I was talking (which means, complaining) to a friend the other day (which means, back in September) about relationships and dating. "WHY can't people just tell each other how they FEEL?" I lamented. "Why are there all these tricks and "codes" and signals and secret handshakes and "blink twice rapidly if you want to go on a second date" things?" He was sympathetic. "How did you meet your girlfriend? Was it simple?" I asked. Oh, she wouldn't even TALK to me at first, let alone date me. Hold the phone. I was aghast and not even because I had a crush on the guy at the time and was like "you should let me love you, let me be the one to, give you everything you want and need." That was definitely not why I was aghast.
Something about the whole thing bothered me, and, apparently, still bothers me. I know that if I was attracted to some guy on a basic level, but he was purposely treating me like I didn't exist, my friends would say something along the lines of Forget about him, gurl. He doesn't know what he's missing! Now lets drink. They wouldn't encourage me to pursue him as a challenge-mode to be felled (and seduced). The opposite seems to be true for guys, though. I mean, I can't count how many movies show decent guys falling for emotionally unavailable or just downright uninterested girls. Of course, there's generally the trusty best friend, a girl, who secretly loves the boy but SHE'S JUST TOO NICE FOR HIM. The lack of interest is viewed as an obstacle to overcome, not a deterrent.
From my impressively-extensive television and movie-watching experience, I've been taught that I am supposed to be hard to get, a tough cookie, aloof. Now, if you know me, at all, even slightly, you know that I am not aloof. A loofah maybe, but not aloof (No, I'm not going to apologize for that). I've always been of the mindset that feelings should exist outside of your head and heart - they should be shared and voiced and poem-icised and turned into simple, bad ukulele songs. If I like someone, why should I pretend not to? That's never made sense to me, but it seems to make sense to so much of the world. I came across this quote on tumblr (I know, I know) that was by, I think, good old F. Scott Fitzgerald, and was something along the lines of, "The girl really worth having isn't going to wait for anyone." And hey, I almost reblogged it. That sounds good, you know, I am a strong independent woman, I WAIT FOR NO MAN. But then I found something nagging me about it, the same naggy discomfort I felt when my friend told me his girlfriend wouldn't even talk to him at first. The girl who doesn't give up on someone she cares about, on something she believes in, is for some reason less valuable than a girl who isn't willing to "wait" for it/him/her, whatever "waiting" means? Though a little different, it was the same idea from the romantic comedies I grew up watching, repeated in a story written by someone writing in the 1920's. WHAT?
Obviously not every relationship starts with one person pursuing someone who has flat-out turned them down, and not every person who's turned down is going to be like, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. But for the whole of my "romantic" life people have been telling me how to "hook a man": play hard to get, unbutton the top button of your blouse (that was my grandmother, btw), chew like you have a secret, don't give too much away, don't kiss him on the first date, don't ever SAY that you like him. I've never understood all that much of it, though. Not that I have, uh, much authority here, but I think some of the last things that should be involved with feelings and relationships are games and tricks and sorcery or whatever. Some strategy? I get that. I've pulled a Ted Mosby or two, and you probably shouldn't tell someone you love them on a first date. But liking someone and telling them, and showing them? Shouldn't it be as easy as that?
According to my blog, I only wear this sweater. I'm alright with this depiction of myself.
Shoes: Ruche, Bag: Elanor, Sunglasses: Target, Eventual hat: Dad's