Everyone makes fun of Taylor Swift for writing an entire album about her 2 month maple latte relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal, but the truth is I could probably direct an 87 episode telanovela story arc based on the two dates I went on last week.
I'm going to say it again - we went on two dates. Not ten, not two hundred. Two. We communicated for a grand total of 4 Earth days. I am self-aware enough to know that I deserve to be committed for being so invested and for feeling so intensely about this. I've spent more time in the same room with John Frusciante than I have with NAME REDACTED but I can't quit letting the What Ifs chip away at me when I'm alone.
My dream man is a cross between Lee Pace's height and Ezra Koenig's twitter feed. All I want is a tall, funny, creative guy who doesn't take himself too seriously and will understand when I leave him for Dave Grohl someday. So when I walked into that bar and saw his 6'3" frame standing there, it was just like that Beatles song. Technically he was sitting down, 32 years old and a man, but my heart did go boom when I crossed that room. I don't believe in love at first sight, but something ignited in my chest and I fell.
Before I reveal more of my psychosis, let's talk about, "The Spark." Along with being ugly and antisocial, the mythical abstraction known as 'the spark,' is what makes dating so fucking hard. It's the idea that when you've finally met the Ryan Gosling to your Rachel McAdams your innards will alight and your smile will come easy and, put simply, you will know. The conversation won't be stilted, his touch will set you on fire and everything will somehow be equal parts familiar and new. Newsflash: it's complete bullshit, until one day it isn't. When it comes to love and men I am the ultimate cynic, because I have no reason to believe otherwise, but I had a total Notebook moment when we met.
I picked a bar with soft lighting, though maybe a bar with no lighting would have been better. I was 5'11" in those shoes; we both had terrible posture, so busy leaning into the other. It turns out we both work retail. It turns out our stores are across the street from each other. We share a birthday month and obsessive personalities. He let his cat pick his own birthday; it's the same calendar date my parents met. It felt a lot like fate.
His face lit up when he showed me his artwork, mine when I mentioned tequila. We talked about music and when I expressed disappointment in missing my dream lineup at this year's Firefly Festival due to flakey friends, he asked why we couldn't just go together, "Pretty girl... music... summer? What else do you need?" I don't need to get stabbed in a sleeping bag by some guy I just met, and normally I would decline. But he was too charming and funny and familiar and he seemed to feel the same way about me, "I feel like I've known you for a while.. is that weird?" This is how serial killers get away with making book spines out of human vertebrae.
He joked about getting married at the festival, so I told him Dave Grohl is an ordained minister. I would have shaved ten years off my life to have Dave Grohl marry us there. (I would shave ten years off my life to have Dave Grohl spit in my mouth.) It felt more right than the time Meryl Streep was cast in every role she's ever played.
Game four of the Stanley Cup finals was playing at the bar, and it was projected to be a pitiful loss to the LA Kings. I'm a reluctant Ranger fan, in that I don't actively give a shit about sports, but I appreciate the skill and occasional violence involved in hockey. I also didn't want to return home to see my brother and father weeping before the television set after New York's inevitable loss, so I silently rooted for them. When The Rangers unexpectedly scored their first goal and the bar erupted like Mount Vesuvius circa AD 79, he played up the romcom and kissed me hard. It was better than Love, Actually.
He told me I was funny when I wasn't; he told me I was pretty which I'm not.
He asked me to go home with him, and maybe that was a red flag, but he was cute so I was flattered. I told him I had work early the next day and a dog with a weak bladder, so he walked me to the subway instead and we kissed until it hurt. He told me he wanted to see me again, and so I believed him.
He texted me that night about Firefly after I'd already fallen asleep, "We can totally do this..." He just needed to get the days off work, and I just needed to rob a rich widower to afford it, but we were both on board.
We spent five hours talking that first night, then five hours texting the next, because of course I counted. He asked to see me again the following night. Since my life is an episode of 20/20 waiting to happen I agreed to go to his place deep in the bowels of Brooklyn straight after work. It is important to note that he offered to pick me up in Manhattan, but I declined. It is equally important to note that this blog post is turning into a short story written by Ernest Hemingway. I might be drunk. War.
Instead, he picked me up from the train station, something the last guy I dated didn't 'believe in.' The last guy I dated was a short, racist elf from Connecticut.
