Tuesday, December 9, 2008
There's a lot to catch you up on. I'm going to start posting about it again tomorrow night, I SWEAR. And just for kicks, comments are open (moderated, but open).
Saturday, December 6, 2008
In the meantime, can I ask you guys a favor? I made this bet with my sister. (I told her about the blog, which was a little humiliating. She thinks I'm totally insane and twelve kinds of lame for having a blog like this. It's part of the reason I haven't been posting - it makes me all self conscious knowing she's reading it. But I'm getting over it.)
Anyway, I know who I want to be with, but after reading everything I've written my sister has her own ideas. She keeps saying stuff like, "You know how you can be so close to something that you almost can't see it anymore? That's you."
She bet me that if I put up a poll, most of you would agree with her. I'm not going to tell you who she's siding with. It might not be who you think it is.
It's not like it matters, it's not going to change what I'm doing or how I feel, but - I kind of want to win the bet. So - vote away. (I don't really know if there's anyone still around and reading the blog, I've neglected it for so long that a lot of you have probably stopped checking for updates - but if you are reading and you have a second, could you pop on over and vote?) Thanks guys.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I tried to explain that I'm perfectly capable of having adult conversations about my feelings - just - not with Seth. It actually makes perfect sense if you think about it. I spent years training myself to hide my feelings. The fact that I failed miserably and everyone this side of the Pacific was totally aware of how I felt is irrelevant (really, really embarrassing - but irrelevant). My brain is wired to react only one way when Seth's around. "Oh, look, a feeling - hide it, HIDE IT, HIDE IT!" I'm not emotionally stunted exactly - just well trained.
She ignored all of my perfectly good rationalizations, and told me I was getting in the way of my own happiness. I could apply all the stupid analogies I wanted, but they wouldn't keep me warm at night. Nice. (This is why Thanksgiving is going to be SO MUCH FUN.)
That night he caught me on googlechat.
S: You can't avoid me forever.
C: Who says?
S: If you really wanted me to leave you alone you wouldn't be online.
S: You miss me, I can tell.
C: You're so conceited.
C: Maybe I'm chatting with other guys.
C: Maybe I'm having a hot online affair.
S: Are you?
C: No. Not right this minute.
S: I knew it.
S: Get dressed, I'm coming over.
C: It's almost eleven.
S: Come on, it's practically my birthday.
C: Your birthday's not till November 30th.
S: It's right around the corner.
C: Maybe another night.
S: You're replaying it all in your head, aren't you
S: All the times I pretended I didn't know.
S: All the times I flirted with some random girl.
C: All the times you made out with someone right in front of me.
C: Oops. Sorry, that just slipped out.
S: I know you're mad. I get it.
C: I'm not mad. It just feels so complicated.
S: It doesn't need to be.
S: We could start over, square one.
S: Pretend you don't like me.
S: Pretend I don't like you, or think about you all the time, or want to be with you.
S: None of that.
S: We'll just hang out, see what happens.
C: That - that could work.
S: So I'll come over tonight?
S: Right, tomorrow. 8:00.
And he did. But I'll have to tell you about that later.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Last Friday night I talked to him. I told him how much I cared about him (because I do), and how sorry I was (because I am), but I felt like I had to give it a chance with Seth or I would always wonder and regret it.
It was horrible.
I'd give you the play-by-play, but trust me, you don't really want to read it. He was hurt. He kept looking out the window and shaking his head with this utterly dejected expression on his face.
We sat there for a long time, only sporadically talking. After a while he started kidding around, mostly to save face I think. He was making sort of bitter jokes about how I keep trying to move us back into the friends zone but never manage to actually keep things there, because of the whole can't-resist-him thing.
I think he knows things are different now though - because of Seth.
I got out and stood next to his truck for a minute, trying to think of something to say. I wanted to say something perfect that would make it all better - make him smile, let him know how much I care, but still ensure he knew it was over.
So basically I was looking for MAGIC words.
He looked so frustrated. He said, "I know you've liked him for a long time. Him finally coming around - it probably feels like a dream come true to you, doesn't it." It wasn't a question. He let out a cheerless little half laugh. "That's the part I don't get. How overlooking you for so long wins him points. How he makes that work out in his favor."
I didn't know what to say that wouldn't make it worse, so I didn't say anything, just stood there feeling miserable and cold.
He put the truck into gear and I backed up, assuming we were done. He took a parting shot though, and made it count. "Don't you want to be with someone who gets it? Who doesn't take five years to figure out they want you? Who meets you and says - HER - that's the girl."
It was so heartfelt - for a minute I wanted to get back into the truck and tell him to forget what I'd said earlier, but I just mumbled, "But don't you want that too?"
He rubbed his forehead for a minute, then said, "You're probably right. See you around, Cordy," and he drove off.
You know, it would be really great if I could just split myself in half.
Bloody, but great.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I'm mad because you were an insensitive jerk for at least a YEAR, which was kind of a surprise because of the whole "Mr. Sensitive" thing you've usually got going on.SO ROMANTIC, I know.
Who am I kidding though? I'm in love with you and therefore willing to overlook pretty much anything, even if it makes me feel kind of horrible about myself, and I guess you might as well know that up front. I figure HEY, if we're gonna be in a relationship we might as well start off on the right foot.
So just to make sure we're clear, let's review: a) you had feelings for me for a while, but weren't sure whether or not you could actually bring yourself to date me, b) you'll leave me as soon as I gain five pounds, and c) I'm a lot more ok with all of that than I really ought to be.
So, to sum up, I probably shouldn't want to be with you, but I do anyway because I'm a junkie and you are my crack.
I would say I'm being too hard on him, except for the whole making out with Teresa right in front of me thing. The other stuff I can write off, but that one ticks me off.
I'm pretty sure our actual conversation, whenever we end up actually having it, will involve a lot less talking and a lot more making out. (What can I say, I play to my strengths.) (Also, I'm a dork, because despite everything written above, I'm totally internally squeeing over the fact that I probably get to kiss him again.)
It's good that he hasn't seen me lately, because I've been stress eating pounds and pounds of cookies for the last week and the level of chipmunk in my cheeks right now is off the charts. I ought to be more careful. I only have about a five pound window to work with before Seth decides I'm undatable all over again.
Huh. That sounds a little bitter when I write it out like that.
Here, let me balance it all out by telling you the other part of it - the part where I've been sitting around doing almost nothing but indulging in every romantic fantasy I've ever had about him and then saying to myself after each one, "Self? That COULD ACTUALLY HAPPEN now." And then with the internal squeeing and carrying on and having to make myself get a grip all over again. My IPOD is stuck on a permanent repeat of the Love Songs playlist.
He came by on Sunday when I didn't show up to church. I stayed at home in my pajamas, preferring to sit in my room and listen to music and PRETEND we were together, instead of actually doing something to make that happen and then having to deal with the consequences. Reality is highly overrated.
I didn't take the chain off the door, just stood there looking out at him through the crack, which he seemed to find somewhat amusing.
"You know I could just walk around to the back, right?"
"It's never locked." He's right. We always forget to lock it. I could probably race him back there though. I could probably get it locked before he got to it if I ran really fast. Luckily he decides not to try it.
"I just wanted to make sure you're o.k. You sick or something?"
I fake cough. "Very sick. Very contagious. You really shouldn't be around me."
He rolls his eyes. "Yeah, I can see you're at death's door. Let me in, I'll make you soup."
"I hate soup."
"Noodles then. I'll make you noodles."
I consider it for a minute, then remember my lack of make-up, messy ponytail and morning breath which is transitioning over to afternoon-morning breath, an almost deadly vapor requiring a good fifteen minute brush-and-floss combo, and I decide not to let him in. "Come back tomorrow."
He looks disappointed, but leaves after making me promise to talk to him THIS WEEK, WITHOUT FAIL.
I watch him go, congratulating myself on being strong enough to resist letting him in when he's wearing a suit and looking like the GQ version of himself. I'm really quite impressed with myself.
There's more to tell but my boss is giving me the evil eye and I need to sign off. Dang these people, expecting me to actually work when I'm on their dime. BOO.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I'm posting tonight, I SWEAR. :)
PS: Um. Did I say tonight? Um. Oops. Clearly, I meant to say Tuesday. Yeah. That's it. Tuesday. My bad.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I think I read his email approximately sixteen hundred times that morning before church.
The abject cruelty of his behavior - the fact that he'd had no problem letting me cry myself to sleep over and over again while he rubbed his relationships with other girls in my face - gave me serious pause.
Like fifteen seconds of pause, but still.
I want this to be the part where I'm strong and stand up for myself, and say, "It's not OK that you treated me like that. I have serious doubts about your character."
(Hint: This is not that part.)
It turns out that when you've been overdosing on a crush for years and years, the idea of a relationship with said crush object finally becoming an actual POSSIBILITY totally overwhelms the logical part of your brain with fizzy pink bubbles of carbonated sap.
