This is the story of the time my friend Jake came to visit me and I was awkward. The two aren't directly correlated, but he was visiting while I was awkward, which gives the awkwardness more of a time frame, since it is a regular occurrence in my life.It was the third and final night of Jake's visit. Some of my friends were doing a sketch comedy show that night, and I'd already decided like a month before that I'd be attending. Friendly support and all, ya know? So I told this to Jake and after a day of beach bumming and trying to find the Daredevil premiere, we headed on over.Since I had no food in my house that I was willing to share because I 1) am poor and 2) eat strange foods that no one would want to share anyway, we first stopped at a bar so Jake could eat and we could drink. There was a painting night going on. Many single ladies and unwilling boyfriends were there. We sat at the bar. The guy next to Jake was drunk and hitting on a girl. The bartenders were very attractive. I've been meaning to go back and see if either of them will marry me, come to think of it. They're both probably actors though, so :/We got to the theater and I introduced Jake to a bunch of people while we waited in line. Finally we took our seats and the show started. It was funny and we laughed. Then it was over and we all went outside to congratulate our friends on being funny and to bask in the glow of their coolness. I was so overwhelmed by all the coolness that I forgot that I am not one actually possessing the cool and then I asked a very attractive guy if I could touch his hair.Luckily I knew this guy and even remembered his name. This is not a normal thing for me, remembering names, and I only happened to remember his because it was like the third time we'd met and he pretended to be offended that I didn't remember it last time. For the sake of this post, he will henceforth be known as Attractive Guy. So this was like the third or even fourth time we met face to face and actually made a point to say hi and exchange actual words, which is major progress, believe it or not. Before we'd met, I'd seen him a few times, in my super awkward stalker (stalkward?) way. Like imagine me at a barbecue, hiding behind a potted plant as I scout out the scene. Because even though I've never actually done that, that is what I do in my mind every time I'm in a social setting. Every. Time.We met at a friend's party a few months ago. I was doing my stalkward thing and I noticed his presence. As I'd done before, I took a moment mourn what would never be and then moved on. Imagine my horror when, just an hour or so later, we actually spoke. To each other. Even if I'd anticipated such a scenario would ever happen (and let's be real, my imagination creates some pretty detailed scenarios), I would not have been prepared. He told me his name was Attractive Guy. Our conversation was brief, as most of my conversations tend to go. We spoke again later. I told him I'd forgotten his name.Thus began our torrid love affair. Just kidding. Come on. The next time I saw Attractive Guy was at the comedy show. I was like "Hey Attractive Guy, like how I remembered your name?" and we talked about things that I don't remember because they were probably stupid."Your hair looks different," I pointed out."Probably because you can see it," he said.I feel like I laughed too much at this comment, even though I'm sure I didn't, but I might just be trying to erase the entire encounter from my memory. Anyway. Normally he wore hats. That night he wasn't. And because his hair looked like a gravity defying cloud, I asked to touch it. Because that is who I am and that is the sort of thing I do.Then I touched his hair and it did not feel like a cloud because it was hair, not a cloud.Then we left because Jake was tired and I needed to die of embarrassment.
I've been dating two different guys for the past month. That's not actually interesting in itself, but what is interesting is that the other night I got to tell one of them "I think you're too involved in your own life to be involved in mine," which makes me feel oh-so grown up, like in an I'm-still-five-years-old-feeling-like-how-I-thought-I'd-be-when-I-was-twenty sort of way. Like when I was seven years old and had a literal dream about being ten because the idea of being in the double digits was so incredible.Like woah dude, so grown up.And then the very next day I got to tell the other one, the one who I've only gone out on TWO dates with because even though we seem to genuinely like each other, we are also actually busy doing other stuff like having a life in general, you know, so it's not even at all serious. Except we do make a point to keep in touch, so.
