A Positive Note on Dating (To Ryan)

I am fairly sure that a total of 4 people read this blog.  And 3 of them have administrative rights to its content.

So, funny story. I’ve been dating someone for 6 months.  6 months today, as a matter of fact.  Well, 6 months today according to some standards. See, there’s a story that goes with that. You may remember I went on a truly horrific date in December. It included stories of strippers, pipe-fitting, and scandalous photos. It was awful.

And yet, I proceeded forward.  I had a date but a week later.  A date with Ryan. I would give Ryan a pseudonym, but he has already posted on this blog, and I like the name Ryan. Otherwise I might end up calling him Scott or John or Ray or something else totally unfitting. So, Ryan and I go out.  And we close down a bookstore, and close down a restaurant talking and laughing and being idiots.

Then we go on a second date and similarly laugh and talk and close down another restaurant.

So I text him the next morning and tell him I don’t want to see him any more. That makes sense, right? Actually what I said was “I’m not sure I am feeling the elusive chemistry.”  Always count on an English major to let you down using obscure words.* It was December, 21st, my Mom’s birthday.  And, in short, I was tired.  Tired of dating, tired of the holidays, tired of trying to get up my hopes about men when I was clearly going to die alone with my cat.  Why get invested? It was easier to be alone.  I would continue forth—stoic, undatable.

He asked for a do-over.

I looked at my phone perplexed.  A do-over?

I was utterly confused.  I confessed to my friends that I wasn’t worth the chase.  They argued with me.  I did not believe them.  I noted that I wasn’t that cute.  My mother scoffed at me.  I declared that she was required by law to pretend that I was lovely at all times. I screamed that I was boring and he was just going to dump me anyway when he found out that I was a tightly-wound control troll with thunder thighs and kinky hair made of the souls of children.**

At this point, I was declaring reasons Ryan could not possibly want a do-over to my mother, my roommate, my mother’s lovely friend, a dozen restaurant patrons, and a bottle of wine. Really, anyone who would listen was polled.  And not one of them would listen to my logic. Not one of them saw the brilliance to my desire to dodge rejection.

So, we went out again and again.  And now we’ve been dating for six months and I am stupid happy and giddy about life and talking about rainbows and unicorns and sunshine and helped him buy a new couch because I both fell off and bled*** on the other one…not at the same time.  I hate those gushy people who post how much they love their significant others on Facebook.  It feels artificial and really like it as advertisement to everyone else about their blissful happiness when in fact she is sobbing in the corner nursing a bottle of gin. So I wrote a blog instead.

To Ryan:

I am an idiot.  An idiot for trying to dump you after the second date. And an idiot who loves you for proving it and even inspiring me to admit it semipublically. To six more months and many more.  *smooches*


*I once told an employer that another employee was often a bit abrasive.  His response? “That’s the nicest way anyone has ever called Kristen a bitch.”

**I went to see the movie Tangled in the movie theater.  My extremely curly hair was blown straight for this viewing, which is a good thing because the little girl behind me started weeping that such hair was scary when the curly-mopped villain threatened Rapunzel. It was going to “eat her.”

***There’s a really good story there. Oh, you thought I was going to share?  Yeah, not so much.

Regarding Vomit

Here’s the thing. I’ve been puzzled for years by the volume of men vomiting. No, not the number of men who’ve developed eating disorders and are subsequently rushing to the public restrooms at malls immediately following lunch–but the actual decibel measurable sound they expel when throwing up.

As a recovering anxious person, I am practiced in the art of vomit. I used to do so every day before school. I’d wake up and the nervous wave would hit. I would reluctantly choke down breakfast as I tried to convince my mother that I was actually sick enough to stay home from school.

It should be noted that my mother is not a masochist.

But she is also not a fan of whining or repetition or repetitious whining. So, I’d eat and she would send me to “walk the plank.” This meant pacing up and down the long narrow hallway between the kitchen and the bathroom until I vomited and could then be taken to school. I’m not really sure why I didn’t want to go to school. Maybe it was a fear of stretch pants and Chinese jump ropes. It was, after all, the 80s. Maybe I was just a weird kid. This frequent vomiting continued until my mother figured out that one could not simultaneously ride a bike and vomit. Well, one can, but it’s really hard when you are concentrating on breathing and pedaling to also concentrate on not spewing on yourself before you arrive on school grounds. More importantly, at least I wasn’t in the house begging her to save me from the evils of school.

But I digress.

My point is, as a practiced vomiter, I know that no extraneous sound is required to vomit. Sure it sucks, but making noise while you vomit actually exposes your vocal chords to burning bile that actually scorches the surface of those speaking implements and leaves you sounding like a chain-smoking prostitute. In my case, a chain-smoking child prostitute, which is just nasty on a number of levels better left unexplored.

But men yell. I was first aware of this several years ago on New Year’s Eve. My dear friend was turning 30, and we made the ill-advised decision to let my 22-year-old brother take us out drinking. So, my friend drinks, and drinks some more. Then he pees in a bush and drinks some more.

We stumble back to my brother’s apartment, where poor drunk friend proceeds to puke his guts out…so loudly we can hear him in the living room: “BLAAAAARRRGGHHH!!!!” heave, heave “GRAAAAAWWWWWGH!!” Horrible, yelling noises. I swear he is murdering another man in there. I ask him, “are you murdering another man in there?” And I hear “MMGLAAAAAWGH!” Standing next to the bathroom door, my ears are now ringing from the volume of the noise.

He comes out, looking terrible, hoarse from the effort of vomiting and yelling. And he is not alone.

Several weeks ago on Mad Men, Don Draper, over come by a panic attack, vomits into a sink, yelling as he does so. Rewatching Catch Me If You Can last night, I watched as Leonardo DiCaprio vomits into a janitorial closet while practically screaming. And I think any explanation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is totally unneeded here.

I asked my brother about this. Why the noise? Why the extra effort? His response?

I groan the way people groan when they have really violent diarrhea. Going up or down it all sounds the same.”

Words of wisdom.