ladylike

This was originally published on May 30, 2015 on my old wordpress site, raynewms.wordpress.com, which is now defunct.

Sometimes I think I’ll never find love again. I imagine the love of my life, and all I can see is myself–how I’d be around him, how he’d make me feel, what I’d wear… Like suddenly, upon meeting this faceless/personality-less stranger, I’d shed the extra weight I put on in college and buy pretty sheer pajamas and stop spilling on myself when I eat. Like suddenly, I’d laugh less like an evil genius in a Dreamworks movie and more like Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman.” Like I’d stop making jokes about my vagina and start saying sweet little Forrest Gump-esque things that he could quote as captions on his Instagram photos of us picnicking or whatever. I think less about him and more about myself–more about the manic pixie dream girl hiding inside of me, just waiting for the right corporate drone to coax her out of her cage.

A few weeks before I met my last boyfriend, I sat cross-legged on the balcony of my shitty Urbana apartment, eating avocado on toast and crying about Bogdan. Bogdan was this Romanian guy who I dated for about six weeks before he left for Europe. In a Facebook message, he told me that the reason we didn’t “click” was because I was not “fit” (read: skinny) enough, nor ladylike enough. Now I probably would’ve been like, “Woof. TTY-never,” but back then, I felt so crushed. So I sat there, feeling sorry for myself, feeling like the sun and the avocado on my toast and all other good things in the world existed only to mock me.

I grabbed my journal and wrote about the future–about the person I’d want to fall in love with next (slash forever). I wrote that he was tall and blonde and bearded, that he could play the guitar and that he loved to write and read, that he was nice to his mom and funny and sweet to me and to all of his friends and to strangers… I wrote about drinking coffee with him on lazy Sunday mornings. I wrote about his hands fitting perfectly in mine, my head cradled perfectly on his chest, my eyes fixated perfectly on his. It was all very Nicholas Sparks.

Three weeks later, he opened his door and invited me into his apartment. He pushed me against the wall of his kitchen and kissed me. He held my hand as we both shivered, and he told me that I walked too fast for him to keep up. I imagined him, and there he was.

Three years later, it exploded.

And now I don’t know what I want.

Now I’m going on date after date and letting men buy me tacos and kissing complete frogs just to see if maybe, maybe, maybe someone will resonate with me. And they never do–not really anyway. “I don’t think your next great love is on that list,” my wife said as we talked about the men I’ve dated, “The way you talk about them–it’s just not the way someone talks about their next great love.”

So for now, I’m joking about my vagina and wearing ratty tee shirts to bed and spilling all over myself. Just for now. Until I meet someone who compels me to be a little more fit. A little more ladylike. A little less like me.