What was I saying? Yeah, I got to tell this guy that I didn't like making plans spur of the moment like he does. I am busy and have other people to hang out with, buddy. Oh, this was on the phone, by the way. Not texting. Actual voice to voice contact. Because he's a rad dude, that's why. After I told him that, you know what he said to me? "You're gonna have to get used to it if you hang out with me," or something to that effect. I was just like
"OH DO I NOW?"
Those are the words that I said to him. And then I was like haha no. Because seriously, no.*
Don't get me wrong, sometimes I'm up for last minute business, if I've spent the day unemployed, on my couch, re-watching Orphan Black in order to prepare for the season premiere next month. Just don't tell him that. I'd like to set some sort of precedent, thanks, that specifies I don't work around this kid's schedule, this fuckin west side rich kid who didn't even kiss me on the first date.
My mother would approve.
*We're going out again later this week.
Last night I had the most horrible nightmare and I'm going to tell you what it was. Before you roll your eyes and stop reading because NO ONE CARES ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE'S DREAMS, I preface that I'll keep it quick.I had a dream that a guy that I rejected on Ok Cupid was a fucking psycho and tried to exact his revenge by shooting me. My dream self hadn't even gone out with this guy. I hadn't even officially turned him down. I merely decided that I wasn't interested. So his reaction was to bring a gun into the house/college campus/store/wherever my dream self was. I'm assuming that his intention was to murder me, but things got a little murky after that.That's what I get for watching the Doctor Who Christmas Special before bed.I deactivated my account about a month ago during my writing workshop for school. It didn't hurt that I was also only interested in Quantum Physics. However, I'm no longer as busy and the account is back! It's now tinged with fear, but I shall persevere. Plus things didn't work out with Quantum Physics and I needed to distract myself.
It's too bad because I really liked him. I don't mean "really" in the sense that I super liked him a whole bunch. I mean it in the sense that my feelings were genuine. Why him out of all the guys I've met over the past few months? He possessed most of the qualities I had on my check list, but that wasn't it. Those things don't magically make two people compatible, you know?It was that look. The look that two people share when something is there between them. It's that something that can't really be explained unless you're a complete stick in the mud and use science. It's a question on their part and an acknowledgment on yours. It's a secret that you create without a word. It's the seed of something bigger. It can create an entire world that belongs to just the two of you.The first time it happened was at the end of our coffee date, after he finally shut his mouth about science long enough for me to tell him I needed to move my car. With him feeling sheepish for blabbing about physics and space for like an hour and me feeling like an airhead for having nothing to contribute, we caught each other's eyes and that was that.It happened a few more times, enough for me to believe he did like me. I hope he did, if only to confirm that the wires connecting my instinct, logic, and feelings haven't gotten so completely fucked up that I can't tell at all anymore.That look isn't enough to build an entire relationship on, though. It's sort of embarrassing that I had to actually experience the extent of that truth to learn it, but I did. While Quantum Physics and I turned out to be skilled at making eye contact, we weren't quite able to build that "special world." Apparently he was too busy to say hi to me once in a while. Like that is legitimately what he told me. He was too busy. No buddy, you are not too busy. You are not so busy that you can't spare 30 seconds to text me in the morning with a simple "Have a good day." I don't think that even requires 30 seconds. More like 10. Or 5.
He was busy, I'll give him that, but not including me in that busy schedule was his choice. If we wanted to, he could have. It's that simple. I don't know what his reasons were for not. I don't know if he was even aware of what he was doing. But he certainly didn't have any business dating if he didn't have time for it. I mean hello.When I first noticed he was less than attentive, I was tempted to ignore it. I tried convincing myself that I was the problem and needed to calm down. I wanted too much from him. He said he was busy, didn't he? I told myself that he'd get to me when he had time.
