A couple of months ago, a friend of mine compared me to Carrie Bradshaw. He said, "[e-strugs is] A modern day Sex in the City blog, if Carrie slept ‘til 2pm, broke everything she touched, was the most lovable human being on the planet, and obsessed over spell check." Thank you, Nick Lee. It's very flattering to be compared to Carrie Bradshaw. Like Carrie, I actually do run into people I know on the streets of New York City all the time, and I buy shoes impulsively. The funniest part about this comparison is that I'm completely retarded at dating.
Dating is something I've never understood, like math. I probably function at a 3rd grade level in both math and dating. I still use my fingers to add, and if I like someone my flirting tactic is to ignore that person, and pretend they don't exist.
Four years at the gayest college in America can cause a straight female to lose all sense of flirting and how to do it. I'm told that touching a guy's arm is a tell tale sign that "she's into you" and I've tried that, but then when things get further I just keep talking a lot and reveal too much about myself like how I also practice No-Shave-November, but on my legs. What confuses me even more is when a guy flirts with me and then I try to flirt back or make a move by giving him my phone number or something, and then he's not into it. Huh? Also, like what level of flirtation is a snap chat?
Lately I've dealt with my third grade dating level by wallowing in self pity. I was waiting on this old man the other night at work, and when I told him I don't ever really have a boyfriend (cause he creepily asked), he said "Are your parents worried that something is wrong with you?" And I said, "They never say anything, but probably".
Whenever I complain to people about this area of my life, they always say very nice, comforting things, but it gets old. I’m either told that I need to be more forward, join Tinder, or my favorite: “be slutty”. I always joke that I should just “be a slut”; but the concept is so confusing to me. Being a slut just seems so hard. Am I supposed to just sleep with randos I don’t even know or like? And if this is reoccurring, does this mean I’m going to have to regularly shave my legs?
A few days ago I was perusing Facebook and saw someone had posted a link to an article titled, “I’ve Been Single For My Entire Life”. That’s me, I said to myself, so I clicked and started reading. The 26 year old author (Katie Heaney) explains her theory that there is a brand of people called “lighthouses”. These girls go from boyfriend to boyfriend without much gap in between. They usually have a guy on the back burner, and don’t have much trouble finding dates. I know these kinds of people. They're like people who don't sweat: I don't understand them. She describes herself as “The Bermuda Triangle”. The Bermuda Triangle is basically the opposite. Guys come so few and far between, that when a guy actually does come around, she “gets a little nervous, freaks the fuck out, and creates hurricane-like devastation in every direction around it. And then gets embarrassed and sad and calls its friends.”
I’m a Bermuda Triangle. I thought to myself. There’s someone my age out there like me and has labeled it, and I am not the only one. I bought Heaney’s book, so we’ll see if she comes to any kind of conclusion about her whole situation. I think I’ve come to some kind of conclusion about mine.
A month or so ago, Queen B (also known as Beyonce) released her fourth studio album, thus introducing me to a really fabulous woman named Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I call her Chim. Beyonce had Chim do a voiceover on her song, “Flawless” which is taken from a TED Talk Chim had done called "We Should all be Feminists". Here’s a snippet of that quote:
“Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now, marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support. But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same?”
I watched Chim’s TED talk, and it got me thinking. I’ve always felt like I have to explain to people why I am a Bermuda Triangle. And because people are always trying to figure out the great mystery as to why I never have a boyfriend, I’ve always felt the need to figure out that mystery, too. But then I realized something. You don’t find many guys who are my age and who have my exact same dating stats that get questioned as much as I do. A 24 year old perpetual single man is something most people don’t even question. But a 24 year old girl who never has a boyfriend is either a lesbian, a slut, or has commitment issues.
I am none of the above. (Not that there is anything wrong with a person who is one of those three things) I’m sick of trying to explain myself or trying to find out the mystery behind my dating life. It is the way that it is. Maybe it just goes a little differently for me than the average person. But still I want all the things everyone wants, and I don’t want those things more or less than anyone else does.
In 2013 I did not go on a single date. (I can’t remember if the OK Cupid date I went on was in 2012 or 2013...either way...twas a while ago). But I think I learned the most about “dating” and my participation in that realm of life more than ever. I realized that I can be pretty fearful about taking any risks when it concerns that area, so I challenged myself, used some newly acquired balls from improv class, and made some moves. And I don’t think any of those moves were reciprocated...BUT I actually felt more confident about myself after the fact. Cause like, I tried and that’s what it’s all about, right? I’m living my life, and I don’t have to resort to being a slut.
Also- when you watch a TED Talk by a seventeen year old boy who is suffering from progeria, it starts to put things in perspective aka stop complaining about something as small as never having a boyfriend, cause this kid has a rare genetic disease, and he doesn’t complain about his life. Sometimes when I complain about this stuff, I just feel like one huge White Girl Problem and I want to roll my eyes at myself. We’re all just trying to figure it out. If I ever do actually end up getting married or in a civil union or whatnot, there are still going to be plenty of things I’m trying to figure out that other people completely have a handle on. That’s just life. And that’s also what being a strug means. I’m always gonna be a little bit retarded at something.