Who ARE You??

25 Jan

I would give you a bunch of apologies for not posting in ages, and believe me I am sorry, but I would rather just get to the post since I have A LOT of stuff I would like to get ya’ll updated on. My last posts were mostly DIY in nature, so I want to let you back into my fun little personal world that is ne’er understocked with unique characters.

I have just started the last semester of my masters, and I couldn’t be happier about it (despite the fact that finding gainful employment and paying loans are looming). It’s been a very interesting experience being back in school. In some ways it’s like college because school is the focus of my world, but I also bring with me the knowledge from all of college + the interim years I had as a member of real-life society (no, people in academia are not a part of this). While it has been fun, and I’ve met a lot of great people, it has also represented, well, basically the death of any remnant of my childhood. Okay, that sounded super sad and way more melodramatic than I meant, but what I mean is that there is nothing else in my life that I can look forward to as a time for spring breaks, Christmas breaks, and weeknights of debauchery. Even if I get my PhD, I will have to get it in the context of real life while having a full-time job and only getting vacations that I take off. Yes, I am super lucky to have had this time of escape, although it’s had its stressful points (see my post on taking care of senior citizens), but now it’s time to think about what I want to be when I grow up (A person who writes funny columns, books, TV shows, and movies. Duh.) and what kind of job can pay me (Phone representative for Grey & Boring, Inc. who deals with people who are somehow dumber and trashier than Jeff Foxworthy). Or, more than likely, I will end up enthusiastically teaching writing skills to college kids who think people is spelled “ppl.”

The one thing that is for once going pretty well is my romantic life. No, that wasn’t a joke. After many experiences (several of which inspired the beginning of this little blog) I have found a guy who is somehow cute, smart, funny, self-aware, and doesn’t have any habits that make me want to drive a stake through his face. What’s funny is that this stroke of good fortune came after (or somewhat during) one of my usual terrible, awful, no good, very bad dating experiences. I’m going to have to tell you about crazy guy first because I want this blog post to have a happy ending. Also, describing my experience with this crazy guy won’t take long. In fact, I will try to keep it as straightforward as I am able.

Here’s the breakdown:

We went on three dates. He texted me too much (and during the time he knew I was home for a family wedding)/ I wasn’t attracted to him. I drafted a “this isn’t gonna work” text (because I’m a klass act) and sent it to Kenz for her to look over so I could send it to this guy. I got approval (with some touch-ups, per Kenz’s suggestion) and sent it. I turned off my phone since I was busy and didn’t want to immediately deal with the aftermath. The Aftermath: I turned on my phone to 18 text messages and 6 missed calls. (*Let us pause here to marvel at the crazy*) I forwarded all 18 texts to Kenz because I was too afraid that I would read one that said something to the effect of, “I will spread your blood on toast.” Kenz assured me that this guy wasn’t going to maim me and make me into a breakfast condiment, so I sent him one last “hope you find someone great” text before signing off. After I met my current, great guy, crazy guy would still text me freakishly to ask if I wanted to hang out “as friends.” I finally had to tell him I was seeing someone and that he would find someone great. He congratulated me . . . and then texted me greetings on Yom Kippur and on January 5th to wish me “Happy New Year.” And that was that. Oh, and he invited me and the bf to a Halloween party. Needless to stay, I have yet to respond.

While all of this ridiculous business was going down, my current guy had sent me a message on Match, and I didn’t respond because I was dealing with crazy face; however, for some reason, I kept his message in my e-mail inbox. Once I had shrugged off Clingy McOblivious, I came across the message and decided he was worth taking a chance on. I just really had a good feeling that a date with him wouldn’t leave me disappointed and wanting to share it with you -it would leave me joyous and still wanting to share it with you. As entertaining and fun to tell as the nightmare stories are, I found myself suddenly incredibly wishful that I had more experiences with real guys who I didn’t just see as disposable dopes. Does that make me sound terrible? I don’t care. Just wondering, because that’s just how I feel about most of the guys I’ve dated in the last several years.

As it turned out, I got my wish for a normal, cool person who I can actually talk to. The beginning few dates were great, and things moved forward -if a little more slowly than I wanted- but I appreciated very much the fact that he didn’t make it a game for me to figure out if he liked me and didn’t creep me out with over-anxiousness. When the time came to talk about continuing on more seriously, he actually sat me down to talk about it. Now, I am usually averse to sit-down talks since I’ve had several in my life that have ended with just bad news, but he scored major points with me for this. He showed me that he was an adult, and it really gave me even more respect for him. Our relationship has continued to grow from this point, and it’s made me very happy.