In the end he couldn't get the dates off work for Firefly, but he showed me the post-it where he'd written out the cost and transportation. He bought me cider and fed me pasta. He made me laugh the way few people can. He was an artist deserving of the title. We spent the rest of the night half watching a movie but mostly waiting for it to end, and I made the fatal mistake of equating physical affection with genuine interest. I went even further and believed him when he ended the night by saying he wanted to see me again. That he would call. I let myself get excited, and that's where everything went wrong.
|def did not take an entire week to fall apart|
The Rangers officially lost the Cup that night, creating the most appropriate parallel to my dating life this universe has ever seen.
Spineless assholes of both genders who are reading this: why are you the way you are? Let me give you some advice. You're you and I'm me and we're on our second date in three days, initiated by you. Do not tell me I am pretty and funny. Do not tell me how bad you want me. Do not tell me you like my legs, my eyes, my ass, my thighs.
Do not, as you're lying on top of me, hard as a brick, say, when I hesitate to rip my clothes off, "You can say no. I won't be mad. I'm still going to want to see you again." Do not then brush the hair away from my face, look into my eyes and smile, "Don't give me those sad eyes. I'm not mad. Ok?" Do not kiss me softly after.
Do not walk me to the subway station after I decline your offer to sleep over and kiss me deeply and grip my waist and promise to call. Do not make the last thing you say to me in person be, "Sorry again about postponing the wedding next week."
Do not respond to my text the next day. Do not ask me how my day is going. Do not send me a photo of your cat.
Do not remember the inconsequential things I told you the night before; do not bring them up now.
Do not, then, go Radio Silence on me and think you're doing me a favor by not saying the words. Say the fucking words; say any words. I can handle it.
|maybe I can't handle it|
I want to hate him and shit on his life and burn down his house for being this vehicle that has driven me to question my sanity and my worth, but the truth is despite his cowardice, I don't think his intention was to hurt me. He probably thought I was a normal human being who would react to silent rejection in a normal, human way: that I would feel disappointment, not crippling loss. That I would delete his texts and move on, not replay every interaction we had and wonder where I went wrong, since he did everything right.
But if there's one thing in this world that I'm good at it's obsessing.
|need I remind anyone of 2012|
"I'm not usually this funny... especially on a first date. You must just laugh at everything." Except Amy Poehler told me I don't have to laugh when boys aren't funny. I didn't then and I never will again. His last girlfriend didn't think he was funny. Maybe if I had laughed less he would've liked me more. Maybe I shouldn't have told him to watch Bob's Burgers; he fell asleep during the pilot. Maybe if I'd spent the night like he asked he would have called. The What Ifs are fruitless, of course. If sex is what would have kept him, he never meant to stay.
I realize in the grand scheme of things, two dates should mean nothing. They obviously meant nothing to him, and they would usually mean nothing to me because I am so guarded. I have always refused to be this current version of myself: the one who overthinks and disappears and doesn't eat. Much like being drunk around giant cacti, when I allow myself vulnerability I get hurt. I have long suspected that I am not the type of girl people fall in love with; I have never been made to feel like anyone's first choice, so I don't get attached and I don't get excited. Perhaps it's a self-fulfilling prophecy, but this time felt different. It just sucks that it was one sided. It sucks more that I'll never know why.
He clearly didn't like me as much as I thought he did. Maybe he got back with an ex or saw in another girl what I saw in him. Maybe he fell from Belvedere Castle, suffered a concussion and died in his sleep. In the end it doesn't matter, because whatever his reason for wanting to Eternal Sunshine me from his existence is knowledge I will never be privy to.
And I get it. Shit happens. You get corrective lens surgery some time between the first and second dates, you meet someone else, you fall down a well and suffer from retrograde amnesia. Whatever. It's the total disregard for my feelings that makes me want to post his number to numerous online sex forums.
I'll never know. I will never know how we went from marriage to death in four days.
I am grateful to the friends who have been very supportive. I am not an easy person to deal with when I am hurt. First, when things were great:
and then when things were bad:
I haven't been this disappointed in the outcome of something since Justin Guarini beat out Tamyra Gray on season 1 of American Idol, but I also know that when I look back on this a year from now, a decade, I'll be more embarrassed than when my mom asked me what a MILF was for a second time.
Logically I don't want to be with someone who doesn't want to be with me. Who thought I wasn't small enough or soft enough or kind enough or clever. Who fails to have the decency to respond to my (completely normal, reasonable) text of, 'if you're no longer interested I'd appreciate a heads up.' But logic and love do not run perpendicular to each other. Even though it wasn't love.
I told him I'd never had my heart broken before; I guess he took it as a challenge.
Even though he seemed perfect for me, it never would have worked out anyway; he hates karaoke.