Of course that attitude didn't last long because I wasn't being unreasonable. Wanting a guy you're seeing to SAY HELLO once in a while is not unreasonable. Having expectations and feelings is not unreasonable. Since I'm impatient and like to say what's on my mind, I took a chance and did something crazy. I told him what I was thinking. I told him that a little more acknowledgment of my existence would be nice. And he said he'd work on it. GREAT.Well he didn't. I brought it up again a couple weeks later. He was sort of a dick about it. So that was that.I mean really, if things started to become difficult that early on, it was not going to work. Either he was going to have to compromise or I would, and it kind of felt like we were both putting that effort in (at least I was and I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, even though he definitely wasn't) and it still didn't work.One month in and it was already stressing me out. No thanks. That is definitely not the sort of relationship I want to be in. Just imagine how difficult it would be in a year or ten, let alone a lifetime. He was busy and I was undervalued. I was not clingy or needy. I was perfectly reasonable.I've been that "crazy" girl before (as inappropriate as I find the term). The one who nags because she's undervalued. The one who hears all the excuses from him and even makes them for him. The one who stays in a relationship because she's too insecure to leave, who is convinced it will get better.It was definitely the same sort of situation. Thanks but no thanks.
I finally had my second date with Quantum Physics the other night. As usual, I use the term date loosely. All that I'll say on the subject is that I'm glad I decided to shave my legs.We had a good time. I don't like him as much as I thought, but I'm fine with that. Except not really. If I made life that simple for myself I wouldn't be a writer. So here's the deal. I like my life the way it is. Unfortunately, I also like him and I want him around. That means my life will have to change. Possibly for the better, but still. I like my life. I don't want it to change. It's not even like I want a relationship with him, because I don't like him that much (yet??) but I also don't want our good time to be one time.Great.This is the the exact same position so many of my friends have found themselves in at one point or another. Thinking about the insightful piles of crap I've spouted in the past, I'm just amazed that none of them ever strangled me for being so level-headed and obvious.I mean it was probably because I live too far for it to be feasible, but you know.I clearly had no idea what I was talking about. Why did they ever talk to me in the first place? Why do I have any friends at all? Considering what shitty advice I give, I clearly don't deserve them. I hate myself on their behalves. Me and my stupid logical dating wisdom.Just talk to him blah blah blah communication is important blah blah blah. Shut up self, you don't know anything. OF COURSE you should talk to the other person and be open about your feelings. Literally everyone knows this.BUT WHO THE HELL ACTUALLY DOES IT?
I sure know what my younger self would have done. Panic over my feelings. Assume that since he didn't reply to a text right away, that he's not interested in me. Send another text to "force" him to reply. Panic that I'm being too over eager. Overcompensate by sending another text because THAT will DEFINITELY make things better. Then finally get my shit together, wait, get a reply, and repeat until I have proven that I am definitely not someone that he wants to associate with further.So I'm not doing that this time.There's a reason why I've more or less sworn off guys since January. I may know what not to do, but that doesn't mean I know what the right thing to do is. I mean I DO know, of course. But I also know it's not as easy as the generic Magic 8 Ball advice I always spout.All I want to do is ask him what he thinks of the new Star Wars movie trailer but since I had the last word when we were texting last night, I can't. If I were dispelling some of my usual sage advice to a friend in the same situation, I'd say rules are for fools and do what you want.
Oh yeah? How's that working out for ya now Zo? Huh?
I thought that unwanted makeout sessions were awkward.Well, they are, but I've found a situation that gives that one a run for its money.The scene: Your date went well, but in a friendly way. You think it's possible that there could be more, possibly worth pursing on a second date, but not well enough to already know that you want to make future plans. You think about the end of the night kiss, of course, because despite my mother's surprise, kissing on the first date is fairly commonplace.You know, of course, that just by questioning whether you want to kiss this guy means that you don't and that you shouldn't. But if he goes in for it you'll be okay, you guess. And, well, given your brief but varied dating history, that chances are that he will go in for the kiss, because of course.AND THEN HE DOESN'T AND IT GETS WEIRD.You both know what's supposed to happen. But it's not happening. And neither of you know what to do, because you both know that you both know what's supposed to happen, which means that despite knowing, neither of you have done what you're supposed to do. Knowing what you both know, you CAN'T kiss now, because you'd know that you only did it because you were supposed to, despite possibly actually wanting to.Instead, you verbally, though indirectly, acknowledge what didn't happen and what was possibly supposed to happen. You say maybe next time and then run away. Because you are you, and in this case you is actually me. In case you didn't get that. I am not a cool person, despite what my leather jacket collection would have you believe.