Here’s the catch (Ah, yes. The catch): Even though I wanted a guy who fits the bill just as perfectly as this guy does, the fact that he does scares the hell out of me. I am so used to dishing out my opinions on how a person should act in a relationship as well as dating guys who I don’t feel bad never calling again, that I have actually left myself feeling like the worst relationship person ever. Throw in the fact that this guy is used to being in long-term relationships, and you have one very distressed Ali on your hands. I have gotten over the worst of my freak-outs on this front (none in front of him. don’t worry), but I still am keeping a close eye on myself to make sure I am acting like a mature independent adult in a relationship rather than an independent, but selfish, person who doesn’t worry too long about the feelings of the people she dates. I really care about this guy’s feelings, but I think I will have to go further than just caring to be a good, well, partner . . . Geez, that sounds weird to say.

Another aspect of this concern goes back to my superiority complex. (Being in a relationship has really put my flaws in my face.) Since I am not used to dealing with a guy I’m dating being smart and a good person, I’ve started having this creeping feeling that maybe, just maybe, I’ve gotten too lucky and I’m not really good enough for him. A very stupid thought, but one that occurs just the same. The weirdest end of this feeling can best be described in a scene from Baby Mama (much love to you both, Tina Fey & Amy Poehler!) when Tina is trying to defend the ex-boyfriend who dumped her by saying that he is a good person. Amy responds thusly, “No, YOU’RE a good person. You don’t need another good person around you. That’s YOUR thing! He’s trying to take that from you!!” As hilarious/ridiculous as this line is, it’s kiiiind of how I feel. Not that I resent him for being nice, that would just be stupid. It’s that I don’t think it’s enough for me to be a good person for this guy to like me. Now I’m really sounding stupid. Are you mayhaps picking up on how stupid I’m being? I’m just hoping I’m not the only person who has ever felt this incredibly silly and skittish in a relationship. Some would say that this is a lead-in to a certain kind of feeling or expression. Don’t worry, you don’t have to tell me about it. I’ll get there in my own sweet time.

I knew I was acting especially weird when Kenz came out to visit over Thanksgiving and she got to meet the new guy. She brought it to my attention that she had never seen me with a guy I’ve actually liked before, which is true, since the last serious relationship I was in ended at the beginning of college. Anyone else I’ve dated since I really haven’t been very serious about. The real kicker was after Kenz and I went to a football game with him, and I was talking about how I felt sorry for him because he was doing all of the “moves” that fans would usually do for the home team, but they no longer do because the team is basically the worst in the NCAA. Her response to my concern serves as the title of this post. And really, I can see why she would ask such a question. Normally, I would find myself rolling my eyes big time if a guy was doing “spirit fingers” just because it would be one more thing to add in my already long list of things I didn’t like about them. The fact that I don’t feel that way should make me want to puke. But even worse, I don’t. My lack of upchuckiness is something I feel like I should be concerned about.

I’m sure my awkward struggle in reaching full maturity will continue; however, through this, I hope to maintain some of the more freakish things about myself because they are my favorite parts of me. For example, one day new guy and I were hanging out and he said, “So, what do I need to know about you?” We really hadn’t had a conversation like this yet, so I sat there dumbly for a minute, and then I enthusiastically asked, “Have I told you about my mouth trumpet?!” For those of you who don’t know, I have a talent for making a trumpet noise by setting my top front teeth on my lip and doing a kind of humming. I’m very proud of it, so naturally I did a rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In” for him, complete with trills and fade outs. He laughed and told me very politely that he liked it –then he launched into explaining his history of relationships. Oh. I guess I didn’t get the memo that “needing to know things” meant talking about past relationships. Oh well, he got to hear the trumpet, and we took another step in our relationship. And since we’ve had that talk, he will slowly but surely get to hear all of the fun stories I’ve given to all of you. How lucky for him. Anyway, the piece of advice I will still shell out very adamantly is, no matter how much you like a person, never, ever let them change you except to maybe help you shed some bad habits or immature emotions. They should leave you room to be more awesome.

. . .

Sorry this post isn’t very visually stimulating. Here’s a picture of my puppy-nephew, Gus, to make up for it, because he is cuter than snot.

Don't you love my ears?  Don't you want to gnaw on them?

Don’t you love my ears? Don’t you want to gnaw on them?

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