Sunday, November 30, 2008

27 Dresses

There is something to be said about being “just one of the boys.” You’re the girl that isn’t afraid to get dirty, even if you just got a manicure. Your favorite accessories are cowboy boots and baseball hats-- not because they are trendy, but just because they feel good when you put them on. And there is nothing better tasting than an order of boneless Buffalo wings and an ice cold beer… no matter what time of day it is.

While I am sure every man reading this is going, THAT is my dream woman… I will have you know you are slightly misinformed. Somewhere between my love for sports and my no bullshit knack for calling things like they are, I am normally relegated to a realm no woman ever wants to be shelved in.

You’d think my ability to think like a boy, act like a boy, and be one of the boys would put me in a class above the rest. It would make me the no drama, low maintenance… none of this why didn’t you call me last night so we could listen to each other breathe nonsense.. in short, the perfect girlfriend. I, like you… live and die by the three-day rule unless otherwise specified in the terms of our relationship. And I, unlike most of the other girls you have tried to date have my own thing going on, my own life aside from yours… and you should feel lucky I let you park in it every once in a while. But no.

That’s right.. You’ve unlocked this door with the key of awkwardness. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of ‘asexual’ness, a dimension of embarrassment, a dimension of doormats. You're moving into a land of both closeness and distance, of things and ideas; you've just crossed over into… the Friend Zone.

With the holidays upon us, I found myself heading south back to Tampa to spend time with my friends and family, and avoid the harsh winter weather that had been hanging out since it snowed two days before Halloween. Sick joke, right??.. So aside from lazy days on a boat with friends and nights out with the girls, I also spent some time catching up with an old friend of mine. Did I also mention, we used to date?

Yeah, I know another blog of mine started out very much like this one, but I assure you this one has a very different twist. You see my business with the previously mentioned ex (Mark??) had been resolved for many years now. This other one in question?… Well, bruises on my heart and ego were still pretty fresh. Still, I agreed to meet him for dinner since he insisted he needed someone to talk to. The first half of dinner was just the typical nonsense.. “How is NYC??” “Do you like it??” “What have you been up to???” But, as the sake started rollin, things quickly shifted to the heart of the problem. He told me how unhappy he was in Tampa, being from the Lonestar state, and how he just felt like he was missing something. Given my current situation, I totally understood what he was going through and more. Then he drops the bomb. My ex was sprung on a new girl and he wanted my help.

WHAT?.. I nearly choked on my edemamme. You can not be @#$%ing serious. We don’t speak for months and now you want my help to “get the girl.” Surely, this kid must be high?... Well, he wasn’t. And I shouldn’t call him Shirley.

Over the next few hours, I sat and listened. Through the sake bombs and the awkwardness he poured his heart out over this new girl in his life, and all the hurdles it would take to get her: ruining her friendship with her best friend who he used to hook up with, and possibly ruining a friendship of his own with a buddy that used to date the girl in question. It was a page six scandal in the making, or at least a really awesome Jerry Springer episode. I mean, what was so magical about this one girl that was worth all the drama??.. He continued to lament on and on about how this girl was chill, just “relatable.” The no drama type of girl that “got” him, and loved sports, and didn’t need the nightlife scene.

Wait a frickin' second there, cowboy. Hold your damn horses. He was describing ME.

I was all those things and more back when we used to talk, only he never chased me like this. Never went crazy over me like this. So what was so different about THIS girl?.. As our dinner began to more closely resemble a therapy session with a psychologist, I couldn’t help but feel like my heart was ripped out of my chest. It’s not every day that someone you still have unresolved feelings for tells you they think they found the real thing.. and want to settle down with someone else.
But there it was. The truth. As cold and nasty as the sushi that sat in front of us.

I was the Julia Roberts of my own life. The girl, sitting in front of a boy.. asking him to quit being a moron and see what’s in front of him. My life was one sick romantic comedy. The kind where it’s supposed to be a happy ending, but the girl doesn’t get the guy and she ends up having fun at the reception with her gay friend. The kind where she is supposed to feel happy her best friend ran off with Cameron Diaz, and found true happiness. She was hot back then, anyway.

It was a long and awkward car ride back to his place, as he continued his story, and I did my best to listen objectively. I helped him weigh out the pros and cons of the situation, as it wasn’t exactly the easiest or most rational decision he had made to pursue this girl. But he seemed to think she was worth it.

As I dropped him off at his place, I turned to him and asked him…

“Do you think she can make you happy??.. Do you think she is what you are missing??”

The smile on his face said it all.

“Well then,” I said, “Get r done.”

As I turned to leave, he ran back and knocked on my window, motioning for me to roll it down.

“You know Jenn,” he said, “that’s what I always loved about you. You were like the girls from back home.. simple, laid back, unselfish, blue jeans and baseball hat kinda girl. You’re good people and amazing. Thank you.”

A quick kiss on the forehead.. and he was gone.

