It’s like a juice cleanse, but instead I am chugging self-love and lady power.
So, in the wake of my last post (if you haven’t read it, you should before you read this one – otherwise my deepest longings to not be a total asshat won’t be appreciated properly) I am realizing lately that if I keep on this romantic trajectory, I am going to end up married to the world’s (read: NYC’s) most douchey douchelord. TL;DR version of this (because this is gonna take a while): I am giving up on men so I can figure myself out way more. Because I am a better boyfriend to myself than any boyfriend I’ve ever suffered through.
It started to dawn on me around February 14, 2015… around, perhaps, 6:00 p.m.
My cousin had come over for the planned “Galentine’s Day” and between her intermittent stories of the absolutely mediocre human being she’s been hooking up with and my dramatic cries of, “why won’t Donald text me?!” I kept shoveling sweetened rice cakes into my face for comfort food to settle the merlot I had chugged. It wasn’t pretty. As I stumbled around my apartment, making Instagram videos about how I was wife material due to my extensive (it’s pretty limited, though probably more than your average) knowledge of the history and psychology of Batman and expansive iTunes collection, I began to have my epiphany – why am I constantly verifying the fact that I am awesome with everyone else but ME? I’m the fucking shit. I should wake up every morning and take a deep breath of my own incredibleness. Or I could wait until I shower, probably. Instead, I plod around, doing my schoolwork, breathing my heavy sighs, and wondering why the fuck Prince Charming hasn’t shown up at my door with a bouquet full of sweet potato tater tots. (NO, I am serious. When I have fantasies of romance, it involves Donald showing up in a beautiful Italian restaurant with a bouquet of tater tots and a rose to apologize for being a doofus as I stuff pumpkin gnocchi into my mouth while “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel plays in the background. This is really what I want, you guys. I don’t have sexual fantasies, I have this.)
After my mom and dad showed up to visit with groceries and a “money tree” (this was a Valentine’s Day gift that said, “hey ditzface, get a real job,” I think), my cousin and I decided to hit one of those infamous “FUCKLOVE: V-DAY DRUNKFEST” parties you can find all over NYC on the dreaded 14th day of the 2nd month. I was sobered up by this point, so getting ready for me involved very conscious decisions to look “lesbian chic.” I like to say that I am really the straightest lesbian I know, because 4 years at All Women’s College #1 really taught me I know jack shit about being a proper hetero. Anyway, going with the theme of feminist-speak: I am conscious of my constant performance of femininity. So I like to mix it up sometimes. I wore a frilly pink and black lace dress but then added that extra “fuck off of me if you’re a dude” with my clunky old black leather boots (not the sexy kind, the flat, no-heeled combat-cowboy hybrid) and a leather jacket. My cousin put on a sexy little black skirt outfit with heels. There was contrast. We ship off to some bar where there’s a voodoo doll where you pin your ex’s name and scream obscenities at it, so I’m thinking we’re off to a good ladies night here when we go and get our wine spritzer.
Queue the man-watching. Every dude in this joint was 5’0 or under. I am 5’5 and don’t enjoy being taller than my human body pillow – er, I mean, boyfriend – so I was unimpressed and started paying more mind to judging outfits. Generally, these people were sweaty, sloppy and gross, just what you’d expect at the ultimate “boo-hoo you’re single” party. I didn’t want to partake in that patheticfest. I wanted to leave an hour before we actually left. The only thing that kept me was the DJ spinning some vintage 90s reggae and 00s reggaeton (KEEP THE WHITE GIRLS HAPPY). My cousin was, meanwhile, training her psychic powers when they misfired. A small yet relatively attractive man started sauntering our way. I didn’t notice, because the thirst was just not real with me. Alas, he sat beside me as my cousin excitedly shat her pants because… well, yeah, he was good-looking. But then he opened his mouth.
“Hey, uh… do you know what part of Manhattan this is?”
“Yeah, but what part of Midtown.”
“It’s West Midtown?”
“Yeah, I knew that. I was trying to get an excuse to talk to you.”
Clearly, lesbian chic did not work out for me tonight. He began to dig his hole deeper.
