So I was going to write this HI-LARIOUS post about being asked to be a bridesmaid five times, a flower girl once, and actually being in three weddings, with the grand finale being the epic retelling of The Worst Wedding in the History of Weddings, but I am thoroughly distressed because I have just learned that I have to move out of the apartment in which I have spent six mostly miserable years in less than seven weeks when I thought I had more like 14 (I DON’T WANT YOUR HELP OR YOUR PITY, SO DON’T YOU DARE OFFER EITHER!!!!!111!!1!1!), and I am surrounded by unwashed clothes, half-empty takeout containers, and the carcasses of my broken dreams, so instead of doing anything productive or sensible like gathering empty boxes and figuring out where that smell is coming from, I decided that I instead would write an incoherent post about things that boggle my mind about dating and friendship because I am a passive-aggressive procrastinator who can’t express herself outside of a semi-anonymous blog that only people she actually knows reads. But dammit, can I construct one hell of a run-on sentence or what?
I was having a terrible day (of mostly my own creation and imagination) and thought how lovely it would be to have a cold drink and a laugh and a hug and go see a movie with someone I like and/or care about. But I didn’t call anyone and tell them these things and invite them to do them with me. Instead, I made vague proclamations on that social networking site about how unhappy I am, and how stressed out I feel, and waited to see if anyone would come to my rescue. That has only worked for me once – thank you, My Knight in Pastel Armor – but I continue to express myself that way rather than in any way that would actually amount to anything that resembles a positive resolution. Why do I do that, you ask? Because I’ve learned that I hate being vulnerable; I despise the thought of others perceiving me as needy; I loathe having to ask people for help or tell them my needs, wants and desires; and I’d rather die alone surrounded by large print copies of Reader’s Digest and expired canned vegetables than face social rejection of any kind. So yeah, entering into any sort of relationship with me is a barrel of laughs and an absolute breeze.
I realize that my aversion to these things, along with a host of my other special qualities, makes dating a near impossibility. I mean, dating is an impossibility for me, hence the title and content of this blog. The last two men that I “successfully” dated – meaning, I managed to go on dates with these guys, nothing more – were men that I had no real interest in. I dated them both because I figured there was little reason for me not to; they had jobs and cars and places to live and seemingly normal brain function. I manufactured romantic feelings for one of them, primarily because we liked some of the same crap and after a makeover, he would have looked a lot like Drake. The potential Drake, after 5 or 6 dates, declared after my gentle prodding, that he just wasn’t interested in me “in that way” and I was devastated, even though he smelled bad and had the sex appeal of a slug, not because I truly liked him, but because he was supposed to like me. He was supposed to be a “sure thing”. Imagine if I ever had luck with a man who maybe didn’t look so good on paper, who was legitimately sexy and attractive (at least to me), who offered a little bit of “danger” and that “Oh my God, I am so going to get arrested or poop my pants” feeling (You know what feeling I mean, stop frontin’.) and it didn’t work out. My heart would liquify and leak out of my ass and that can’t be a good thing.
My general problems with processing normal human emotions also manage to seep into my friendships. I get into one-sided fights and hold secret grudges. I keep an invisible score card in my brain and people are constantly gaining and losing points and have no idea to what standard they’re being graded against. I am either unreachable or frighteningly clingy. There is very little middle ground. It is a wonder to me that I have any friends at all. And believe me, I will always wonder if I am really your friend. Man, this post is taking a dark turn. Let me try to lighten shit up a bit:
When my mind was being boggled about the differences and similarities between dating and friendship, it mostly had to do with what we deem acceptable in each of these relationships. For instance, it’s not uncommon for any platonic friend of mine to respond to my question of “Wanna hang out?” with something along the lines of “Sure! Come on over. But I haven’t showered in six days and the toilet’s broken so you’ll have to pee in a Ziploc bag. Oh, and when you get here, I’ll probably decide to shave my armpits while we watch a marathon of “Basketball Wives: L.A.” Hey, would you mind bringing over a pint of kumquat-flavored dairy-free frozen dessert? I’m on a special diet/preggers and craving/really high. And about an hour after you get here, I’m going to suddenly get super tired and probably fall asleep with my mouth open. Make sure to lock the door on your way out.” I’d be totally okay with this situation, filled with TMI and far too many bodily functions. In fact, I’d be honored. It’d mean that we’re close! Like siblings! It means you like me, you really like me! But if it’s the beginning of a dating relationship and anything like this mess comes out of a dude’s mouth that I was previously hoping to kiss (with tongues!), I will take serious pause. I will demand that The Council of Friends with Dating Experience convene via online messaging and hushed meetings in Starbucks. I will need to know what it means if a guy I like romantically is “too comfortable too soon”. I’m going over the whole thing like a forensic specialist at a crime scene and everyone I know is giving the poor guy major side-eye.
