My Life is the Star Wars Trilogy: Episode I
The original one, naturally.
And when I say “my life,” I mean more specifically my love life, because who cares about the other stuff, right?
When it comes to love, I wouldn’t call myself a hopeless romantic. Not anymore, at least. Over the years I’ve been compared to Romeo, Casanova, and equal parts Ted Mosby and Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother. For those of you who don’t watch HIMYM, Ted and Barney are foil characters. Ted is a hopeless romantic who only longs to find the love of his life while Barney’s goal is to bang as many women as possible. And I suppose I can see where this comparison is coming from because on the one hand, monogamy is for suckers, but on the other hand monogamy is… nice. But how can I subscribe to monogamy when I’m awe-wait for it-SOME because I’m TOTALLY getting SOME. But I could subscribe to monogamy because it’s nice, I suppose…
A New Hope
For someone who knows how to make women swoon to a very infinitesimal extent, I get intimidated out of my mind at the thought of one liking me. And it was like that throughout high school. But going into college was a whole new story, A New Hope, if you will. I had just found the young Luke Skywalker (although I’m more of a Han Solo myself) within me, and I felt Force-sensitive. There would be new opportunities and I was confident that I could take down the Empire. I was confident that my father was wrong in saying it’s better to settle down first and get used to the campus before looking for girls (he was right, naturally. He’s always right). And I was confident (and childishly optimistic) that my minimal amount of experience could, in fact, make the girls swoon.
And it did.
That’s the craziest part. I put up this facade, this visage that I was cool and confident when in reality I flinch whenever a girl lightly touches my shoulder. Girls are terrifying, and that I got anywhere those first few months completely blew my mind. I mean, granted, it was probably because as freshmen none of us knew what we were getting in to, but it just seemed… nice.
The trick to getting a girl is using just the right amount of charisma and sheepishness. These are kind of like abilities that you obtain, and, like in Pokemon, the more you practice and train, the stronger you become in utilizing them. So going into college, I was like a level 2. That’s like beginner level. Actually that’s below beginner level because Charmander starts at level 5. Back then, I used way too much charisma and not enough sheepishness. While girls like the charisma, it’s important to have sheepishness levels because the two balance each other out. It’s like a mixed drink: you have to have the right levels of both, enough charisma to show that it’s there, and enough mix to mask the overpowering charismatic taste. Show too much charisma, and it seems like you know what you’re doing. In fact, it may seem like you know waaaay too much and that you’re too experienced, i.e. a player, and nobody wants a player when you’re looking for a relationship. Have too much sheepishness and all of a sudden you’re called “innocent” and not experienced enough. Have the right levels of both charisma and sheepishness and you become a person who has had just the right amount of experience but is “refined.” That’s a word I get a lot. I don’t know what it necessarily entails though.
Long story short, I ended up falling hard for this girl. We’ll call her… Melbourne. Melbourne was… is amazing. Really funny, really smart, really driven, and beautiful overall. Somehow, I was able to convince her that I, too, was smart, funny, and cool enough to hang around her. We got really close the first few months and then something happened.
She said, “People told me not to get into a relationship first semester, but this feels really good.”
And that triggered something. I don’t know if it was the fact that she said “relationship” or the way she said “good,” but it knocked the wind out of me, and I started suffocating. It was like all my life wearing suits and ties hadn’t trained me for this leash that was tightening around my neck or the restricting feel of this straight-jacket holding me back. And I needed to get out.
I should probably explain a little as to why commitment scares me. The girl I took to prom senior year was psycho. Like think Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman level. It’s a really long story for another time, but let’s just say emotional abuse and scarring doesn’t go away after a single summer. So, naturally, I felt like maybe I needed to get out. It doesn’t matter how cool or amazing Melbourne was, I was suffocating again (despite the fact that there was no reason to. It was a super casual “relationship” in which there was so much freedom and everything just seemed good). I just tend to exaggerate in my mind and mess things up. Plus the fact that considering I was able to convince a girl like Melbourne that I was a viable option, imagine all the other girls out there. I’m not a player, I swear. But sometimes I just channel more of Barney Stinson to avoid getting attached and getting hurt. It’s a defense mechanism of sorts.
But it’s not only the fact that I was suffocating myself, smothering myself with a pillow, if you will, and shooting myself in the foot, it’s more of the fact that I had one and a half relationships up to that point, and I wouldn’t exactly say they ended swimmingly. (I say half a relationship because she barely talked to me, but that’s a different story in its entirety). And with that knowledge, I didn’t want to lose Melbourne as a friend either. As easy as it is to make friends in college, it’s really daunting and somewhat difficult once you’ve found a niche. And, to a certain extent, we had found — what we thought at the time — a niche. Our friend group was cool. And I couldn’t lose that.
So in all my efforts to keep our friendship and keep the group dynamic, I backed away. I told her that it would be a better idea to just be friends. And she agreed. A day after she said everything felt good, she agreed. God, she was so cool. And I was such a wimp. It’s tragically ironic that in attempts to avoid my inevitable, self-made prophecy, I ultimately put it in motion. But I guess that’s what happens in all Greek tragedies, right? In trying to save my friendships, my people, and my rebel base, I had effectively caused the destruction of all of Alderaan, a peaceful planet that meant absolutely nothing to the Galactic Empire. It was just another casualty of war…