“So, yeah. I just moved to around here from Florida.”
“Around here? Yeah. Um, Florida is nice. One of my best friends is from Miami.”
Etcetera. My cousin is still shitting her pants, mind you.
“Here’s a picture I took of my mansion.”
“Yeah. It has a hot tub.”
I laughed. I realize now this was rude.
“Is it… a time machine? Hahahaaha.”
“Is it a time machine?”
“Is it a HOT TUB TIME MACHINE? Okay, just never mind.”
Eventually my obvious bitchiness made him leave, but this didn’t stop my cousin from catcalling him from outside of the bar when we left.
Step 2 in the epiphany: the almost setback. Later that week, we saw the ladyporn sensation hitting the nation, 50 Shades of Grey, also known as, That Time You Almost Saw Jamie Dornan’s Privates But Instead Saw 8,000 Titty Shots Instead. Aside from all the naughty sexcapades, the whole “cold businessman losing his heart in spite of himself to a young, awkward English major” really tugged at my heartstrings. And as I texted Donald ever-so-foolishly about laughing out loud multiple times during this move (to which he responded, “yes, that sounds pretty much exactly like something you’d do”… wait, does that mean I strike him as socially inept? Goddamnit, I get it now…) I found myself illegally downloading the entire soundtrack and lulling myself to sleep with daydreams of tater tot proposals. AGAIN. Normal straight women and gay men saw that movie and probably got down with their sexuality. I saw it and dreamt of tater tots. Chew on that for a moment, I need to get a snack.
Okay, final step. The comedy binge. I watched Broad City all week because Ilana and Abbi are my goddesses and I will probably watch “Wisdom Teeth” forty more times before I turn 26. I thanked the Lord for Hulu when I was able to watch the SNL 40 special and nearly teared up for all my joy. I began to think, “what would my life be like were it a sitcom?” And as my cousin and I bounced our ideas back and forth, I realized that all of my sketches involved romantic mishaps. And while they are funny (in retrospect, ALWAYS in retrospect) – that’s not cool. Perhaps for a sitcom, it is. But in real life, no way. This is no way to live. I deserve infinitely better than this blatant bullshit.
Enter ManCleanse 2015. No seeking out love, no giving into love. Not until the semester is over. It’s time to heal from the days of Donald and his cryptic text messages. I am buying my own fucking tater tots. I can even slow dance to Peter Gabriel with my Uglydoll Peaco. Peaco has been around since 2008 and he’s been a more reliable figure for me than any idiot I’ve dated.
But it’s not just Donald. Donald is a filler. Donald is probably, in reality, nothing especially special. He just fit the description of a kind, intelligent and gainfully employed human male with nice eyes and good fashion sense. Which is what I latched on to post-abusive, manipulative and borderline sociopathic male with mediocre employment and sloppy dress. Psychology, I can has it. My first boyfriend was a complete neanderthal who cheated on me with 67% of Staten Island. My second boyfriend was a complete neanderthal who had the emotional capacity of a piece of wet cardboard. My third boyfriend was a total dream come true until he warped into a psychopath. And everyone inbetween had been inconsistent, weird, and hadn’t valued me properly. You can pass me a post-it note with “boobs” scribbled on it and I can romanticize that shit into the last book Hemingway wrote. I seek out the good in these people where it doesn’t exist, then get so disappointed to find an empty vault that I start filling it up for them. I’ve wanted, so badly, since I was a little girl and saw my parents constantly fighting, separating, threatening divorce and emotionally and verbally abusing each other, a relationship filled with love and consideration, or the appearance of that. At any cost to myself, perhaps. Dane Cook calls these things “relationshits”.
You know, I just wrote all this and felt a sense of relief. As I typed up the last paragraph, I got a text from Donald. All it said was “Zzzz”… it’s 12:48 a.m., this is his first contact in three days. And my heart skipped a beat. There’s no smile on my face now. Just a heavy, heavy sadness making my face hot and my stomach sick. In all seriousness, why I need this hiatus from all things romantic is this feeling. I just deserve so much better than the let-down I set myself up for.