I Don’t Think We Should Go Out
by Delia Paunescu
I don’t think we should go out because the way it happens is we meet and you flirt with me and it’s nice and I go home thinking about it. While I’m thinking about it, I start thinking that I like you.
The next time I see you, we flirt a little more and I really think I might like you. So you notice that and then you ask me out. And I agree because I’m thrilled I got you to ask me out. So we go and it’s fun because you’re nice and I’m happy because I got what I wanted. Then we go out again and I’m happy because the part of me that has terrible self-esteem and is always wondering if you’ll call again and is afraid you won’t is happy when you ask me out again, so I give in to that crazy lady and we go out again. And it’s nice and we have fun and you say something sweet and that feeds my ego and I’m happy.
Then you ask me out again and it’s great because OMG you asked me out for a third date. You must not think I’m horrible or a leper or fat or crazy and yay. We go out and it’s nice and you’re nice and I look nice and I blab on about whatever, constantly wondering why I’m so freaking boring and how could you possibly sit here and listen to me talk about my job and is my makeup running down my face and do I have raccoon eyes and I hope I don’t have to fart while we’re at the table. Better not order the broccolini, even if it is glazed in a maple bourbon reduction.
At some point, I realize that I don’t want to go home with you. I don’t really want to sleep with you. You’re not someone I want to sleep with. You’re not even someone I really want to be here with. You’re not really someone I actually like. Are you even that attractive? Why am here? What am I doing? So I get distant and you wonder why I’m being strange and what happened to that bubbly, happy girl you took out last week?
I tell you I’m tired or worried or busy and you understand because you’re very nice. Then you text me to ask if everything’s ok and I say “oh sure of course it is. feeling much better. winky face.” So you ask me out again and I go because I don’t want to be rude and telling you no seems a lot harder than pretending to have fun and besides, I have a new sweater from Madewell that needs to be taken out. A sweater I bought because I was upset about making you upset and the sweater is pretty and it’ll make me feel like I’m in a Katherine Heigl movie or one of those girls on Garance Dore’s fashion blog. The girls that always have somewhere to go. The girls with thin thighs. I’ll do it for the sweater. It deserves a nice date. So we go and you’re nice and I look nice and we talk and laugh and have a few drinks but it’s not the same. I spend half the time thinking about my Hulu queue and you’re staring off into space and asking me about being distant. And it’s weird and you try to make it better by asking me to come back with you but I really feel my TV pulling me home so we part ways and you feel bad and I feel bad for making you feel bad and it’s all a mess. ‘Ick, dating. Le boo.’
That’s the tweet I send out and some people respond or even retweet it and I feel better.
Because even if I can’t make relationships happen with real people, at least the internet understands me. Or they pretend to.
And it doesn’t really matter as long as twenty of you liked that picture I posted of the sweater I was planning to wear out on the date. It doesn’t matter if it was fun or if I like you. It matters that we went and I checked into that cute new restaurant on Rivington that got written up in the tiny magazine you get on the subway and I tried that lamb meatball appetizer everyone raved about and I wore my new sweater and you liked me. It doesn’t matter that I went home alone and felt bad about leading you on and dreaded the next time you were going to call me or text me or send me that GChat.
So I set my status to invisible and I watch all my shows and then a couple of old movies on Netflix and wonder how it was all so easy back then and why doesn’t anyone ever knock on my door in the middle of the night because they just couldn’t wait to tell me something. I don’t even get midnight drunk texts anymore. And then you text again because you’re lovely and I respond because why not and then it’s all a mess.
So I don’t think we should go out. I have to catch up on The Daily Show anyway.