You swore. You pinkie promised the little girl that managed to survive inside of you that you’d never go there again within yourself. The land you visited, the land you that you discovered that one sunny day in the mid-afternoon unexpectedly would be barricaded became open again. It beckoned… It told you it was okay to return and rest upon the grass and the open, wild fields it offered.
You knew it was lying. And yet you went.
And with those first hesitant steps you knew you were walking into the unknown. A territory that lacked rules, expectations. More importantly, you knew it lacked justice.
But for a girl… woman?… who loved justice, you still stepped quietly looking to explore. You’d heard about this place. A foreign world of selflessness where the governing rule was emotion and instinct. It sounded wildly bueautiful and exotic. What a thing, you had thought to yourself, to abandon the thoughts you so clutched to.
Returning, you realized, was not so scary. It was not as frightening, because you were armed with the knowledge of what to avoid. You knew what would damage you, and you recognized the dangers within this land but you never turned away even as your heart sped and your rational abilities evaporated into the sweet air. You had returned. And you were bold now. You weren’t scared.
You were alone. And you found that the air you had once so enjoyed as a breeze delivering the aroma of flowers and pine and grass was now reduced to a simple chill that reminded you of the lack of arms around you. The air was the echo of your solidarity of which you were both proud and ashamed. You had struggled to retain your independence. You worked, hard and silently, simply to be alone. And this made you sad. It made you, among other things that you could not name… confused.
The same eloquence that had been granted you here before had been revoked. Instead of plenty of words and a rushing of emotion you were solemnly observant. You had learned, since the last walk you had taken along these grounds, to be stoic. Your recongnition of the flaws posessed within this land was painful and it embarrassed you of the person you were in your last visit. You were ashamed of her former charming naivety, and you were ashamed of you current cynicism.
But you refuse to leave. Instead of looking for an exit or a path outward you sat. You picked at the leaves of grass and felt the wind’s reminders of your soul’s silence. Nothing rushed inside of you that day- and the river of your emotions remained constant regardless of the trinkets of the past that you crossed on your return’s travels. The bench where you both sat. The picture you took. The letters you wrote. The words that flowed that meant not much then that carried the weight of the universe in their memories. Nothing can move you now. It seems the air is mimicking your fortitude…. it blows, but falsely. Nothing moves because of it.
Perhaps you imagined it. It would not be the first time you felt something that was in fact, not there.
Sigh. You are older, now. A year older. You know the days have passed, and the required number of weeks have qualifed you into a new category of year of birth, but you are older in new ways. Your heart moves slower and your reactions lack the enthusiasm you knew them once to be capable of. It’s not their fault, you think to yourself. How could I have known that it… and then you stop the thought. The same thought you’ve echoed within yourself so many millions of times. You couldn’t have known.
You couldn’t have known. You couldn’t have stopped yourself. You couldn’t have prepared your heart. You couldn’t have protected yourself. You couldn’t have spared your future. You couldn’t have stopped the walls from forming. You couldn’t have known. You couldn’t have slowed the motions. You couldn’t have removed his hands. You couldn’t have known. You couldn’t have expected he would kiss you that way. You couldn’t have known. You couldn’t have seen what you would end up as. You couldn’t have realized it would hurt this way.
You couldn’t have known.
You couldn’t have known.
And even if you could have.
What would become of you then?
Maybe it’s me being emotional because I’m on my period. Maybe it was the ice cream. Maybe it’s the stress. Maybe it’s the suspiciously long recovery from the 4th of July spent exactly how the founding fathers would have wanted— with shots of Jameson in dimly lit bars…. But Jebus I’m freaking out about being a cat lady.
Have you ever seen Say Anything with John Cusak? It’s absolutely everything you could ever want in a cheesy 80’s chick flick. Before we got all 500 Days of Summer/maybe happy endings are all bullshit, the 80’s fucking nailed the idea of work hard enough and you get the girl/guy. Our generation, once again everybody- say it with me, SUCKS.
So long story short, John Cusack is kind of a weird creepy dude who falls for quintessential overachieving ASB girl that nobody in real life would actually befriend, she falls for him (thereby significantly lowering her standards and probably setting herself up for a lifetime of mediocrity and frustration), then her dad is a money launderer (?) and she breaks up with poor John because… I don’t know… she thinks that having a boyfriend is related to her father being a criminal?
