I remember a time when meeting someone who was just as damaged was a bit of a relief. Everyone walking…
We were sitting on opposite sides of the couch facing each other. I pulled the red blanket up to my chin and she looked up from her laptop and yelled, “Hey! Quit stealing my blanket!”
I told her to shut her face and that we could share because that’s what you do for someone you want to be close to and stuff. She let out a huff, grabbed another blanket, and threw it at me.
“Just use this one.”
“Nope.” I said, “I just want to be close to you.”
“Come onnnnn.” She said, “Just use that one.”
“Nope.” I said as I clumsily moved my body up in her work space.
“Get off! Just stay over there. You’re way too hot.” She said, “Your hot latino blood always sweats up my blanket.”
“Well that’s what I get for buying you a goddamn cupcake.”
We met over cupcakes. It wasn’t supposed to be anything special or anything. Both of us had just gotten out of some pretty rough relationships and had expressed we had no intention of this becoming serious. Really the cupcakes were simply a formality before I put on the moves. At that point in my life, my moves weren’t perfect but they did seem to work more often than not. I ordered four overpriced cupcakes. She ate one. We joked and went through the usual questions one might ask on a first date and she was way more adorable than her pictures – which was a rarity. I finished my cupcakes and said, “Well, do you want to get out of here?” She said sure and collected her things. We walked through my ridiculous neighborhood because it was a beautiful afternoon and before she knew it, I was unlocking the front door of my apartment building. As we were walking in she was said, “Wait, are we going to your apartment?”
I have always said that I go into dating with no expectations. I mean, sure, I generally hope that things go well but I have spent far too much of my life trying to smash a square peg into a round hole and I just don’t have the energy to keep trying to force compatibility. As hippy as it sounds, I just prefer things to evolve naturally. Now, would I like to find the most wonderful person in the entire world and fall in love and live happily ever after? Sure. But that kind of heavy expectation is what crushes the spirit. So instead, now I go in with a much more realistic approach of: I just hope you’re cool enough to want to eat pizza and watch reality television with me. It would also be pretty cool if you hated the same things I do and your taste is questionable enough to want to bang me a few times. If you liked cats and we made each other laugh, that would be cool too. And as trite as that might sound, not only is that the genesis for my adoration but it’s also tougher to find than you might think.
We joke about the cupcake thing now often. She knows of my past and calls me a slut and I tell her that maybe she shouldn’t have eaten those damn cupcakes if she didn’t want to fall in love with a slut. We laugh and eat pizza and argue about blankets often.
I guess what we still find surprising is the fact that neither one of us had any intention of liking one another. We went into it with the understanding that it would be a one night stand. Or afternoon, I suppose. She said she looked at my pictures and told her friend, “Yeah, I’m just going to go bang this dude in the city.” And I actually thought about only buying one cupcake to split because I didn’t want to waste too much money on just a hookup. Now we argue about who sweats up the bed the most.
While all of us want happiness, we can’t predict when and where it will come from. Most of the time it unexpectedly attacks us at the least opportune times. It shows up when we’re having bad hair days and after our deodorant has given up. Sometimes we meet people in passing or on vacation or in the middle of finals or right after we order a bucket of fried chicken – but rarely does it happen when we expect it. I know you’re thinking this is the part where I tell you that you shouldn’t go around expecting happiness and compatibility. But that’s where you would be wrong. You absolutely should go around everywhere expecting happiness and compatibility. When you’re at the store or in class or at your job, if you’re single and open to the possibility of meeting someone it could happen anywhere. I’m not saying there are hordes of people just waiting to date you, but I am saying that someone out there thinks you are unquestionably amazing. And you never know when you might meet that person. If you project an air of openness and you’re willing to take a chance, you never know what might evolve. Because who knows, one day you might be lying on a couch arguing over the blankets and realize just how wonderful you truly have it. All because you wanted to bang some chick after buying her a cupcake.