So tell me. Would you rather:
be part of the most awkward first kiss ever
the aforementioned catastrophe?
And we're kissing now. Okay. Guess he missed the point of my pointed awkward hug, huh? At least he's not terri- that hand better not move any further. Smart boy. Oh aaand he's pulling me closer. And there's the tongue. We could not have read this night more differently.Ok bye."I'll definitely be seeing you again," he said.OH WILL YOU NOW?
This was the guy who rode horses. The equestrian from Pasadena. Taking a page from Rory Gilmore's book, I created a mental pro/con list. I had a good enough time. I didn't go in expecting much. He made several stupid/douchey comments throughout our conversation which I overlooked in favor of not killing myself, but when we parted ways I began to notice just how much of a jackass he really was.
Oh, your parents are both from Missouri, which means you're not the stereotypical L.A. douche?
Yeah, it turned out to really just be a con list.
I went out with a guy who grew up in Portland. Maine. Oh, he also grew up in fucking France I guess. When did we go out? Wednesday I think? What's today? Saturday. God this is exhausting.Yeah, turns out that agreeing to go out with someone just because they're from Maine is not a good idea. I mean I was also impressed that he was finishing writing a book and had just graduated from Cambridge. I was like ooh, he's fancy and smart and TALL.No.Despite not actually being British, he represented the stuffy stereotype like he was getting paid for it. I think that part of the problem was that he was old. 30 I think. Which isn't even old unless you're a pseudo-Brit.Apparently I'm mature for my age, at least in some regard. Like, middle-aged Uber drivers are my favorite because we have the best conversations about life. One guy even gave me his card to keep in touch. He was partly impressed by me because I was so coherent for being so drunk.A true sign of intelligence.All of the friends that I've made since college have been older than me, at least by a year, but most of them by several. I tried dating a guy who was younger than me once and it was terrible. Boys tend to mature more slowly than girls, so even a guy who's mature for his young age is still behind me.I'm so not interested in waiting around for anyone to catch up.
No.You'd think that an old, basically British guy would be a good fit, right? Or something like that I guess. But no, of course not. Because it turns out a 30 year old British dude is the equivalent of a normal 60 year old man.Poor Kate Middleton.He didn't really want to tell me about Medieval History, the subject he likes enough to write a fucking book about, and I was over here like if someone can make me interested in Quantum fucking Physics, you can make me interested in this. And then he was scared to give me his opinion on how Gilmore Girls is misogynistic.I can't date a stuffy old man who isn't proud of what he does and doesn't stand up for his opinions. The end.
Ah, and then there was last night's guy. I don't even know what to call him because there's nothing significant about him, except that I liked him. It was the most generic date ever, which actually worked quite well. I guess certain dates become go-tos for a reason. A movie followed by drinks? Bingo.We went to see the newest Hunger Games movie and it was good, but not gonna lie, I spent the entire movie thinking about the dog I played with beforehand.
That dog. The Turner and Hooch dog. I love dogs. A lot. Especially mastiffs. Especially Dogues de Bordeaux.
Is that where the s goes? Is it Dogue de Bordeauxes? I'm pretty sure it's the same rule that applies to passers-by but who am I to say?
These are the important questions.
So, um, yeah. My obsession with that dog didn't scare him away, so that scored him like a million points. Umm what else is there to say? Good dates are particularly uninteresting. Oh, but I do have a word problem for you guys.
