Dating is stupid

It is stupid.

Or maybe I just really, really, suck at it.

I’ll admit- last night’s date went OK,  I can’t complain.

I just don’t like dating in general. It’s uncomfortable. It takes up time. I feel like I’m being judged.

I met The Engineer out at a nice little eatery in Dallas, which was way too close to the ex’s hood. I was running about 15 minutes late due to improv practice, and I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t even recognize him because the first two times we hung out I had been a little tipsy. Read: Wasted.

Luckily, the place was nearly empty and he stood up like a gentleman when I walked in.

The conversation came easy. We talked a little about our jobs and our family; and then the conversation quickly turned to our Top 10 Desert Island movies, which I of course thoroughly enjoyed. Eventually we got to talking about our hobbies and much to my surprise, Mr. Engineer is a little more interesting than I imagined. In his spare time, he and his friends make mini-musicals and comedy rap videos. If I were at any other place in my life, I am 100% sure I would have fallen in love.

It wasn’t that I didn’t have a good time, I really did. He took the liberty of ordering the food. We ate steak and macaroni. He recommended the best drinks. He even paid for everything. Still, something didn’t sit right with me.

I’ve dated plenty in my life. I did the whole on-line dating thing for about 6 months, and I went on more dates than I ever wanted. But when it comes to relationships, I’ve rarely “dated.” The ex and I went straight from “we should probably just be friends,” to spending 5 nights a week together. That’s pretty much how all my relationships have gone. Dating, has always been a time-waster- just something I do to keep busy.

After dinner, he walked me to my car and totally went for the kiss. Once again, it completely caught me off guard. I think I even did an awkward biting his bottom lip move at the same time he tried to shove his tongue in my mouth. It wasn’t pleasant. Then, I completely forgot to tip the valet dude, and I’m pretty sure he noticed. I’m awesome like that.

Today was hard. I should have been excited that there are boys out there who find me interesting, but all I could do was think about the ex. I wanted to tell him about my upcoming show, about internet projects I’ve been working on.

I went home and checked my email on my lunch break. I almost went Loreena Bobbit when I saw that Blockbuster  had sent me three movies that he had wanted me to rent, for us to watch together. I went into a moment (or thirty) of insanity and I loaded up a package full of movies we planned to watch, break-up themed CD’s I wanted him to hear, and a letter telling him him I was having a bad day and I missed him. I drove to the post office and I didn’t even allow myself a moment to talk myself out of it. I dropped that fucker in the slot.

About thirty minutes later he texted to tell me that our favorite local artist, Sarah Jaffe, had just released a video (one that could be an anthem for this project,) and I responded. We continued a witty repertoire for a few hours until I realized that I was being weak.

Then, around 8PM tonight 3 of my friends alerted me at once to let me know he had written them a lengthy apology for the way things went wrong. He told them he never meant to hurt me and that he hoped that one day they would understand. He also said that he was lucky that I decided to stay in contact with him and he hoped they would support me in my decision.

What in the mother fucking hell?

I don’t even know what to think about this. I know it sounds nice. But am I crazy to think he’s being a little narcissistic? That he overstepped his boundaries a bit by contacting my friends? That it’s annoying that  he spent more time drafting a text of apology to my friends than he did deciding he wanted to break up?

Maybe I’m wrong.

But I think I’m right.

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The 1st Crush

When: 3rd Grade on the playground

The third grade was a tough year for me. While other kids were playing sports and making a lot of friends; I was the girl who had about two friends, collected mice as a hobby, and sported braces and an eyepatch before either were cool. I didn’t even have the advantage of being especially smart. I was just kind of there, in my Amy Grant t-shirt and knock off Umbros that were purchased at The Sam’s Club.

Recess though,  was the one time of day when I really felt like I belonged. Everyone had their place. The punks would play dodgeball. The girl athletes ran around the track. The “cool” boys and girls would play basketball. And the rest of us? We played tetherball. And HE was the king of tetherball.

His name was Ben. Unlike the other boys, he had no real interest in real sports. The other kids made fun of him. He couldn’t pronounce his “r’s” and  like me, he didn’t have many friends. He called himself “Benny Boy,” so quite naturally the kids called him “Jenny Girl.” They would taunt him as he made his way over to the girls eagerly awaiting him at the tetherball court… “Where’s your purse, Jenny Girl?” But he didn’t seem to care.

I don’t know if it was confidence in being different, or his mad tetherball skills, but I fell hard, or whatever was equivalent to that in the third grade.

I made it my goal to be good at tetherball.  I convinced my dad to put a tether ball pole in my backyard so I could practice. I spent every afternoon practicing my moves so that I could impress him. I suspect that the other tetherball girls did too, because there was quite a bit of competition.

I should probably mention that this was the time of my life when the term “going together” became quite relevant. Granted, it was only relevant for about 3 years, but that’s beside the point. Left and right, my peers were talking about “going with someone.” I was quite behind the times, but I finally realized that “going together” didn’t mean that you were actually going to a location with someone. In reality, it didn’t mean much at all- but it was what you did when you had mutual crushes.