Anyway, guess what John does. GUESS! He stands outside her window at dawn (or dusk… lighting is pretty shitty in the 80’s, not sure), and holds what appears to be a 45 pound boombox over his head playing Phil Collins into her bedroom window. I about cried. Okay, I teared up.
And then I did what every girl does when we watch these movies…. I thought to myself, “Hold on… how come nobody ever did this for ME?” Okay, I admit I’m not even sure that grand gestures really exist or if Hollywood invented them just to make sure that all men will never measure up, but still… The grandest gesture I’ve ever experienced was a picture in High School from my boyfriend where he wrote I<3 U in the sand at the beach in Diet Coke…
Which, looking back is actually pretty sweet, but something a homeless person probably could have managed with a stolen camera.
What I’m trying to say is Say Anything is my dream movie. It was everything you ever wanted in a cheesy romance: weirdly intense face grabbing while kissing outside, rambling speeches about completely unrestrained mushiness, and of course, a grand gesture from a guy to a girl who probably doesn’t really deserve it anyway.
I’m not saying I deserve it. I’m not saying I even kind of deserve someone irritating my neighbors just to press me (sigh), but it’d be pretty spectacular. Should a romantic comedy ever be written about my life it will be some joke of a girl who offends everybody, manages to mess everything up (in a completely NOT adorable, endearing way), gets her period in the guy she likes’ bed (TWICE!– sorry, Libra) and then ends up with the guy she hated but she’s so worn down by scaring everyone away that she just gives up since she doesn’t want to be a cat lady. And that’s not romantic at all. It’s scary, actually.
God… my romantic movie sounds a little bit like that awful 80’s movie Carrie. That’s encouraging.
I blame my lack of control over my life and my inability to “plan ahead” on my hair. Mostly because I don’t like to wash it, and once I do wash it I am paralyzed by the oh-so-heavy decision, do I curl it or leave it straight? And, God forbid I manage to decide and opt for a curl, I find myself glaring at my variety of curling irons… What kind of curl do I want? (Side note: I think they all end up looking the same, but to justify the amount of money spent on my vibrator-look-alike hair tools, I tend to worry anyway).
The reason this matters is because I am meeting up with this guy tonight for what I guess is (don’t judge me!) a… blind date? And the picture he saw of me has straight hair, so even though I prefer my hair curled, should I just stick with his expectations so I don’t throw him through a loop? Furthermore (who says furthermore in a blog? That just seemed weird), it’s raining and since it never rains in California, I own precisely zero jackets and one pair of sneakers that are suede anyway so they can’t be relied upon to shelter my feet from puddles. So I’m in heels. 4.5 inch heels. In the rain. Oh God, I’m gonna fall down. I shouldn’t even go. What if I sprain an ankle? The fear/anxiety I have right now is soooo not worth meeting the cute guy my friend has been raving about for months.
Unless… it is. Which is why I washed/blew dry/straightened my hair today. Because, women- I know you feel me on this: you never freaking know.
The romantic at heart in me, lives by the “you never know” mantra. And it is her fault that I even let my friend set me up. It was her that drug my ass out of bed this morning and it was her that convinced me yes, shaving my legs would probably be a good idea. Worst case scenario: homeboy tonight is the man of my dreams (doubtful), but since I couldn’t be bothered to brush my hair he was uninterested in the girl who looked like a homeless version of Amy Winehouse. So I brushed my hair. Shaved my legs. And, as mentioned before, it is the rain’s fault that I am wearing heels.
As a final note, I should have written about this yesterday. Because I don’t really know blind-date etiquette… Do we hug? I generally give a hug/kiss combo when greeting, but that’s way too much, right? Can’t I just give him my resume and pretend like we’ve always known eachother? Is drinking allowed or does that send the she-is-a-lush red flag up? Clearly, I’m in need of some guidance here.
Then again, as soon as I get really caught up in the “ohmigod, what if…?” thoughts, the normal girl inside me bitch-slaps the romantic girl and says, “fuck that, it’s free food.” And I breathe easy again.
Remember that one Valentine’s Day where you were going to stay home, drink a glass of wine and catch up on work, then maybe watch a movie and get some desperately needed rest?
