Somebody That I Used to Know

28 Jun

There is perhaps nothing more panic inducing than running into an ex. (I know, I know, if I was a stand up comedian in the 90s, this would be my “Women, am I right?!” joke. Relax.) Luckily for me, the majority of my exes became wildly successful both personally and professionally once they dumped me, and these successes have taken them far out of the 4-miles-surrounding-Sunset-Boulevard-McDonald’s-radius that I tend to occupy, making any unplanned run-ins non-existent. However, no amount of 10 piece nuggets could prepare me for the run in I had last week: seeing my ex-boyfriend on OkCupid.

Thanks to OkCupid’s myriad of ways to find your future life partner (or, well, future Wednesday 7 PM one craft beer and then please get me the fuck out of here partner), they’ve come up with a nifty little “Locals” app where all you see are photos of a person and how well you match – no username, no profile to weed out the ones who can’t differentiate between your and you’re – and you either say yes or no. If someone says no to you, you’ll never find out, but if you both roll the dice and say yes, you get a message that says you both were superficial enough to choose each other based on an image the size of a thumbnail and an artificial match percentage based on a mutual proclivity for having your hair pulled gently during sex. Yippee. Yes, it’s just like Tinder. Except on Tinder, things like this happen and now I’m scared for my life.

This isn't terrifying at all.

This isn’t terrifying at all.

I digress. Needless to say, after half a bottle of Moscato and too many “Yes, Dear?” reruns to count, I found myself flipping through the OKC locals section. After 5-10 swipes of no to the European tourists, and 5-10 swipes of yes to the tall, nerdy Jews, I came across a photo I’d recognize anywhere: my ex-boyfriend Evan*, hanging out on a balcony in New York City, Central Park and the New York City skyline behind him, smiling that smirk-y smile that’s made me jump him in bar bathrooms/subway stations/Brooklyn Zoo’s on more than one occasion (in our defense, bedbugs were a big concern at the time).

Now, I’ve run into people I know on OkCupid before, and you always have to take a moment of pause before you stalk. On one hand, it’s super fun to see what people you marginally know put out there as the best version of themselves, but on the other hand, they then know that a) you’ve stalked them, and b) you, too, are unlucky in love. And that’s just with regular people! With an ex-boyfriend, it’s a whole new snake pit. Do you check out what he’s looking for to measure up how you fell short? Do you run the risk of seeing a photo that you were blurred out of, because it’s the one time his arms looked amazing? (Just kidding Evan, you always had great arms.) And god forbid he know that your life has so devolved post breakup that you’re looking for love online, even though he clearly is too. This is literally the digital equivalent of running into your ex on the street while doing a hungover walk of shame, with a little bit of a stranger’s swimmers still in your hair. (Just me?)

I only found Evan on this OkCupid Locals section, which means that even if I said yes to him, unless he also stumbled upon me and said yes, I still wouldn’t be able to stalk him. And thanks to a horrible breakup, I knew there was no way he’d make that mistake. Drunk on that sweet, sweet apricot wine, I swiped right, assuming that would be the last I’d see/think about Evan (aside from the two weeks, give or take, that I’d be torturing my friends with this new development). To my surprise, I INSTANTLY got a message that said we’d both chosen each other, and did I want to see his full profile? Which means that not only had he already seen me…he’d said yes, too. And now we were both free to stalk each other. Shit.

I can only imagine two scenarios in which Evan would have picked me: 1) He didn’t recognize my adorable flippy haircut, or 2) we both indulged in the same moment of schadenfreude, and just had to know what the other was up to. While neither was quite the reconciliation I’ve been holding my breath for over the last couple of years (what’s that you say? You didn’t realize just how pathetic I am? Oh hi, welcome to my life!), both were good enough to justify the full stalk. Two hours later, I’d ascertained that while his favorite photos of himself hadn’t changed in two years, his desire to actually be in a relationship had.