Because it's what I've wanted for so long, with every part of my heart.
(I mean he basically said I'm the ONE. The ONE! Come on. I'm supposed to resist that? Really? How?)
(No, seriously - how??!)
I went to church right after getting that email, my mind mostly blown, and I sat with Chris. Seth came up and sat on the other side of me. I couldn't even look at him, because I knew if I did I'd probably have some kind of seizure.
I could feel him looking at me the whole time. I kept a death grip on Chris' hand. I thought maybe it would give me a little immunity against Seth, who was doing his best to use the power of his magical puppy eyes to break through my force-field of feigned irritation.
It was kinda symbolic - sitting there between the guy I trust, but don't really love, and the guy I love but don't really trust anymore. Symbolic and also incredibly stressful.
I had Chris take me home after the first hour, claiming to be nauseous (TRUE). He dropped me off, clueless about what was going on, then went back for his other meetings. I sat there in the living room totally on edge, waiting for Seth to get there.
He showed up ten minutes later. I opened the door and he was standing there looking upset but hopeful. We both stood there for a minute and then flew at each other.
Um... Wow. Without a doubt the most amazing, passionate kiss I've ever had in my entire life, ever. Ever ever ever. EVER. In fact, I had to pull myself away after a minute or two because it was getting totally out of hand. Embarrassingly, I may have whispered holy crap a couple of times mid-makeout, I can't exactly remember. (Although it does explain why he started laughing.)
After he stopped laughing, there were a few small kisses, then we disentangled. He started to say something, but I cut him off. I told him to sit down and be quiet, so I could finally say my piece.
There was a slightly humiliating ten minute period where I was having some kind of vocal chord problem - I kept trying to make words form, but they wouldn't.
I'd say, "OK, so - " and then I'd cry into my hands for a minute, tell him to shut up when he started to say something, calm myself down, and then start the process all over again. And again. And again.
But I had to at least try to talk to him, to make him understand that even though I was obviously head over heels for him, I was still really hurt and angry.
Because I DO remember that day at Brighton - when he leaned in like he was going to kiss me, then had second thoughts and retreated. And I remember how he spent the rest of the day flirting with some random ski bunny he met on the lift, and how awful it made me feel to realize I would never be the kind of girl he wanted. I remember going home depressed, thinking about how much it hurt, but excusing his behavior because how could I hold it against him when he had no idea?
Except he did.
All in all, probably not the best choice of romantic moments to include in his email. Even if the words near the end made me all swoony.
I wanted to say all of that, but I couldn't get the words out. He was looking at me like he thought my tears were adorable and sweet, and suddenly I got really mad. Because pain isn't adorable. It isn't cute. It wasn't o.k.
I surprised myself by telling him to leave. "I think you should go."
He looked as shocked to hear it as I was to have said it. "What? Why?!"
"I don't know." Always with the stupid tears. "Maybe I need a few days. Or maybe I just want to mess with your head until you know what it feels like to hurt the way I did."
He didn't want to go - he wanted to stay and talk it out, but I told him I couldn't do it, not right then. I watched him leave, mopey and hurt, and I had to fight against the raging impulse to call him back inside. "Just kidding! Ha ha ha ha ha - aren't I hilarious? With the sending you away? And the acting like I'm mad? Ha! Ha ha ha! So funny!"
But I didn't.
We've barely talked all week, other than random texts and comments on FB. We were talking about going to lunch on Monday, but I bailed. I couldn't do it.
Obviously I'm not going to Georgia. I was so flattered I wasn't thinking straight. Clearly, I'm not ready for that.
I think I need a romantic detox. I need to step away from both of them, and let all of the romantic carbonation drain out of my brain so that I can think clearly. If I have any functioning brain cells left. I'm a little afraid that thousands of them have died over the last few months, starved for oxygen because the pink ones were pushing them around.
I just wish I'd kissed him a few more times before I sent him on his way.
Because when I'm a spinster, I'll probably need those memories to keep me warm at night.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I got your email. You're right. I'm a jerk. I know you don't think I get it, but I do.
I don’t have your gift with words, so I’ll just try to say this as simply as I can. I’m so sorry. I realized after I left last night how stupid I was being, trying to defend myself against what probably feels to you like a total betrayal. Because you don' t know how I feel. All you know are the countless ways I've hurt you.
I know I’ve handled things badly – not just with Teresa, but over and over again, for the last two years. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I’ve been confused all year long – not knowing how to act, or what to say, or what to feel.
Remember back in February, when we went snowboarding up at Brighton? The weekend that Dave and Sarah bailed? It was the best day, and you made some little comment about wanting to marry someone who you could board with, and it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. How was I ever gonna have a life that didn’t include you? I mean logically I’ve known that forever – that it would have to end at some point – but it hadn’t really hit home. You looked so cute, with your hair in two braids under your hat, all sunburned and happy and in the best mood, making me laugh so hard I almost fell off the lift, and I felt this huge wave of affection for you.
I almost kissed you. If I know you at all, you remember it. But I snapped out of it just in time, remembering all of the reasons why I couldn’t act on random feelings. Because how devastated would you be if I started randomly flirting with you and then didn’t follow through? I couldn’t act like I’d act with any other girl I was testing the waters with. It was impossible to do anything. So I did nothing. Because I wasn’t sure what I felt and I couldn't afford to screw up our friendship.
I put it in the back of my mind, but it seemed to keep happening – all of these random moments where I’d realize all over again that eventually I’d have to say goodbye to you, and I couldn’t picture it.
I know when I was dating Teresa I was all over the map – that’s partly because I really did like her, but I was also confused about you. I couldn’t keep my head on straight for more than ten minutes at a time.
I’m so sorry about that night at your house when I kissed Teresa in front of you. I don’t know what I was thinking. There’s no excuse for it. But that night? Seeing the look on your face and realizing how it made me feel literally sick inside to know I'd hurt you like that – I knew there was no point even trying to pretend like there would ever be anyone else for me but you.
The last few months, you’ve gotten more and more adorable every day, and it got harder and harder to handle what I was feeling. Because then it wasn’t just – how can I function without her in my life – but it was also – wanting to be with you so badly it hurt. Realizing I was in so far over my head that there was no way back out of it. I would’ve kissed you on Tuesday, but I didn’t want Chris’ sister to walk in on us. You have NO IDEA how much I regret not doing it anyway.
I came over on Friday, saw you with Chris, and I wanted to kill him – rip him limb from limb. I can’t handle it. Now I know how you must’ve felt when you saw me with Teresa, and I hate myself for it.
I know you said you didn't want me to contact you for a while - but I wanted you to know the whole story before you decide whether or not you can forgive me. I’m not asking you to give me a chance, or to stop seeing him. (Even though I wish you would. Especially the "stop seeing him" part.) I know I’m a jerk. I know how much I’ve hurt you. If you can’t forgive me, I get it. I’m not expecting anything. The most I'm hoping for at this point is that you'll still let me be a part of your life as a friend.
I’d rather save the big words for a later date, on the off-chance that you’ll give me another shot someday, so for now, I’ll just end with…
Monday, November 10, 2008
I was hiding in my room avoiding Melissa when Seth showed up, his pride obviously hurt. He paced around my room for a while before getting around to his question. “What I don't understand is what happened between Tuesday night and today."
I didn't even look up from my computer, but acted as though I had no idea what he was talking about. “Tuesday night... Tuesday night... Did something happen on Tuesday night?"
"Very funny." He didn't sound amused.
I frowned at him. "Oh - TUESDAY. You mean when you almost kissed me and said you’d call me later? THAT Tuesday? I'm so surprised you remember that. Because what happened was Wednesday. And Thursday. And Friday. With no call."
He looked sheepish and started messing with the pictures on my dresser, picking them up and pretending to look at them so that he wouldn't have to look at me. "I was gonna call, but - "
"I had a few days to realize that once again, you were just messing with me.”
That got his attention. He looked almost hurt by the accusation. “No I wasn’t.”
“Yeah you were. Just like at the wedding reception. Having a little fun, then pretending like it never happened.” It was a relief to finally say all of the things I'd been thinking for the last few days.
“That’s not it at all - ”
I stared back at him cooly. “Really. Then why didn’t you call me?”
“I was busy - "
“You were busy. Yeah, well I was busy too. Busy thinking.” I boiled over with frustration. “You know what I think? You don’t want me, but you don’t want anyone else to have me either. So you throw me these little scraps of affection to make sure I never get over you.
He looked shocked that I'd said it out loud. “That’s not true.”
I was on a roll. Almost stuttering because I was so wound up and anxious, but on a roll. "Let me ask you something. How long have you known?"
"How I felt about you. A few weeks? A few months? What?"
I saw him eyeing the door. Probably calculating if it would be faster to sprint or attempt to fly. He put his hands in his pockets, apparently resigning himself to the conversation. "A while."
