There are moments when you're wearing white shorts, standing in a sudden downpour of rain to see some guy you hardly like in some strange part of Queens. How do you react? Do you cry? Do you stomp your feet and throw a fit? Does nothing alleviate the completely terrible mood you're in? Well, I have a piece of advice that has kept me sane (or maybe makes me seem insane) in recent times...
When all else fails, laugh about it.
A few weeks ago I found myself thrusting my hopeful heart enthusiastically back into the dating world. I'd met a guy (we can call him Bill for now) through a friend earlier in the week (at a bar... where else do classy folks meet?). He seemed sort of quiet, but I got that subtle vibe from him that he was into me, so like classy people do, we took a walk outside the bar down the block.
Finally alone (in what now probably seems more like a creepy dark alley than a romantic spot), our bodies lingered in that awkward 6-inch "Is-he-going-to-make-a-move-or-not?" zone for just a few seconds. Then, drunkenly, Bill and I smashed our lips into one another's. But besides some intense making out, that was as far as it went (despite his not-so-subtle, "Why don't we go back to my place later?" pathetic attempt at taking me home.). Don't get me wrong, beer goggles or not, Bill was looking pretty good that night. It did, in fact, take me some self-control to say no, but I knew it was the choice I wouldn't regret the next morning. His reaction to my rejection was to grab my hand and hold it sweetly as we walked down the block back to the bar. As someone who views hand-holding as an intimate, "I care about you" gesture, I was both repulsed and intrigued by this.
Now, like most guys, he seemed to be pretty interested once I turned him down (Make those men wait, girls. You definitely hold his interest longer the longer you hold out. Men are very simple creatures...). Happy with my choice, we rejoined our group inside the bar and the night continued anti-climactically. Bill subtly slid his phone over to me with the "Enter New Contact" screen already up. Despite this seemingly eager attempt to talk to me again, I decided to give him my number, but to assume he wouldn't call me and that he was just being polite. I was pretty fine with him being some random guy whose lips intoxicatedly met mine at a bar.
The very next day he initiated talking (By talking, I mean texting. Communication has become something defined by having a character limit.), invited me to meet up with him and his friends and mine several times. Bill was beginning to show serious signs of potential. One of those guys with the death-sentence "nice guy" rep., I finally felt like I was doing something right for myself. A guy that's making an attempt to reconnect? I must've scraped my chin while my jaw dragged on the ground! However, I'm a smart woman, so I assumed that he was upset he didn't "seal the deal," and that he was going to hound me until he did. But his invites were to hang out in groups. He joined me and a friend at a bar a few nights later, and it seemed to be going nice and casually, but later that changed. I was playing designated driver that night, and he asked me if I could take him home (and NOT because he didn't have a ride). I was totally uncomfortable with this, and I'm not the kind of woman that does something that makes me uncomfortable to please some guy that I barely know or like. His reaction to this was complete astonishment, which was obvious and written all over his face. No matter how bad he was trying to make me feel, I still didn't give in, and I left by myself to drive my friend home.
About a half hour later he sends me a text message and says that he and his friend (we'll call him John) are going to the diner in my town for some late night munchies. I said I'd stop by, and I figured if I didn't feel like staying I could leave with no problem. When I got there he was warm and appropriately affectionate, and even walked me to my car and gave me the most innocent, non-sexual quick kiss on the lips goodnight. At this point, I'm completely confused by his actions. "Come home with me" and a peck on the lips in the same night made him seem a bit bi-polar, but since he redeemed himself I ignored it.
The next day my friend semi-awkwardly got us invited some party Bill and John were at in Queens. John gave vague directions that involved us sitting in thirty minutes of traffic (he's not from Queens and this became evident when he told us to turn onto one-way only streets). Even the poor sap that lived in Queens was too dumb to direct us from where we were, so we were lost within .1 of a mile from his friend's house for more than twenty minutes.
Finally finding a spot to park and people that told us where to go, we got out of the car, half-relieved, half-annoyed and began to walk around the block. Out of nowhere a crack of thunder launches a full-blown downpour on us, freshly made-up and all. Not knowing how else to handle the situation, my friend and I burst into hysterical (slightly maniacal) laughter as we continue trudging around the block in clothes that were soaked so much that they were falling off. We finally reach the party and he barely says much of anything to us the whole night. It was one of the most awkward, conversation-less boring parties of my life. His personality is similar to a rock. And not even a cool one... just some basic, boring igneous rock. And his friends were lame. One of them has an intense napoleon complex. Another one's name is Clem... I'm not even kidding. Not only did Bill's personality ruin the night, but he most definitely didn't respect me at all, and did NOT live up to his "nice guy" reputation.
So in those moments after you've sat in traffic and gotten lost for an hour, got caught in the hardest rainstorm of the week wearing white shorts to go to a party for some guy with the personality of a tree stump, there's only one way to survive:
When All Else Fails, Laugh About It.