Unless I’m doing this whole being a girl thing wrong (very possible), I’m pretty sure that no matter how over an ex you might be, the possibility of running into him is always panic inducing. With Evan, I’ve spent months avoiding all of “our places”: my favorite bar, located in a strip mall next to his house, where we had our first date, the only grocery store in town that doesn’t have shitty produce, because I know he shops there, and the entire club level of Dodger Stadium when the Giants are in town, because god forbid I run into him while looking less than perfect. Seeing him online may not make it any easier, but at least I can rest assured that when Evan stalked me back (and he did, the next day, at 3:43 PM – thanks creepy OkCupid), he saw the best version of myself…or at least the one that I fabricated and put online to get guys to want to date me. And that’s the best me of all, right?

*as always, names changed to protect the guys who fucking hate me with good reason


The Non-Joys of Unrequited Crushes

27 Feb

The first time it happened, it was kind of magical – he was an actor, he had amazing hair, he couldn’t have been sweeter.  I wrote about him in my diary for weeks afterwards.

Oh, and I was 6.

I’m talking about my first crush, not the first time I had sex, pervert.  (Hahah I did that on purpose.) (I’m back!  It’s been forever!  Hi!  Bonjour!)  (Also by “actor” I mean that he was once an extra on an episode of Power Rangers.  Still counts.)

I’m pretty sure that starting to have crushes at the exact same time that I obtained coke bottle glasses, orthodontia and a school uniform despite not going to a school that required uniforms (thanks again, Mom, it was really great dressing like a Mormon with unshaven legs all through elementary school) was a cruel joke played on me by a clearly unmerciful God.  For the next decade, every crush I had was unrequited.  A few notable ones from the plethora:

–       The cute Filipino breakdancer in 5th grade who was a sensitive artist.  So sensitive and so artistic that he drew a flip book of me blowing up in a fiery crash to depict how little he wanted to date me.

–       The male cheerleader I met at JV Cheerleading Camp (no real story here other than the fact that it took me 4 years of cheerleading to realize male cheerleaders don’t want to date female cheerleaders)

–       My 10th grade crush, who in response to “Hey, I kind of have a crush on you,” replied with “Oh.  Cool.  Do you think I should get a haircut?”

I grew up on a lot of teenage romantic comedies, so I had a pretty firm belief in the fact that if Ethan Embry could end up with Jennifer Love Hewitt, it was going to work out for me.  That’s not to say that I took any comfort in that thought, while waiting patiently for Seth Green to romance me in a bathroom (I was really, really into “Can’t Hardly Wait” in elementary school, sorry).  No matter how far fetched the crushes were, since the age of 6, they always brought me the same anxiety.  Not just the write his last name next to yours in cursive on your textbook sort of adorable anxiety you see in movies, but the type of anxiety that induced nausea every time you saw him so much as smile at another girl, and could only be subsided by rereading an old note he passed you even if the note just said “Can I copy your algebra homework? ;)” because he may have smiled at the bitch in homeroom but he winky faced you and that had to have some intense underlying subtext, right?  Let’s just say I was listening to a LOT of Celine Dion at the time.

Needless to say, not a lot of dates materialized for me in those days.  But things got better around the time I hit 16 and I ended up not only dating a great guy, but getting my cheesy rom com moment by dating THE guy – the whole class president/captain of the track team/impossibly cute/impeccable teeth/would go on to a top 5 law school guy.  And even though I once had to ask him at the start of our relationship “I know you said you love me, but do you LIKE like me?” (we hadn’t kissed yet, how was I supposed to know if the love he felt was sisterly?  As desperate as I was for my first kiss, incest was out of the question) things seemed to be turning a great corner – my inner Ethan Embry got his (her?) big win!