"A while. So what does that mean? Months?"
He mumbled something I didn't catch.
"Years," he said it quietly.
"Years." How humiliating. "Years. You've known for years. And you never said anything."
"Neither did you." He came and sat down next to me. "Besides, what was I supposed to say? I didn't - I didn't feel that way about you. I didn't want to ruin everything. Ruin our whole friendship. I figured you'd get over it if I waited it out."
I sat there silently, thinking of all of those times when he told me about other girls, suddenly realizing he must've known the entire time how much he was hurting me every time he did it. Deciding to cause me pain on purpose, just to subtly drive the point home that he didn't care about me like that.
I was so deep in thought that I was startled when he took my hand. "I couldn't deal with the idea of screwing it all up over a passing crush. It's not like I didn't care about you. You've been the most important girl in my life for a long time. I just wasn't attracted to you then."
Then. "Are you now?"
The question obviously made him nervous. "Yeah."
"So what's the cut off?" I asked him softly.
I snatched my hand away. "The cut off. In the last four months I lost thirty pounds. So, um, if I gain back five, is that the point where you lose interest? Or ten? Fifteen? I need to know at what point I become totally repulsive to you." The anger was a very good thing, keeping the tears at bay.
I could see him clenching his teeth. "That's not fair. Are you gonna tell me you'd be attracted to me if I weighed fifty pounds more than I do now?"
"Of COURSE I would." Fifty pounds more, missing limbs, whatever.
"You can't be mad at me for being attracted to girls who are fit. That's totally normal. That doesn't make me a jerk."
I didn't want to listen or be fair. I just wanted to vent. My words tumbled out, one after the other, rapid fire and angry. "Oh - girls who are fit. So I'm probably just on the borderline of acceptable right now, right? Boy, you're really lowering your standards to even be willing to consider me. I guess I should thank you for being so charitable."
He was like a deer in the headlights. I almost felt sorry for him. "Cordy, come on - "
"I'll bet all of this - I'll call you later, I'll call you in a week, I'll call you in a month - that was actually a STRATEGY, right? You figured you'd wait long enough and I'd eventually lose enough weight to be acceptable girlfriend material. Wouldn't want to embarrass yourself in front of your buddies by dating a fat chick."
"That isn't true." He looked bewildered and lost for words - not sure what he could say that I wouldn't immediately use against him.
“It is. It’s the truest thing either one of has said to each other in months."
We sat there and stared at each other for a minute before he finally quietly said, "I'm gonna go. But I'm coming back over here tomorrow when you've calmed down a little so that we can actually talk."
"Oh, thanks DAD." I started fiddling with my computer, not wanting to look at him. "Although if you want to wait till I'm calm, you might try JANUARY."
The next time I looked up he was gone.
(He did come back on Sunday, but I'll have to tell you about that later.)
Saturday, November 8, 2008
I'm not one of those people who would be good at being permanently single. I've always known this about myself - faced with the prospect of an entire life spent alone, I would sink into a depression I'm not sure I would ever be able to climb back out of. Maybe I just need a lot of therapy so the prospect of that kind of a life isn't quite so terrifying, I don't know.
Chris came over tonight, more solemn than I've ever seen him. He wanted to talk, so we left the house and went for a walk.
When we were a good distance away, he took my hands in his, and told me he had things he wanted to say - even though he knew I probably wasn't ready to hear them.
He kissed one of my hands, a gesture that has never lost it's initial charm, made even sweeter by the way he tenderly repeated it, one kiss for each clasped finger. He told me he wanted me to come with him to Georgia for Thanksgiving, to meet his parents and the rest of his family.
"I want them to know who you are." He paused for a minute, clearing his throat and giving me a lopsided smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. "If it doesn't work out - if you never feel about me the way I feel about you - they should probably know exactly who it was that broke my heart."
I studied the ground, trying to think of what to say - how to tell him I wasn't ready to do that yet, when he put a hand under my chin and made me look at him.
"I thought about walking away from this, because it's kind of humiliating to wait around and hope you'll decide you want to be with me, but I couldn't do it. Like it or not, you're what I want. You're who I want." His eyes were slightly wet, but he didn't seem to notice or care.
"I love you." His voice shook a little and I stared up at him in astonishment. "Don't say anything - I'm not wanting you to say it back, I just needed you to know. I don't want to look back on this and wish I'd told you. I love you and I want to be with you."
He wiped at his eyes, and that gesture made me cry - even though I wasn't exactly sure why I was crying. Maybe the depth of his feelings touched me so deeply I was overwhelmed. Maybe it was because it was the first time anyone had ever said they loved me. Maybe because he made me feel so loved that not being able to say it back was breaking my heart a little bit.
Through my tears I managed to say, "OK - I'll go."
That one sentence made him so happy, it was almost as though I'd told him I loved him. "Really?"
I nodded again, then started really crying in earnest and he pulled me toward him and let me cry on his shoulder. I closed my eyes and felt him holding me close and kissing the top of my head, and I thought, I could have this every day - all I have to do is choose it. We stood there for a long time before we walked back.
I don't know exactly what I feel for him, but I can almost see it - choosing Chris, making the choice to be loved. I'm sure I would fall head over heels in love with him if I let myself. I adore Seth, but sometimes Chris touches me in a way Seth doesn't. I don't know if that means I love Chris or not, but it means something.
I can see that girl now, the one on the tv screen, and now I can see that choice more clearly. She isn't choosing between the two guys. She's choosing between the safety of a life with someone who is offering her all of the things she always thought would make her happy, and a life spent chasing after love that might never really happen - where there's a strong possibility she'll end up exactly as she always feared she would - alone. Maybe it's cowardly, but it doesn't feel like such a false choice right now after all.
Friday, November 7, 2008
It's like the universe doesn't want me to know what's on his blog.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
C: When are you gonna add me on Facebook?
S: I'm not on Facebook
C: Yes you are
S: No I'm not - probably another Seth
C: Right, because there are so many Seth McCallisters in Salt Lake City
S: Fine, so I'm on Facebook
C: Then why won't you add me?
S: Maybe I have private stuff on there - stuff that's none of your business
C: So I can't see it, but all of your Facebook friends can?!!
S: Don't make such a big deal out of it
I was already kind of irritated about the way he was toying with me the other day, but now I'm mad. (Of course, I'm not sure how outraged I'm really allowed to be, what with the whole, um, secret-blog-devoted-to-obsessing-over-him thing. Hypocrisy is fun.)
Still, it's irritating, because now I'm positive that he's hooking up with random Facebook girls. I'm done with him. I know I say that all the time, but this time I mean it.
After reading my semi-humiliating IM messages in the light of day (yes, I still have a crush on you - yes, I will continually cast Chris aside in your favor - yes, I apparently have no self-respect whatsoever), and realizing Seth never called me afterward, I decided that was my answer. The end. Done. Over. Our relationship would have to change.
NO MORE FRIENDSHIP COOKIES FOR YOU, Seth.
In an effort to handle it all maturely, I resolved to be rude and dismissive the next time I saw him.
He finally showed up at my door on Tuesday night, claiming to want to watch the election results with me, but I wouldn’t let him in. I told him I was busy, and that he should go home.
He laughed at me and came in anyway.
I’m thinking we have boundary issues.
He planted himself on the couch, and ignored all of my efforts to make him leave, so I finally gave up and sat primly on the other side of the couch, arms folded, concentrating on keeping my angry face on. I would not laugh at his jokes. I would not be moved by his attempts to make me smile. I was determined to hold a grudge for at least fifteen consecutive minutes.
When Obama won Ohio Seth suddenly said, “So you wanna talk about it?”
My mouth opened and closed but no sound came out for a minute. I eventually squeaked out a very feeble “Talk about what?”
“Things being in limbo.”
Remembering that I was supposed to be very angry, I said, “I’m not in limbo. I’m in a very serious relationship right now.”
He looked amused. “Really. With who?”
“With Chris. So since last week, things have suddenly gotten serious.” He watched me, eyes merry.
“Yes. We spent Wednesday and Thursday and Saturday night together." Conflicting emotions washed over me. Have some self-respect. Let him know you're off the market. OFF THE MARKET. Come on Cordy, he can't just wave his magic crush fingers and make you lose all resolve. Make him work for it. Why do you even want him if he doesn't care enough to make an effort?
On the other hand... "But... If there's... If there's something you wanted to tell me... I could - I can still listen. I mean, friends - they listen to each other, so - if you wanted to talk to me..." Oh sweet merciful heaven, MAKE IT STOP.
He sat back on the couch, smirking. “I’d better not. Seeing as how you’re in such a serious relationship.”
Shoot. Shoot. Shoot.
He picked up his keys. “I’m gonna go.” He was obviously waiting for me to protest.
"Whatever. Do what you want." I tried for airily dismissive but I think I landed somewhere closer to she-doth-protest-too-much.
