Today I read an article about “confessional culture” – in short, detailing the current trend of obsession with tell-all projects like “Post Secret” and “Cassette from My Ex”. It is what fuels reality TV and tabloids. And, I assume, it’s why all of you lovelies read my blog.
It’s either that or the elation you experience knowing that you haven’t had to experience the things I write about.
Speaking of which, let me tell you the story of my first.
Growing up, I didn’t have much of an early obsession with boys. They made me nervous, to be honest, and I liked books better. Once, in the summer after seventh grade, my cousin told me that his friend wanted to be my boyfriend. Mind you, this was all after I snuck out of my grandparents house, crashed a sleepover they were having, and he shined a laser pointer at my boobs, but the anxiety that followed the potential boyfriend-girlfriend announcement was unbearable for me. I couldn’t figure out if he was serious or not, and I couldn’t bear the thought of saying “yes” only to be laughed at for thinking the boy was for real. So I said, “My parents won’t let me,” which was pretty true at the time.
By the time I was eighteen, I still hadn’t responded in favor to any guy that asked me out, still for fear of some grand, public rejection. And, in some cases, for fear of the gross-factor of the boys who asked. That was until a friend of mine – Kristen – took it upon herself to solve the dating dilemma I didn’t even know I had. She decided to play match-maker for me, and having picked her target, she started not-so-subtly inviting us both over her house and leaving us alone for hours at a time claiming she had to “run to the store” or “pick up eggs.”
Long story short, he ended up kissing me while leaving her house one night, and asked me out on a date the very next week. It wasn’t my first kiss, else that could have been far more embarrassing of an event, but I was still pretty inexperienced.
For those of you skimming, I was about to go on my first date at eighteen years of age. Pathetic, I know.
Kristen was thrilled with the fact that he wanted to take me out. Not so thrilled with my wardrobe choices.
“Everything you wear is too big. And it all has paint all over it.”
“You look like an artist. You can’t wear any of this.”
“But Kris, I am an artist.”
Her response to my argument was to drag me out to to buy a new outfit for the big date. I ended up in an outfit that she deemed appropriately modern, tight, and that showed my, erm .. assets.
The date came and went and was pretty well uneventful. Here are a few highlights worth mentioning:
-My step-dad is an ex-cop turned minister. In fact, he was the minister of the church the boy’s parents attended, rendering him pretty terrified of picking me up. Bill offered to lay his guns out on the table for laughs. I love that guy.
-The boy was convinced that there was a cop following us the entire time. There wasn’t, but I played along like it was totally possible. Even then I knew not to let them get too comfortable.
-Over dinner, he asked me what I thought I wanted in a relationship (I should note that he was a few years older than me). I calmly told him that I didn’t want to be stifled, that he should be aware that I did not nor would I ever need him, and asked him not to call everyday if we were gonna move forward because that was bound to irritate me. I sucked at dating even then.
-Kristen did manage to crash our date by calling both of us to say that she was at the nearby mall with her date and that we should all hang out. We ended up back at my parents house – because I was the only on with a curfew – to watch a movie. I turned on the movie and we all settled in to watch before I remembered that my super-conservative parents had a little device hooked up to the TV to get rid of any bad language a movie or show might have. It did this by silencing the entire line that contained the offensive word and replacing it with a subtitle at the bottom of the screen. The problem was, it didn’t just omit the words of interest, it replaced them.
With words that made no sense. For instance, the word “fuck” was always replaced with the word “WOW” … Fill that into a few sentences – it has all the potential to be hilarious. I, however, was mortified. And it’s pretty safe to say that everyone else was annoyed.
We actually ended up dating for about six months, and he was sweet almost the entire time. And then one day it went to hell.
The sixth month of our relationship was also the month that I turned nineteen. A group of my friends decided to throw me a surprise party, making sure to let him know that they were doing so, presumably so that he could attend or even help out.
The day of my birthday, my aunt asked me to help her pick colors to paint her house, and when I arrived to play interior-designer, I was shocked to find an entire group of my friends and family there to celebrate. The boy wasn’t there yet, but I didn’t think anything of it – I assumed he was running late from work, as was often the case. I mentioned it to Kristen and his best friend, and they confirmed that he was both invited and coming.
I heard him pull up – he drove a late 80’s Monte Carlo that I loved just a little bit, and I went to the door to meet him. He got out of his car, glanced up, and walked around to the passenger side door. Opening it, he offered his hand to some blonde chick.
I was confused.
They walked in together, and he introduced her to me. Mind you, he didn’t introduce me – as the girl he was sating at the time – to her, he just said, “Kari, this is [dumb blonde bitch].”And walked away.
I don’t remember her name. Honest!
They sat together the entire party, laughed at little private jokes and she kept saying how wonderful he was and how adorable he was.
I, on the other hand, was awesome. I was overly nice to both of them. Sweet, even. I could have thrown things. I could have screamed at him and kicked them both out. I could have made a serious scene. But I could tell that I was making him much more uncomfortable by being so accommodating to his big asshole move.
I never really spoke to him again after that night, though I did cry just a little bit when I got home that night.
I never was able to figure out what came over him, or why he felt the need to bring another girl to my birthday party. Suffice to say that no one understood it – at one point, his best friend pulled me aside to ask me who the other girl was and if something had happened between us. I confessed that I had no idea who she was or where she came from, and nothing had happened -we had gone out just the week before. He seemed confused and said, “I don’t get it. Everything he’s told me about you makes me think he likes you a lot. A couple of weeks ago we were drinking at the Phillies game and he told me that he thought he could marry you. I don’t get it.”
Not so much, I guess.