Friday, December 24, 2010

Hanging Out

I enjoy hanging out with friends. We go to movies, or to each others' houses or with the advent of my birthday, we mostly wobble around from bar to bar. We are those annoying "early twenty something" girls that you probably hate. But that's my interpretation of the phrase "hanging out."

This is not everyone else' interpretation. Or perhaps it's just Richmond's interpretation is different, I really don't know. I don't know slang, and I'm not a passive communicator, I say exactly what I mean. The end.

I had been out on a few dates with a particular guy in town, and that fizzled, or at least it did for me. I told him one night while we were sitting in my car that I didn't think we were romantically compatible. He didn't like this response, and went on to ask me why I would join a dating service if I wasn't looking for a relationship. This seems silly to me, the implication here, at least what I gathered, was that he thought I was looking for something instant - that I was looking to jump into something quickly. I wasn't, and I'm not. Actually, let me rephrase that, I'm not looking to jump into anything with anyone that I don't have that immediate connection with. It's not "love at first sight," it's more something at first glance. It's a lingering feeling, connection that isn't forced, it just is.

Though, I did enjoy the time we spent together, the chemistry just wasn't there. He explained that he "didn't need anymore friends" which is fine, but rude to say. And I told him that I was looking more to meet people than for a long-term relationship; if something didn't work out, well then at least I'd met someone new and hopefully someone that would still be interested in knowing me.

He leaned in and "whispered I'm going to make this hard for you" and kissed me. Like that was supposed to change my mind or something. It didn't. He got out of my car and I went home.

The following weekend he sent me a series of passive aggressive text messages, though when I finally confronted him about it he claimed that I just didn't "get his sense of humor, yet." This combined with condescending statements regarding how I interact with people and that I need to be "socialized" - whatever that means - didn't exactly help his case. So when he called me a week later at two in the morning and asked if I was "hanging out" I wasn't sure what he was talking about.

I had gathered that he thought I was interested in his friend, not true, and thought he was asking about his friend. His friend and I had been "hanging out" in my sense of the phrase, platonically. He went on, "No, are we hanging out?"

I think we use that term differently, you mean are we dating? No. I thought I explained this to you last week.

"No, we made out in your car."

No, you kissed me, there was no making out.

"So, we're not hanging out?

No. I am not interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with you. I'm sorry.

"Oh, well, bye."

This was followed by him tweeting about "realtalk" and then blocking me on Twitter. Real mature.
Let's be clear though, I had been seeing him less than a month, and we had never had a DTR (define the relationship talk), so I wasn't leading him on. I've been out with lots of people and met lots of people and generally putting myself in new environments in which I can meet new people. I'm not "hanging out," I'm hanging out and I prefer it that way.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Getting Excited About Christmas?

Christmas is in five days and I still have the majority of my Christmas shopping to do. I'm poor, so I'm only buying my immediate family presents this year, and I'm getting them from thrift stores. My sisters and I all have an appreciation for the odd, unique, generally old things you can find, but the rest of my family won't be so easy. My mom prefers gaudy, new things a la model homes - that kind of gaudy. Everyone else isn't as picky and may not love what I get them, but will deal.

As picky as my mother is about what she wants, she's just as picky about giving us what she thinks we should want. For example, I need new clothes. The last time I went shopping was in September, I bought a (third) pair of black skinny pants, two plaid shirts and a red dress. With the exception of that dress (that I've only worn once) that became my fall uniform. Since winter has arrived I've modified it slightly by wearing tights under my pants and t-shirts under my button-downs. I keep it basic because I can't afford to dress better. My mother hates this, she's always telling me that I need to get some nice "slacks" and to let her know if I'd like anything from Talbot's, Chadwick's, Bowden, etc.

This summer she told me to email her some dresses I'd like, and she'd get me a couple. I sent the email, everything was around $50. She didn't like any of them and in return sent me links to dresses she thought I would like. They were terrible. And I didn't end up with any new dresses. THANKS, MOM!

So, the other day she and my dad were in Richmond and we were all at my sister's house, and when my mom goes to hug me, she very conspicuously looks at my shirt tag, and then makes this face. The corners of her mouth curve up and inward and she squints her eyes, it's terrible, but it's her "I'm up to something face"- because she hadn't already given herself away. I had been warned that my mom was planning on buying me a coral sweater set, so I told her very plainly not to. I would not wear it.

Last year I asked for an oversized, black, merino wool sweater. I got a black Merona (the Target brand) sweater instead. Not the same thing, but at least she tried.

I don't ask for a lot, but I am very specific about what I want. And as my mother has learned, and demonstrated this summer with the dresses, if it's not what I asked for, I would rather go without.

My sister April is smarter about her responses to "What do you want for Christmas?" She asks for practical gifts with very little specifications. This year she told me mom that she wanted a toaster, no particular brand, no specific color or size, just a toaster. Well my mom decided to get an expensive one, since it was all April had asked for. Then this conversation happened:

Mom: What else do you want? Something big? (Big, i.e. more valuable than a toaster)
April: Something that I can use the internet on...
Mom: ...
April: Like a netbook?
Mom: I was thinking a gym membership...

1. April has a gym membership.
2. My mom can be such a bitch.
3. April can fit into her pre-pregnancy clothes.
4. Could my mom be any more passive aggressive?

My mom thinks April is fat, and that I dress terribly. Ohdeargod, Christmas is going to be so much fun.

The presents that I have bought so far aren't great, I've definitely done better (with more money) in the past, but I'm doing my best to be inspired. And as cheesy as that may be I think I'm doing alright so far.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Faking It Pt. 2 (wherein I overshare)

(If you're Mormon and/or related to me, you may not want to read this, just a heads up.)

