young fellow literally asked me if i’d like his handprint on my butt. No thank you, sir, I’m golden. 

My sister and I were approached the second we got out of the car by two thirty-something man-children who informed us that we were pretty and gave us each a lingering embrace. 

We’ll never see handprint guy or the tenacious huggers again, which makes it all okay. 

McCall and I took multiple laps around the Holy Krishna, sprinkling our chalk on strangers, taking selfies in front of the temple, and getting cat-called and smothered in blues, greens, yellows and pinks. Having the time of our lives. 

One particular bloke had shown his fondness for my appearance by throwing multiple handfuls of color in my face, over my head, and at my tummy. Later that day, he’d found me again, but this time he didn’t throw anything at me. Instead, he said “Hey, how old are you?” 

My typical response to that question is “how old do I look?” 

He hesitated, but finally responded that I looked around sixteen or seventeen years old. This typical of strangers. Can someone please tell me what it is about me that makes me look like I’m still in high school? Please and thank you. 

A little annoyed, I bluntly, and rather sassily, informed him that I was nearing my nineteenth anniversary of life. He reacted exactly the way I would have expected; he asked for my I.D. I looked over at McCall, who was grinning from ear to ear. She gloats in the fact that nearly every stranger we encounter assumes her to be the elder. She really doesn’t look older than me, though. I’m convinced that the only reason for this nonsense is the fact that she is a solid four to five inches taller than me. Her superiority in height seems to entitle her to an attitude of condescension toward me, which I do NOT tolerate well. 

I was huffing with exasperation at this point in our brief interaction. This stranger sensed this, uttered an apology, and assured me that he believed that I was telling the truth about my age. Then, he granted us the opportunity to reconvene later that evening for a hot-tub sesh, and insisted that I save his number in my phone. I humored him, and typed his digits into my contact book, and later cleared that entry. 

This is just one of multiple flustering events  in which people mistake me for being much younger than I am, which is extremely frustrating when my maturity level indicates otherwise. People always tell me I’m going to love it when I’m forty, and people think I don’t look a day over thirty. And that may be true. But right now, it SUCKS. (For lack of a better word.)

When I tell you I’m almost nineteen, don’t question it. I get that this fellow was trying to validate that I wasn’t “jail bait” or whatever, but once I told him I was no longer a minor, that should have been the end of that conversation. Geez. 

Other than that incident, McCall and I had a very enjoyable afternoon. However, it takes DAYS to completely cleanse yourself of all that chalk. It. Gets. Everywhere. 

And also, it dyed my golden locks a murky, purplish-green color. Which I am just not edgy enough to pull off. Seven shampooing treatments later, and no sign of it fading. I’m a plum-head.  

I AM THE OLDEST SISTER IN MY FAMILY GOSH DANG IT. 

M. 

 

 

Mr. No-Good-For-Me

Scenario: Boy finds girl on Facebook. Boy initiates small talk with girl via online messaging. Boy showers girl in compliments regarding her beauty and flawless sense of humor. Boy offers girl number and suggests that girl texts him. She does. Boy and girl continue flirtatious conversations over text message for a day or two before boy decides to ask girl on date.

Girl accepts boy’s offer. Boy picks girl up, does all the right things, makes all the right moves, and sweeps her off her feet. On this first date, boy kisses girl. A lot.

Boy and girl continue to “get to know one another” through virtually every medium, besides face-to-face interaction. Boy “likes” all of girl’s photos on social networking sites, continually complimenting her on her “foxiness” and playing the part of a gentleman with an infatuation for a lady. Leading her to believe that he has a liking for her. Girl decides that she likes boy, too, and begins to feel genuine fondness toward him. Gradually, the texts from boy decrease and the depth of their conversations shallow to virtually nothing. Weeks pass by before boy decides he’d like to see girl again. She agrees, and they meet up for ice cream. Boy kisses girl again. A lot.

But the interest that boy had in girl is no longer there. It takes some time, but girl finally realizes that again, she has been used and objectified. She realizes that the only motivation boy has in getting to know girl is so that boy can kiss her. Girl is hurt.

