Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Loner, Loser, Complicated Wreck

My sophomore year in college, one of my roommates showed up at our apartment in the wee hours of the morning, wearing the same thing she'd worn when she went out on her second date with who we'd all dubbed Cute Soccer Guy. I was making coffee in the kitchen and preparing to cram for a Music History exam, and she plopped down on the stool at our kitchen bar and asked me to pour her a cup. As I did, she sighed "I can't believe I slept with that guy!"

Whoa. Rewind. What? You did what?! I must have looked as incredulous as I felt, because she shrugged defensively and said "Sorry I'm not a prude, Amanda."

Ok. While a good part of me was pretty horrified that she'd had sex with a guy after date numero dos, another part of me (a bigger part of me than I'd like to admit) was totally and completely jealous.

I have always been a good girl. Not a saint, but a good girl. I didn't have a boyfriend in high school, just a crazy unrequited crush. I dated in college and while my roommate would probably disagree, I wasn't a prude, but I was still well-behaved. Aside from one regretful night, I didn't participate in underage drinking. This sort of behavior has continued into adulthood. I did go through a slightly rebellious period in which I pierced my nose and I have two tattoos, but for the most part - pretty non-shocking life.

I don't know why, but most of the time, if I admit it to myself, I tend to equate good with boring. I do. I can't help it. I remember having a conversation with my friend Bridgett about a friend of ours who was always in trouble, always in tumultuous relationships, always making the wrong decisions, etc., and after we felt we'd done our due diligence in tut-tutting about this friend, I looked at Bridgett and admitted "Oh my gosh, but wouldn't it be fun to at least have some regrets?"

As I was driving to work this morning, I heard an advertisement on a radio station asking "Are you a fun, single girl between the ages of 23 to 32?" Yep. I am, as a matter of fact. "Do you live in the New York Tri-State area?" No, but I could, couldn't I? "Do you have an exciting dating and love life?" Ugh. And I'm out. No. I don't.

But here's my question: does that make me boring? Does the fact that I'm not sleeping around and gabbing about it the next morning with my equally promiscuous friends make me a prude? Would I bore people to tears on a radio show?

I wish I could be at peace with my pretty innocent background. I know I should be thankful I don't have these past mistakes looming behind me all the time, and really, I am. Most of the time. But sometimes I feel like I missed out on some part of life. This post isn't about resolving these feelings and ending with a cliche religious admonition. This is just how I feel in my life today.

My sister sent me a Valentine's card once after I had suffered a pretty major rejection from a jerk, and she had written on the inside "Someday, Manda....someday some guy will want you only for your body." I laughed and kept the card, but seriously, that's pretty much what I want.

I'd like to come in late at night, collapse onto a couch, and say out loud to no one in particular "I can't believe I made out with that guy on our second date."

Sigh. Even my imagination is tame.


Jane said...

I don't think you are boring in the LEAST! I think you are way cool and interesting.

And I got nuthin' in the cliche religious admonition family...

I do have this, though. I didn't get married until I was 27, and so between the ages of...let's say 23 and 27, I was an adult on my own doing pretty much whatever I pleased whether it was being a "good girl" or something else.

What I discovered during that time was that I could be and do and have whatever I wanted to be and do and have. Now, it wasn't always easy to get there, but it could be done. It also wasn't always right, and whether or not regrets are worth having I may sort of have some I'd like to regret but might not....

All I'm saying is that you CAN follow that tame imagination of yours if you want to. I really, really believe that and I have seen it in my own life.