Zoe and Brian go out on a date. If Brian had two beers, Zoe had one, and they both had a good time, how awkward will their first kiss be?
No actually it was adorable aw yay.
I'm over this whole dating thing. I gave it a shot. It was kind of fun. Kind of. By "kind of" I mean people paid for my food. And drinks. And I like free things.But it's just so inconsistent! Like, you meet someone, you hit it off, and you decide to arrange a meeting in a slightly romantic setting to see if the two of you share some romantic element or something. And you're sitting there wondering if this is just the first of many first dates or if this will actually turn into something. Or maybe there will be a few more dates before it turns into nothing. And you wonder how many times you'll have to go through this weirdness before you find someone who you actually like enough to love. But the problem is that they have to be on the same level of liking, which is not as easy as it sounds.Then the guy who has caused you to wonder all of these things is short, and not like kind of short. Like my height short. But you reason that you can work with that, because you're trying not to be such a shallow asshole with unreasonably high standards. And you get along with this guy pretty well, all things considered. Well enough that you wonder if there will be a second date, but not well enough for you to really want a second date.Then he's walking you back to your car because the date went well enough that you want to spend a little extra time together but didn't actually plan anything to do and you're not in an area that you really want to spend time walking around and the whole time you're wondering what's going to happen with that end of the date kiss because it went well but not really THAT well.And then he kisses you AND IT'S HORRIBLE.
I don't understand how a person can be 26 and still bad at kissing. I just don't.NOT TO MENTION the guy who dumped me just a week ago decided to TEXT ME last night before this date.How do they always know? THEY ALWAYS KNOW. You start moving on and their Spidey sense starts tingling and they think "hey, Zoe has a date tonight. I should probably text her before it. That'll really fuck with her."There must be an app for that, one that only guys know about. The government is probably involved.He asked about my Halloween costume. I mean it wasn't a totally stupid question; he was genuinely curious. But he didn't have to ask. His life would not be lacking had he not. But he did. Being the really nice person that I am, I told him and, being confused about what the fuck was going on, asked about his.Then he wanted to know what I've been up to. As if my life is so exciting that I would have breaking news in the week since we last talked. I considered sending something like "well, I haven't slit my wrists since you dumped me, in case you were worried about that," but I felt that may be a bit too sarcastic for the situation at hand, the situation being he wants to be friends.
I mean that's what I assume anyway. I, however, am not so sure I want to be part of a Kumbaya singalong session with him just yet.Or ever.Sure, I dated him for a reason, and logically that means we would make good friends as well. I wouldn't date someone that I couldn't also be friends with. That doesn't seem very sensible. But that doesn't mean I want to be friends with him now that the whole romance part didn't work out. I already have friends. I'm not so sure his friendship would provide me with anything I don't already have.Then again, maybe he doesn't want to be friends. Maybe he's realized that he made a huge mistake and wants me back. Let's be real, THAT'S what I really want to hear. Not because I want him back, but because of course he made a mistake and of course he wants me back. Because I'm great.Yeah, that's not the reason. I decided to continue being nice and pursue the conversation. He just curious about what I've been up to. I was so tempted to be all bitchy and snarky and tell him GUESS WHAT, when you decide to end things with another person that means you don't get to know what's going on in their life! So next time curiosity takes hold, get a good death grip around its neck and choke it back. Kill it with fire if you must.Just leave me alone.But I didn't. Because I'm not really bitter. He was being nice and I wanted to be nice back. See, I'm capable of not being a total rage monster when a break up occurs. You have to be quite the special piece of shit to induce that sort of passion. For once, all parties involved were decent human beings. And not gonna lie, even though there wasn't this huge "I want you back" reveal, he was curious about my life. And that's some sort of satisfaction. I may not be dateable, but I'm still awesome. He was pretty okay, too. I think it's worth at least attempting to be friends.Plus he has a really cute roommate who is totally my type.
