Most days, I consider myself a confident lady. Other days, I’m more of what I like to call “an absolute wreck of a human.” Sometimes, on very rare occasions, I can be both at the exact same time. And that rare moment actually caught me by surprise yesterday.
It started when one of my favorite gal pals was agonizing over whether she should text a guy first. They had a great weekend together, he had mentioned having dinner the following week and now she wanted to follow up. But he hadn’t texted in a few days and she was afraid that he had either lost interest or would “scare him off.” They’re silly thoughts, but ones that all of us tend to have. So, of course, my advice to her was to text the goober. I told her to be bold and go after what she wanted. After a few more excuses on her part (the possibility of rejection is SCARY, okay!), she relented and texted him later that night. And wouldn’t you know, he had been thinking about her, too. Their dinner has been formally scheduled.
While I was GChatting her off the ledge of #foreveralone, I was having my very own crisis. The problem was pretty much the same. Do I text the guy first? However, the terms were completely different. Dude and I hadn’t spoken in five months. Things had gotten awkward between us. And I kept questioning if this was really the right time to tear down that Berlin Wall. So, with the helpful nudging of a different favorite gal pal, I went for it. It should be said that I got ridiculously worked up about this. I immediately regretted that I couldn’t blame my decision on alcohol. I couldn’t bear to look at my phone in the case that the response (or lack thereof) would be less than desirable. I went as far as starting a video chat with my aforementioned friend so she could look at my phone screen and tell me whether I should be freaking out or not. Seriously, I was behaving like someone who needed their meds adjusted.
You see, confident while advising friends. Absolute wreck advising myself. But as I stand smack in the middle of sane and psychotic, I always manage to learn something. In this particular instance it was that the millennial “text game” is pretty damn stupid. You want to talk to someone? Just fucking do it. Don’t agonize about what they’re thinking. Don’t act disinterested to protect yourself. If they don’t respond or don’t reciprocate your feelings, you’ll find a way to move on. Don’t let the “do I text them first?” question plague you.
An old friend recently asked me for my thoughts on love and romance for a documentary he’s filming about the concept of joy. He explains the premise a lot better than I can, so… I won’t even bother. But, what a terrifying question to be asked at the tail end of what was a mess of a year for me romantically. I pretty much spent the latter half of it heartbroken. Let me amend that last statement. Not necessarily heartbroken, but whatever you call unironically listening to A LOT of Taylor Swift. As an aside, the words “Blank Space is my life,” are ones I don’t intend on ever repeating.
Basically, I’ve always been the girl that loves to hate love. I gravitate towards it, yet I reject it. I oftentimes find it vomit inducing, but count The Notebook as one of my favorite movies. I don’t think I’ll ever find it again, but I inadvertently keep searching for it anyhow. I just can’t make up my mind. And I’ve never been able to. I don’t think my feelings will evolve when I’m a little bit older, a little bit wiser and a little bit less jaded.
Simply put, my thoughts on love, much like love itself, make absolutely no sense. Ask me about my personal life and I’m a cynic through and through. I’ll never find the right guy. I’m gonna end up alone. I might as well start the cat collection now. Yet, when it comes to the lives of others, I’m a hopeless romantic. I’ve molded myself into an expert on the subject, spouting advice to female friends as if this whole “love” thing comes naturally to me. But in reality, I’ve only dated two guys in my 27 years. One was an 8-year relationship that encapsulated most of my 20s and the other can best be described as a 7-night stand. The most that each of these experiences had in common was that both guys worked at Publix. So when trying to form thoughts on love and romance, the most I can come up with is that it should not be looked for in the aisles of a grocery store.
People always remember firsts. First kiss. First love. First ~romantic~ partner. And the first time they heard R. Kelly. For me it was in 1996 when I, in yet another important first, watched Space Jam. Sure, that was the movie that sparked my love of basketball, but it also managed to do something much greater than that. It was the beginning of the greatest love affair I would ever know. The one between me and R&B music.
A few highlights from our relationship:
• Next reminding me that maybe I shouldn’t dance too close to certain gentlemen.
• Brandy and Monica letting me know that some boys really aren’t worth fighting for.
• 112 teaching me about the abundant places one could have sex.
• TLC helping me say no to scrubs.
• Boyz II Men opening my eyes to both love and heartbreak.
• Ginuwine letting me know it’s okay to jump on it.
• Mary J. Blige doing… just about everything.
• Usher causing my adolescent sexual awakening.
• Aaliyah getting me through middle school.
• Beyoncé continuing to remind me how flawless I am.
• The Weeknd making me feel aroused yet totally uncomfortable with his lyrics.
It’s a fact that R&B and I have gotten quite close over the years. I’ll always defend it and embrace it until the bitter end. Because, isn’t that what you do for the things you love?