When I was back at my parents' house over Christmas, I got nostalgic and decided to read my old diaries. I've kept a journal since I was in about first grade, although I have yet to find that first one - a cute, Lisa Frank diary that I remember had an entry about how my friend Kerri witnessed two people out in the field of our elementary school doing the naughty. I didn't put it in those words, but how in the hell did a first grader know what that was?
I started off in order, reading my third grade diary. It was rivetting, let me tell ya. From entries on how I got head lice to how I hated my sister (without actually explaining why), it put me in tears from laughing so hard.
One highlight from a journal (I was probably about 12) just put me in hysterics - I ended it by saying, "P.S. Don't tell anyone, but I'm training to become a vampire slayer." Oh, the special days of my Buffy obsession.
Something interesting I found was when I gave dating advice at the ripe old age of 11. I was dating an older man (6th grader) and the relationship was becoming stale after about 6 months (side note: how is it that my 5th grade self knew how to keep a man better than I can at 23? Oy vey). I wrote something along the lines of: "I found out how to make a guy like you. All you do is act like you don't like him. And you can even pay more attention to other boys too. It totally works." I remember actually utilizing this strategy on the playground and how guilty I felt after my boyfriend accused me of liking another guy. But hey, it sure did keep him around!
The funny thing is that, naivety aside, this philosophy holds some truth. Why is it that when we act disinterested or do the whole "playing hard to get" thing, that some guys actually try harder? And conversely, when I squelch my desire to play games and are forthcoming with my feelings toward someone, why do they then run for the hills?
Maybe I just haven't been blessed with a reciprocated relationship yet, but I get very frustrated when I think of how often I've experienced the whole "I like him, and he doesn't like me" or "He likes me, and I'm not interested" scenarios. Does mutuality exist, for crying out loud?!
It's funny how sometimes people aren't even aware when things aren't mutual. I admit, I have been one of those people in the past. I am so disillusioned and blinded by my feelings that I assume the guy is feeling the same. I think given some of my most recent relationship trials, I'm not going to fall into this trap anymore.
But there have been guys who completely misread my signals and thought I was into them. For example, one guy I went out on a date with was very nice, but there was just no spark. I knew I wasn't into him when I wasn't feeling nervous - I'm always sweating big time when I like a guy! He was pretty typical - liked snowboarding, had awesome buddies, did crazy, awesome things when out drinking with his buddies, watched awesome guy movies, etc. Blah blah blah. Boooooring! I like my guys original, not the ones who think "The Hangover" deserves an Oscar.
I think with this guy being so boring, I almost mirrored his boringness and became pretty dull myself. I thought maybe he wouldn't be into me after that, but he called and called and texted and texted. Even when I didn't call and text back! That is the cardinal rule in dating nowadays - unless your date is technology averse, the nonresponsive communication is a big sign that they are not interested.
Another guy I went out with once (and only once) was all about talking about himself. Yaaaawn. He wasn't that great, and he had bad manners toward our waitress. I couldn't wait to get out of there and go home to watch E! Entertainment. After a quick (thank the Lord!) dinner, we got up to go and he asked, "So do you wanna go get drinks maybe?"
Hello - you don't ask for Date #2 while still on Date #1, you imbecile! I hadn't been acting into him at all the whole night - why did he take my niceness as a sign I liked him? I dodged a bullet though and gave him a great line: "I probably shouldn't. I've got laundry going at home right now and don't want it to just sit in there."
Ouch. I might as well have told him I had to go home to wash my hair. The laundry excuse was true, but I can see how it could come off like a lie. The guy texted me immediately when I got in my car and said, "No one's ever used the laundry thing as an out before. Props." Ugh, what a tool. I should have just said no, I have to work early tomorrow, but no! Honest Abe had to come out.
OK, so I've gone off on a significant tangent, but the basic lesson I learned when reading my old diaries - not much changes when you're 10 to when you're 20. It just gets more complicated. But on the upside - you have more responsibilities in your 20s, ergo more excuses to get out of bad dates!