No? That’s right! You got drunk and went to the bars for a completely predictable lonely-hearts club party and got wasted before getting NO sleep and going to work hungover and TORE. UP. Bravo.
This is the conversation I had with myself yesterday morning while hazily trying to remember where my keys, lipgloss, and pride were.
Anyway, that was my Valentine’s Day…. And just for good measure, I fell both in and out of love in the course of half an hour and now have a stalker.
I was engrossed in conversation with easily the most attractive guy I’ve seen in a long time and I was silently singing the praises of the Valentine’s Gods for finally cutting me some romantic slack. Yeah, he was totally rocking the grungy, artsy thing but he owned his own company. Because I had maybe one too many glasses of wine by this point, I just reveled in my good luck, and didn’t consider that a guy like that realistically doesn’t exist. But no, I was busy being enamored with my good fortune. It was the best of both worlds. An artsy capitalist. A tall artsy capitalist. A HOT, tall artsy capitalist.
But… then… under his beanie (yes, beanie), I thought… wait… did I just… is that… do you have GREEN hair? “Yeah, I’m super pissed it was supposed to be blue.” Oh… Well. No, that’s not better.
“I write music too, the tattoo on my arm is my own lyrics actually.”
… Because OF COURSE they are.
And after about 45 minutes and 9 red flags later (not even counting the botched Marge Simpson hair), I realized I had not seen him with any friends. At all. Fuck. Did I just give my number to a guy who came to the bars ALONE on VALENTINE’S DAY?
Yes. Yes I did. And now he won’t stop texting me about how “sad” he is.
And I had hoped to make out with a stranger, but didn’t. (This was, strangely enough, disputed) I have some sort of inherent cock-block tendency though that reared its ugly head that evening. I generally do not do well with the sort of meet-a-stranger-let-em-touch you kind of game. I’m awkward, and I need to validate every physical encounter I have. In other words: if I make out with you, I expect us to date. If you see me naked, we’re practically facebook official. In essence I was silently screaming in my head “WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME?” at everyone in the bar that evening. Well, not everyone. The guy with green hair already did love me.
…Because OF COURSE I would manage to attract only certifiably insane loners.
I’m only 23, which is by no means anywhere near alzheimers or broken hips or divorce… well, I take back that divorce comment. What I mean to say is that I am still young, but I was a little blind-sided by how I have managed to morph into an adult without even recognizing it. Here I was, thinking that if I just continued on my merry way of poor life choices and boozing it up on work nights that I could maintain some level of youthfulness. Guess what? I was wrong. WAYYY Wrong.
Here’s how I know I’m growing up (prepare to be depressed when you realize you are also getting old and will die soon):
- My favorite gift this Christmas? A steamer. Which was awesome on a number of levels: like I’ll save money on dry cleaning since my dry cleaner is a douchebag but really close to my apartment, and I won’t have wrinkly clothes.
- I had the tools required to put the steamer together, before realizing I needed tools for this bad boy. A few years ago, I spent two dollars on a swiss-army knife thing that had a little screw-jobby from IKEA and I thought I had hit the domestic-jackpot. These days, I don’t fuck around. I’ve got legit tools… Like 3 of ’em.
- I could survive in the wilderness with great hair using only the items I have in my purse. My purse has enough hair-spray, gum, little flossing things, toilet paper covers, tiny brushes, mascara, combs and reading material to keep me looking nothing short of gorgeous in the fucking jungle… If I ever did anything that would result in jungle-dwelling… which I don’t. So maybe I’m just showing early symptoms of hoarding… Which would suck.
- Anti-oxidants have definitely climbed their way up the list of priorities (meaning they went from obscurity to somewhere in the mid 50’s). I take vitamins. Everyday. (It’s what responsible folks do). Yes, they are gummy ones, and yeah they might have sugar on them but they are delicious and I am healthy and taking preventative measures to not wither away prematurely.
- This is more like 4 and a half, because it’s basically the same thing, but about tea. I drink tea from my little mug in my office everyday, and I get genuinely excited about new flavors of tea… Then I drink it and think I probably look really grown up with my glasses and my mug and my sweater. Normally I decide sometime in this line of thinking that I will be a great novelist.
