Sunday, August 21, 2016

Now Accepting Applications

I sent a snap out recently with the caption, "Now accepting applications for non-crappy people in our lives." Clever, funny, honest, kind of sad, but I'm also serious.

I've been legally single for only a few days, technically single for quite a bit longer this year and I've already experienced my fair share of the scary, vile, confusing, and hopeless feelings of the present "dating" world that my friends - of both sexes - have been trying to warn and teach me about.

And then I started writing this and sent a text to my best friend. It read:

Writing this stuff. It's like ... how far am I willing to go for people to be eager to read but also humiliate myself?

I actually may have already humiliated myself with my metaphorical "cat out of the bag" post that not only let thousands of readers (which I haven't had in well over a year, thank you for all who made your presence known to Google stats) peek into my personal life, but also divulge the biggest dream and goal I have for my life. I have a strong need to become a published author. I may fail, and you may all watch me do it. I think I can handle that.

The books I love the most are honest. Whether they're fictitious or full of real-life scenarios, I like when it's raw. I don't like sugar-coated or the Facebook-version of a story. I like when I can relate in every embarrassing way. So, how far will I go to create that same feeling for my readers?


I'll start here. This is for you, future applicants.

Don't be the guy that's so eager to talk to me that he blows up my phone for two weeks. Finally, when I give in to talk to you, you then fall off the face of the Earth until you reappear with a gal in your pictures online. What's the point?

Don't be the person that wants to "teach me things." I don't want to learn things from you. And if I did, it wouldn't be because you told me that you could. It's gross - but admittedly it's also really entertaining.

Don't be the man that pursues me for two months. And when those two months come to a softening point on my end, and I'm ready to see your words through, you fall short. I'm what you said you wanted, by the way, and you screwed it up without explanation.

Don't be married. Even though there's a small part of me that wishes you weren't, I think about your wife, and I know how she could feel because I was her at one point.

Instead, don't lie to me, don't sweet talk me, and don't play games. If that's what you want, choose the woman that wasn't messed with for ten years of her life because that's, at least, a little less shitty.

I'm not sure what the goal is if there are no intentions behind the talking. It's a waste of time and effort on both of our parts. Instead of spending your night checking your social media messages or taking selfies, we could have had a real, tangible connection. There's something special about being in another's company even if it's also a little scary sometimes.

Isn't that sad though? That I've only been divorced for a weekend and I can already tell you about four different males that have dropped in and confused, annoyed, or hurt my feelings? Only one of them I actually cared about though. And isn't that funny too? I cared about someone that I never got to touch.

He told me a lot of unexpected things; problems he's had in the past, what he's looking, and ready for. He showed an interest in my mind. He was unprompted in nearly every sense of his attempt at me. He genuinely surprised me. And eventually, I looked forward to his texts and calls. He asked me out a handful of times. Several times he asked before I was ready. He told me that if I gave him a chance he would show me what it's like to be with a real man. Unfortunately, once I was ready, there were excuses and silence. Real men apologize, he still has the option of doing that.

I was scared to see him, by the way. Although we know a lot of the same people, we'd miss the mark when it came to meeting each other as teenagers. 

"I think I look better in pictures than I do in real life," I said to my girlfriends. They reassured me though, one said, "If he doesn't think you're gorgeous in real life, then I am personally paying for his trip to an ophthalmologist."

I was worried about my awkward behavior. So another said, "If he doesn't understand your awkwardness Grace, he's not the one for you." 

She was right, and I was ready. I'd wear blush and my gold sneakers. I would text my friends midway through because they'd be curious. It would be fine. I had a feeling about this one. Then again, I have mentioned before that my instincts are wrong a lot. He's thought about me today though. And this time I'm not reaching out to try to figure out what the issue is. I did that once already. I'll just have to assume this was a weird game, and I was a part of a list of women to grab attention from. I don't want to assume that though.

And then there was the married one. Whom I told the other one about no less, and he told me to tell him that I was taken - or I was at least going to be - by him. The married one I had a big crush on in high school, and he found me via good ole social media while I was on vacation in July. We chatted for a while before I realized that he was someone's husband and it gave me a bad taste in my mouth. So many compliments and ego boosts, dreams on his end and curiosity on mine, but this too would never happen. He's committed to someone else. He gave someone else a promise.

Here's the thing future applicants, I just want simplicity. I want someone to be around. I'm going to love your tattoos. Or your crooked walk. I don't care if you're not that in tune with the English dictionary. I don't care if you work in an office downtown or in a field in the middle of nowhere. I just care that you show up when it matters and when you say you will. I care that when you say you'll call me back, that you do it. I care that you're sensitive to the fact that I'm going to be skeptical about everything you say until you prove me otherwise, unfortunately, you're guilty by association - association of having a penis and so far my track record isn't the greatest.

I want you to pull me out of my comfort zone and challenge me in as many ways as I will challenge you. Because I will. And that can be a lot of fun for both of us.

The upside to the madness? There's more material for me to write about. The downside? The writing will probably add to reasons why future applicants may run from me. Tis my life. The ones with balls will stay.

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