I know that life is what you make it, that you have to decide to be happy. I know that I’m privileged and lucky and fortunate and life really is pretty fucking beautiful for me. But I still get sad, and things can still suck. That being said, there can be a certain hilarity when life gets miserable all at once, when you’re piled up with disappointment after disappointment, in a very small period of time (picture a cartoon of me being buried alive by a landslide of rocks…don’t worry it’s a cartoon, I’ll survive).
And that is what happened last week.
So, I had finally started dating someone really smart. And then he dumped me. And I was sad. And maybe I was sad because I had been rejected. Or maybe I was sad because I had been rejected by someone I liked. Or maybe I was just upset because he was smart and now that would be gone from my life. Or maybe I was sad because of how he did it (rather than just ripping the bandaid he blamed it on academia and being busy) or maybe I was sad because I felt like I had been dumped before he’d even had a real chance to get to know me or maybe or maybe or maybe. Who knows. What I do know is this: I felt sad. I felt a huge sense of disappointment. Like this was my one shot to hang out with someone who was seriously smart, who thought I was attractive, who wasn’t completely socially stunted, and who seemed interesting (if not hilarious). And though my mother assures me that,
you’ll meet tons of smart people
I have to say, at 32 and in a graduate school program, WHERE THE FUCK ARE THEY???
Bummed about being dumped, I went to my first fiction workshop (up to this point the classes had been a lot of discussion of published works and writing techniques). And that’s where my Professor repeatedly called my writing “Chick Lit”, and proceeded to drone on about how men are basically all super awesome and the narrator of my story is a judgmental bitch (more on this later but the gist of it was that he couldn’t understand how a girl wouldn’t want to hear a bone-head guy discuss his favorite muscle group…all the while never asking her a single question…or how a girl could possibly be upset that an old man had lied about his age [by ten years] and shown up to a date looking like a completely different person than the images on his dating profile). Oh, and I should mention that many people in the class agreed (so we can’t just chalk this up to some fucked up Professor). The only conclusion I could come to was that I myself was an idiot, or I was surrounded by idiots. Either way, I pretty much wanted to throw myself off the balcony.
One student actually said “why doesn’t your narrator stop dating if she hates it so much”
*throws self off balcony as life is hard and that is apparently the answer*
But then things seemed to be looking up. I let someone in emotionally (okay, admittedly, it was kind of accidental, but needless to say a man called me within hours of said horrible writing workshop and I burst into tears while on the phone). But that’s something. You see, it was Top Secret, from just before I moved to Montreal. He had moved to Ontario and was now coming for a visit to Montreal and had called to let me know of his plan.
At Christmas, when I came home to Vancouver, we didn’t have a ton of time but he wanted to hang out and hang out we did. We went out for lunch. It was fun. It was nice. It was real friendship shit. But then, just as before winter break, he went right back to barely having any contact with me. Sure we’d quick message here or there but if you want to be friends with someone and especially if you want to be more than friends with someone you have to put in that effort to get to know them, to stay in contact with them, to keep their (and yours, presumably) lust alive. But he didn’t, we didn’t.
But here we were, visiting in his hotel room, eating pizza, watching youtube videos and getting reacquainted. Or so I thought. Because before I know it, he’s trying to kiss me. Which, in theory, is fine. But, honestly, I wasn’t really feeling it yet. I didn’t, however, want to shut things down permanently, I just needed some time, because we had gone back to zero and I might need a couple hangouts and conversations to get back up to 60.
The next day I had to finish an already late scholarship application, and he seemed busy with work stuff, so I stayed in and said that we would meet up the next day. Friday came, and I was running late to meet him for his show so I skipped the bus and jumped in a cab. I made it to the show before him and when he arrived we went in. Given that he was in the show, I was seated at a table by myself, at the front (WHY DO THEY ALWAYS MAKE ME SIT IN THE FRONT!!).
After the show we talked a bit, he basically insinuated he wanted to bone but didn’t want me to feel pressured and I finally had the balls to say, at this moment (and because of the reasons mentioned above), I just wanted to be friends and we could just see what happens. He seemed to take it pretty well.
Because we were at the show, they told us we could go upstairs and hear the rest of the Motown show that was happening, and though I wasn’t super keen at that exact moment (I had developed an excruciating migraine) I went anyway because he wanted to go (plus I had just taken some excedrin so the headache would foreseeably dissipate).
The show turned out to be AMAZING! I had an absolute blast. The music, the dancers, the fact that it was free, what more could a girl ask for?! We were joking and having fun, things seemed great.
SPOILER ALERT: they weren’t, apparently.
After the show wrapped up, he asked so how are you getting home?
I was baffled. Home? It was only 11:00pm, I had assumed we’d go get some food or at least hang out and do something. I mean shit son, I was in full hair and makeup, I’d even worn a brand new dress with uncomfortable shoes! I said the bit about food and hanging out. He said he wasn’t hungry and that maybe we could meet for lunch or something tomorrow.
Was he fucking serious?!?! He expected me to wake up and do my hair and makeup for a lunch date with a dude sending me packing on a Friday night??? This dude was nuts.
I tried to convey this sentiment nicely. I tried to convey that I thought we were friends. After all, he’d just spent the evening telling me how awesome I was, how much more awesome it was to have a girl to hang out with and write jokes with than to have a pretty girl to just fuck, how much of a lousy lay he was to begin with…blah blah blah
(sidebar: If I let you take a joke I wrote and then you treat me like shit, you have to take it out of your act, those are the rules)
His response: I have enough friends
Interspersed in this dialogue was some bullshit about him being a gentleman and wanting to put me in a cab rather than have me take the bus home (which had been my original plan). I declined and declined and declined. However, after he said the thing about having enough friends I thought well fuck him and took the $20 he was handing me (I am a broke grad student after all, I can’t even see the poverty line let alone live above it).
Plus, I figured, as I walked for 6-10 blocks fueled by pure rage and disappointment, I would just take the bus anyway and that $20 would reimburse me for the cab I had taken earlier because I couldn’t fathom being late to his show. I mean…
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the end of the week of shitty things. Almost as soon as I got on the bus (a packed bus no less, given that it was 11:30 on a Friday night), a group of fine young gentlemen proceeded to talk loudly (though mostly in French) about how fat I was and whether or not all black guys or just some black guys dig that. The discussion included hand and arm gestures.
And before anyone gets all well don’t listen to them and they’re idiots etc. I know this. This conversation didn’t ffect how I feel about myself or my body (I’m lovely). It did, however, make me feel very uncomfortable and admittedly a bit unsafe. You see, I’m rarely scared of being raped or murdered, however, it is a very real fear that a teenage boy might spit on me or something. Also, it made me sad because while I’m able to block out this kind of despicable behavior, I know that there will be other girls, who will experience this, younger girls, more fragile girls, girls who don’t yet know that they are entirely enough and absolutely beautiful, and for those girls I felt the hurt a bit more. Not wanting to give these boys the attention they misguidedly and desperately sought, I put in my ear buds and pretended as if the conversation didn’t exist.
And thus ended my week. Undateable. Isolated and alone in a writing program that fits like a wet wool bodysuit. Having lost all faith in the ability of men to not be the fucking worst (hyperbole, I know, some of you are fucking wonderful, even if I’m currently having a difficult time remembering this). Spiraling into sadness. Blargh.
So to sum up…Dumped Crash!…Writing trashed Boom!…all faith in the male species dashed Bang! Sorry for the downer post. Let the disappointment really sink in tho.