Not that it matters, because I'm never dating again.
I caught Feelings.Yes, you read that right. Feelings are something that you catch, like polio. Unfortunately no one has come up with a vaccine yet. They're in the air and spread their germiness around if you aren't careful. I think Carey was the one who coined that term, as far as I'm concerned, anyway, but she fell down that rabbit hole months ago. I've been fending for myself since the summer. But even I was no match for Feelings. I met a guy and he was pretty great.
Yeah, he totally dumped me yesterday. Well, dumped implies that we were together, and we weren't officially, but whatever. We were together. And I got dumped. It's actually the nicest break up that I've had, even though it barely counts. He was supposed to meet my friends yesterday and instead, when he came over, he said he wasn't "interested" in pursuing anything more.But he did bring the hot dogs that I asked him to pick up."Interested." When I told my mom he said that, she literally didn't even know what it meant. Because it's so stupid. But I guess it's a thing now, that people say. Interesting. I mean what are the other options?"I'm not into it anymore.""I don't want to see you anymore.""This isn't working for me.""I'm dumping you."The more I over analyze it, the less sense it makes. It actually makes me kind of angry. Not the word usage, just the fact that it happened. Like hey, only a few days ago we had agreed not to see other people. You'd think that he would have realized he didn't have feelings for me BEFORE that conversation, right? Because that was part of his explanation. He realized he doesn't have feelings for me. Totally legit. Only took him two months, many great dates, and several makeout sessions to realize.
Whatever. He did it in person and was very polite about it. I was honestly on the fence about the relationship the whole time, but I chalked that up to past experience affecting my present. We were taking it slowly and I was a-ok with that. But let's be real. I liked him and he did not like me. And I'm tempted to get really defensive and insult him and discredit the feelings that I had in order to downplay the whole thing.Except I don't need to do either of those things. My ego is bruised and it seemed to come out of nowhere, but that's it . There were a lot of things that I really did like about him, but I think I was lying to myself a little. I wanted to like him more than I did. I was settling. I'm glad he ended things, because I know I wouldn't have. I didn't trust myself. I wasn't sure how I felt; my feelings were running hot and cold. Looking back, that's kind of an obvious indicator.
There was so much that was right, it didn't seem like it could be wrong. I did have feelings for him, but that feeling was missing. You know. That feeling. I was doing a pretty good job of ignoring that. I'm glad he didn't.Regardless, I was pretty bummed yesterday. I didn't think I was at first; it was like I went into some sort of instinctual protection mode. He walked in, said "I need to talk to you," blah blah blah, the rest is history. And I was just like oh, ok, thanks for a good time, see you never, bye forever. No big deal, it's cool, whatever. I think I even tricked myself into believing that for like a whole second.When the immediate threat was gone, the crying happened. It's understandable to be upset, but to cry? Yeesh. I liked him, but I didn't like him that much. I was definitely taken aback by my body's reaction, but it's good to let that built-up energy out. It's like a more evolved fight or flight thing. I was faced with an unexpected high-intensity situation. It wasn't life or death or anything of the sort, but my body's defenses went up. I had an immediate physical reaction.There are two choices we all face when something like this happens. Either letting ourselves channel that energy to rid ourselves of it, or to ignore it and bury it deep down. Emotions may be mental, but they are also very much physical. They're called feelings for a reason. The reason is because you physically feel them, in case that wasn't clear. They don't just go away if you ignore them. They get cast to a far corner of your body. They cause your back to ache. They prevent you from sleeping well. They sit in the pit of your stomach. The more they get buried and ignored, the more they build.So I chose to be honest with myself. I didn't brush anything aside. I felt upset, so I let myself be upset. And it lasted approximately five minutes. I went to my friend's party, talked to a bunch of people, and got a bunch of hugs and sympathetic ears.Tears and hugs. The perfect formula for feeling better.AND ON TO THE NEXT.