Well I was hunting through the book section at Target today and I found a brand new book with a title that should be mine. Not saying I thought of it first and he stole it…more like, it could be the title of the story of my life so far. Ready?
I Suck At Girls
That’s just so perfect. It’s by Justin Halpern, the same guy who brought the world Sh*t My Dad Says…first on Twitter, then in book form, then as a sitcom w/William Shatner as the dad…that didn’t last, sadly (or maybe not so sadly…because on network tv it was Bleep My Dad Says…which I always thought was silly; they could have called it Stuff My Dad Says and it would have been funny…er).
But…that shoulda been the title of *my* life story. But…instead, here I am…wait for it…blogging just to hear myself blog. Okay, okay. Shameless self-plug for my own blog *in* my own blog. So sue me. =P
But the truth is…I’ve never felt like my life would be even remotely interesting enough to warrant a memoir or anything. I tried doing journals, diaries…whatever…and I never stuck with them.
The short attention span thing, I guess? I don’t know. Heck…much as I love writing and now blogging? I don’t even pay as much attention to my blogs as I should.
This is my fourteenth blog. Five blogs here (on WordPress; it’s now seven here, as of April 2013), nine on Blogger. (Okay, technically sixteenth but who’s counting?) Anyway. Just never really felt like my kinda weird life actually warranted a memoir. Still kinda don’t. Blogs? Sure. Memoir? Not so much.
Until I spotted Justin’s I Suck at Girls.
That could be the story of *my* life. Because I do suck at girls. A marriage that lasted about nine years…another relationship that I *thought* was the love of my life just ended…after almost nine years (which is odd…when I think of it…what’s with me and nine?).
Had other relationships that didn’t last as long (four years was the longest previous relationship…she was the first person I was truly *in love* with…and the first one I was physically intimate with.) And too many short-lived ones to count. Not proud of it…just noting it.
There was one that, had timing and other things worked out differently? I would have really liked to see how long we’d have lasted. I still love her and care about her…oddly enough, as I do about most of the important women in my life (other than those related to me, like my family).
She and I have actually maintained a long-distance friendship (I’m Californian…she’s a native Canadian from Ontario) for eighteen years this year, 2013.
Although we are still friends, she recently got engaged and is deliriously happily in love with her fiance…so I’m being the best possible friend I can be and have quietly marginalized myself in her life and from her life. We remain friends on Facebook and I wish her the most joy and happiness and the very best of everything. She deserves all that, probably more than anyone I know.
She and I met online and fell in love just in the final desth throes of the final year of my rather stormy marriage (probably not surprisingly, my ex-wife is one woman I have not managed to remain friends with…I know, go figure…I tried…didn’t work.)
And before and after…there were a few. Not too many to name, admittedly. I could probably remember most or close to all of them. But…for the moment I’ll let discretion be the better part of valor and not name all their names.
I will say, I discovered girls very early in my life…had my first crush on a really pretty girl in preschool. I know. My first big crush was in kindergarden…and then I had my heart broken for the first time…Doreen Rogers. She also liked my enemy…Richard…so that was doomed to be short-lived.
But then in first grade…the lovely Darla Sheehan stole my heart. She was beautiful…and I fell hard for her. Luckily she loved me back…as much as I loved her. Second grade we became estranged (weird year…not sure what happened) and then in third grade got back together.
Darla was the first girl I ever kissed. On the lips. Wow. It was spectacular. I was nervous but once I did…I didn’t want to stop kissing her. I think she may have been my first true love but at that age…they’re kinda puppy loves anyway.
Sadly, my family and I moved away before the end of third grade (changed schools). Heard later that Darla hooked up with my other true sworn enemy, Joel Brownstein (he stole my Matchboxes…okay, sweet talked me into letting him borrow them…and then just never gave them back). I do wonder what ever happened to Darla. I’ll probably never know.
Now. You may have noticed something curious. Or, if not, I’ll point it out: Up until I brought up the names of the first girls I ever “loved” back in elementary school, I opted to leave out the names of anyone I fell in love with or married or had relationships with longer than a year or more.
They know who they are. I’m friends with most of them now. But, part of me wants to know what happened to the ones I went to elementary school with…primarily because I have wondered if they remember me the way I remember them: Fondly. =) Or…otherwise.
There were also a few in junior high (now more commonly known as middle school) since I went to a private school for four years. From 6th grade through 9th grade. There were a small number I kind of experimented with certain aspects of my own as well as their developing sexualities, without ever really going much beyond…curious, fascinated exploration.
I have bumped into one such exploratory friend at work a few times. I hadn’t seen her since 9th grade and she literally looked the same. I knew who she was. It was very cool. She’s happily married with kids in tow…and subsequently our conversations were limited in time and quality and depth. I was working and she was with family. I asked after her friend and one of the other preliminary sexual explorers but other than where she might live, she knew mostly nothing.
And then…there was the girl I actually dated and was just getting into the early stages of a relationship with…when I met someone else and fell in love with her instead. Completely unexpectedly. Because I thought she hated me. I was kinda the oddball dork in my church youth group and was one of the prime targets of derision from fellow youth group members. I think just because I was often very intense and not afraid to be weird…or maybe just because I was a pencil-necked geek in dorky glasses and was just gawky and awkward all the time made me a prime target. I think.
So…when I unexpectedly fell in love with the girl from my youth group whom I originally was convinced hated me more than any of the others in the group (so much so that my mom had to persuade me to ask her out to a movie one night rather than a buddy of mine from my soccer team…she saw something there that I was far too blind to see)? I had to break things off with the girl I’d been getting into a relationship with at the private school.
And to put it as bluntly as I can and as honestly? I did a really poor job of it. I didn’t do it well at all. Truthfully? It was my first time having to break up with someone and…I basically blew it. Badly. In fact…I did it so gracelessly and even awfully?
The girl I broke up with, lashed out at the girl I fell in love with AND me in anger (don’t blame her for that at all) by writing a searing albeit brief diatribe on one of the tables at our high school (my new girlfriend went to a different high school and I don’t know that she ever saw the slams) in black felt marker. So everyone could see. Especially me.
Worse? I never really ever saw her again to better apologize for how I handled the break-up with her. And…I have long suspected that that one bad break-up actually cursed me forever.
Basically? In the intervening years since that bad break-up? My relationship Karma has been a complete bitch. Because it would seem, if I didn’t know better? That she cursed me. Or, probably more to the point? My bad break-up with her caused me to curse myself and all subsequent relationships. Because all of them since? Have ended. And most of them? Ended badly.