Recently I was puzzled with a friend of mine who I used to spend a lot of time with, but that I hardly talk to or see these days. On lunch at work a couple of weeks back, I thought I’d try to do some writing, so I opened my notebook to read up on story ideas, when I came to a journal entry about the girl I briefly dated while living in New York City. And then I lost my mind. Everything I wrote about the ex when we first start dating, and everything that followed and how things turned out, was note for note what was going on with this friend of mine.
Granted, I’ll be the first to admit the dangers of being a heterosexual man with females friends, who actually prefers female friends. However, it’s very functional. The longer I am friends with someone, the better I can figure out how much I like them and on what level. These days, with instant gratification and a 50+% divorce rate, we’re all very susceptible to desiring quick emotional connection, whether or not we’re even compatible with the other person. I, being unfortunately too emotional sometimes, am prone to eager behavior, and so this is a check for me to make sure I’m not infatuated with someone or whether the attraction is superficial or insubstantial, or just misplaced or displaced.
Apology for the vagueness, and I’ll just say that every single detail of the relationship and girl was almost spot on. For the sake of privacy, I can’t go into detail about each of them, even though it’s highly unlikely that either of them read this. Next time you see me, ask to see my notes, every single thing I wrote about the ex, I initially thought about this current friend— how unique she is, a dark, cynical sense of humor, bluntness and candor, how I saw myself knowing this person for a while, even how I saw my creativity making strides forward around this person (oh lord), and, fatally, how attractive I found this all. But eventually each girl stopped talking to me (with the ex, I had to force her to break up with me because she was acting quite cryptically), to the point where it rubbed off on me and I didn’t give a shit about them. But, after swearing to cut off all contact, the ex called me regularly within a couple of weeks. Honestly, I see the same happening with friend. They both have been to school but not finished and keep talking about it like they want someone to do it for them, they both have daddy issues I know nothing about, they each have a younger brother they speak highly of, and I didn’t make the connection until just the other day, but they’re both skinny! Not to be conceited, but I’m even thinking that, like the ex, once I say I’m moving away, she’ll offer to date me, in an effort to keep me here. Unlikely, but you’d have to hear what I wrote. More bizarreness I just realized: with the ex, I had a dream we were on a city street somewhere and there was some teary-eyed farewell about not seeing each other anymore and if it was for the best, and last week with current friend, I had a dream I asked her if she didn’t want to talk to me anymore, and she didn’t. Notable also because I never dream about everyday life, or more accurately, issues that are going on in my life. (My dreams are rather banal, if I remember them.)
So, the reoccurring theme in in my life, women friends who very abruptly turn cold to me, or just stop talking to me, when previously, I felt good around them. I’m merely stating fact (my closer friends know that, despite my opinionated personality, I’m quite sincere and humble), but it happened twice in Seattle and with the ex in NY, a girl wanting something from me and not getting it. One girl liked me but I didn’t like her, the other two times I apparently was not sexually aggressive enough (the ex later admitted this herself, the other one propositioned me but it flew over my head), which in my defense, 1) I don’t put out after one week, and 2) I’m a poor judge of if and when signals are being sent my way. (Which, sincerely, I can’t get my mind around: a girl wants something from me? Get outta here… Honestly, I think highly of myself, it’s not self-esteem, it’s not my trademark self-deprecation, but the idea that I could be desirable, it strikes me as odd. But then, that’s probably why I’m not dating myself.)
SO, this is relevant because, and this is not yet confirmed, this friend of mine, I have a feeling that this is what happened, that I was not aggressive enough. Which is fine, except I didn’t want to do anything stupid to ruin the friendship because I genuinely liked her, and also because she said more than once she has almost never had a guy friend who did not pursue her. Then said she says man makes not just the first move, but all the moves. Yup, same as the ex. So you see where I was conflicted. In the ex’s words, she told me later she was used to men who, ahem, took what they wanted. Not to sound all noble and condescending, but are women not used to being respected? Honest to goodness, that’s all I was doing. They all say men are selfish pigs, yet I was going out of my way, consciously, not to cross that line, because I sincerely enjoyed her company. How to be direct without being a selfish prick, I have yet to learn that skill.
Sincerely, I’m not complaining, I was merely freaked out because I’m not even dating this friend and yet she was just like the ex. I’m not going to lie, I was drawn to this friend, so that’s why it’s relevant as well. Geez, what is it with skinny girls? I prefer the natural, curvy body more than the lean and slender, but I like to keep an open mind, so I thought nothing of it, since attraction is attraction, and there is rarely control. So maybe I should stick to the gospel of the “Buddy” rule, courtesy of De La, The Jungle Bros., and Q-Tip: “not too skinny and not too chubby— soft like Silly Putty.” (Which goes especially for the belly, by the way. A girl with the right amount of tummy, lord help me, weak in the knees. As sexy as the other curves, if not more.)
Anyway skinny girls and their mental and emotional problems are a pain. Also, I should read my notebook more often.
Post-script: After re-reading that notebook/journal entry, I promptly stuck a post-it on that page: “read this when you start to really like a girl!!! (or feel you like her)”