I have other platonic friends that are a bit more refined in the way they choose to socialize. I kid you not, just last week I found myself sitting on a quilt under a willow tree with a BFF as we read out loud to one another. AS WE READ OUT LOUD TO ONE ANOTHER. That’s a scene right out of a Regency England era porno. Can you imagine if I suddenly reported that I went on a date and my date wanted to read out loud to me (preferably all of Peeta’s really romantic parts from The Hunger Games saga or anything Mr. Darcy says in Pride and Prejudice) while we sat on a blanket under a motherf’ing tree?? WHAT?!? But if I’m going to be perfectly honest, if that happened, I’d assume that he was planning to murder me in the night. You see? If a friend I don’t want to hold hands with suggests that we read out loud to each other, I’m screaming out “Catching Fire or Mockingjay?!?” before they’ve completed the sentence. But if someone I want to bump uglies with asks me on a “Reading Rainbow” date, while he picks out the perfect shady spot in the park, I’m dialing 9-1-1 in my purse.
Operator: “Please state the nature of your emergency.”
Me: “I’m on a date and. . . and he wants us to. . . r-read out loud to each other. While sitting on a blanket. In the park!”
Operator: “Ma’am, stay calm. Is he carrying a picnic basket?”
Me: ‘I don’t know, I don’t know! Oh god! He brought Fifty Shades of Gray! Ohmygodohmygodohmygod! What do I do?!?”
Operator: “Ma’am, just take deep breaths and don’t make any sudden movements. Help is on the way. May God have mercy on your soul.”
My favorite dichotomy (Oh, just look it up.) between acceptable friend and date behavior has to be what happens in Da Club. To be perfectly honest, I haven’t been to da club with someone I felt romantical about in years, but I know what I’d put up with in the name of “luv”. There are friends I will not go out with to anything music or dancing related because of their totally inappropriate behavior. They refuse to dance. I mean, they won’t even bop their head to the beat, sing/mouth along to the music. Nothing. I had a friend check her email on her cell phone the entire time we were out at at a club in another state. She just wanted to get out of the house, she said. If you don’t dance, hey, sucks for you, but you’re not ruining my good time anymore. I won’t go out with these people unless I can guarantee at least three other individuals who will dance are in attendance with us. I’ve learned my lesson. Friends have lots of rules for one another regarding acceptable night life behavior. “We came together, we leave together! Use the buddy system when going to the bathroom! Pretend to be my lesbian lover/overbearing male relative if a weirdo tries to hit on me!” However, if I ever get to go on a club date, it’s fine if my date won’t dance. I think it’d be kind of sexy if he sat all night, drink in hand and glowered at me while I attempted to twerk it for him. Dancing with a potential love interest is tricky. If he dances poorly, it’s awful. If he dances too well, you might stop and wonder. There’s so much potential pressure, having a date that refuses to dance would almost be a relief.
I feel like this post is going nowhere and I don’t feel all that bad about it. I warned you it would. I really wanted to use this entry as a way to complain about things I don’t like that happen all too often in friendship, seeing as friendship is the only kind of relationship I’m even sort of good at having. I wanted to mention that some of the stuff that gets passed off as “friendship” would never fly if you wanted me to live with you forever and have your babies. I wanted to write profound and heart-wrenching things about how friendship is the only relationship where unconditional like, love, and acceptance is completely taken for granted; how platonic friends are the only people on Earth expected to be totally okay with being at the bottom of the freaking social totem pole. But, I didn’t. And I won’t.
Next time I’ll be funny and coherent, I promise?