He grinned and moved over on the couch next to me, taking the pillow I was hugging protectively out of my hands. “It’s too bad.”
“What?” I grabbed for the pillow, but he tossed it on the chair.
He moved closer and put one hand in my hair, gathering it up, then moving it off of my shoulder. “I had all of these things I wanted to tell you, but I wouldn’t want to cross a line.”
I blinked. Was I hallucinating, or was he actually making a move? I could feel my eyes getting wider by the second. “Lines are important,” I said faintly.
The teasing smile disappeared, replaced by a more tender version, and I saw him swallow, which was strangely touching, because - was he nervous? He leaned in even closer.
We were sitting there looking at each other, and I was sure he was going to kiss me, or at the very least I was going to kiss him, but at the last possible second he swerved left and dropped a kiss on my cheek, and murmured "'Night Cordy."
It took me a minute to catch up, and I mumbled a confused, "OK," instead of good night.
He looked newly amused by my obvious befuddlement. "OK," he agreed with me, nodding and just barely holding back a laugh as he stood to go. How embarrassing.
I muttered, “I hate you,” and threw another pillow at him.
“You don’t hate me.”
“Right. You hate me, and you’re in a very serious relationship, I keep forgetting.”
A mental image of Chris flashed into my head, and I was suddenly ready for him to leave. “You know what? I’m tired. Go home.”
He looked surprised, but for once he obeyed me, and after making me promise to call him the next day, he left.
I sat back down on the couch, feeling discombobulated and happy and confused and guilty, all at the same time, and two days later, I feel exactly the same.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
(Rather than answering each email I've gotten or might get, I will tell you upfront - NO, I do not have a brain tumor. Why does everyone immediately go there? Is that what you do in non-blog life? Say, "Man, my head hurts - it MUST BE A BRAIN TUMOR.")
(OK, wait. Actually a lot of people DO do that, so never mind.)
Still, I was pretty sure this was just a dehydration headache, so instead of getting an MRI, I swallowed a few ibuprofen, drank a ton of water and sat down to wait it out.
Chris came over, doing his usual shtick - just dropping by, total coincidence that you happen to live here. I felt awful when he showed up - my head was pounding, the kind of pressurized pounding where you almost can't think it hurts so much.
He took one look at me and started asking if he could do something, if I wanted a drink, or did I need different medicine because he had some Tylenol with codeine leftover from his last dentist's appointment, or did I need him to run to the store, or...
I wonder if I looked as bewildered as I felt.
You know, I used to have this friend, Sarah (married off ages ago) who was tiny and beautiful. All of the guys in our circle were constantly falling in love with her. If she so much as had indigestion they were racing to volunteer to take her to the hospital, whereas if I had indigestion they'd toss me a bottle of pepto and wish me luck "working it all out."
It was really hard to be her friend sometimes. I used to wonder what it would be like, to be put up on that kind of pedestal. I've just never been that girl.
I'm mostly OK with that, because, you know - I'm an adult, I can take care of myself. I don't need a guy - any guy - to take care of me. I'm perfectly capable.
But that's totally different from wishing someone would want to, and knowing that it would probably only ever be a wish.
Chris turned off the light in the family room and made me lie down on the couch with a blanket and my head on a pillow on his lap and he sat there and gently stroked my hair while he watched TV. Lying there, I was almost in tears - so touched by the idea that someone - no - that he wanted to take care of me. ME.
He saw the tears, and asked me what was wrong, but I didn't want to explain, so I told him my head was hurting really badly. He murmured that he was sorry, that he would put the TV on mute and watch with the closed captioning on (because maybe the quiet would help), and as I watched him fiddle with the remote my stomach started flipping - over and over and over again.
Later he tucked me into bed and told me to "feel better," but he looked reluctant to leave. For a minute it was almost as though I was one of those girls, those girls you take care of, and then he kissed me on the cheek and was gone.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Seth's been busy playing sensitive ex-boyfriend every night, holding Teresa’s hand through the post-break-up aftermath.I guess that’s the downside to liking a sensitive, sweet guy.He keeps on being that way, even when it doesn’t work out to my advantage. It's very annoying.
I’m feeling very “whateverish” about it. If he wants something more than friendship, the ball’s in his court. I'm not gonna throw myself at him or wait around for him anymore. He obviously knows how I feel.
I know this because - well... ...let me direct you over to Exhibit A: Thursday Late Night IM:
S: Where were you?
C: early voting w/C
S: oh, he merits an abbreviation now?
C: yeah, I guess he does
S: you know it's serious when they get the IM initial
C: yeah, we're practically engaged
C: we both wanted to vote early, that's all
S: that's very civic of you
C: I'm nothing if not civic minded
S: still stringing him along?
C: he knows where we stand
S: where's that?
C: in limbo, where else?
C: it's my new comfort zone
C: besides, I really like him
C: yes, really
S: funny, last month I could've sworn you said you really liked this other guy
C: I have no recollection of this
S: Sure you do - you told me he was tall and devastatingly handsome
C: I wouldn't say devastatingly
C: or even tall actually
S: you're so fickle
C: I’m not fickle
S: I'm old news now
C: I’m NOT fickle
S: so what finally killed off the crush?
C: not dead yet
C: but this is not something I want to talk about via IM
S: Why? I like it, I get actual answers out of you
C: that's only because I'm high on Nyquil right now
C: otherwise you'd get NOTHING
S: I'll have to remember that
S: could come in handy
C: what this is news to you?
C: alcohol loosens inhibitions, EUREKA
S: you probably shouldn't keep Chris in limbo if you don't like him
C: oh, but I do
C: and how much do I love that you're lecturing me about keeping people in limbo
C: I mean seriously
C: THAT's what we should talk about.
S: I’ve gotta go
C: gee, what a surprise.
C: head for the hills
S: it’s not that, T just showed up
S: she's upset, gotta go
C: Sure. Whatever. Good luck with that.
S: I'm serious. Call you later.
And do you think he called me later? No. No he did not.
Apparently he just wanted to clarify that I was, in fact, still squirming around on the hook. He didn’t come over all weekend and only called me today to ask if I had his IPOD. Loser.
Chris came over though. And that's a whole 'nother story.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I've been having the most vivid dreams lately. I had this whole embarrassing dream about Seth - that he kissed me and fell head over heels in love with me. There was even a part where we went to a concert. It was very detailed and specific. So strange. It ended with him telling me he loved me, and I've never in my life been so disappointed to wake up before. I tried really hard to go back to sleep and get back into the dream, but it didn't work. I hate it when that happens.
Nothing happened with Seth last Sunday. He ended up staying in San Diego until Wednesday, and by the time I saw him it was as though we'd never even talked about talking. We're in limbo. If I had any idea at all what I wanted to say to him, I would sit him down. But I don't, so I'm letting it slide.
I was talking about it all with my older brother, who is cool despite being married and old, and he told me I was making too big of a deal out of everything. He said my problem has always been that I take the things Seth says and does too seriously, and that I need to just lighten up and have fun, because I'll be married and dead inside soon enough. (I'm hoping that last part was a joke.)
I want to tell you about what happened with Chris this week but I have to log-off, Melissa is snooping around over here and I don't want her to know I have a blog. Can you imagine if she found out? Ugh, what a nightmare.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Who was there.
Because I invited him to come with us.
Yeah. I never claimed to make any sense.
It's just that with Chris there aren't all of these layers of angst, so I feel like I can be myself and have fun. It's kind of a relief.
With Seth it's all been built up in my head into this massive pile of drama and I almost can't fight through it anymore. I'm so sick to my stomach about tomorrow, and a big part of me is saying, "It shouldn't be this hard."
We were standing outside the house talking after we got back from karaoke (yes, JUST talking) and Chris asked what was going on with "my competition," meaning Seth. I told him it was complicated, and he said, "That's your whole problem right there - it's not supposed to be complicated."
Of course, if Seth were just some random guy it would be no big deal to be interested and get rejected and move on with life, but he's not. He's Seth - Seth of the history and the angst and the best friendship and it makes the whole idea of talking about it an exercise in abject terror.
I feel like calling in sick to church tomorrow. I won't, but I feel like it.
Friday, October 24, 2008
I guess first you need to know that Chris still comes over every other day or so to "visit his sister." He's been here a lot, but it hasn't been awkward because he's just so dang relaxed and mellow and cheerful. We switched over pretty easily into friends territory - or at least that's what I thought.
The problem in the last little bit has been Melissa - if I talk to Chris at all she's impossible to deal with afterward. Things are bad enough between us, and every time he comes over it's like poking a rabid ferret with a stick. She starts making all of these hostile thinly veiled comments, then makes life miserable for me the next day.
I understand how she feels (jealousy and a crush - I get it, you know?), but I'm not sure what to do about it. Stay in my room when he comes over? Refuse to talk to him? Ban him from the house? Besides, until last night I was pretty sure it wasn't even an issue. I kept telling her she had nothing to worry about.
