Romantic? Heck yes. Romance? Hellz no.

I’ve been considering writing another angsty piece for a little while.  So be warned – this one ain’t gonna be pretty.  If you’re not really into reading about other people’s problems, this is probably a good place to pull up YouTube.  If you’re a misery-loves-company sort of person, you’re in the right place.  Also, if you like lists, this is a good place for you.  Mmmmm, lists.

I’ll write for the record, I’ve been the romantic interest of exactly 4 people over my lifetime (that I know of):

  1. The prepubescent kid with zero cool to his name and a lot of Star Wars t-shirts
  2. A high schooler with less than zero cool and doesn’t even own a Star Wars t-shirt
  3. A 10-years-too-old-for-me, stuck-in-neutral guy in university
  4. An ex-high-school-classmate, so-insecure-it’s-not-even-funny guy who basically destroyed my confidence in character judgement

That’s some list, eh?  I seem to attract the classy types.

I should also mention, there may be a 5th.  But it’s a touch unclear.  Work in progress.  Looks hopeful.

To vent my frustrations somewhere, I’ve taken to writing in a nondescript Word document.  When I began, it all poured out of me like the worst Taylor Swift song you’ve ever heard.  Some classic excerpts:

“How do you get over something that never happened?  How do you get closure on something you never had?”

“… I’ve never felt real heartache or grief in losing a relationship.  I’ve felt regret, though; it’s a deep, unmistakable ache that I’ve just become accustomed to after years of standing on the wall.”

“This girl is emotionally set to blow, T minus forever.”

You get the picture.  <SIGH> ANGST.

I admit, I’m something of a hopeless romantic in the worst sort of way.  The chick flick sort of way.  As in, I have these grand ideas about what romance really is… without seeing a damn second of it for myself.  Waking up to find the coffee already warm and waiting, finding that little note they left in your coat pocket, sharing an excellent glass of wine and a good giggle over something stupid, the telling silences and quiet gestures… That’s what I’ve got in my head.

And that’s what I wrote for a ton of pages.  But thing is, Prince Charming is going to have an awfully hard time scaling my tower to the 22nd floor.  (And if he did I’d be changing all my locks and adding metal bars as window treatments.)  He’s also going to find it damned difficult to park his white steed near campus on weekdays.  And he sure as hell isn’t going to find this damsel in any distress.  Waaaaaay too much chocolate in this apartment for that.

Then the tone of my pseudo-diary changes somewhat.  It’s more introspective, more thoughtful.  Why was I writing this in the first place?  Have I never dated because I’m afraid of it somehow?  But afraid of what?  And why?

 “Funny, even just typing the words to myself is taking a lot of effort.  I just keep piling up words between me and his name.  Like somehow the words will bring back all those feelings and insecurities I’ve been running from.”

After all that depressing soul-searching, I took to a much more pleasurable pursuit – a thorough account and catalogue of all the features I find wonderful about this kind of emotion.

“And that feeling.  Like you’ve missed a step on the stairs…” “Something you can’t quite put a finger on, but definitely starts somewhere deep in your chest, spreading up into your head.  Of course, it’s followed by that stupid flushing and ringing in the ears so you not only look stupid, you also sound stupid because you’re not really listening to what they’re saying.  That’s the worst.  You’re so wrapped up in their voice and the fact that they’re actually speaking to you that you can’t seem to remember what all those pesky words mean.  Real intelligent-like.”

“Of course, that exquisite feeling spreads outwards, too, into your limbs.  They feel too heavy.  Totally unwieldy and gangly.  It feels more like walking on a treadmill, like you’re not actually moving and the world is running underneath you.”

“Never mind the arms, they’re an unmitigated disaster.  You just can’t seem to figure out what to do with them.  Hold a book, tug on the straps of your backpack, stick them in your pockets…” “…there’s nothing weaker than a girl’s trembling hands.”

Know what I mean?

I’m sure you do.  I don’t consider myself unique in this situation, not by a long shot.  But it is awfully funny to see all the awkwardness and angst from the outside – normalizes things a bit, seeing your thoughts on paper. Affords some clarity that you can’t replicate any other way. Anybody who writes in a journal or practices Narrative Reflection (GACK) will know what I’m talking about. It somehow forces your brain to organize the information and feelings jumbled up in your head into comprehensible, sensible sentences.

And here’s what I’ve come up with.

I have zip-all experience with this stuff.  And that’s okay.  Because at this point, I get to pick what’s on TV, what I’m having for dinner, when my bedtime is, and even when I swing my lightsaber around like a maniac in my little apartment.  Until a fellow saber-wielding geek gives me a call, of course.  Until then, I carry on until I have to share the remote.

If you know what I’m talking about (or would like to bond with others over how uber strange I am), leave a comment below!

 – Atalanta



Filed under Personal & Blogs

5 responses to “Romantic? Heck yes. Romance? Hellz no.

  1. Lindsay C

    Sorry for laughing Jess, this is awesome.
    I remember your pining for boys… or should I say boy, in elementary and high school. So funny and cute.

    But at the same time I totally get it too. I mean, I’m not one to talk anymore, being in a long term relationship and all, but I know the feeling. You think you are an adult now, and therefore you should have gotten SOMETHING romantically by now right?

    Honestly though… I’ve done something like this, and got pleasantly, or unpleasantly surprised… Heck, I think it is on facebook! *checks* Ah yes, on one of those “25 things you don’t know about me” that was so popular back in the day I wrote this:
    “I’ve never had a boyfriend before Adam (HUGS!) and before him I’ve known of maybe 2 people who were ever interested with me(maybe under exaggeration) . I had a problem talking with boys in highschool, and I used to think something was wrong with me, right Alia?”

    And holy hanna, after I wrote that the deluge of guys saying “am I one of the 2? I better be!” Some guys I was like “Really?! awww” and others I was like “Hell no, you did not need to tell me that, did not want to know, you are thoroughly in friend zone!”

    Lesson I learned from that, everyone is just as shy and insecure as you are, and you probably have been crushed-upon more than you realize 😉
    I love you girl! Don’t let it get you down!

    • Awww, Winsy. You’re so fab, I don’t deserve you. 😀

      And you get special credit for remembering River Heights and the gent that held my 8-year-old heart. Bucket hat, khakis, and all.

  2. -K.

    You ever had a drink around a guy you find charming? That just magnifies the symptoms fifty times. Unrelated, Tom Collinses are delicious.
    Romance is also dead, but that is the opinion of someone who has watched it die “300”-style, going from slow motion to fast motion for dramatic effect. Maybe you know a different Romance and that one is still alive. If it is, let me know.

    • Funny that you should mention drinking… my med friends will find that completely hilarious, I’m sure. Needless to say, had an unfortunate run-in with alcohol recently that involved something like that.

      I’ll keep an eye out for Romance – I think it’s still lurking somewhere, I just haven’t shined the flashlight in the right corner yet.

  3. Pingback: L.O.V.E. | Atalanta's Antics

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