And that’s the point where I assumed things had changed in the crush game.  The next few years were spent with mini crushes that were far more realistic – I’d usually end up only liking the guys that liked me, leaving a lot less time for overwrought anguish and a Celine Dion CD that got consistently less play as each year passed.  By the time I hit my 20s, I figured I’d grown out of the unnecessary anxiety that came with schoolgirl crushes, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

So imagine my giant fucking surprise when at 23 I realized the anxiety I was feeling over someone was the all too familiar dreaded crush.  It happened again at 24.  And then again at 25.  I’d somehow regressed back to my least comfortable state of anxiety.

The problem with crushes is right there in the word – they crush you.  Sure they can be fun, especially when they’re brief and tied to the guy you made out with despite the fact that he called you Mindy Kaling, but it’s the ones that stick with you that fucking blow.  At 11, my major worries in life pretty much consisted of how to dress like a backup dancer from a Limp Bizkit video, whether my mom would let me wax my arms in junior high, and if I’d ever understand how dividing fractions worked, so I had a lot of free time to focus on my crushes.  (In case you were wondering, I did dress like a Fred Durst groupie, hair removal was allowed, but I still have no idea how to cross multiply.)  At 25, juggling a crush is the worst addition to a life that’s already buried with trying to start a career, not default on mortgage payments, and having to build my own Ikea furniture.  Taking dramatically to my bed because the 20something I met at the bars only texts me with vague plans wasn’t something I made room for on my color-coded Google calendar.

But after a binge of 90s teenage rom coms, I’m choosing once again to lean into the wind.  Unrequited crushes suck, but they also remind me of the fact that when I first had them, I wanted nothing more than to be a grown up and to not feel that way.  Now that I am a (quasi) grown up, I’m ready to accept that I’m going to be the Ethan Embry far more times than I’ll be the Jennifer Love Hewitt – but I’m also choosing to believe that one of those crushes will ultimately work out.  It may take a while, but honestly?  Can’t hardly wait.

(Seriously though, you should watch the movie.  It’s on TBS all the time.)

Girls & Friends

2 Oct

My most hated sentence out of a girl’s mouth is “Oh I don’t have girl friends; I’m a guy’s girl.”  Mainly because this is a complete lie, right up there with “I only weigh, like, 115 pounds,” and “Of course I’d have a threesome for your birthday!” and partly because it would give credence to my friend Dan’s theory that girls aren’t actually friends with other girls, they just have girls that are useful to keep around for one reason or another, and I don’t know if you’ve ever met my friend Dan, but I refuse to let my future illegitimate children grow up in a world where he is right.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m often pegged as being “one of the guys,” due to my rabid love of Sportscenter, my dislike of shaving my legs, and my (until this week) 16-week undefeated fantasy football team (I don’t feel bad – I can take one week of CJ Spiller being hurt, given that I’m the only person who had the foresight to even draft him) (I digress).  But I also love my girl friends – who else is going to honestly tell me that not only do my new hipster glasses not go with my dress, they also don’t go with my face?  So when someone introduces me to a new girl who is hilarious/smart/has an enviable closet that she’d seemingly let me pillage, I am all about it.

It was under these exact circumstances that I met Bridget – a recent LA transplant who I met through a friend at a pool party.  It was BFFship at first sight – we talked about how we’re both writers, how we share a love of Jews (to be fair, she is Jewish), and that we’re in agreement, Scarlett Johannson IS the absolute worst.  The phrase ‘girl crush’ may even have been thrown around.  When she called me the next day and suggested we grab drinks next Thursday, it was an instant yes.

Cut to the next afternoon, and I get a phone call from my friend Kenny – the one who introduced me to Bridget – that went a little something like this:

Kenny: Heard you have a date with Bridget this week!
Me: Two women can’t be friends without you trying to sexualize it? Really? Men are pigs.
Kenny: Calm down, Susan B. Anthony, you know that Bridget is a lesbian right?
Me: Oh. So? Lesbians can have straight friends too, homophobe.  I’m an ally.
Kenny: Yes, you’re an ally who is going on a date with a lesbian.  Check your texts.

