[Ed: Typepad doesn’t have an excerpts option, otherwise I would enable it. I ramble when I’m stressed out. But then, it’s my blog, dammit.]
It seems like all of my girlfriends are getting married these days–
Wait. Ah, that’s a lie. What I meant to write was: I know a lot of girls from high school who are either married or are about to be married some time this year. Most of these revelations, of course, have come from Myspace networking– but all the same, there it is. Women my age be gettin’ themselves hitched.
I am neither the girl who feels left out, who feels the need to get married right away because of this– nor the girl who scoffs haughtily and insists, well, *I’ll* never get sucked into that institution. I’m just the girl who happens to know a lot of girls removing themselves from the dating pool and who feels like informing the Internet of this fact.
I’ve been out of a relationship for three months now and single life has agreed whole-heartedly with me. But while a quarter of a year spent introspectively figuring things out from various corners of the country has been most satisfactory, I’d be lying if I said I don’t want a boyfriend. The catch is, it’s going to take a hell of list of good reasons to convince me to get into a relationship with someone. Times were, when I would have let a number of things slide in the hopes of nightly phone calls, a reliable movie partner and secured access to an unlimited supply of hugs and kisses.
Not so much anymore.
Which is why dating exists. I have friends (yes, they’re really friends this time ) who say they don’t see the point in dating someone if you don’t eventually hope to develop an exclusive relationship with them, and I can see that, but– I don’t know. Maybe I’m not "dating," then. Maybe I’m just "seeing." I’m picky about what constitutes a "date" anyhow– unless it has been predetermined as a date, isn’t it really just "hanging out"? Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, and that’s why when I think of a "date" I think of dinner and a movie and star-gazing and holding hands. Except it’s near impossible to convince me to go out to dinner and most of the cities I find myself in have too much light pollution to identify stars, though at least here in Vegas you can go plane-gazing.
This, to me, is a date:
Him: My heart yearns to be near thee again! Pray tell, when canst I lovingly lay my eyes upon thy sweet visage once more?
Me: Uh, I’m free tomorrow night.
Him: Awesome. I’ll pick you up at 8? We can head over to that one place, listen to some grooving bands play, chill out, then go cut a rug dancing.
Him: Word. Peace out, shorty.
(because my dream date is culture-versatile like that. Or schizophrenic.)
This, to me, is not a date:
Him: I’m bored. What are you up to?
Me: Not much.
Him: Let’s hang out and do something.
Me: What did you want to do?
Me: We can figure it out later?
That second example is more or less the bulk of my afternoon conversations with people (not always guys, I hang out with girls, but those encounters are Classified and too scandalous to describe on the Internet anyway).
So I guess the hierarchy is Hanging Out -> Dating -> "Boyfriend/Girlfriend" -> Engaged -> Married -> Dead
Problem is, it’s kind of tricky, figuring out what stage one is in. It’s not like there’s a big formal ceremony to mark the upward climb– "Honey, there’s something I’d like to ask you: will you be my exclusive girlfriend? I want my lips to be the only ones yours touch… for now." I remember a few months into my last relationship when a co-worker asked me out and I didn’t necessarily want to say yes, but the first thing that came to mind also wasn’t, "I’m sorry, I have a boyfriend." Because I didn’t know if I had a boyfriend. I probably just knew a guy who would get really mad if he heard me say that.
(I said no, though. I just forget what my reason was. The point was, there was never that conversation: "Hey, are you my boyfriend?" "Yeah, I guess so.")
With the boyfriend before *that,* I found out by accident. We had stopped at the Roberto’s in Mission Beach to get dinner and while I was waiting inside (he was outside doing… something… somewhere?) for our order, someone came up to me and started aggressively flirting with me. I endured it meekly until the food was done, picked up the bag and started to leave. The dude followed me outside, asking for my number, and finally I said, look, I’m sorry, I have a boyfriend. (Who reappeared right as I said that, thankfully,)
Back at my house:
Me: Hey, um, sorry about that.
Him: About what?
Me: For, you know, making you out to be my boyfriend so that guy would go away.
Him. Oh. [pause] Well, but I kind of am, so…
Me: You are??
Him: Yeah. I mean, aren’t I?
Me: [trying to play it cool and nonchalant] Okay.
We’d finally been together for a few weeks, after a month of chasing and repeated heartbreaking. It was a weekend off from camp and he’d taken me home for the first time. I kissed him in the doorway to his bedroom and before I knew what was coming out of my mouth I said "I never want to do this again." No more first kisses or first times going home, no starting over. No one else. (full post here)
Part of me, the part that still peevishly refuses to give up on the idea of "meant to be" and "soul mates" and "The One," wants that experience for myself.
Another part of me is wary of experiencing that because I have a sneaking suspcion that the underlying truth will be: I’m too damn lazy to make the effort to do it again. I don’t particularly enjoy the routine of having to learn new people (emphasis on the *having* to learn, I otherwise love to meet new people), having to dole out my biography and interests and personality quirks and music tastes. Blame it on the Internet– isn’t that why I created these blogs to begin with? This is me. Hi, hello! This is me, the good and the bad, the happy and the pissed-off, the bored and the frantic. And there have actually been instances when people IM me questions about this and that and I send them a link to an entry I’ve written that I feel will provide a sufficient answer.
In the future, this may have to be my plan of action:
- Make business cards with this website address on it
- Give them to flirting, interested (and interesting) parties
- Make a sidebar menu with selected posts for "First Time Visitors" (or maybe I’ll just call it "Essentially Me")
- Include an application PDF (Occasional Date, One Night Stand, Boyfriend, Intellectual Whore, Potential/Husband)
I’d, like, never have to make the effort ever again! It would be ridiculously awesome.
 According the Myspace Chinese Horoscope bulleting quiz thinger-whatsit, THREE people like me. Isn’t that crazy? I never knew I was SO popular! Those cheerleaders in high school have nothing on me.