Internet, my "social life" (and I use this term loosely) has been very much, how should I say...sucking lately. After a brief period of uncustomary optimism regarding my ability to meet people and make new friends in this town, some of the friendships I thought I had formed have quite suddenly faded into the woodwork. And it always stings to lose a friendship, no matter how new it is, particularly when this person goes away with no explanation whatsoever, leaving you to speculate on what, exactly, it is that you could have done wrong. But with no other logical reason at hand, I am forced to chalk it up to a When Harry Met Sally thing, and accept the fact that maybe, just maybe, guys and girls can't be friends after all. Which, unfortunately puts a dent in my aforementioned "social life," since every single person I know in this town- friends, acquaintances, colleagues, and everyone in between- are men. I am not sure why this is, and at first, I'll admit, I thought it was pretty great. For some reason I've always felt more comfortable around men than women. In college I had a couple girl friends, but most of the time I was hanging out drinking beer and watching Comedy Central with the guys. There's just something more accepting, more relaxed, more non-judgemental about hanging out with guys vs. girls. Whereas with girls you have to work your way up to a certain level of trust and intimacy, with guys it's just there, automatically. And it's not just here. In France last year, I lived with Patrice and Fred, and from the moment we met we got along like clams. There was no introductory period, no warming up to each other. I moved in and they treated me like one of the guys- teasing me, teaching me about soccer and chess, asking me about my love life. Then I (begrudgingly) moved out and into an apartment (that I hated) with a girl, and spent the next two months making awkward conversation and avoiding eye contact over the breakfast table.
I am not sure why this is, why I feel so ill at ease with girls I don't know well. Perhaps it's that I automatically assume that they will hate me and thus react accordingly- like a nervously clucking chicken. But, I swear, sometimes girls do automatically hate me. I wish I were making this up, but it's happened more than once that upon meeting someone new, in a work situation or whatever, said girl will eye me up and down, say, "Wow, you're so skinny," whereupon I nod, or shrug, or make some vaguely apologetic gesture, and then she will add, dryly, "I hate you." Wow, I just met you, I'll think and scuttle away, nervously bobbing my chicken head. And then I'll tell myself I don't want to be friends with someone like that anyway. And plus, it definitely wasn't a boy who looked me straight in the eye while I was cutting a rug at my very first fourth grade sleepover and told me, with an air of utter disdain, "You. Look. So. Stupid," and thus ruined dancing for me forever. And so, yes, I am nervous around girls, desperately craving their acceptance while simultaneously ducking and covering in anticipation of their ultimate rejection.
[And, wow, re-reading this, it is fairly clear that I am one hot mess. How I've made it 29 years without ever going on meds I'll never know. (I do know- it's called being poor and in denial. Moving on!)]
At some point it started to seem safer to cultivate friendships with guys, but when one of those friends confessed that though he was married, he was in fact quite attracted to me, and another of those friends tried to make out with me, and yet another of those friends has gone MIA for no apparent reason, though ultimately it is probably related to the fact that he is a guy and I am a girl, and the potentially mixed signals and/or hurt feelings that this sort of situation might generate... well, it was at this point that I started thinking to myself, Damn, I need some girlfriends.
I should confess here, in a seeming non-sequitur (but don't worry, I'll bring it back around), that after a wonderfully refreshing and nearly half-year-long hiatus, I recently bit the bullet and put my profile back up on Okcupid. I've written before about my love/hate relationship with Okcupid (mostly hate, in recent history), but after yet another Friday night at home alone, I was lonely, desperate, and I didn't know what else to do. The problem being, that if I had trouble finding appropriate guys to date in Boston, I quickly realized that in a town the size of Mythaca, it would be nearly impossible. After performing a thorough search, I found maybe one guy I would even consider going out with. Two, tops. And so I found myself clicking over to the girls' side of things. Just to see... I told myself. And voilà! The very first match listed was a 28-year-old Cronell PhD student in romance studies, who speaks French fluently. Also, she's gay. But that shouldn't matter, I told myself. Go on, what do you have to lose? And so I sent her an e-mail, saying, "I hope this doesn't sound weird, because I'm not gay, but I am fairly new to town, and it sounds like we may have some things in common." And she wrote back! She was very warm and sweet and thanked me for my e-mail, and said she would love to meet up for a drink with me, and it sounded like we would have a lot to talk about. So! I have a date! A date with a lesbian! But, Internet, there is a problem. And the problem is: this girl is ridiculously hot. Like, smokin' hot. Like, holy-mother-of-A.J. Langer-from-My So-Called Life-meets-Mary Louise Parker-from-Weeds-with-a-head-of-model-hair hot. And this is not based on just one picture, either. This is based on, like, ten pictures, each one hotter than the last.
What if she hates me? What if she thinks I'm boring? What if I am passive aggressive and awkward and overly self-deprecatory? What if I sweat my way right through my shirt? Internet, I think it is safe to say that I am freaking out here. I only have two days to figure out what to wear!
Oh, and I also have a date tonight with a tall guy who confuses your/you're and has already texted me about a bajillion times, and suffice it to say that I am not really concerned at all about it. I'm feeling pretty cool, calm and collected about this one. I know what to say to guys, how to act, what to do.
But a girl! Heavens to Murgatroyd. I just hope I don't screw this up.