Okay, that’s not a scenario. It’s a real-life situation.”Girl” is me. And let me tell you, I am sick and tired of this scenario. I don’t know if this is a personal issue, but all of my latest suitors tend to think that it’s okay to kiss me on the first date. That it’s okay to string me along just long enough for me to think that there’s something there, and then back up until they feel like an M.O. session.

Admittedly, I am a phenomenal kisser. It really is no wonder why boys gravitate to my lips. (Joking, everybody.) But what boy is doing to girl is WRONG and unjustifiable.

Let’s start with the root of the problem: the kiss. And the lack of meaning behind it. I don’t know about you, dear reader, and I may be old-fashioned, but to me, a kiss signifies mutual feelings of affection toward each other. Notice I used the word “affection,” not “attraction.”

Unfortunately, far too often, the kiss is no longer a signifier for anything more than lust. But it still seems to hold its power to reinforce feelings of affection for the kissee to the kisser.

That was a lot of mumbo-jumbo. What i’m trying to get at here, is don’t kiss me until you are confident that you like me for who I am as a person rather than a pretty little thing to lay your eyes on, and are ready to show me that those feelings are there.

So here I am, confused, hurt, and frustrated, at myself, mostly. I am never one to initiate a kiss. But i’m not exactly one to stop one, either. But if he and I are not on the same page as to what  the kiss even means, then I am left to hope that our feelings are the same, and discover later that it was nothing more than a shallow action.

I guess that’s just one method of figuring out if a guy is going to be good for me or not. And now I know why my mom always insisted that I wait until the third date to kiss a boy. You were right, mom. I am now committing the three-date rule to a policy.

Good news is, I now know that boy is no good for me, and will no longer be giving him the authority to be not good for me. Lesson learned.

In summary, people suck. Watch out for the selfish and shallow. Trust only those who have proven worthy. It’s an every-man-for-himself type of world. And keep your walls high.

I apologize for my excessively cynical attitude. But I feel much better now.(:

Over and out.

M.

 

Happy Medium

I don’t know if it’s just my lack of judgment or sheer bad luck when it comes to dating, but I seem to only attract young suitors on the extreme ends of the criteria spectrum. In other words, they’re either “bat-sh*t crazy” or markedly dull. Exceedingly talkative, or completely standoffish. But most importantly, they’re either initially and concernedly head-over-heels in love with me, or show no particular interest in me at all. 

It’s a tricky thing, dating me. I am the type of girl who feels suffocated the instant I get too much attention from a guy. If he texts me twice in a row without my own response in between, I will normally delete his number entirely from my phone, and we will likely not converse again. To me, any guy who wants to talk more often than a couple SMS messages a day is too clingy. What can I say? I like my space. 

But when I am interested in a guy, and want his attention more frequently, he never seems to share that mutual desire for communication. And I know it’s not fair of me, but I absolutely despise initiating a conversation for fear of becoming clingy to someone else. 

And isn’t that the way? The suitor you have no interest in developing any sort of relationship is the one who constantly showers you with attention, compliments, and adoration, while the man you WANT to give you this attention is preoccupied and uninterested. 

It’s not fair, you guys. 

As usual, I have a real-life example to illustrate this thought. 

So, I met this sweet, sweet boy the other day. Let’s call him Joey. Okay, so I met Joey at school, and we began getting to know each other via text message. After a complete day of talking, Joey had mentioned that he had written me a song. Keep in mind, Joey and I had been in each others’ acquaintance for approximately a 24 hour period. 

My initial reaction to his songwriting was to delete his number and forget him, as I had with so many others. But, as aforementioned, Joey is a very sweet, kindhearted young chap, so I decided I’d allow him to play me this song. He did, and it was really flattering, and hinted at his desire to be “more than just friends.” 

We hung out the night he played me that song and talked an awful lot. When I returned home that evening, I received another message from Joey in which he notified me that he had begun authoring his second song about me. While I am flattered by his adoration and his romantic, musical demonstration of said adoration, I feel that it is rather excessive, given the circumstance that he has only known me for a matter of hours. In short, he’s about scared me off. 

