Friday, June 7, 2013

On False Hopes

The scene: Outside my seminary class, junior year of high school

"Eric told me to tell you he's thinking of asking you to the prom."
This was surprising. I didn't expect anyone to invite me and here was Drew telling me that my crush had me on his list. I skipped down the hall on my way to class that day.
Eric didn't ask me to prom. In fact, he didn't even talk to me at the dance.

The scene: The rec room in my dorm, my freshman year of college
"What about Allison?" I asked Freddy. "I was sure you liked her." He sat on the couch next to me, arm around my shoulder.
"I can tell when things are going better with somebody else," he said, giving my hand a squeeze. I was completely surprised by his reciprocation, and it was glorious.
The next day he told me we were "too different." Two weeks later he was dating Allison.

The scene: My house, my birthday
"Steve said he's definitely driving down for cake tonight!" my roommate gushed. She had set us up a few months earlier and knew this news would excite me.
He didn't drive down for cake that night. It's such a small thing, but it mattered to me.

"How do you ignore all the witches? All the curses? All the wolves, all the lies, the false hopes, the goodbyes, the reverses? All the wondering what even worse is still in store?"
"No More"-- Into the Woods

I'd much rather be completely ignored or treated with nothing more than friendly civility than get my hopes up that someone is thinking of me and then realize that I was being foolish. I've fallen for a lot of guys over the years, and I'm pretty skilled at recognizing when somebody isn't interested. But when all he throws me is a tangled knot of mixed signals I start punching pillows and going on long walks trying to figure things out.

There's this boy. (Isn't there always?) The difference is that this one has continued to pay attention to me when he doesn't have to. And he makes my heart do this weird fluttery dance and I have to pace around in circles for a few minutes to calm down. He hasn't asked for my number. He hasn't asked me out. I don't know if he ever will. But he fills me up with hope that maybe, just maybe, it's my turn. But if it's not going to be me, if it's going to be Virginia or Leah or whoever, then I wish he'd just skip straight to that step.

My emotions run wild and to extreme ends of the spectrum, and I wish they'd not invest themselves without my permission. My dating resume doesn't need another experience of falling for somebody that only ever had me in the friendzone. Caring is the first step towards crying, and heaven knows my pillowcases have had enough mascara stains.

"Second best can be worse than not-in-the-running."
The View from Saturday (by E.L. Koningsburg)

**Names have been changed to my old code names. In fact, I'm sad I don't have a tragic story to tell about Bartholomew, just because Bartholomew is my favorite of all my past code names. Seriously-- Bartholomew! How great is that?**

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