Perhaps you have never noticed, but I do not tend to dwell on romance in my blog. This stems from many sources, greatest of which is the fact that I simply have not experienced much of it in my life. Oh, like many young ladies I read the Jane Austen novels (and watched the movies) and dreamed of meeting someone awesome who would love me in spite of my weird, unsettling and even ugly moments.
Although this dream has yet to come to fruition, I remain convinced that it does indeed happen for some. Despite my cynical moments, I am not a total downer when it comes to romance. Now let me make a careful distinction: I am in favor of sincere manifestations of love and affection, but I cannot handle sap for sappiness' sake.
Let me give you an example. My last "serious" boyfriend, the "Women Cannot Pass Gas" guy, had what I consider to be a very odd (and annoying) need to call me by something other than my first name. First, he tried to call me "Baby." I shudder even to think of it now. A nicer person would have just let him do it, but I not only refused to respond to it, I demanded that he cease to say it. Again, a nicer person would have perhaps have gently suggested the use of a different name. Perhaps if I had genuinely liked Gas-Boy better, I may have taken this route.
In this case, I did not feel very generous and we ended up having to strike a deal. I would refrain from discussing un-ladylike bodily functions in his presence if he would stop calling me by that ridiculous name. This worked, although he did keep on trying to find a nickname that was less demeaning. I am not sure what his problem was with my real name.
Speaking of Gas-Boy, I have a funny story to share. As you may not know, my mother is currently employed by a large coffee company as a barista. It's not her dream job, by the way, but she is planning to move on and actually utilize her advanced degree in the near future.
Anyway, up until recently, she worked in a coffee shop located in a popular local grocery chain. In the true manner of coffee shop chains, there was inexplicably another separate coffee shop located literally just across the street. Due to some shifts in management, my mother has now been relocated to the bigger store across the street. The clientele there are a bit different (more celebrities) and the work space is a bit bigger. Otherwise, she's been fine. Except for one thing.
On one of her first days at the store, she had the dubious and surprising honor to wait on none other than Gas-Boy himself at the register. Now, due to a random Google search conducted by me about a year ago, I stumbled across the information that Gas-Boy had taken a wife. As I found this mildly shocking and also a bit humorous, I carelessly shared the news with my nearest and dearest.
As an additional piece of information, my mother and Gas-Boy only met once while we dated. Unfortunately, this meeting occurred about one week after my youngest brother died and was at an out-of-town wedding for a good friend of our family. Everyone was a bit off emotionally, and Gas-Boy, being the immature drunkard that he was, made a bit of an ass of himself. Of course, then there was also the fact that he chose to break up with me in the most awkward and stupid way possible that may color her overall opinion of him as well.
So, when my mother looked up and found herself looking at none other than Gas-Boy in the flesh, she briefly pondered not saying anything. Briefly. She then called him by his name and reintroduced herself. I have no idea what went through his head at that moment, but it may have been fear-like.
What should have happened next would be a bland exchange of "so how are you's." What actually happened was that my mother said, "So I hear you got married!" When I heard this, my mild amusement turned to mild horror. As Gas-Boy and I had not communicated for almost three years, there was no way that she would have known that he was married unless I had actually looked for the information, thus implying that I am some sort of stalker. I prefer to view it as follow-up research for my own sake, especially as I had NO intention of ever seeking him out or utilizing said information to my advantage.
I believe Gas-Boy responded with a slightly shocked affirmation and told her that he was indeed wed and living in the suburbs. I also believe that Gas-Boy will NEVER set food in that particular branch of this coffee chain ever again in his life.
With that lovely anecdote, I will leave you to think about the nature of your own relationships, past and present. If you're happily settled, good for you. You can look back on past boyfriend/girlfriend debacles with nostalgic humor. Think about it a little, but be glad that you're out of the strange and terrifying game that is dating. It really isn't as much fun as Jane Austen would lead you to believe.