I have been working on a series of posts about my pre-Ish dating life, because let's face it, it's a rich tapestry.
I don't think it would come as any surprise to you that I have made some, how do you say, "unwise" choices in my life. And I have been on a LOT of dates.
(Note: "dates" is not "boyfriends." "Boyfriend" is a sacred term, one that I reserve for those few, special guys. This post does not involve them, nor is it meant to reflect poorly on them.)
Here are two I've started with, for no particular reason and in no particular order.
Enjoy Valentine's Day!
* * * * *
When I was in 5th grade, for no discernible reason, I received a Valentine's day card and present from a boy I'd gone to kindergarten with and hadn't really seen much of since. It was entirely unexpected and mostly inexplicable. The gift was a gold pin of some sort of bird (emu? ostrich?) with some fake jewels stuck into it.
It was my first indicator that I was going to have a long and bizarre history with men.
"Here, Kiki. I know we haven't been in touch since we were 6 years old, but now that we're both 1o, I wanted to let you know that I had a crush on you. So I acquired this golden bird pin that I may have stolen from my grandmother's jewelry box, who's to say. The point is, ostriches always make me think of you."
He did not say any of that explicitly, but that was the message.
My mom thought it was sweet. I thought it was weird. We were probably both right.
* * * * * *
I once broke up with a guy in a chat room.
I am not kidding, and I am not even sure that chat rooms still exist (do they?). But we met online back a hundred million years ago when AOL cost $4.95 an HOUR to use, so I was instead using a service that did not have a graphical interface.
I realize I'm already veering off-topic (surprise!) but let me just say that I have been in love with Teh Innernets for a very long time. I have never been especially technical, however; I have always known JUST ENOUGH to ensure that I could find and communicate with boys.
So back in the days of chat rooms like IRC (anyone?), I decided we had to have The Talk. And since we effectively started our relationship online, I figured it was totally reasonable to end it that way. No need for the sticky, uncomfortable "it's not you, it's me" conversation in person or even by phone.
The funny thing was, I created a "private" chat room for us to Discuss Our Relationship and forgot to "lock" it. So right after we got to the room and I launched the We Should Stop Seeing Each Other conversation -- and I am in no way making this up even a little -- someone named Fred entered the room. And because I thought that was kind of amusing, I let him stay.
And once Fred realized what was going on, he started chiming in. Like a referee.
Which was made especially amusing by the fact that the guy I was trying to end it with was arguing with me about breaking up. He thought we should stay together, specifically because we had so much in common.
It kinda went like:
kristy: it's just that i realized we don't have anything in common.
greg: that's not true. you're wrong. we have a lot in common.
fred: like what?
greg: you and i both think that family is very important.
kristy: i don't think that makes us unique. a lot of people feel that way.
fred: that's true
greg: but we're also funny.
This was, really, the crux of my problem with him. It occurred to me that actually, only one of us was doing all the joking, and one of us was doing all the laughing.
I wasn't the one laughing.
Once it dawned on me that I didn't really have any fun with him, that I wasn't really attracted to him and that -- ohmygod -- he was pretty much a complete loser...
(Has that ever happened to you? Where you're going along dating someone for a while, and it's not great but it's not bad, and then you start to think about it and realize you actually can't stand the person you're with? Hmm.)
...I broke up with the man in a chat room.
Greg left the chat room before Fred, who then told me once it was over that he thought I'd handled myself pretty well and that it did seem like it was for the best. And that Greg kinda seemed like a loser.
So there you go.