Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Story of Persistence

So if three years ago a guy tells you he’s interested in you, and you kindly but firmly tell him that you don’t feel that way in return, and if he insists that he would rather be friends than nothing at all—even though you offer to extricate yourself from his life, if that would make things easier for him—you would hope that would be the end of the issue once-and-for-all. Even if he repeatedly asks you (“just out of curiosity”) “why you are not interested in him” and “what makes you interested in other guys” and “which guys you are interested in” over the next few years, you hope that he really is just curious, and you try to give him the benefit of the doubt, in spite of your nagging intuition and your even more nagging friends. (“What are you doing? Of course he’s still in love with you! What guy asks those kinds of questions otherwise? Why are you putting up with this? Ditch the leech!”)

But then he comes to visit you, and he doesn’t just stay for a weekend; exactly five days before he is scheduled to arrive, he informs you he’ll be staying for an entire week. Fine. If you paid for a ten-hour bus trip and had the time to spare, maybe you’d want to stay for a week in New York City, too. Of course, you might not be nearly so keen on staying so long if you knew that your host would be at work 80% of that time, but I suppose there is a lot to keep a first-time tourist occupied in the Big Apple, so perhaps this guy figures he can successfully occupy himself for the entire week.

However, if on the third night of his stay, your visitor throws himself facedown on your bed and confesses in an agonized voice that he wants to kiss you, what would be your logical conclusion? Regardless of whether you deem him still hopelessly in love with you or simply overcome by lust for your irresistibly attractive body (because you can’t help but look unbelievably hot in your men’s sweatpants, free Kraft Macaroni and Cheese T-shirt, and glasses), you have to choose some sort of reaction. Some people may demand that he leave, deciding that the awkwardness is too much to bear. You don’t want to be a bitch, though. In a way, you can sympathize with the guy; you’ve been in that sort of position before (although you’ve certainly never told the non-reciprocating object of your affections that you wanted to kiss him, and certainly not while staying with him in his apartment). So you perform a sort of conciliatory pat-on-the-back I’m-sorry-you-feel-that-way speech, complete with apologetic smile and intentional three-inch addition of personal space. And hopefully that’s the end of the situation.

But no, he brings it up the next night, wanting to know what your reaction to his proposition/request/confession was. In irritation, you wonder: wasn’t it clear when I didn’t jump on top of you and start sucking on your face? But instead you reach deep inside for those reserves of patience usually saved for small children and irritating customers and explain to him that he was right in not trying to kiss you, because you have not changed your opinion, that you thought this subject had been resolved three years ago, and that your feelings have not changed. Now, you are positive, the issue is closed.

But no! The next night, when you are reading yourself to sleep, he comes into your bedroom and announces, “I am going to do something really random.” Being your witty self, and knowing how he would probably be watching television at this time of evening were he at home, only he can’t because you don’t own a television, you ask, “What, read a book?” And then suddenly, he’s standing looming over you, zeroing in on your face. Logically, your mind flashes back to the previous nights’ conversations and goes, ”WTF???” and you instinctively duck, burying your head in your arms until, in a hurt voice, he says, “Hey, I was just going to kiss you on the forehead.” Really. On the forehead. Obviously you should have known that, because there was a billboard, “Don’t worry—he’s aiming at your os frontale, not your oral cavity,” flashing overhead the whole time, which you somehow managed to miss.

So now it’s over, right? One would think that this must be enough humiliation for him. It would certainly have been for me. I mean, the first rejection three years ago would have been enough for me to put the brakes on, but then maybe I give up too quickly. (Perhaps this is also why I’m still single. No peanut gallery comments, please.)

As you may predict from the pattern thus far, however, the story has not yet ended. In he comes, ten minutes later, after you’ve shut off the lights and buried under the covers to hide from the world and all that has transpired.

“Are you awake?”

“Yes.” You grudgingly emerge from your safe blanket haven.

“I just wanted to say something about the kiss thing.”

Why? “Okay.”

“I know you’re probably worried I’m trying to date you or whatever, but I’m not. I just . . . I just wanted to see what it would feel like, you know?”

You what?

“I was curious.”

You let the silence build. What are you supposed to say? He was curious? This sounds more like a cop-out than anything that has been said or done thus far. It’s one thing to try to “make a move” on a girl, or to even ask permission to make a move. It’s another to “raise the issue of making a move” and to then try to say you were only interested in “seeing what it would feel like” if you had done it. What does he think this is, Bill Nye the Science Guy? We are not friends with benefits. You don’t kiss a girl because you are interested in what it feels like.

So, the lessons to take from this story are:

  1. If a girl says she’s not interested, she’s not interested. Really.
  2. If a girl says she’ll be your friend, she will be your friend. But don’t push the issue any further. Please.
  3. If you try to kiss someone and fail, don’t make excuses two days later. Just drop the subject. We’ve all experienced this mortification, so we all understand the desire to justify ourselves.
  4. If you think you’re immune from showing up on this blog, think again. The good, the bad, and the ugly—it all has a chance of appearing here. Again, comments are welcome!


Former LINGUISTIKS teammate said...


agoldste said...

Well, if he posts a comment, you'll be sure to know ;)

Daniel said...

did he try to kiss you goodbye when he was leaving??? no closure, i need closure!

filiak said...

ok, now i'm convinced he's leapt from pathetic self-centered lazy fool to COMPLETE ASS. DO NOT LET HIM IN YOUR APARTMENT AGAIN. HE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND.

filiak said...