After I said the snuggle-drunk thing about being near him as much as I could, he said:
“Just don’t show up where I’m at. I’ve had that happen before.”
“Don’t worry, I don’t even like coming to find you in the library—it’s so vulnerable! I feel like everyone can see me crushing on you.”
I sat up out of snuggletown to hear the story, just a harmless-seeming ex-girlfriend who showed up a few places wanting to talk.
It was PARTICULARLY annoying for him to be afraid I might stalk him, given that he’d been by my side in my department for months. I mean, I loved all the visiting, but jeez, the entitlement. It reminded me of The Man and his out-of-left-field Fatal Attraction references. Just who do men think they are, that we’d be devastated by their rejection to the point of psychosis?!
Which brings me back to one of the central questions of the election—why are men so afraid of women? Why do they hate us so much? Why did they (along with a huge population of racist/Stockholm Syndrome white women) just throw the entire country under the bus rather than let women have power?
So while I reserve judgement about him being shy or just taken aback, one thing I definitely do not need in my life is a man who’s afraid of women—it’s bad enough that scared men have gotten control of the government.
I didn’t say any of this at the time, I just moved my body a little less near his, listened sympathetically, and moved on to other topics.
When I realized that it was four o’clock and I really did have to go back to work, he walked me to the store and hugged goodbye. He both hugged me tight and let go emphatically, so that felt like that. Why Don’t You Love Me? was being frustratingly apt on the bookstore radio. My coworker was amazing at girl talk, giving me young-people advice and inspiring me with her own self-assurance about men.
Mr. Makeout Music and I had planned to paint watercolors of butterflies with the kids at the library the next day, but I woke up feeling so sad that I texted and asked him for some space. He gave it to me and though I missed him, it felt good to concentrate on the kids and the art and not have to worry about putting on a brave face or being cute.
I meant for the space to last a few weeks, but when the post-Election-Day panic attacks started to roll in, it felt silly to push away someone who’d been such a safe place to me all autumn long (Though, he feels a little less safe now—I don’t know if that’s fair.) I don’t know if that was the right choice but our friendship/flirtship seems almost back to normal, even if the flirting sometimes goes in a learn-all-your-knots direction. (I swear I’m not the only one taking it there. It just sort of happens.)
Mostly, I’m sick of thinking about him so much, and I just want to be ready to move on. The best thing about getting close to Mr. Makeout Music was remembering what it’s like to have my heart opened, to let all of the adorableness and art and happiness flow out. He gave me so much hope and joy and support over the last few months and though I’m sad it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to, I’m glad to remember and celebrate the parts of myself that his complete and utter cuteness brought out in me.
He’s still really cute, and semi-always there, so I’ll need some extra help and time to get over him. I’m doing my best to move on, to spread my flirting around to maybe-bolder men, but I still spend my work days mostly waiting for Mr. Makeout Music to show up, even on days I know he isn’t scheduled. Like everyone I’ve ever gotten more-attached-than-I meant-to to, he’s still a big deal.
Though I wouldn’t feed his stalker fears by saying this to him, I did fall in love, I always do. My biggest wish would be to love the love I can’t help feeling, even though it scares people. This is the only person I’m ever going to be, and I’m rededicating myself to accepting and giving love, to accepting my Call Me Maybe heart and finding it many new and snuggly homes.