I wanted more than anything to “go” with Ben. Sure, he was nice enough to me. He even came over to my house to play a few times after school, but that was probably because both of our mothers recognized that we both needed more friends. Still, he never asked me to “go” anywhere with him… and it hurt.

I remember waiting until my parent’s were asleep, and writing him a love letter that was never sent. A letter, that I suspect, is now in a memory box of sorts in my parent’s attic. I remember the day that we were both placed in the “Stegosaurus” group for our class show, and I was ecstatic that we would be wearing matching shirts. I also have a very vague (and embarrassing) memory of secretly flashing him my “tee tee” under my desk in class. How’s that for playing it cool? (What?? I’m a sexual being!)

I’ll admit that I don’t remember exactly what happened to my feelings for Ben. I suspect that when fourth grade rolled around, we were placed in different classes and so I no longer had the chance to see him and yearn for him every day.

Later in high school, it became very apparent that he was a little… well, light in his loafers. We remained friends through my senior year, and I don’t think he ever asked a single girl to “go” with him, which makes me feel a little better.

Not too long ago, I looked Ben up on FaceBook and he is living happily as a chef with his boyfriend. Good for him.

The Lesson?

The lesson is one that I should have learned ages ago.  Don’t go after gay guys. Don’t go after gay guys. Don’t go after gay guys.

I never learn.

Posted in Loves of the Past, The First Crush | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The First Contact

He finally wrote me back.

In the emotionally driven, 3 page email that I sent- I told him that I wasn’t looking for a reply. I made sure to let him know that I didn’t want his pity, that the email was purely for my own venting purposes. I knew that he probably didn’t have any answers, and even if he did, I didn’t necessarily want to hear him. But the truth is, the email was begging for a response.

I also knew that at some point we would have to talk. I left his house nearly two weeks ago in a crazy emotional state and forgot several items of extreme importance. I haven’t missed any of them just yet, but eventually I’m going to want my mini bead box and my tupperware back. I’m pretty sure there is at least one pair of my dirty panties tucked behind his bed. And I’m almost positive I left a book that I started 3 months ago on his bedside table. I also left my entire collection of cds on the floor of his apartment, and I’m not going to lie, that was a little intentional.

I know I could have a friend go pick them up, but the crazy in me  also wants him to have little reminders of what he’s missing, lying  around his house. I never thought that I would be a girl of the “leave my toothbrush at his house so I have to go see him again” mentality, but that’s the way I feel.

His reply told me nothing that I didn’t already know. He said that he was confused, and that he wasn’t sure that he was ready for the last relationship of his life, and that he was under the impression that I was. He told me that he was happy with me, but that it was selfish to go on any longer.

I decided not to write him back. To think about it for at least a few days; I didn’t want to sound desperate after all.

And then two hours later I called him. I know. I’m about as strong as that little weird midget on Passions. I just didn’t want to play any more games…

The plan was to text him and let him know I got his email, but then the next thing I knew my phone was dialing and I had not a clue what to say. But you know what? He answered, and we actually had a good conversation. We talked about life, and a little about us… and I don’t think he sounded very happy. He is sticking with his decision but I know he misses me. He asked if I would like to get together with him soon, and I told him not yet. But I don’t know. I miss him, but I don’t think friendship is a good idea at this point.

In other news, I have a date tonight.

When I started this project, I decided I needed to be single for a while… at least until I learn something- and I still plan on sticking to that. At the same time, there is a part of me that just wants to be distracted, to have someone dote on me for a night.

The guy is nice. He’s cute. He’s an engineer, and about different from my ex as I imagine a boy can be.  He sounded nervous when he called. We hung out last week, and at the end of the night he surprised me when he kissed me. It was nice, but definitely not something I was expecting, or even wanted.

And that’s nice. For the first time that I can remember, I don’t care. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I’m so used to calculating every move, every phone call, every text. Now though, the Engineer will text and it will be hours before I respond, and not because I’m playing some game, but because I genuinely forget.  I like this. I want this. Call me a bitch, but it’s what I need to do right now.

Posted in My Current State, My dating life, The Ex | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

The Break Up

My plan is to avoid writing about my actual relationship with the ex until this project is finished. However, I do feel that I should provide you with the story of how this all went down.

I didn’t see it coming.

Minutes before he broke up with me, he looked at me in the eyes and told me that I have adorable freckles.   “I love this man, I think I’ve finally found the one,” I thought to myself for the 89th time in my life.

I know. I’m that girl.

After casually slipping ”I think I’d like us to just be friends,” into our conversation about winter coats, I immediately went to that bad place that I try to avoid. It’s the place where I lose all rationality. The place where words start flying out of my mouth faster than you can say “cheese.” The place where if I ever went deep enough, I might be inclined  update my Facebook status to “My ex has three testicles, and IT IS NASTY.”

It’s the place that I like to call, “Fucking Crazy Town.”

I cried… and I begged him not to do this. I wailed “WHYYYYY??” in desperation. I took jabs at his character, his appearance, and his stupid cats.