Thursday night he came over and had dinner. Lisa left with Jordan, but Chris decided to stay and watch Juno with us. Juno is an awesome movie but there's a scene in the first couple of minutes that's kind of risque and Melissa basically lost her mind. She wouldn't shut up. She was making comments about the movie, then moved on to making comments about where Chris was sitting on the couch (by me, but come ON), and then she started taking potshots at me. I think Chris was even more annoyed than I was. I don't think she understands she's completely blown any chance she ever had, if she ever had one in the first place.
She crossed the line at one point, and Chris said something kind of cutting to her (saving me the trouble). She got offended and bailed, so we got to watch the rest of the movie in peace. I was totally engrossed. It's the kind of movie that has such a sad/happy/romantic/awesome ending - you cry and laugh and smile all in the same two minutes. I was in tears - not little delicate tears, but choked back sobs (narrowly avoiding the ugly cry) with tears dripping down my face.
Chris thought it was cute. I know this because he brushed away a few of the tears on my face and said, "You're so sweet Cord," and then - I don't know what happened. The movie, plus the line, plus the look on his face...
You can see where this is going, right?
One minute he was kind of gently wiping the tears off of my face and the next minute we were kissing.
After I finally gathered the willpower to stop (five minutes later - that's like three hours in kissing years) I started apologizing, but he wouldn't let me. He was giving me a very cheshire cat grin, telling me "I'm wearin' you down, I can tell." I tried to tell him that wasn't it, that I had a weak moment (well, five minutes worth of weak moments I guess) and I was sorry. He just smiled and told me to call him next time I was having another weak moment and he'd rush on over to help me out.
If Melissa finds out, I'm a dead woman.
Besides feeling bad about leading Chris on, I feel like I cheated on Seth. I know technically I'm a free agent, but I don't feel like one. I know I would be really unhappy if I found out Seth was in San Diego macking on some random marketing rep at his conference.
I don't know why I didn't stop it or pull away or something. I'm starting to realize I'm kind of a pushover. I'm way too easily charmed. I don't have lots of experience with dating - one serious boyfriend, a few dates in high school and college and that's about it. I've always been the chubby girl guys ignored. Having guys flirt with me and try to kiss me out of the blue is totally uncharted territory.
I'm so surprised and flattered every time a guy is interested that I can hardly bring myself to turn 'em down. It's like if you were always picked last in PE and suddenly the cutest boy in class wants you on his team. Even if you aren't sure you particularly like him, it's hard to say no, because you still have that horrible feeling inside - say yes or you're gonna end up standing there all alone on the playground for the rest of your life.
After the fiasco with Chris I wasn't sure I could trust my own judgment, so I called and canceled the date with Eric (marketing rep guy). My hormones are so out of control right now that if Eric had been even semi-charming we probably would've ended up running off to Vegas for a quickie marriage at the Chapel 'O Love.
(I am SO not opening comments because I just know people will be shaking their heads and clucking their tongues and telling me I'm a harlot who doesn't deserve Seth. Maybe I am, I don't know.)
On the bright side I gave myself a blog makeover tonight. I surfed around the internet and found a free template from this lady. I love it.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
S: what, your busy schedule clear up?
C: I'm really sorry
C: I was upset
S: It's ok, I'm not mad
C: I was worried
C: you aren't answering your phone
S: yeah, sorry, its dead
C: can I come over?
S: actually I'm packing
S: going to San Diego till Saturday night
S: but I want to talk to you
S: a lot
C: me too
S: I get in late Saturday
S: how bout we hang after church Sunday
S: catch a ride there, I'll take you home later
S: I've gotta go, still finishing a presentation for tomorrow
C: ok, be safe
S: I will, see you Sunday
C: see you
HE WANTS TO TALK TO ME A LOT.
I don't know why I put that in caps, it just seems important.
I talked to my sister for a little while last night but I was bouncing off the walls and she got irritated with me. This morning she sent this to me.
Cord, you sounded like you were on crack last night. You have got to get a grip. Please print this out and put it on your fridge or something.
- First of all, calm down. He didn't ask you to be the mother of his children, he just broke up with his girlfriend. Perspective please.
- R-E-L-A-X. From what I saw, he obviously has feelings for you. Great. So the next step is not marriage and children it's DATING. Hopefully he will ask you out, you will go out, and you will see if you guys click like that. Expecting anything else is premature. Period.
- Seth is great, you know I love him, but he is not Prince William. He's Seth. Frankly, he would be damn lucky to have you. (Note: I deleted about a paragraph of my sister saying nice things about me. She's my sister, of course she thinks that.) You're a catch Cordy, so stop acting like he'd be doing you this big favor by falling in love with you.
- OK, listen because this is important: You are going to have to stop hiding your feelings or he is never going to be able to figure you out. I know you live in mortal fear of being rejected, but it is not the worst thing that could happen. The worst thing would be for the two of you to actually have feelings for each other, but then have nothing happen because you are so impossible to read. I know you think he must know, he has to know, he's always known, but I know how you can be with him. You want so badly for him not to know because you don't want it to be awkward, and you don't want him to be able to reject you and leave you, so you hide everything. And you, my dear, are an excellent actress. Everything's a joke. Nothing is serious. You have to knock it off.
- I saw you with Chris - you were WAY more flirtatious than you are with Seth. That's normal because you're used to hiding your feelings around Seth, but you are going to have to figure out how to take the wall back down and show him the actual tender hearted little self you have in there.
- Calm down. I just thought I'd throw this one in there again. CALM DOWN. Go get a massage or something. Better yet, come watch my kids. They'll wear you down, trust me.
I think she may have a point. Six actually.
Freak. When is it Sunday again?
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
THEY BROKE UP.
RIGHT AFTER SHE GOT BACK INTO TOWN.
C: I was busy
S: With your super top secret plans
C: Just busy
S: I need to talk to you
C: Maybe next month
S: Are you avoiding me?
C: No, I'm just very busy right now
S: Be serious
C: I am being serious
S: Are you mad?
C: but I'm unavailable
C: occupied with other things
C: penciled out for the next fourteen days or so
S: What are you talking about?
C: Nothing. My social life is getting really hectic that's all
C: I might be able to squeeze you in in November
C: I'll let you know
S: Stop messing around
C: I'm not
S: Then you're mad at me
C: why would I be mad
S: we need to talk
C: how unfortunate
C: maybe we can talk some other time
C: sometime when I'm not so busy
C: maybe two weeks from Friday
C: I'll let you know
And then I signed out.
So I guess he wants to talk. Unfortunately, now that he wants to talk, I'm totally afraid to talk to him. I don't want to know what he has to say. I've decided I'd rather be in limbo forever. Because I can guess what he is going to say. Something along the lines of: I'm sorry about what happened, I don't know why it happened other than you were there and I was bored and missing my girlfriend. I'd rather not hear it.
I went to lunch with a bunch of people from work and this marketing rep that comes by our office a couple of times a month was there. He wants to take me to dinner on Friday. He's cute and mildly interesting so I said yes. Its not like I have anything better to do, other than avoid Seth.
It makes me mad that dating is so much easier now. I know that's stupid, but it's true. It makes me kind of contemptuous of the guys who suddenly think I'm interesting. I get all bitter on behalf of the chubbier version of myself. I can't imagine what it's like for girls who are actually really fit and pretty. They must have scorn for everyone.
Tonight, instead of being mysterious and captivating, I went to the dry cleaners, then to my sister's to drop something off, then went running. It was all very glamorous.
I was wrong, he didn't come over, which is probably for the best, given my fantastic mood. He called at 9:30, but I ignored him. I didn't answer his texts either.
I don't feel like playing games. I'm sick of games. I'm sick of all of it. I think having that moment on Saturday, and then the stress of having to act like it didn't even happen - like a NEAR-KISS didn't even happen - I'm just sick of it. It did happen, and he shouldn't be able to pretend it didn't.
I can see if he didn't want to talk about it for a day or so because he needed to figure out what to say or what to think about it, but to just pretend it didn't happen? Forever? Like we live in some alternate universe where he can wipe my memory banks and never mention it again? What sane person does that?
Oh, that's right - he does, and I go along with it.
I don't even want to talk to him right now.
Who am I kidding, I'm not even capable of talking to him about it if I wanted to. I'd never say what I wanted to say before the urge to make stupid jokes and run away overloaded my brain circuitry.
But if I were to write a pretend imaginary angry email, this is probably what it would say:
I don't know what kind of game you think you're playing with my head, but I'm sick of it. You practically kissed me on Saturday. You know it and I know it. Are we just supposed to pretend that didn't happen?
I thought, silly me, that we would eventually talk about it. But you keep acting like everything is perfectly normal. NEARLY KISSING ME IS NOT NORMAL. THAT IS NOT NORMAL. THAT IS NOT WHAT WE DO. If that is what we do, then I did not get the memo. If that is what we do, please advise at your earliest freaking opportunity, because I am getting severely ripped off kissing-wise.
