By staff writer Simonne Cullen
July 9, 2006
In the end you start thinking about the beginning. Sometimes you wonder how something as simple as having a good conversation at a party can lead to a date, a hookup, a relationship, and a breakup. By the time one of you is throwing the other person’s personal items over their fifth floor balcony, there’s just no way you can’t stop to wonder. How in the world did you get to this point, when it all started with something as simple as, “Hey, Maggie, I’m Jack. What’s your major?”
This past holiday weekend I went to visit some friends in Wisconsin for Summerfest, the only place where you can see CCR, Kenny Chesney, and Ryan Cabrera perform on-stage, at the same time. I stayed with an ex, but can you really classify someone as an ex when you only dated him for less than 36 hours? Whatever. Let’s just say I stayed with someone with whom I shared a dramatic history. And while the only fireworks going on were the ones exploding in the sky, it occurred to me, as we reminisced about old times, why all the unnecessary drama happened in the first place.
“What does it say about the girl when she realizes she was more attracted to the smelly kid in class than the clean shaven one with a two-floor walk-up?”
Ever finally get close to someone and realize that the two of you have absolutely positively nothing in common? Girls have this tendency to hold on emotionally to the ones they care about for far too long. Greek literature has hundreds of women waiting hundreds of years for their man to come home from war. Three hundred years?! Those broads should have waited around for a measly three hundred minutes! That way the poor Greek Goddess could have spent those years writing a book, painting a vase, participating guilt-free in those famous orgies, and later, after getting pissed drunk, heading over to the vomitarium. That way she wouldn’t have felt so stupid when she discovered, upon his return, that he’s gone through some weird transformation, developed a glazed-over look in his eyes, started believing in different entities, and no longer wants to watch Entourage on HBO—because he’s stopped watching television all together.
The point is: People say love is all about the timing, and I believe it. Because no matter how much you care about somebody or for how long, if you guys don’t share the same feelings at the same time, you spend a lot of your college life secretly hoping that he knocks his girlfriend up so you don’t have to see the both of them on campus holding each other’s hands and looking lovey dovey into each other’s eyes at a kegger of all places.
Anyway, now that college is over, all of the drama—at least for the most part—is over. But seeing friends mature is still really weird. Upon arrival to my ex’s apartment, I expected what any girl who dated a frat guy expects. After all, what else could I base his living arrangements on besides the way I saw him live in college? So when his place suddenly lacks of empty beer cans on the floor, smells entirely of fabric softener, and boast completely untorn furniture upholstery, I did the only thing I knew how to do: Become very suspicious. He borrowed this apartment from a friend right? Because his old one was definitely declared a hazard zone by the government.
It wasn’t until I saw his shoes neatly lined up in the bottom of his closet with all of his shirts and jeans hanging according to color and style that it occurred to me that he had changed. Which is great. Everyone grows up sometime, but what does it say about the girl when she realizes she was more attracted to the smelly kid in class than the clean shaven one with a two-floor walk-up?
See how girls make everything complicated? It should have been just, “Hey, good for you trading in your baggy sweatpants for fitted jeans, and offering to carry my bag, and offering me a rum and coke in a glass filled with ice instead of a lukewarm cocktail in a red plastic cup.” And then continued on to the concert without much ado. But instead of keeping things simple, the conversation was more one-sided, with me flailing throughout the apartment making new discoveries and screaming things like, “Omigod, when did you purchase a vacuum cleaner?” and, “Please tell me you didn’t buy this Bath and Body Works Country Apple scented hand wash soap!” To which his only reply was, “You still live with your parents.” Which, well… managed to shut me up… temporarily. Because I then spotted two books sitting on his desk: “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” that looked more like they were actually being read than serving merely as coasters. That I could not let go unaddressed.
Maybe girls have been underestimating guys. Maybe we liked certain guys because we know we can’t have them. And vice versa. Everyone wants what they can’t have. And when you finally get each other, you both realize that there’s no longer anything romantic there. And you begin to question whether there ever really was.
For example, he said he needed to pick out a new cologne. Three years ago I would have been ecstatic to be in this position. After all, picking out a scent seemed very romantic to me back then. But that day I found myself just plain old bored. We headed to a department store and I watched as he helplessly tried to squirt various bottles onto white strips of paper to determine whether or not he wanted to be associated with this particular scent. He always had a girlfriend to pick out cologne for him, leaving his only job to just wear it. He didn’t really know how to go about purchasing one on his own, and honestly, I had no interest in helping him because I no longer was going to be around to smell it on him. If you can purchase a Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner for a hundred bucks, you can drop eighty on Calvin Klein’s Eternity Night to smell like the beach without any assistance in your transaction from me.
After my realization that we were always better off as friends, the pressure dropped, and things got simple. We got hammered at the CCR concert, sang really loudly, made fun of each other’s hookup past, and had a great time. I guess the main idea is to keep it simple. Keep it fun. Don’t complicate things by having ridiculous expectations and getting angry when the other person doesn’t live up to them.
But then again, you know what life without the drama would be? A bunch of people sitting around the perfume department at Macy’s looking at their watches to see what time their lives are going to start. Smells too familiar for me.