Tuesday, January 10, 2006

inspired by the first episode of the latest season of "the bachelor," the saddest show ever made. shut up I don't have cable.

I don't think I'm going to see my shrink anymore. Neither I nor my parents can afford spending $500 a month for me to talk to someone with a PhD and a big leather couch once a week. And, besides, I'm pretty good at analyzing myself and there's the whole Internets to talk to. Why I feel the need to share the dirty details of my life with the world and find no shame in doing so, I have no fucking clue, other than it somehow makes me feel better.

So first up, since it's rather fresh on my mind and I never got comfortable enough with the shrink to talk about it much, let's discuss Gina + Boys/Men/Dudes/British Hand Models. Although I discovered a good purpose for the above when I was seven years old and climbing my Catholic school playground's firepole one fateful afternoon (there's an Alanis Morissette lyric in there somewhere,) I never actually kissed a boy until I was 17 and a half. This was due to a combination of factors, including profound shyness, the pressing and pointless need to be high school valedictorian, and a rather unfortunate choice of hairstyles. It is probably no coincidence that Boyfriend Number One came towards the end of my senior year when I was footloose and fancy free after getting into Columbia and had grown out my curly bangs. It was a big time for me. Not only did I pass a milestone most people reach in middle school, I also mustered the courage to wear a bikini and a thin-strapped tank top. I felt deeply uncomfortable with all of those things as they were happening, but once they did the lion was unleashed.

Boyfriend Number One broke up with me that summer when he found out I'd kissed my gay boy friend in a Franzia-fueled game of Truth of Dare. I was upset and tried to win him back (I did) only to all but forget about him when I went away to college. Oh college. I learned so damn much in college, none of it involving primary source texts considered to constitute the Western Canon. Though I learned lots of things, including the dangers of Long Island Iced Tea and credit cards, this is all about the boys. So, Boyfriend Number Two came along early on in my freshman year when I woke up confused in his bed one morning after a few too many of the aforementioned beverage. Over the next two years I experienced real mind-blowing love, the pain of losing it and staying in bed for two days staring at the ceiling while listening to the same Jeff Buckley song over and over, getting it back and taking it for granted, and throwing it away for the selfish but necessary purpose of sowing my wild oats.

I am, apparently, still in the oat-sowing stage. The oats have grown considerably since the latter half of college when I mistakenly thought that sleeping with someone instantly would make them my boyfriend, for the simple reason that, hey, it worked the first time. This knowledge has not at all deterred me from sleeping with people instantly, but it's given me important perspective when doing so. I am fortunate enough that most guys who've made out with me have wanted to again (often many agains) so I've only twice had to deal with the nauseating pain of being blatantly used (but that's a whole nother story.) This has resulted in all manner of quasi-things, the synthesis of which has finally taught me something. I can be 94% comfortable prancing around naked, drunk or not, in front of someone I barely know, yet having to communicate with the lucky fellow in a sober state brings my inherent shyness on like gangbusters. I've come a long way from being 17 when I quite literally ran away after that first kiss, but, for some reason, I still have an amazingly hard time being normal after a hookup. If I'm not that into the dude, I am mostly unbothered by this fact, but if I am (which, presently, requires unavailability on the part of the dude,) I become painfully aware of it. What was once a detailed and hilarious story when told to my friends becomes "so, um, there was this thing, and, uh, it happened, and it was pretty funny, heh...so, um, what do you normally eat for breakfast?"

For a long time, one of my favorite activities was to beat myself up for this awkwardness until I'd find someone else to distract myself with and start the cycle all over again. Last year, I successfully managed to stop the "find someone else" part and enjoy some quality time free of any thoughts about men (thoughts about sex, of course, remained healthily constant.) This year, I'm going to stop the beating myself up part, because I'm good enough, smart enough, and gosh darnit people like me. And if Boyfriends One and Two plowed through my awkwardness at its 18-year-old peak, surely, when my oats are all sown by about age 34, someone else will too.


Anonymous said...

Which Jeff Buckley song ?!

Gina said...

the sad one.

the management said...

Replace "Franzia" with "Boone's Farm," and "Jeff Buckley" with "The Smiths," and I totally feel your pain.

Mister Underhill said...

I can relate, except to the part with all the sex with mens.

Fat Asian Baby said...

i always felt quite buoyed by the fact that you and bf2 defied all of cosmos relationship rules seeing as how neither of you seem to remember the actual meeting part or really anything prior to waking up in bed next to each other the next morning. and look what love blossomed from that supposedly inauspicious start. take that, cosmo!