When you didn't mention it on Sunday, I figured it was because you needed to sort it out in your head first or something. When you didn't mention it on Monday, I figured you were still thinking it over. Tonight I realized you think I should suck it up and ignore what happened. Tonight I realized you're a huge jerk.
There is a limit to how far you can push me and that's pretty much it. You say all of these things about how I'm so important to you, and how you love me, but you treat me like my heart is totally disposable. I hate you right now, you know that? Hate.
I'm sick of it. BURN IN SATAN'S LAIR.
What do you think - a tad strong at the end there? too much? not enough?
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
He grills me for a while about what I'm doing tomorrow, but I refuse to tell him.
"I'm a woman of many mysteries."
"It's this new thing I'm trying. Being mysterious and captivating. I saw it on a perfume box, thought it sounded like a good idea." I stretch out on my bed. There used to be lots of times I would fall asleep talking to him, but not as much anymore.
I can hear him throwing that stupid racquetball at the ceiling as he tells me that the last thing I will ever be is mysterious. "You're an open book Cord." He tells me he saw me talking to Chris on Sunday and asks if we're seeing each other again.
A little part of me is excited that he was paying attention. Totally ignoring me and yet watching me when I wasn't looking. YES. Junior high is awesome. I tell him all about how Chris decided he's ok with being friends and going out sometimes, but that we don't have any specific plans for tomorrow. He asks if it'll be awkward - being friends with Chris when he's still into me.
I try not to groan, because does he even realize what he's just said? "I guess he's not anymore. Apparently I'm very easy to get over."
"I kinda doubt that."
I take a moment for an internal awwwwwww, which he interrupts with an exasperated noise. "I can't believe you won't tell me."
"See? Mysterious and captivating."
I'm half convinced that he's gonna show up here tonight to see what I'm doing. He'll just happen to need to drop something off or something, mark my words. He can't stand not knowing everything, all the time.
I'm tempted to call Chris or some other random guy to come over. I'm kind of insanely tempted to teach Seth a lesson. I want him to be jealous and scared to lose me and I want him to break up with Teresa. That's it. That's all I want. That one teeny, tiny thing. (Although technically I guess that's three things. Whatever.)
Monday, October 20, 2008
S: No T's back - coming over tonight
(2 hour silence while I swear and slam things around my desk and generally abuse the people in my office)
C: No, I have plans
I didn't answer.
LET HIM WONDER.
Now I just need to get some plans.
I don't want to be patient. I'm sick of being patient. Things are finally happening. I've been patient for three years, and I'm sick of it.
If I just sit here and be patient I'll be thirty before he ever gets around to doing anything about it. Why am I letting him be in control anyway?
Ugh. Patience is for losers.
I think it's time for a party at my house. Forget patience, it's time to play random mind games to try to make him jealous.
(Notice comments aren't open on this post, that's because I already know I'm being ridiculous. I probably won't do anything stupid. Probably.)
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Because sometimes there are moments. I think back on them later and I think - how can that possibly be a figment of my imagination? But apparently it was, apparently all of these little moments are, because they happen, they get into my heart, then pass me by, and it's like nothing that happens ever impacts the whole overarching theme of our relationship. Like I'm not supposed to let all of those little moments add up and get into my head. I'm just supposed to enjoy the moment and let it go and never think of it again.
I don't know how to do that. Lots of people, including my sister Kelly, tell me I should just stop being his friend, stop subjecting myself to what she calls "his bullshit." (Sorry, she's not a word mincer, that one.)
Last week when I was feeling so alone about it, and getting way too dependent on my good friends Ben and Jerry, I went over to her house and cried on her shoulder for a good hour. She thinks he wants me, but he wants me later, when he's done sowing his oats or whatever, and that I shouldn't put up with it. I should be having fun, playing the field like him, and when he sees that I'm having a little too much fun, then he'll come running, probably with a ring. (Sorry, but I love her theory. Any theory that ends with me and Seth and a ring, I like - even if it means he's being kind of a jerk right now. I don't necessarily buy it, but I like hearing it anyway. It's loads less depressing than my alternative theory - that he's just not that into me.)
But I can't take her advice. I try, but my heart isn't in it, because I don't want to play the field. I want to have a whole bunch of moments, just like the one that happened Saturday night, and string them together and make them into something I can hold onto.
On Saturday night we went to the reception together and it was so much fun. A lot of my family was there, obviously, and they were all harassing him. (They've known him forever so they're allowed to do that.) My dad kept saying things like, "Fish or cut bait young man, fish or cut bait," which was a little bit hilarious and embarrassing at the same time. Luckily Seth is used to my dad, so he thought it was funny.
My sister Beth's husband Jeff, who is creepy and gross and loud and annoying, practically forced Seth at gunpoint to say that I looked pretty, which was awkward in about twelve different ways.
Jeff was elbowing Seth like the pervert he is, saying underneath all of my baby fat who knew there was that kind of a body and saying, "She's lookin' pretty hot these days, right Seth?"
Keep in mind I'm right there, feeling totally uncomfortable that my brother-in-law is calling me hot and like LEERING at me. Gross.
I could tell Seth was uncomfortable, but he said "She's always been pretty."
Jeff said, "Good thing she didn't look that good when I married in or I would have had second thoughts about marrying her sister."
Cue Seth and I staring at him in horrified silence. Poor Beth. She married a total douchebag perv, I'm serious. Ugh.
For a while we were talking to Kelly and her husband, and Kelly passed Seth her baby (eight months old and chubby and adorable), and I'm such a stupid, typical girl because watching him hold her and play with her - if there was any progress made toward getting over him in the last couple of months it was totally wiped away in that five minute period.
Later on they were doing the first dance thing, and I didn't know why at the time, but the song they chose for their first dance was that new Carrie Underwood song, "Just a Dream." They started playing it and Seth was like, "Um.... Isn't this song about the guy dying right after they get married?" And it totally IS! It was so weird. So then we both were kind of quietly cracking up about my cousin's high expectations for her marriage, and we couldn't stop laughing.
(I found out later that my cousin and her fiancee didn't HAVE a song, so she'd just told the DJ to pick something romantic sounding and country, and that was what he chose. She was mortified.)
On the next song everyone started dancing, and we were gonna dance but the song turned out to be "Somebody Knows You Now," which is about a woman who leaves her husband, so then we were both cracking up all over again. Either the DJ was totally clueless or he was her ex-boyfriend, I don't know. Seth started making jokes about what songs they'd play at their anniversary party. It wasn't romantic, but it was really funny, and we were having such a good time.
They started playing that Jason Mraz song, "I'm Yours" (sorry, this isn't supposed to be about the songs, they're just totally relevant to what happened), and Seth was all, "FINALLY - not country and not about a tragic break-up, come dance with me," so we did.
It was a really hard song to dance to. It's almost like jamaican or something. We kept tripping over each other and not being able to get the rhythm right and we were still laughing. He was smiling down at me with his whole face, his very happiest Seth smile - the one that reaches all the way up to his eyes, and I blurted out, "I adore you, you know that, right?"
The expression on his face totally changed and this is the part where my internal dialogue got stuck on ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh, because he suddenly pulled me closer. Way closer. Like serious pre-makeout closer. He started all tentatively looking into my eyes and stroking my hand and at first I was so scared to look at him and not-quite-believing-it-was-happening that I couldn't even sustain eye contact. When I finally managed to look up at him, my heart racing about a thousand miles a minute (I'm seriously lucky I didn't have some kind of attack), we totally achieved eye-lock. He was giving me the softest look - I can't even describe it except to say that it was only through sheer force of will that I didn't pass out.
He murmured my name like he was gonna ask me something and I said "yeah?" all faintly and eloquently, but then he never got around to saying anything else because he was doing that fair-warning-I'm-totally-going-to-kiss-you thing where he kept looking at my lips and sort of incrementally inching his head closer to mine.
I almost started hyperventilating. I think I was probably staring up at him like some kind of grade-schooler with a crush. (Actually I know I was because my sister told me I was. She said I looked like I was terrified and about to throw up. Charming. But she also said he looked drugged, so I guess it doesn't matter that I looked nauseous.)
Then a faster song came on, that song Love is a Beautiful Thing by Phil Vassar, which I normally love because it's so happy and cheerful, but it lightened the mood and it was like coming out of a fog or something and we stopped dancing. I totally hate Phil Vassar now. Jerk.
I've (obviously) been thinking about this ever since. I can't even write coherently about it. I know this is all disjointed and nutty but I'm excited and upset and sick to my stomach because - I didn't imagine it. Proof. I have proof. Outside non-imaginary confirmation from multiple sources. Proof that he feels something for me, even if it was just passing attraction - because he was looking at me like - like he was longing to kiss me right there in front of everyone. Longing. There was longing.