He explained to me that I didn’t do anything wrong, and that he just needed some time by himself to figure out what he wanted.

And then I left.

The first two days were the worst. I could barely stop crying long enough to sip my double vodka soda. I kept dramatically walking around the house, throwing my arms up into the air while moaning  things like “But what did I doooo?” My friends told me that during a very drunken attempt at a karaoke session, I howled “I’ll never sing again!” and  then promptly stumbled my way up to the DJ and requested our song. That was followed by a very angsty performance  of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” that included the word “fucken,” 29 times.

The next few days were a little easier. Anger had began to sit tight in my chest where desperation had been before. I started channeling my inner bitch, and expressed my feelings through emo-tweeting. I retold the details of the break-up numerous times to all of my friends, my co-workers, and basically any ole’ stranger whom I could trap into listening to me.

On day six, people started to ignore my phone-calls and I was back to crying again. I had resisted any contact with the ex for almost a week, but I didn’t feel any better. I didn’t have any answers… and I got a sinking feeling that I would never be OK again.

I gave in and wrote him a carefully drafted 3-page email with  subject matter that ranged anywhere from “I’ll do anything to make this work,” to ” I never even cared about you.” I knew that I should have resisted, but it made me feel a tiny bit better to say the things I didn’t have a chance to say before.

Day seven was the worst. I stared at my gmail inbox for 9 hours straight and then went and had a breakdown at my friendly 7-11, where I had stopped to get Cheetos and wine. I locked myself in the bathroom and let myself have one final breakdown, and then that was it.

I took a few deep breaths and proceeded with my personal pep-talk.

“Girl, you are going to get through this. Even though you feel like you are more hurt than you have ever been before in your life, one day, you’ll be OK. So get out there, girl and make-out with some random guy like you did last night.  And don’t forget that everything happens for a reason, you will learn something from this. You’re going to get over this soon, you always do.

That’s went it dawned on me that I was right about one thing. As much as I felt like this is the worst feeling I’ve ever had in my entire 28 years of existence, I have felt like this before, and I do always get over it.

Posted in Loves of the Past, The Ex | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

The Beginning of the Beginning.

It’s been 9 days since he broke up with me, seemingly out of nowhere, and I still haven’t heard from him.

I’m starting to be OK with that. I keep telling myself that I do always get over it.  Rather than obsessing over what the ex might be eating for dinner, I’ve started focusing all of my attention on the previous “loves” of my life.

I made a list of all of the boys who at some point, I believed to be ”the one,” and let me tell you something- I fall in love way too easily. I can count the number of  grown-up relationships I’ve had on one finger, but have more boys that I’ve claimed to be the”love of my life” than there are freckles on my face.

I studied the list and recalled the heartbreak that some of these experiences have caused me. I realized that there were several times in my life when I’ve been the one to walk away from something or someone that I loved, and those were usually the most difficult ones to endure. There are some instances that I don’t even remember getting over, where the person of interest just faded from my life, the same way that Joey Fatone or “Beverly Hills 90210” did. But the majority of the time, it seems like I was the one who was broken up with or ignored, and somehow… I have survived.

And you know what the funny thing is? I don’t hate any of them. There are a few lost “loves” who still bring me fleeting pain, but none of them have the ability to ruin my day. In fact, I can now think fondly about (almost) every failed relationship, each crush that never played out, and each obsession that I never even knew.

I’m still not sure yet how much these “loves of my life” have shaped me, or if they even have.

I do know, that at the end of every one of them I’ve assured myself that “this has been a learning experience,” which from what I’ve been told- is supposed to make the whole ordeal a positive experience.

For some people this may be true. But for me? I can’t figure out what any of this has taught me. Oh sure, I now know that if a guy is hiding his hand between his legs, he  probably has on a ring, along with a wife and 3 children at home. That- or he has an itchy crotch disease that I want nothing to do with. I’ve learned that if a guy loves musicals and “So You Think You Can Dance” as much as I do, he’s probably gay. I’ve even learned how to smell a douchengoyle from a mile away. And I’m starting to learn how not to care.

In the big picture though, I’m not sure any of these really qualify as learning experiences.

If that was the case, wouldn’t I be an expert by now? Shouldn’t I be able to tell if a guy is a liar, or if he’s just in it for the sex? By now, it seems that I should be able to tell when a guy just wants to be friends, or if he’s not emotionally available.

Alas, I still find myself dating assholes. I continue to fall for guys with whom I have zero communication,  or worse- zero compatibility… and I’m tired of it. I’m over telling myself that it was a good experience and moving on to the next obsession, without taking any time to really figure out whether or not my last “love” really improved my life.

I live by the “better late than never” philosophy, and I figure it’s time to really examine my past, as well as my current thoughts on relationships and love. I need to see if maybe there is really something to the whole “there are no bad experiences, only learning experiences” adage. And I need to try to figure out what it all means to me, in my current state of dispair.

I’m not exactly sure what I expect to learn from this little project or if I will actually learn anything from the people of my past, but in the very least- I hope to learn something about myself.

Posted in Loves of the Past, The Project | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments