Before actually entering (a more accurate description here would be pushed into the deep, dark pool of) the dating scene, I only had a few crushes. But the few that I had basically took over my life. It was like being in reciprocated love—the highs when we were together—with a sucker punch of Just-Kidding-you’re-a-crazy-bitch.
Let’s jump back through the time portal.
A few crushes here and there in Junior High and High School which were mostly me slapping a face onto my “ideal man.” Actually, it was me vomiting idyllic projections onto the guy without him knowing.
Stalking Admiring from afar.
But in college, boy did I wise up. Actual dating seemed weird to me my first two years of college. You didn’t even know them, how would that interaction even happen? “Hi, uh, I think you’re gorgeous so on the off chance that you have an awesome personality, let’s subject ourselves to an hour and a half of maybe-good conversation”? What if you don’t click at all? Then it’s going to be awkward the next time you see each other around campus. “That’s the girl I almost had a thing for. Thank god I found out she’s crazy…”
So, I friendzoned myself. All the time, with a side of Creepy.
That’s a step up, right? Going from admiring from a distance to actually talking to them? I think I deserve a gold medal. It’s not like I have to tell them I liked them. They’re going to fall for me first! … publicly… !
Mario and I met where any other couple meets: the badminton courts. If you’ve ever wanted to climb up the social ladder, I suggest you not look towards badminton. If you wanted a good recommendation for grad school, however…
He caught my attention because he was the first normal-looking white guy I’ve ever seen on the courts. Usually it’s nerds of all colors in the yellow-brown family. But I dismissed him immediately because he was attractive. In my experience, attractive guys provide the least stimulating conversation.
During this time, it was my Lost Years at the university so I was jonesing for some close friends. Around the time I met Mario, I met Jonie, who was petite and fiery. We clicked on and off the court and were soon inseparable.The three of us traveled to tournaments together, stayed in hotel rooms together, and went out at night together. I wasn’t 21 at the time, so I was the Super Baby of the group.
My love for him grew. But I refused to hang out alone with him. Guys had to make the first move and at least I was getting SOME airtime with him, right? The fact that they hung out without me meant nothing.
The one time we hung out it was at a dive bar indie concert. And it was clearly not a date, although I did treat it like one. I got a little too tipsy on pre-mixed margarita, stood awkwardly while I waited for him to pay cover (not part of the plan, but I made it so), and then bought him donuts afterward. I felt bad, so I paid him back during the ride home.
I was getting desperate because I knew Jonie, my only connection to Mario, was moving away at the end of that year. And Mario? He was graduating soon. But that didn’t matter as much because without Jonie, there was nothing.
So it continued. Nothing. Nothing. Something? Nothing.
Soon, it was summer and whatever small momentum we had was lost.
Anytime anyone asks me about what happened, I get snappy. And they’re confused because everything happened in my head.
Mom: So, what happened to that Mario guy? Is he still on campus?
Me: I think he left. (Actually he didn’t, but explaining why we haven’t hung out is worse)
Mom: He left without saying goodbye?! I thought you guys were friends.
Me: HE’S JUST LIKE THAT, MA. Pull into McDonalds right now.
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