Sigh. So goes the curse of the wing girl. I am but the Robin to his Batman. The Boo Boo to his Yogi. The Barney to his Fred. And that’s where the story ends.

My car ride home was significantly less awkward, and tad more defeated, but seeing him finally have some resolve in his life made all my pain seem worth it. Sometimes you really don’t know why certain people come into our lives, or why we play such limited roles in theirs. But at least he felt close enough to me to trust me with his heart, even if he intended to give it to someone else. I may not have gotten the guy, but I gained a friend. So what if I am always the bridesmaid, I’ll catch the bouquet in life sooner or later… right?..

And until then, I can still have fun trying on all the dresses.

4 comments:

Mav12 said...

Jenn, Jenn, Jenn, Jenn.

Again, another great read from your blog. Your insightfulness and perspective, still stunning. I can totally empathize with your latest story, if for nothing else, because it also happened to me with the last girl I was in love with. Ironically, she moved away to Tampa without so much as a goodbye, and kind of somehow expected things to be okay between us after that fact. The big fallout, though, happened when she called me very late one night for what I thought was "one thing or two", and instead it turned out she needed a friend to console her after throwing out a guy who left her high and dry. I should have followed my instincts when entering, as I kissed her on the forehead, she asked me not to crowd her and mentioned that she wished a mutual friend of ours was there, which seemed weird in itself.

As I read your paragraph where you nearly choked on your edemame, I remember thinking your same thoughts that night when I found out the real reason she called me to come over. This is where I commend you for being a good friend. Because even though, deep down in my heart, I probably could have stayed that night, I didn't, because I didn't want to. There was just something too wrong about the situation at hand, and I didn't want to be there. So, I left. And, even though I returned later on to check in on her and did my best to listen to the rest of her story (even the parts where she "really liked him" and "why'd he have to break my heart?"), things were obviously awkward and strained, and any type of relationship/friendship we had remaining deteriorated from there.

All of this is a long-winded way of saying, "I got your story. From the friends zone, the bomb drop of the 'new girl', and the surreal therapy session, to the unresolved feelings, the 'objective' advice you gave, and the kiss he left on your forehead. I felt all of it."

Even though I've never met you in person, he does seem right about one thing. Being originally from TX myself, you sound like you would fit in right at home there. I second his opinion that your "simple, laid back, unselfish, blue jeans and baseball hat" style and personality is what makes you amazing and great. If for some reason, you ever think you need to change "for the better", Don't. Your genuine honesty and openness, even through its nerve-wracking and heart-wrenching times, will serve you better in the long run. (But, as a smart, articulate gal, you already know this well.)

If I could imbed a dedication with this blog comment, it would be Nickelback's new single "Gotta Be Somebody". Instead, I'll try to find my other credit card to get you a couple dresses (or shoes) to try on while waiting your turn for the bouquet. Happy Belated Birthday and welcome to the quarter-century club, wing'nole. ;)

Anonymous said...

Dear Jenn,

I happened to stumble across your blog and as I began to read, I found myself drawn in by your honesty and perspective. Like you, I have been thrown in to the “Friend Zone” more times than I can count, and while I may not get the girl, in my experience, sometimes being a friend can be more valuable.

Friendship is an extremely powerful thing. I’ve seen friendships turn bad days into good ones and good experiences into great ones. Life wouldn’t nearly be as fun if we couldn’t share our experiences with our friends. Friends always seem to make things better, and make the tough times easier. Without Barney the Flintstones wouldn’t nearly be as good, and without Harry Lloyd wouldn’t be able to read the word “the”. Friends are more important than people can ever imagine.

I’ve often been amazed that people don’t seem to realize the value of a true friend or the power of a friendship. I’ve seen friendships broken over something minor, but the real tragedy is that people don’t realize the value in it until it is too late. Being from Northern Jersey, I have been in New York City and volunteer in Hoboken. There were times that I was walking a crowded street, but felt as though I’m the only one there. I’ve often wondered how many other people felt as I did, and how many of those people needed a friend.

I suppose this is all a plea not to change who you are. I understand it wasn’t easy listening to this guy, but because you did, you have not only shown your value as a friend, but as a person. Your honesty, perspective and obvious intelligence only add to your compassion and make you a true gem.

Veritas said...

