Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Online Dating, Jerky Guys & Me


So tonight, following a vulnerable afternoon and a vow to never allow myself to be attracted to jerky guys who toy with my emotions ever again (as if that’s something I can truly control without, I don’t know, therapy) I decided to entertain the idea of online dating.

This lasted about five minutes.

My fear of online dating has a lot to do with the fact I’m afraid of everything. I’m wildly insecure (while simultaneously thinking I’m better than everyone else—cute, right?) and basically assume strangers are all psychopaths hell-bent on murdering me. This paranoia is courtesy of my mother, who has consistently reinforced her personal theory that strangers are all psychopaths hell-bent on murdering me. So, it should be no surprise that the idea of meeting someone off a website is terrifying.

During dinner with my dear friend, Kacie, she tempted me to sign up for OK Cupid with the one thing she knew I’d fall for—a personality quiz a la Seventeen magazine.

Uh, duh. I have to know if I’m the “Girl Next Door” or the “Classic Romantic.” These things are important.

Whether this suggestion was a result of me ranting about jerky guys and their emotionally confusing signs for the millionth time or if it had more to do with my admission of becoming teary-eyed during that “Every Dog’s A Champion” commercial for Pedigree dog food (I’m sure as a friend, this concerned her), I still took it to heart considering my other dear friend, Jen, had just suggested the same dating alternative earlier.

It was a sign.

So once I got home, I hit the site up.

It was somewhat smooth sailing until I was almost done with the quiz and OK Cupid decided to show me a possible 90% love connection in my area.

This would have been great and totally normal for a dating site had my match been maybe, I don't know, a normal photo of a normal looking guy and not what can only be described as a blurry action shot of Sasquatch in the woods taken on someone’s Nokia flip-phone in 2004.

I mean, what? Come on, Ok Cupid.

It’s great that my match is showing me where he’ll drag me when I get murdered, but the pixilation and weird dimness is really getting in the way of identifying him to police.

So, in world-record time I’m sure, I disabled my Ok Cupid account. And when asked for a reason by the site, I selected, “Met someone!”

I mean, I will eventually, right?

**And I think the fact I didn’t delete the account (deleting is permanent, so says OK Cupid) is a step toward “getting myself out there.” So, if it doesn’t work out with this guy I told OK Cupid I was leaving them for, I can come back any time and pick things back up with Sasquatch. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

When Life Gives You Lemons, Sometimes You Cry in the Lemonade While You're Making It

So, today sucked.

There’s really no other way to adequately articulate that. I woke up at 5 a.m. with a splitting headache that I’ve battled all day, I was given some disappointing professional news and the maintenance guy in my building saw me crying on the elevator.

And I really didn’t want to establish such an intimate relationship with the maintenance guy.

After burying myself under piles of blankets and self-pity for the majority of the morning, I waded through my migraine and eventually pulled myself to an upright position.

I know before long this disappointing day will just be a blip on my timeline, but it’s always difficult dealing with disappointment—and I always seem to struggle with how to react.

This harkens back to the fact I’m severely self-aware, so it’s no surprise I’m always afraid that if I show my true blue, pouting sadness to the outside world, I’ll be quickly discredited as an emotionally immature brat who can’t handle adulthood.

So that’s why I retreat and internalize things for fear of coming off as petty and juvenile. Or I laugh away the sincerity of my hurt because I know there are way bigger issues out there than what I’m dealing with today.

But the truth is, it sucks when things don’t work out the way you thought they would. Whether it’s job promotions, relationships, or realizing a day too late that your Kohl’s cash has expired, disappointment is disappointment—I don’t think it’s awful to admit that you’re momentarily overcome with pout face.

I think what does matter is how you recoup, though. I mean, as temporarily healing as it may be to eat Nutella straight out of the jar while watching reruns of Bridezillas, it’s likely not the best first step to pulling yourself together.

I instead opted for my tried and true method of revealing too much about my emotional complicacies on my blog. And I’m already feeling a little better.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Stories from the Self-Aware

Being self-aware means you live your life as both an active and inactive participant. Like, you could be sitting with a group of people trying to engage or connect in any way you can, while there’s another part of you sitting at another table alone, watching how uncomfortable you look--cringing at how many times you shift awkwardly in your seat just so you have something to do other than vacantly staring off into space.
It’s weird.
And as a result, most self-aware people are pretty weird, too.
Sometimes I like being self-aware because I’m the first one to admit when I’m being awkward. Listen, I know it. But another part of me wishes I could just relax and embrace my awkwardness and make it endearing like in rom-coms starring Reese Witherspoon.
But then I remember my life is not a romantic comedy and scripted awkwardness is way cuter than my reality. So I'm back to fidgeting with my hair and scanning the room for the 100th time as though I'm conducting a thorough inventory of every wall ornament in the place.
This is mostly why I refrain from social situations that don’t involve people I’ve known for a minimum of 10 years. I feel like my entire tone is somewhat apologetic while I’m out. Like, “Sorry guys, I don’t know how to behave when I’m around people! Sorry I can’t participate in this conversation because I’m sheltered and have no idea what you’re talking about! Sorry I keep bringing up how awkward I seem because I need everyone to know that I’m aware of it, too! Sorry I just did that weird thing with my arms that was supposed to be dancing!”
See, to most people, none of this ever even crosses their minds. At all. And if it did, they’d likely not admit it for fear of seeming neurotic or socially inept. But, I’m a writer. While all this is happening, I’m thinking of ways to translate it to paper so I can in some way transform my social tragedies into something productive.
And in that, is the good thing about being self-aware; you're also hyper aware of those around you. I feel like I have a really good sense of people that developed from years of being the wallflower. It’s probably why I’ve been writing stories since I learned how to write my name—my characterizations are based on what I observe from people around me.
So, I pretty much know when someone else feels awkward, too. Or when they’re trying too hard. Or when they’re bullshitting me.
The thing is, I never call them out on it. (I mean, why would I? That would be awful.) So, I write about myself. And I take these attributions I observe in others and assign them to various characters in various novels I write at various times of the night when I can’t sleep.
I’m sure I'm probably way too candid about these things on my blog, but it’s all in hopes that maybe someone, somewhere can silently relate in some way.
And if not, well, then I guess this is all really embarrassing and a complete waste of time and made everyone who I know in real life kind of uncomfortable.
At least I’m aware enough to realize it though, right?