The end to pillow talk
I started writing a weekly ‘let’s pillow talk’ post because I had nothing I could write about consistently.
This semester, I’ve had to blog at least twice a week for a class. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but sometimes felt like a lot during those dragging weeks in which I had no motivation to write nor grand ideas for topics. Most people chose to write about topics tied to their major’s studies and/or professional pursuits. But I didn’t want to take the things I did in class and did in work and deconstruct them and reconstruct them into a blog week after week. So I procrastinated and watched “Chelsea Does” on Netflix and latched onto people as my topic, instead.
Sometimes people suck, but most times people are ridiculously cool. I’m reminded of this while interacting with fellow students at UNC, I’m reminded of this while meeting such diverse groups of people and families at work, and I’m reminded of this whenever I read Humans of New York and either have my freaking mind blown or end up in tears after every damn post. I was reminded of this while watching “Chelsea Does.”
We’re all so simultaneously similar and different. And while our similarities help bind us and reinforce our understanding of the world, our differences in thoughts, beliefs and experiences are what truly hold the richness of worth. Our differences help us understand the world, each other, and ourselves, in more meaningful and complex ways.
So I decided to start talking to friends and family in the hopes of hearing and better understanding their most genuine thoughts, their strongest beliefs, and their most impactful personal experiences. Talking allowed me the opportunity to hear and learn some really interesting things about these people and their experiences to which I most likely would have never been exposed otherwise.
We talked finding people we like and navigating that progression toward relationships, we talked hooking up via Tinder and hooking up with booty calls, we talked sexuality and heteronormativity, we talked building kickass relationships and what actually makes a relationship work, we talked why people choose to marry and whether we think we’ll choose to marry, we talked what makes a marriage last forever and what we’ve learned from the marriages close to us, and we talked having babies and seeing those babies grow up to build and navigate their own relationships.
We talked about a lot. The talking ended up being a great excuse to gain all kinds of insights and wisdom, from my grandma’s advice on remarrying after three divorces and old flames’ retrospective reasonings on why we didn’t work out, to friends’ juicy tales of hookups and best friends’ lessons from their most emotionally-intimate moments.
The talking gave me some content, which was great because I could stop saying “WTF am I going to write about?” every week. But the talking also helped me learn these people on a deeper level, understand these people in different ways, and consider some of my own thoughts and beliefs that I maybe hadn’t considered enough. And that was the best part. It’s been fun and it’s been meaningful to me and I’m grateful for these talks I’ve had and get to keep having with my people.
So here’s one last round from my people. And by one last round I mean a few juicy stories I gained throughout the process and wanted to include but for which I failed to find a good home. It’s been real. The end.
As bad as it sounds, it’s really hard for me to genuinely care about someone that much because I’ve had a lot of issues with love. Back in high school, the first girl I ever truly cared about was a junior when I was a freshman. I spent all of freshman year trying to sneak into junior parties just so I could be close to her. When we finally started dating sophomore year, it was miserable. I was more into her and she had never really broken up with her ex-boyfriend, who also happened to be our star football player. So after that I swore off relationships indefinitely.
I have had a couple crazy relationships. The one that comes to mind is “Bill.” Bill would treat me horribly until I left him, then he would come crawling back and be sweet to me for days until I was back under his spell. The cycle repeated. He cheated on me throughout our relationship and maintained another steady girlfriend. What’s crazy to me is he seriously wanted to get married. When I googled his name, tons of web pages about him from angry women popped up. They claim that he is a sex addict, emotional manipulator, and possible sociopath. It was insane.
The weirdest thing to ever happen to me was my 22nd birthday. All of my friends bailed on me/were busy so I got drunk and went to a dive bar in Richmond. I met a random guy and his pick up line was, “I’m into girls who look like dudes….” and I guess it worked because the next thing I know we are eating pizza together at 2 a.m. And then the very next thing you know we are making out outside of Panda Express at 3 a.m. and I have my hand on the outside of his jeans over his man part. He was trying so hard to come home with me but i was like, “nah, I’M TOO DRUNK AND GAY FOR THIS.” Side note: the pizza he ate was greek. He tasted like feta and onions. Not fun.
There was this guy at camp who made it clear he had feelings for me, but I only wanted to be friends. We hung out a bunch and he asked me if we could be more like a couple and I told him it wasn’t going to go anywhere. He kissed me a couple of times even though I was very explicit with what I wanted and what I could give him. I guess I realized things can be completely misinterpreted and misconstrued. I used to say what I felt and I thought there was no bad in that but now I think sometimes, even if you’re being completely honest, it can still hurt people.
So the juicy stuff. I once had a run in with a 25-year-old woman. About halfway through our time spent together, I discovered that she was divorced. At the time, this didn’t bother me too much. However, the next day, I learned from her friend that she got divorced only five days before. This news shocked me and made me realize my own beliefs on marriage. If you had told me that a girl had just broken up with her boyfriend five days prior, I wouldn’t have been as uncomfortable with having been her “rebound.” Obviously being anyone’s rebound implies being used for physical reasons only, so I generally try to avoid it. But sometimes duty calls. But having learned that she was a married woman just a week before made me uncomfortable. Saying that I was involved with someone’s ex-wife is still surreal because the term carries so much more weight than ex-girlfriend. I believe that marriage is a huge commitment, so being the casual rebound after a supposedly life-long commitment is something I’m not hugely proud of. I’m still trying to reconcile all the feelings in the situation, but overall it’s very odd and again not something I plan on doing in the future.
Many moons ago, I was seeing this guy. We went to different colleges in different states, and apparently relationship guidelines don’t apply across state lines. After I found out about his infidelity, I probably should have ditched him completely, but I didn’t. We’ll call that mistake #1. In an effort to salvage our slowly-dissolving relationship, he suggests that maybe we should make it open. Instant metaphorical blow to the gut. I hate that idea, it sucks, it makes me feel like I’m not good enough, it makes me think he wants to see other people but keep me reeled in, just in case. I’m pretty deflated upon hearing his idea BUT I consider it anyway (mistake #2). That’s the worst part. I was almost willing to compromise something that was so important to me — exclusiveness, faithfulness, trust, and the like — so that my loving boyfriend could selfishly explore his options. I not-so-politely declined his request. But what if I hadn’t? He would have been perfectly fine with me sacrificing my sanity so that he could test the waters with other people. I didn’t break up with him then (mistake #3), but I should have. If only I knew then what I know now, damn.
With Vandi, I went from single to husband and step-dad in six months. It was crazy…
…Of course, it’s all about what happened to him. What really happened was he swept me off my feet, he was UBER good to Avery, he convinced me that running off to Washington with him — a Ranger — was the best thing I could do for myself and my son. OH — and we were pregnant with Maddox. AND my dad had never even met this man. Crazy.
I’m still in love with your mom. I have a poster of her above my bed.