I spend way too much time with my sister, April. She's a stay at home mom and they have the internet and netflix, and more food than I do, and the cutest kid ever - all of which are reasons to go there. But because she stays at home, she also enjoys (or pretends to) my stories of being single and stupid and doing very stupid things, especially concerning the opposite sex and/or booze.

April and I are fundamenally very different, she is conservative and wears muted colors, and I am very liberal and prefer bold colored everything. She also has all these rules, rules about life and dating like, "don't bake for him until he's bought you three dinners" and "no telling him what he would look better in before five dates" - the list goes on and she's more than happy to enlighten me whenever something goes wrong.

She thinks that I have terrible taste in men, "he's ugly/fat/old/etc." followed by "and he's just not that into you" are frequent things she vocalizes. And she makes no effort to remember anyone's name "until she meets them." So all the guys I date are worthless phantoms because I can't seem to have a normal dating life, but I'm really good at the non-relationship. These are relationships that aren't defined, he is not my boyfriend, I am not his girlfriend, and usually one or both of us are projecting our feelings for an ex on to the other person.

Well I was seeing this guy for just under two months, given things moved really fast, but he was the one that said "we" first. I don't do that - because then I end up being that crazy girl who wants things to move to fast, so I wait and see. I'm really good at this. I also don't hold hands in public, or kiss, or generally behave as though I'm dating someone unless you know, it seems like a sure thing.

This guy in particular said "we" first at a concert we went to. We were talking to a friend of mine who DJs and happened to be djing the following weekend and Boy looked at me and asked if "we" would be going. I had been planning to go as I do most months, but I had planned on crashing at a friend's place. I explained that I was sure my friends probably wouldn't mind putting him up to with which he responded, "Oh, we'll just get a hotel." What? Right, because that's something that people that have been dating less than a month do without the intention of being in a relationship. Sure, it could translate into "I just want to fuck you in a hotel" but come on, you don't have to go to another city to do that. It was the night before going back to DC that we had the "I'm not interested in seeing anyone else, but I don't want to rush into another longterm relationship" talk. Story of my life.

We go to DC, we have a great time, we continue to see each other, we do coupley things, we go to a few shows, and then when we're on our way to a movie he says, "I woudln't care if you slept with other people..." "Really?" "Yeah, it's not like we're in a relationship..." "You're right, we're not." We're just spending several nights a week at each other's places and people are starting to regard us as a couple, but yeah, we're totally not in a relationship.

Things fizzled, that's fine. He didn't want a relationship. Whatever. I can deal. Then my birthday happened, and he slept through it because he had been "working a lot..." So I drunkenly sauntered over to his house and woke him up at 1:30 am. There were tears involved and I think I may have shouted something along the lines of "I want to be in love!" Because I am melodramatic and generally impulsive.

He did take me out the following week and we had a lovely, if not slightly awkward time. But I am not the type that just stops caring about people. I've never understood how people just stop talking to their exes, and he's not even a real ex, an ex-lover? That sounds cheap. Anyway, I'm usually pretty good at staying friends with people, even Mr. Potato Head and I managed to get back to being friends.

Everything was fine until last week. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but I've been struggling with money, school, the move, really just life this past month and went out every single night for two weeks in an effort to escape it, because that's healthy. Last week I was out with some girlfriends and I wanted to go sing kareoke, and with no obligations the next day we saw it fit to drink in excess (cue Four Loko). As I was walking up I ran into his roommate who told me that he was there, which was fine, except he was there with a girl, which also would have been fine had he given me a heads up.

We had talked two days prior and I had told him about my joining OkCupid and the dates I had been on, he didn't say anything. So walking up and being told and then seeing what was happening was like a punch in the face. I managed to keep my cool-ish - I spent a lot of time smoking other people's cigarettes and pacing up and down the block while my friend went inside and made new friends. But what's worse is that he did introduce us, and later I put two and two together and she dated one of those OkCupid guys I went out with. It's incredible how small this city is.

I went home that night and didn't sleep. That was followed by days of not sleeping or eating, and the knot in my stomach just got bigger and eating became near impossible. The amount of anxiety I experience in five days was more than I think I've ever experienced. It all culminated over the weekend with a series of panic attacks, passive aggressive tweets (that I later deleted) and vomiting in my friend's toilet Saturday night. Sunday was spent in a daze of trying to get things accomplished and attempting sleep, but turned into another panic attack on Sunday that ended in my friend's living room with a xanax in one hand and a bowl in the other. If nothing else, the munchies got me eating.

Monday I went to April's and she pointed out how terrible I looked, I hadn't spent more than ten hours in the previous four days in my apartment, and was still wearing Friday's clothes. Classy. Gross.

I'm not sure why, or how these things affect me the way they do, but they do and there's not a whole lot I can do about it. He has no idea (though he might read this, probably not). I even cut his hair and had him repay me in the form of liqour, and with the exception of a few awkward moments, it was mostly fine. Fine is what it has to be, because I'm not going to stay in to avoid uncomfortable situations, they happen, and I put on a happy face and deal. It's all I can do.

I've never had to deal with this situation before, I've always remained friends, or at least friendly with my exes. I know I'm going to run into them, and just because we're not together doesn't mean that you stop caring, and if I care about anyone in the least I usually make a point to say hello. It just sucks when you realize that you were someone's rebound, and that it's not that they didn't want a relationship, they just didn't want it with you. Even after all the "signs" and words, and all the little things, they're okay not talking to you and they aren't ever going to suggest hanging out, or grabbing lunch or drinks. All of that is fine, because thankgod, you aren't pregnant, and you can move on to the strangers on the internet that think you're "sexxi" and put on a happy face.