On the other end of the spectrum is this boy whom we’ll call Brian. Brian is a very attractive gentleman, about four years my senior, which makes him roughly as mature as I am. Roughly two weeks ago, Brian took me on a date for sushi (my favorite sophisticated Asian cuisine) and then to a movie. We had an absolute blast, or so I had thought.

In the past couple of weeks since our date, we’ve carried on meaningless text conversations, but have not seen each other face-to-face. Naturally, his lack of interest or desire to see me again has only made me like him more. We all want what we can’t have. It’s a complicated world, isn’t it? 

I guess what I’m trying to get at here is that I need a guy who will give me just the right amount of attention when and where I want it. That sounds ridiculous and snobbish, I know. But a girl can dream.

The struggle is real, people. 

And the search continues…

 

 

How To Lose A Girl’s Interest In 4 Seconds

I recently quit my job of two years at the local trampoline park, which has given me an abundance of this thing called “free time,” which I have been using to expand and strengthen my social circles. 

I began hanging out with some of my old guy friends from high school again. These fellas are a year younger than me, which makes them seniors in high school. (May I just say, the difference in maturity level between a high school student and a fresh graduate is unreal.) These friends have been their own exclusive group for who knows how long, but I have only known them for about four years. 

All was well, and we started hanging out all the time again just like the “good old days.” I had dated the majority of them throughout the course of my high school career. Never seriously, but my prom dates were always members of this clan. What I’m saying is I’ve had history with one or two of these gentlemen. 

With me graduating a year before these boys, we had become more and more distant, and I had assumed that I’d left all this “history” behind me when I obtained my diploma. But apparently, I was wrong. 

One night, we were all hanging out at this one boy’s house. Let’s call him Tom. We spent maybe an hour listening to a couple of us mess around on the piano and guitar. Once we all grew bored of that, we migrated downstairs to the basement to watch a select handful of them play video games. Yes. Video games. 

I was reminded rather quickly why I had allowed myself to “grow apart” from these kids. They play video games. A lot. And when that stupid controller is in their hands, they develop the personality of  a brick wall, and about the same ability to converse. 

So there I was, bored out of my mind and laying hopelessly on the couch, listening to the sound of fake gunshot from the TV, when Tom decided he’d come and “cuddle me.” 

I moved over and gave him a little space to lay next to me. Once he was situated, I laid my head on his chest and continued to stare blankly at that blasted television screen. I didn’t think much of it, and decided that Tom made a great human pillow. Him and I began to chat a little and before I knew it, his face was right up in my grill. And he was doing that thing where a boy stares at your lips while you talk and then you just KNOW you’re about to get kissed. 

Over my dead body. 

I pulled away fast and whipped out my phone and pretended to be deeply engaged in an SMS conversation to avoid his gaze at my mouth. That went on for a while, and eventually, the rest of the group decided they were as bored as I was with those video games, so we decided to drive to Krispie Kreme for a late-night pastry. 

After consuming our donuts, we slowly made our way to our cars. As I was approaching my own, one of the boys drove his car right up to me. Tom was sitting in the passenger seat with the window down.

“Give me a kiss.” He said bluntly.

The kid driving the car smiled and said, “Yeah, you owe him.” 

Um. WHAT. What does he mean I OWE him? And how dare he TELL me to kiss him in front of his bone-headed friend? 

I realize these kids are stupid high school boys with a significantly lower IQ and maturity level than a sophisticated lady like myself, but at moments like these, all I can think is “What the hell?”

He pulled my arm down toward him and put his face really close to mine again and attempted to kiss me, to which I politely refused.

Haven’t talked to the chap since, and we’ve been friends for four years. 

What makes him think that’s okay? If I wanted to kiss him, i’d have done it already.  I was livid. So angry. All I wanted to do was punch him square in the mandible. 

Boys, have some class, and use your brains. Nothing makes a girl lose interest faster than ASKING HER TO KISS YOU IN FRONT OF YOUR STUPID FRIENDS. Furthermore, he had already presented me with the opportunity to mack out earlier that evening, and I had declined. 

I know your ego’s a little damaged now, but rejection happens, psycho. 

Grr.