From the time I was a little girl I was crazy about sappy romantic films and “chick flicks”. Even today I still sometimes catch myself gazing stupidly at the screen when Sleepless In Seattle or A Lot Like Love are on daytime T.V. and although I try to fight it, I still believe in their perfect endings and all of the beautiful things they promise. I think most women are guilty of comparing their love lives to some Ashton Kutcher or Channing Tatum movie. We love the idea that “Mr. Right” is out there somewhere. We shift back and forth from day-dreaming to looking around at our friends in dismay while complaining, “Why can’t he be like that?” and “I wish this was real life!” I know how much we love those stories which is why I’m sad to say that this isn’t one of them, sorry ladies.
I recently got a job. A real, annual salary complete with benefits, first full time position. I awake proudly at 6:00am from my wine induced slumber, pull on my form fitting petite dress pants and head off into morning traffic. I work five days a week for eight hours a day answering furious phone calls from dissatisfied clients and trying my best not to cry when I am unable to understand their half broken english. I worked hard my entire life to achieve the American dream and I couldn’t be more unhappy with my life. After the first three weeks I found myself in an emotional pit of despair. I wasn’t eating or writing and I felt as isolated from my peers as ever before. I am the youngest employee in my organization by twenty years. I was sick to death of looking at pictures of my fellow coworkers’ grandchildren and discussing knitting in the break room at lunch. I needed out, I needed to feel young again, I needed to feel loved.
So I YOLO’d; hard. I started drinking at noon for The Ohio State Game, a tradition I had previously never cared for but decided to go along with in my hour of desperation. By three o’clock I had made my way to my friend’s block party and was attempting to join the young neighborhood children in the moon bounce which proved unsuccessful and by four I was stuffing my face with all the pigs-in-a-blankets my tiny body could handle. I’m a Vegetarian. After that, the night got pretty blurry. I found myself on Campus with a group of friends headed to the despised and revered club, “Charlie Bear”. Charlie Bear is a place where dreams go to die and beers go to get spilled. The floor was so sticky that I walked right out of my shoes and into two obviously drunk college students who were actually sucking on each others faces (and suddenly I understood where the expression came from), but as I peered into the face of the man whose face was being sucked, I realized that I recognized him. We caught eyes, he paused, waved, and continued to devour the face of the girl he was with, so I left.
Later in the night he came back around. I knew this person and I had known him almost my entire life. We grew up together. He was my first crush and my first friend. We laughed and caught up with one another for what seemed like hours. As the lights came on and the bouncers began herding the bar’s patrons out like cattle we made the decision that he was coming home with me. Yes, this was real and he was real. The first love of my life and the boy whose initials covered the inside of my childhood diary was coming over to my house to sleep in my bed. I was so thrilled that I even chose to ignore when he fell getting into the cab and forgave him for not having enough money to pay the overworked Egyptian driver.
My memory begins to fade after that. I’m quite certain this is when the Washington Apple shots from last call started to kick in causing my brain to practically shut down. The last thing I can recall was his beautiful blue eyes staring longingly into mine while he said, “Congratulations on still being hot. Most of the girls we grew up with got fat.” It wasn’t quite what I was looking for but it’s amazing what Well Vodka will do to your standards.
The next morning I woke up with a sour beer taste in my mouth and my tongue felt like sand paper. I turned over and opened one eye, hoping it had all been a dream. It wasn’t. I had really taken home my kindergarten crush from Charlie Bear, F**K! But I still had hope. He pulled me in close and kissed my forehead and I felt a sense of relief rush over me. That is, until he lifted up one of his legs and released a gigantic fart right before he leaned in to kiss my lips. Needless to say, I was beyond offended. The worst thing about those kind of situations is not actually that, that’s the third time a guy has post-sex morning farted in my bed, but that I then have to laugh and pretend that it’s not absolutely disgusting out of sheer politeness. “I can’t believe we had sex, I’ve seriously thought about that since we were little.” He thought about having sex with me when we were five? What a pervert. I thought, but smiled. “I’m seriously going to go to my parents house today and I’m gonna walk in, look my mom in the eyes and say, ‘I did it. I fucked L** H********.’ It’s so crazy how she wanted us to get married!” Oh God just kill me now. If you make this go away I’ll be good. I’ll return to my job and never try to recapture my youth through one night stands again. I fake laughed so hard that I could have won an Oscar.
Later that day I was distracting myself from feeling ashamed by gluing my attention to some mindless reality T.V. show as I tried my best to recover from my hangover. I was doing quite fine when my roommate came home. She walked in and stared at me, huddled under a blanket like a small Navajo child, she did her best not to be annoyed. “So, I heard everything last night” Jesus, God we are not having this conversation right now. “I mean, you woke me up. I can deal with sex noises but it was laughing that I couldn’t stand. I just kept thinking, why doesn’t he just hurry up and F**K her already so she shuts up.” And that is the story of why I attempted suicide. No, I’m kidding but a large part of my dignity did die in that moment. From that arose an enormous amount of confusing feelings. Why were we laughing? Were we laughing together or was I laughing at him?
I know that you’re all probably expecting me to turn this around and end this piece with a positive, pro-feminist moral but I don’t have one. Regardless, I did learn a number of very important lessons from this experience. The first of which being that I cannot continue to associate certain men with romantic love simply because they knew me at a more innocent time in my life (like the time I slept with my neighbor in an attempt to fit the “girl next door” stereotype. But we won’t get into that). Another obvious lesson would be to never, ever, under no circumstances leave with a guy from Charlie Bear or even enter that God for saken place ever again, but the single most important thing I will take away from this is that I don’t need to prove to myself that I’m still young and wild by sleeping with someone, even if does make a great story.