OH MY GOSH THERE WAS LONGING.
I'm not crazy. That's a huge relief. I'm not imagining this. I'm not crazy. He cares about me. Why he has a girlfriend, I don't know, but one thing at a time I guess.
I know I'm getting carried away. I can't help it.
He kept his distance for the rest of the night, and when he dropped me off he didn't even walk me to the door and he practically burned rubber peeling out.
Today at church he completely ignored me, but I couldn't even muster up a tiny little bit of irritation.
I don't know what's going on in his head, but I almost don't care because the thing that is totally undeniable about it is that something is going on in his head. Something is happening. Something is happening! SOMETHING IS HAPPENING!
Now I just have to - not screw it all up somehow. Knowing me, that'll be a trick.
OK, so - just this once - COMMENTS ARE OPEN. (If there's anyone even still reading after stopping and starting and accidentally going private and going unprivate and - well, you get the idea. I figure I'm so happy right now, even if people tell me I'm dumb or clueless or imaginary, it can't even come close to hurting my feelings. :)
Friday, October 17, 2008
We're lying on his bed and he's conned me into reviewing some stuff he wrote for his eternally in progress thesis.
I have my little red pen out and I'm circling things like there and their, and your and you're. He hates to write and it shows. He's asked me to help him, but he isn't taking it seriously at all, he's just lying on his back throwing a raquetball up at the ceiling.
I honestly don't think he's ever gonna graduate.
"Too bad about you and the cowboy. I thought you two crazy kids were gonna make it work."
"I didn't know you were such a big Chris fan."
"I'm not, but - think about it - his math skills plus your writing skills. Your kids would've almost been androids." (Sorry, inside joke - he has this theory that all really smart people are actually robots.)
I laugh, and he gives me a very wry, very Seth smile, then rolls over and elbows me. "You o.k.?"
"You can be upset, it's o.k. You're allowed to be human." He leans over and whispers in my ear, "You're not actually an android. YET."
I want to laugh because he thinks I have no feelings. Come on. "Sorry to disappoint you - I'm just not that upset right this sec." I chew on the pen cap for a minute, then mutter, "Besides, you've seen me cry enough lately."
I suddenly realize that was the perfect opener for a conversation I don't want to have. Unfortunately he sees the opening and takes it. "Yeah, about that - "
But I don't want to talk about this, any of it, not when he has a girlfriend, and not when I'm so confused, so I tell him its late (even though its not) and I need to get home, that maybe Teresa can help him review the rest of it, which earns me an eye roll and a "thanks a LOT," and a few minutes later, I go.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
2) Realize you should probably respect that
3) Realize if/when they break up, which to you seems totally inevitable, then you can tell him
4) Realize if you do tell him and they don't break up, it will be even more awkward, because then (at least to his wife) you'll forever be that chick who made a play for her husband right before they got engaged and she'll totally rip up your Christmas card every year
5) Realize you were never really going to say anything more in the first place anyway because a) you already more or less told him and b) you're a big chicken
Talking to Chris was pretty awful, partly because I felt like a jerk, and partly because he said a lot of really sweet things that made me have a lot of second thoughts (too late).
I think his pride was hurt more than anything else. I think he thought I was just playing hard to get all of those times I told him I wasn't ready to be serious, and realizing that I actually wasn't ready to be serious was a surprise.
When I told Chris that I DID like him, and couldn't we still be friends and hang out and see what happens, he looked at me with this kind of frustrated expression and said, "Why, because that's working so well for you with Seth?"
I must've apologized something like twenty times. Near the end there he told me I didn't have anything to be sorry for, and he drawled out, "But I AM awfully sorry you're so resistant to my fairly obvious charms." Maybe you had to be there, but honestly, with the accent? Very cute.
We left things on good terms. If we see each other at church or at an activity or at a party he'll probably be friendly. It'll be easy for him because he undoubtedly already has twenty girls lining up to go out with him.
It wasn't really the conversation itself that sucked - it was how I felt afterward. I'm having serious misgivings about having told him the truth. I know it was probably the honorable thing to do or whatever - why play games - but do guys really need to have the whole truth, all the time? What happened to hedging your bets? I feel so conflicted. I think I'm gonna be regretting this a lot longer than he is. I'm a lot worried this is my first step on the road to the whole seventeen cats plus me thing.
I can't stop eating either. I'm just so stressed and there is NO-ONE to talk to. Melissa's ticked, I can't tell Seth a lot of it, Kristen's married... I need to quit eating so much or I'm gonna be back in my tens, and I really don't want that - not after working so freaking hard. I wanted to be in a six by Halloween, but that's not gonna happen now. I suck.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I told him the whole truth - yes, I like him, but also yes, I have feelings for Seth, and yes, I'm trying to get over it. (I didn't say it like that, but that was basically the gist.)
Then I asked him if he wanted to maybe be friends and go out once in a while.
Gee, this whole Project Honesty thing is off to such a great freaking start, I can't tell you how excited I am to move on to Phase Two.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Someone sent me an email and it was just what I needed to hear. The only way out of this whole convoluted mess is to just be honest. With everyone. With Chris. With Seth. And I guess with myself too.
That's really the thing - in the past I haven't wanted to hear what Seth would say if I really talked to him about it. It was easier and safer to live with my pocketful of imaginary hopes.
I'm tired of wasting my life waiting for something to happen. I need to hear the truth. I think I already know what the truth is, but I need to hear it from him so that I can cry over it for a couple trillion years and then hopefully start to move on.
I know if I never tell him, I'll look back on this in ten years and I'll regret that I never made sure he knew the whole truth. That Tinkerbell, never-say-die little part of my heart that still thinks maybe, maybe will always wonder.
I'm supposed to talk to Chris after his class tonight and I'm just gonna be honest, then maybe in a few days (weeks?), after I get up the nerve, I'm gonna talk to Seth.
So that's the plan.
Cross your fingers that I don't chicken out.
My stomach just dropped like an elevator.
I'll admit there is a small evil part of me that wants to fix things with Chris just to tick Melissa off.
But there's a bigger part that wants to fix things just because I feel awful. I think I made a huge mistake. I wish I'd given him a different answer when he asked me if I was into Seth. "No way, that was just a lame crush - I'm totally over it."
I really don't want to end up alone.
That post was making me feel nauseous, like I threw up all over my blog, so I just deleted it.
Here's all you need to know:
Melissa admitted she likes Chris. (Yeah, it all makes sense now, right?) She met him first, she got to know him (and Lisa), she invited him to Sundance, and she was less than thrilled when we started dating. She's been mad about that for a while now. She and Teresa have apparently been bonding over what a horrible, horrible person I am and she accused me of interfering in Seth and Teresa's relationship.
She wants me away from Chris, so she started talking all kinds of nonsense about how Seth is probably interested in me now because I've lost weight, which is RIDICULOUS, because if Seth liked me, he wouldn't be dating Teresa. The end.
If Seth liked me, he would tell me. He already knows how I feel, more or less. He would do something about it if he wanted to. And he hasn't. Because he doesn't. It's not that complicated, even though sometimes I try to pretend it is.
It makes me so mad that she's trying to mess with my head and make me think otherwise, just because of Chris - who doesn't even like her. So much for her new found loyalty to Teresa.
She had to be all nasty about it though, saying that if Seth and I ever do get together, he'll just drop me as soon as I gain weight again - which she's sure is inevitable. Real nice.
Lisa was mad at me because I hurt her brother, more or less. She disappeared half-way through the fight, tired of all the drama.
Basically, we're not talking to each other right now - any of us.
I swear, if there could be one day without some kind of massive emotional upheaval, it would be a freaking miracle. I hate girls and their drama. They're so vicious. This is exactly why my best friend is a guy.
At the same time I keep thinking of that demotivators poster, the one that says something like "Dysfunction: the common link in all of your failed relationships is you."
Maybe they have a point.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
It was kind of a busy weekend.
Chris took me to La Caille on Friday, this really fancy and romantic French restaurant in Sandy. I was all, "Chris, I know you're broke, let's just go to IHOP," but he had reservations and was really insistent about wanting to take me, so I shut up and tried to be gracious. I got home kind of early because I was really full and sleepy. (It was probably the most food I've eaten at one time in two months.)
I spent the morning figuring out my classes for next semester, (took a semester off because I was broke - now I'm trying to finish - 15 credits left) then went to the gym (it sucked), then went to my parent's house. When I came home Lisa and Melissa were planning a game night with Jordan and Dave, and Lisa had already asked Chris to come over.
Fast forward a few hours and we were all sitting around playing The Office board game. I was cheating because I wanted it to go faster. I wasn't really in the mood. I wasn't being a brat, but I was being kind of quiet. Chris kept asking what was wrong, and I kept telling him "nothing," and then he'd ask again, and then I'd say "nothing" AGAIN. It got kind of annoying.
