Sunday, July 06, 2003

I am not a romantic disaster.

Many scoff, most disagree, but I maintain that the above is fact. I have been a DATING disaster for quite some time now, but this fact alone has gone a long way to keep me from anything related to romance, disasterous or otherwise.

Confused? I was too as I found myself relating awful dating stories to a friend. I had complained about being seen as a romantic disaster, and after my horror stories, he asked if I thought I was one. My response confused the hell out of me: I haven't really tried in years.

Thus, CJ learns a cold, harsh truth: dating and romance have very little to do with each other. Just dating's a snap, especially the disasterous kind. You go out, you flirt (which I seem to do incessantly, so long as nothing's at stake), you snog a bit, you say "goodnight, I'll call you" whether or not you mean it, and you're done. Until, of course, the other party decides that it's fun to spread viscious rumors about you, but that's the disaster portion of events.

Romance is pain. It's not having a clue what to do because, for once, you care about doing it right. It's about not wanting to flirt because if this does happen, damnit, it's not going to involve artifice or flattery or coquettish behavior that is completely out of character. It's the utter confusion that occurs when you're simultaneously elated just to be able to spend time in the other party's presence and utterly disparing at the thought that though you don't understand what you're feeling, you think it might be approaching that overused four letter L-word, which will probably completely freak the other party out and cause you to hear the most devastating sentence in the entire world: "We're too good of friends."

And yeah, it's stereotyped, which makes it even harder when you consider that I've tried to avoid pidgeon-holing myself with girly behavior most of my life. It's like a fucking teen soap opera. And it's even harder to figure out when you're busy teaching snotty undergrads that everything we "know" about the big, scary, fucking L-word is wholy made up by whatever group you've been socialized into. Knowing that your feelings are a product of the collective neuroses of your predecessors doesn't make it any easier to write them off, and so you're left feeling completely out of control because you should know better but can't help yourself.

Fuck. I'm milimeters away from arguing structure versus agency within my own non-existant love life. I'm in sociological hell.

And so, yeah -- I haven't tried in years. It's easy, with the guys who are fun, or cute, or just a little different from what I'm used to, to go out and have a good time and feel pretty and not have to think about how ruled I am by my society's insane and destructive ideas of romance and love. Dating has nothing to do with either. Shove someone I actually care for in my face, however, and I won't even try. Who wants to get hurt that badly over something that may or may not exist?


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