After reading this what can one say “@#it happens”.
No seriously it’s clear as water that this guy who you still had feelings for tried to play you for a fool.
What type of guy would ask advices to is ex about what should he do about the feelings he was having about another girl?!
Did you know personally the girl in question? Where you a friend of the girl in question?
Ill go on my instincts and say “No”.
And believe me I know what I’m talking about, I’m like some weird magnet of confessions, everybody I know comes to me for advices on all sort of things, and not only advices, people seem to be unable to resist the urge to reveal their most intimate thoughts and details of their lives.
It’s like I have sign on my forehead saying “Confessionary” because people have the habit of telling me things honestly I don’t even care about.
It’s like this “Man I cheated on my girlfriend what I’m I suppose to do now?” , “I said to my parents that my studies where going great and know I flunked the entire year, what should I say to them?” , “My boyfriend hasn’t spoke to me in weeks and I heard news from reliable friends that on our entire relationship he was cheating me with another girl, and know he not only admits that he cheated me but he says is really sorry and wants me to give him a second chance, what should I do?” , and so on, and so on….
I’m a natural good listener and people say I give good advices, but sometimes I just feel like telling them “You have problem well them fixe it. Why the #uck are you telling me all that for?” , “He our she cheated on you, where is it written that’s my problem, you know the old saying, he/she cheats you once it’s their fault you let them cheat you twice them the fault is yours”.
As you can see Jenn I’ve heard so many stories and confessions that some times I wander if I’m not in the wrong line of business maybe I’ve should have become a psychologist or something like that, I would be swimming in money right now.
But this is not about me it is about you.
For what I’ve read I can only assume that not only was he trying to make you jealous but you made the ultimate mistake.
You asked if he thought that girl was the right one.
That is the ultimate mistake, by asking him that, you shown him that not only you still had feelings for him but you where there to give him support, and that’s the same as saying to him “Go forward and try your best if things don’t work out ill be here for you”.
You gave him power over you.
And you can’t let nobody had that kind of power over you, because if you let them have it, them you will be used and then thrown out like trash.
But that’s all in the past right now and I hope you keep it in the past.
Now, about you, from the way you describe yourself I can only assume that there is more to you that meets the eye.
The way you describe yourself is too simple, ok you can act like one of the boys, think like one of the boys, even have the same gastronomical taste of one of the boysJ, but like I’ve said there’s more to you that meets the eye, you may be able to understand a little about the ways of men but you ill never be able to fully understand us the same way we will never be able to fully understand women.
Face it, in terms of relationships where still basically in the Stone Age.
I also don’t believe that your destined to be the eternal bridesmaid, your problem like so many people like you is that you are looking for mister perfect, the ying to your yang or something like that, your soul mate, and to tell you the truth I’m with Chris Rock when it comes to relationships, all you or anybody will ever find is a mate, just a mate.
There are over 6 billion people on this planet how do you expect to find the perfect person?
That is never going to happen, sorry if I’m dropping the H bomb on you but that’s the truth and the sooner you realize that you will stop having disappointments in your relationships.
Don’t create a lot of hopes and dreams about a relationship, just go with the wave, be truthful in your relationships and be always on the watch.
You may be thinking right know “Jesus if everybody thought like this guy nobody would ever get married or have kids, the race would go extinct”, but that’s where you are wrong, the way relations are seen today are complety different from years ago, and before that there was also a different way of looking at relations, and before that the same thing.
Don’t forget that a few years ago if things hadn’t changed for the better for women, you would never have been cover of Maxim, #&it Maxim wouldn’t even exist.
Your role as a woman would be to take care of the house and the kids and nothing more.
And one more thing, you said “… have my own thing going on, my own life aside from yours… and you should feel lucky I let you park in it once in a while…”
What you have we all have it too, I also got my own life aside from yours, it may not be as grandeur as yours but ill get what I want on my on way, like you I have dreams to fulfill, and to fulfill does dreams it takes strength, determination an time, especially time and for anybody to spend their time reading what you have to say you’re the one who should fill lucky that all this people that are here for you even want to park in your life.
As you can see I’m also a no BS person, I recognize that what you have right now is part of your hard work, and I’m happy for you, that you are having the life that most girls would give their souls to be on your shoes, and I understand you better than you think.
I wish you all the best in life; I just hope you don’t lose yourself in it.

roothog229 said...

Jenn,

Sorry it's been awhile, for one! I'm always reading...just hardly able to get time to write back.

Anyways, I know it feels when your heart is ripped out of your chest by an ex who is basically describing you in the form of someone else...someone that they want more. It sucks, no doubt. There's no soft-coating it. However, everything you just said flashes back to when we met at press row in Wichita.

I remember what I told you that day, because I knew I'd regret it for life if I didn't. I knew I needed to be one of far too few voices that appreciated you for who you are and what you've accomplished, and not as just "the hottie FSU Cowgirl". And in the long run, the same thing happens in relationships. Face it Jenn, you are not the ordinary woman. You never will be. And because of that, you are deserving of a love like none other. Sure, there were feelings between you and your friend, but you're the woman that deserves feelings that engulf the heart and soul of a man. You need to be loved in the deepest form, because you are not the average norm. You are a woman who will challenge the mind, fill the soul and enhance the senses. To fully appreciate you as a woman demands the truest of affections. And it takes time for that to happen. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day.

As bad as it feels now, as bad as many heartbreaks have ever felt, you will rise and find love in its greatest form. It's what you want, and from everything I know about you, you are someone who works hard to get what you want.

I hope this message finds you well.