No two relationships are the same. All of the examples I have to look at, whether it be my parents or a set of my married friends, vary wildly in the intricacies that make them successful. And those examples of not-so-healthy-relationships that I have to observe have provided many an educational moment that help me determine my ye's and neh's when it comes to relationships. I can point out things I like and don't like on both ends of the healthy relationship spectrum, but generally reserve asking questions for the couples that have a healthy partnership. You wouldn't ask a bankrupt person for financial advice so why ask for relationship advice from a pair who exhibits habits you consider toxic?
I know some of the people in my life have settled for their partners and it does happen, but I don't want that to be me. I do not ever want to feel desperate enough to settle for a man that loves me more than I care about him. I have had a relationship like that already and it is not something I would recommend to anyone.
The more I observe, the more I learn. And the less questions I ask, the more authentic interactions I see. Please don't fake a healthy relationship for the sake of your single friend who still are on the fence about legal commitment.
Going to college on an athletic scholarship was both a blessing and a curse for a few reasons. One of the blessings was that I had a group of pseudo friends already curated for me. I just had to figure out which of my 24 teammates were actually individuals I could tolerate in a social setting and who were worth the extra steps to avoid on campus. I would be spending too much of my time around these girls come spring, so it became a priority within the first semester to hash out who I only had to be civil with and who I could go out with on the weekends or ask to make a Lawrence run with. I did my best to stick with the same group of friends for those four years cause lets be honest, new people are exhausting and I didn't have the energy to try and make a whole load of new friends every year.
The biggest issue with these pseudo friends was that they were friends out of convenience. There was only one exception to this and she knows who she is because I actually have had this very conversation with her. I don't talk to 95% of the girls I was “best friends” with in college because we no longer live in the same apartment complex or have to spend 3+ hours together everyday covered in dirt and sweat. My love language is quality time and it is very hard to spend quality time with someone who lives far away or lives in a boring as fuck town and can only be fun after consuming alcohol.
I am sure most of them have realized this about me by now based on the fact the majority of my friends now did not go to Baker. Ironically, the majority of the people I would consider to be my close set of friends came from being around one of my teammate's family all the time. Friendships formed at small colleges like Baker remind me of high school relationships, they only work because they are convenient with few exceptions.
Thoughts like these always hit me halfway through a blunt when I am in the middle of my favorite song. So it's a mood killer. What brought this existential crisis on you may be wondering? Make up, just make up. Wedding make up to be more specific and how other people reacted to it.
The MUA spun me around in the chair and the woman I saw in the mirror was not me. It could have been the hair pulled back in an up-do or the button up shirt we all were wearing to get ready that made this image a stranger. Bright red lipstick and darker eyebrows than I would normally go with were confusing sights and the light ethereal eye shadow scheme didn't fit me. And yet I was bombarded with compliments from old teammates and my parents.
It isn't like I don't dress nice and look like I am a put together adult, my chosen aesthetic is just a little darker than the average midwestern woman's. I like to take my token goth friend role seriously when it comes to dress up events like a rehearsal dinner or birthday dinner down town. It's a tough job, but I am the only one who can pull it off.
This candy apple off the shoulder gown and full glamor make up combo really threw me and the other girls who were accustomed to my black attire for a loop. Was this what I could look like if I abandoned my lack of desire to wear make up or need for chains and black fabric? Would I be more successful in dating if I appeared like a “normal” human? Maybe. But then other aspects of my personality wouldn't make sense and I like to alert potential suiters in advance so they aren't surprised when they find out I find cannibalism fascinating and aim to start collecting oddities when I have my own space.
And that was when everything came crashing down and my happy high had turned into a sad one.
My friends' parents love having me around and I provide plenty of entertainment through funny stories and well timed puns, but this whole unrecognizable make up make me think about whether or not the parents like me because I am a reminder of what their children could have turned out to be. It's like when their kids make them mad for whatever reason they can think “well at least they aren't her.” Being a parent to an angry closet goth is hard I get it. And I know there is no way that this thought of my friends' parents only liking me because I am the representation of what they didn't want their kids to be is absurd, but hey that is paranoia at its finest.
The Groomsman from my best friend's wedding. We walked together down the aisle to stand by our friends as they said their vows. In my head, my imagination ran through all of the different scenarios that I would have liked more than what actually transpired. The dream scared the hell out of me.
Still leaning over the bar at the wedding venue in the red bridesmaid dress I was trying to flirt. I am just as bad at it in dreams as I am in real life. There was a pop in my mouth and a molar came falling out onto the bar. No blood, just tooth. I was able to grab it off the bar before the Groomsman turned around to hand me another Busch Lite. He flipped a towel over his shoulder the same way he did at the actual reception and tried making conversation that came out as intelligible mumbles. Another pop in my mouth and I could feel yet another tooth rolling around on my tongue. One after another, my teeth feel out of my gums. I wanted to swallow them as to not freak out the Groomsman, but he would find out eventually. It's hard to have a pretty smile with no teeth.
I woke up in the middle of the night and checked the stability of every tooth. I communned with my subconscious trying to understand the meaning of what I had just experienced and came to the conclusion that situational lust is a dangerous thing to validate. It makes us hide the fundamental pieces of ourselves that someone might find unattractive just for a brief, organic injection of oxytocin.
It really is an honor to be asked by a friend to stand up at the altar with them on their wedding day. Even more so when they are confident (and trusting) enough in your ability to write a welcome speech for the ceremony. I'll never admit to them the fear that grew in me with each step down the aisle. One step closer to having to open my mouth and spew forth the words I wrote with them in mind. Would it be funny enough? Would it be meaningful enough that they will want a copy to read on their anniversary? Of course they and everyone else in the audience who already knew me were prepared for something witty sprinkled with deep thoughts. I nailed it of course, managed to exit, and shotgun a beer with a Groomsman I thought was attractive enough to avoid eye contact with until I was drunk.
But even through all of that there was still one thought lingering in my head: I'm the last one.
The last of my close friends to finish school.
The last of my close friends to leave their parents house.
The last one to find a partner that is worth going through the theatrics of marriage all for the sake of love and the chance at a new KitchenAid mixer.
Do I even want the latter? It seems like a lot of work for little reward and financial losses. But what do I know. It isn't like I have been in love with someone before. Love seems to make people do weird, uncharacteristic things and I don't want that. I know who I am and who I want to become so why would I let someone into my life who is going to make more changes than what I have already prepared myself for?
The risk of being wrong about a partner also weighs heavy when trying to decide if married life is something I want. I had to spend all this money to legally tie myself to someone, and now I have to spend more money to legally split? I like just being able to say “fuck off” and that be the end of it.
a cynical view? yeah. But it is how I feel after watching all my friends do it. Don't even get me started on kids.