Kenny then proceeded to text me a screenshot of a conversation he had with Bridget, in which she expressed her excitement over our upcoming date.  Apparently girl crush had been taken a little literally by her, and despite Kenny assuring that I may be an idiot but not a lesbian, she was still game to go out if I was.  Obviously I couldn’t cancel now – it’d just come off as a hate crime! – so off we went, to the closest bar I could find with the strongest drinks (in retrospect, also not a great idea).

Two Chimays and one awkward hand graze later, Bridget and I were actually having a great time – surprise, surprise, gays are people too, and as far as people go, Bridget was awesome.  Her stories about Jewish summer camp were hilarious (and jealousy inducing), and she couldn’t get enough of hearing all the ways my dad had indoctrinated me to become the most annoying Lakers fan ever.

And then came the inevitably awkward end of our drinks (she didn’t let me pay) – I had to cut them a little short to make it to my weekly softball game, and I had practiced the speech in my head at least 10 times of “This was so fun and I would love to hang out again, but I’m not interested in you romantically.  Please don’t hate me or I’ll probably cry.”  Except that when the conversation came around, it went a little more like this:

Bridget: This was so great!
Me: I know, right? $5 Chimays are kind of unbeatable.  And perhaps bootlegged…
Bridget: So, do you want to get dinner at Cecconi’s next week?
Me: That would be amazing, yes.

What?!  I have no idea.  I think it was a combo of my need to be liked and a 9% alcohol by volume beer, but that yes just poured out of my mouth.  Plus, you have to hand it to Bridget – she was a Rules girl.  She made plans (via phone call!) a week in advance.  She asked me out to a nice dinner, and not just Joe’s Pizza “because it’s walking distance” (sorry Joe’s, but your white pizza quality has been dropping significantly).  Plus she’s Jewish.  Other than the fact that I’m not really into vagina, this was the best dating experience I might ever have.

Until I realized something even more awkward than the fact that I was going on a second date with a lesbian – I had spent the entire evening talking about sports, and then cut it short to make it to a softball game.  Combine that with the fact that Bridget is drop dead gorgeous, and not only must she have thought I was indeed batting for the other side, she probably assumed she’d be the lipstick lesbian in our new relayshe.  Cue even more unnecessary neuroses, and mocking from all of my guy friends.

We did indeed go to Cecconi’s (she paid AGAIN), but that was the end of it – I worked up the courage to tell her on the record that I was never going to take a dip in the pool of feminine grace, which she laughed off because she said she pretty much already knew, but it was fun to see me spin out.  She also has stayed a good friend since (and it was on her suggestion that this blog post was even written), so all in all, not a complete failure – unless you count my complete and utter awkwardness, apparently.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had something like this happen…maybe it’s time I stopped playing softball.

Dating in the Digital Age

15 Aug

While I realize this is a blog, sometimes a picture (or two) really is worth a thousand words.

Some background:

M is a boy.

C is a girl.

M is a fraternity brother of my best friend, D.  He is also a good friend of mine.  D recently forward me this text from M, asking him what he knew about C.

C is not only a friend of mine and loyal reader of this blog (the only one, perhaps) – she is also D’s best friend from his hometown.

If you can keep up with all the relationship algebra, the rest of this should be fun.

D forwarded me this text from M a few weekends ago.  (It should be noted that D’s wireless router name is stupid, and I will absolutely use this public forum to call it out.)

This was M’s text to D, after what sounded like a lovely evening.

After laughing my ass off for about 15 minutes, I immediately went to C’s Facebook, in hopes of leaving a cryptic wall post making fun of this.

Imagine my overjoyed glee when I found this gem instead.

C’s Facebook status, after HER lovely evening with M.

And this is why dating in the digital world is 100x harder than our parents ever had it.

PS – I only tease those friends who allow me to do so, and if I can offer any comfort to those of you will call me out for putting my friends on blast – M & C seemed to reconnect via this very Facebook status, hence my comment above about being increasingly uncomfortable still being on this chain.  I sure do hope they let me give the toast at their wedding!

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11 Jul

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