- Eye cream. A small fortune has been spent on what I’m pretty sure is normal lotion just in a smaller container that reminds me every night that one day I will need botox.
- Men have gone from people that buy me dinner to other people’s ex-husbands and baby-daddys. Gone are the days of dating charming but degenerate servers, chasing the guy who is chasing his (doomed) dream, and romantic spontanaeity. The baggage is closing in, and it’s practically forcing me to settle.
- Keeping with the above observation… Growing up resulted in a sad realization of what I wanted in a guy, which, unfortunately is as follows: good looks trump bad style. Smart
trumps good looks. Funny trumps smart. Meaning I’m going to marry Chris Farley… awesome.
- Sex takes on a different role… this is one of the better observations probably. It goes from being awkward and scary and one of those things that always makes you vow you’ll lose 10 pounds immediately, to a way to be intimate with someone while finding a really special, mutual vulnerability (if you do it right).
- 10. EMAILS. I love them. Phone calls< Texting< Emails< Letters. But nobody writes letters anymore (except the very emo girl inside of me that I normally keep muzzled) so I settle for emails which are pretty much the modern version. I email everyone; my parents, my friends, my sorority sisters, my boss… an ex here and there… As I get older, I find that I use bigger words and less acronyms in texts, meaning that I require more room for my impressively mature vocabulary… Leading to my love of emails. The perfect combo of technology and literary awesomeness.
There you have it. Symptoms of adult-hood. Granted, I only have use of one nostril right now because I think I got tuberculosis last night and I’m currently high on medicine so I can participate in my super elitist republican-lady program (I got accepted! youngest one! woo!) tomorrow without sneezing on everyone. So this may not really be all that applicable to anyone, or even me once I’m out of my pharmaceutical-induced haze.
Mr. GOP came to visit me…. well, came to do a variety of campaign things in Orange County and consequently got to visit me. A few months back, GOP said he loved me. Well, I’m unsure still if he genuinely does love me, but he most definitely does not love the dog that I live with.
Charlie the Puggle is by all definitions a very odd dog. He’s fat and snores and barks at people, but generally means well and is loved by all visitors to our apartment. (PS- I moved.)
So when GOP showed up at my door and Charlie was clearly not digging him, I was alarmed. Never has a guy been here without Charlie loving up all over them… until he met GOP. And GOP’s response was fairly ridiculous. The dog is fucking 25 pounds, and GOP acted like it was a grimey, dirty stray animal. He shoved the dog off of him a few times and with a disgusted face just said “Ugh, Charlie!”
And then I knew- time to send GOP on his way.
The relationship I have with Charlie is strained. He eats my stuff, pees everywhere and barks. Because of him, my neighbors think myself and my 2 roommates are worthless. But he has very sweet moments and he does mean well, so I forgive him and just tell him how much he sucks. He gets me, and I walk him and feed him. So I get that not everyone will love my four-legged roomie, and I forgive them that. Most of the time, I don’t like him.
Never did I think that Charlie would weasel his way into my love life criteria…. But it’s a list of criteria that admittedly could use some additions, so I’ll take it. And it’s not that they have to immediately bond with him, but for God’s sake, don’t be put off by something that takes up two-square feet of room and just wants to love you. Plus, aren’t all guys dog people? Don’t they inherently dig all dogs except for lame ones that double as accessories for spoiled rich slut bags? Maybe GOP became less of a man in my eyes. Regardless, his stay with me was cut short. I feel fine with this.
But the criteria thing is an interesting idea. It goes hand in hand with all these talks of ‘types’ and what we’re attracted to. I’m attracted to people with issues, and people who like crazies are attracted to me. Why my relationships all end poorly is explained well by that equation, I guess. Unfortunately, it’s been recently revealed to me that my “type” is not quite as specific as I would like it to be. I’ve been surprised numerous times by the men I find myself drawn to. Well, I surprise myself and give my friends plenty of ammo to make fun of me.
And ultimately, none of this matters. I am dating quite a bit, some more worthy than others. But I don’t want a relationship. I’m too tired, too frustrated, too unsure of everything to begin some search for ‘permanent.’ This will fade I’m sure, just like my other phases, but for now… I think I just want to be left alone. Well, except for dumb-ass Charlie.