I was trying not to show my irritation. Even though I was annoyed, I still felt a lot of empathy for him, because I totally get it - the wanting everything to be perfect thing, the hoping if you make it perfect enough the other person is gonna want you back thing. The only problem is that trying too hard makes it so much worse.
It seems strange that he should like me so much. Maybe we always want what we can't ever really have. He told me on Friday night that he thought I was "so beautiful." Nobody's said anything like that to me for a WHILE, other than maybe my mom and random old people. Later on I was saying something sort of self deprecating and he said, "I think you're pretty much perfect."
I almost cried, because I didn't want him to feel that way. I didn't want him to like me so much. I didn't want to hurt him. Unfortunately, I think he thought I was weepy eyed because I was touched by the compliment.
Anyway, we were all sitting around playing when knock knock knock - guess who's at the door. Melissa answered it and Seth was standing there in long shorts (um, HELLO, 40 degrees out) and a t-shirt and ruffled hair, all sleepy looking like he just woke up - the way I love him best. He was like, "Sorry, I didn't know you guys were having a thing."
I told him to come in and warm up but he said he had to go. He obviously felt pretty awkward.
OK, I have to tell you this next part in detail or you won't get it. Sorry if it's boring, but - you have to understand what a JERK Melissa was being. (And then later maybe you'll understand why she was being such a jerk.)
After Seth left Chris said, "Does he always drop by like that?"
Melissa muttered, "Constantly."
I kind of shot her a dirty look, then rolled the dice and moved my guy. "We hang out a lot."
"You and him and Melissa," he clarified.
"You and him," he said, and this time it wasn't a question.
"We've been friends for a long time. We're like brother and sister. Your turn." I was suddenly very enthusiastic about the game. I thought we should all concentrate on the game and stop talking. STOP TALKING IMMEDIATELY.
Melissa made another noise under her breath and I glared at her. "WHAT?!"
She looked at Chris. "You ever watch 90210?"
He shook his head.
"There's this couple, Ethan and Naomi, and there's this whole thing about how they exist inside of an impenetrable bubble and no matter how anyone tries, they can't ever really get inside of it. Trying to get involved with either of them is a total waste of time." She looked at me pointedly.
I start sputtering. "That's ridiculous - he has a girlfriend and we're not a couple Melissa."
"You might as well be."
Chris looked at me in confusion. "You used to date?"
"No," I said irritably. "Never. We're friends, and that's all we've ever been." I was ready to kill Melissa. Everyone else in the room looked varying shades of uncomfortable yet fascinated, except Lisa, who looked worried.
Melissa wasn't done yet.
"I'm telling you this because you're a nice guy and you don't deserve this. Run for the hills. It's not gonna happen. Cordy - "
"MELISSA!" I tried to interrupt but she talked over me.
"Cordy has a record of blowing off each and every guy who's ever been interested in her, because she's totally infatuated with Seth."
I stared at her. What was she DOING?! Seriously, WHAT WAS SHE DOING? The total shock and anger I felt in that moment, UGH. I can't even tell you.
Chris was working his jaw and he looked at me, flushed. "Can we talk?" He glanced over at Melissa, then back at me. "Outside?"
I nodded, and he got up and stalked out of the room.
I glared at Melissa, so angry I was speechless. I'm not one of those people who gets articulate and says the exact right words when I'm mad, I'm more the kind who just gets apoplectic with rage and unable to express themselves coherently. I pointed at her, said, "we are so gonna talk about this later," and she SMIRKED at me. I thought I was gonna have an aneurysm right there in the living room, but I just threw my hands up in the air and followed Chris out.
It was freaking freezing outside. Chris looked at me. "Was that true?"
I started rubbing my forehead and jabbering, not looking at him. "No, we never dated, he has a girlfriend, we're just good friends - you can ask him, he'll tell you - we hang out because we're friends and we get along really well and we grew up together and - "
He interrupted me, his voice deadly quiet. "So are you into him or what?"
The question deflated me. How could I answer that? I bit my lip and looked up at him and he could see it on my face.
He shook his head. "I feel like a *!$@# idiot."
"Chris - "
"I guess I can't say you didn't warn me." He picked up his keys, not looking at me, but getting that resolute no-way-will-I-get-upset look guys get when they're getting upset. "I''ll see you around."
I wanted to go after him, to tell him not to be ridiculous, that I didn't like Seth at all, I liked HIM - except it wouldn't have been true. And it was inevitable, the ending badly thing. Maybe it was better this way - rip off the band-aid and get it over with.
But I felt awful. I knew how he had to have felt. It was like I was Seth and Chris was me. I hate being responsible for that. I felt and feel horrible.
I stood out there shivering in the cold for a minute, feeling like the world's biggest jerk, then went inside, ready to absolutely murder Melissa.
I'm gonna have to tell you the rest tomorrow night, I'm too tired right now.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Chris showed up last night, checking to see if I was still mad and if we were on for tonight. I wasn't, and we were. He won points by telling me that he doesn't think I'm dumb, would never think that, because he thinks I'm "incredibly clever." Except with his accent it sounded like "clevah."
I told him about my cousin's wedding reception next week and asked him if he wanted to come with me. He said he couldn't because he had other plans. WITH A GIRL.
I must've looked surprised, because he said, "You kept insisting we should see other people, keep it casual."
Gosh, I'm such a hypocrite. I wanted things to be all casual and non-serious and light, but I was really, REALLY annoyed that he had a date. "Oh. That's cool then. No problem."
"Oh, I am. I'm thrilled for you. Have a great time. In fact, if you want to go out with her tomorrow too, be my guest."
It was ridiculous. It was like I could hear the words coming out of my mouth, but I had no idea where they were coming from.
"Well whaddaya know." He was watching me with this knowing amusement that was really annoying. "Somebody's jealous.""I'm not jealous."
"You are. Little Miss Let's-Take-It-Slow, No-Exclusivity, Don't-Fence-Me-In-Jones is jealous." He was totally loving it, you should have seen him grinning at me. I kind of wanted to smack him.
Except I was, a little. Maybe I was doing that horrible thing where I don't want him, but I don't want anyone else to have him either. (Except I might want him a little bit. I don't know.)
He put a hand under my chin and made me look at him. "You know, if you want me to call it off, I can do that."
Dang him, trying to be all logical about it.
I sort of rolled my eyes and told him, NO, - but then I said that I didn't want to start anything serious right then - because I didn't want to end up hurting him a few weeks down the road.
He gave me that JJ* grin, head tilted to the side. "You won't. You're totally gonna fall in love with me, trust me."
OK, so it was pretty cute. There might have been kissing after that, I can't remember. It's hazy.
I'm so confused though.
Maybe I should borrow a clue from Chris and try to be logical, for once. So here are the facts:
1) I love Seth
2) Seth doesn't love me
3) I like Chris enough to be jealous
4) Chris really likes me a lot, or at least he says he does
So the logical thing to do here is:
a) stop obsessing over Seth
b) keep dating Chris
c) move on with my life
d) a, b, and c
e) Continue hopelessly wishing Seth loved me, stay frozen in place in my life, and end up a crazy spinster lady with 17 cats
Obviously E, right?
* HELLO, Joshua Jackson, we've already been over this, remember? : )
Thursday, October 9, 2008
When I talk about Chris to Seth, he plays along, but I can tell he’s wondering why I’m pretending. He’s thinking - why are you even saying this? We both know who you really love. But he doesn’t call me on it. I think he understands - how I almost need Chris as a barrier, a way to show him – look, I’m not really so in love with you... see, I’m not really as desperate as you might think.
I feel like we can’t be affectionate now, not the way we used to be, when he would hug me for no reason, or pull me close to him on the couch when we were watching a movie. Now there’s this invisible barrier of intention - if I do this, it'll make her feel this, so I’d better not do it.
Tonight we were talking in the backyard on the ancient, dusty patio couch and at one point he reached over and gently tucked my hair behind my ear, saying, “There, now I can see you.”
My heart started racing (because my heart still has not received the memo about how I'm supposed to be getting over him) and there was this moment where I looked up at him and he must have realized, oh crap, that’s where the line is. He gave me an apologetic look that made me feel awful, because I don’t want his empathy, I just want him to love me.
It must have shown on my face, the kind of heartbreak I felt in that moment, because he shook his head and then silently mouthed “sorry.” He looked so sad, which made me feel even worse, because it just drove it home – he doesn't love me, not the way I want.
A few seconds later I told him I was tired, and he nodded and almost started to hug me, friggin stopped himself (ouch), said goodbye, and left. I stayed out there for a while, blinking back tears, wishing he didn’t know, wishing I’d never, never, never had a jealous breakdown, and wishing things were different.
Sometimes I write stories about how I wish it could be. I should probably burn them, but I’ve read them so many times that they almost feel real to me. It would be like burning little pieces of my heart, and I can almost already feel them, singed and blackened, little sparks of heartfelt paper floating away in the wind.