Sunday, March 31, 2013

It's when you look back and see yourself as a different person that you know you've moved on. 

I never really had one of those moments. I had the experience of reading a journal or school writing assignment from early adolescent days and smiling at the immaturity and stupidity of that little girl. But I've also had the experience of reading something less than a year out of date and cringing at my youthful way of seeing the world.

And then I had this, reading words penned less than three months ago, and realized it's nothing to do with the wrongness with which I viewed the world in that space, but rather the difference with which I see it in this moment compared to then.

It's the disconnect, the Brechtian breech of the fourth wall. Those memories, writings, stories sound so distant and strange because I'm not the girl that wrote them anymore. I stopped reading the book for a few months and tried to pick it up where I left off, without reviewing context. I paused the movie for a day and came back to watch the end.

Alienation. 

That's the term. 

I felt that way when I wrote it. I believed those ideals when I scribed them. I see them as ridiculous or odd now because I don't look at life in those eyes anymore. Times have changed, my situation has changed, and my eyes have had to adjust.

Does this make sense? I feel I'm losing factuality in my vagueness.


I don't know if this is a thing, and frankly I'm too lazy to look into it, but in my creative writing class in high school, the teacher dedicated the month of April to poetry writing. Allegedly it's National Poetry Writing Month, or something. (That's the part I'm too lazy to look up. Go forth and discover.)

November is National Novel Writing Month, but this past November I resolved to merely write something every day, as my novel was not fresh enough in my mind to flesh out. So I did. I carried a notebook with me and wrote something every day, a practice I have for the most part carried on through these intervening months. With regards to April, I had an idea.

I've been writing a lot of poetry lately. So I'm not going to do that for April.

I'm going to write monologues.

A few months back I was searching for a monologue and I stopped by my blog, with monologues on the mind, and realized a lot of my musings are structured as theatrical pieces, which only makes sense when you consider what I'm wrapped up in constantly. I've written and performed a few monologues for school that have turned out quite well, and each time I've thought "Write more of these."

So I'm going to.

I don't promise to post them, I find I get more slacker-ish if I give myself strict requirements like getting on the computer to type a thing every day. But, undoubtedly, like I do with most everything else, when I write something I'm very much pleased with, I will most likely post it here.

So...yeah. I just felt like writing a blog post that was actually a blog post and not some sentimental/poetic/prosetic piece. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

To Be Or Not To Be

I was about five minutes behind.

There are pros and cons to working at the bakery on a General Conference weekend.

Pro: I work with a slew of nice LDS ladies and we have our own radio in the room, so we listen to Conference.

Con: I'm at work. And work isn't like an office job where I just sit and wait for people to walk in the door or something. We're constantly in motion. So Conference tends to turn into white noise if you're not standing right next to the radio.

I'd gone to the freezer.

And naturally, I had picked the most opportune moment to take the now three minute trek to the freezer, for in the course of my crossing the bakery in one direction I had missed the most influential announcement of my generation: the missionary age change.

One moment I was walking to the freezer, life was normal. The next I was on the return trip, suddenly catching chunks of conversation buried in the bakery bustle about 18 year old missionaries.

I didn't understand.

And I wouldn't understand for at least another hour; I was the only one listening who'd missed it.

I was facing the microwave when I'd learned of a surety that all the facts I'd constructed about missionaries had been shifted and skewed and that this was the way they would be. This was modern revelation. Girls could go at nineteen.

I'd been nineteen for nearly a year.

I looked at the microwave. "I could go on a mission."


But you see, I hadn't spent the year writing a novel or reading John Donne poetry or anything and everything I'd expected to do with my nineteenth year. I'd spent the year slipping down a muddy hillside I'd made the mistake of locating my senior year in high school. I'd spent the year convincing myself my testimony was "good enough" and in the past I'd been "spiritual enough" and of the Lord I was "loved enough" that whatever temptations I faltered under wouldn't really matter, because I was still very righteous. I was still of the Tribe of Israel. I was still elected of God.

It was in that moment, facing the microwave, that I had to realize I wasn't that girl anymore. I wasn't that Molly Mormon from 9th grade who ate up seminary and the gospel and was going to do everything possible to get to the Celestial Kingdom with flying colors and "Exceeds Expectations" stamped on her report card. I wasn't that girl who studied the scriptures and prayed and acknowledged or received spiritual guidance and promptings.

That girl would have been like the many thousands that day that cried and jumped and squealed and submitted their papers. That girl would have gone on a mission.

I wasn't that girl.


I'd spent a year investing in makeup to paint my image in what I remembered a diligent Mormon looked like. I donned the knock-off apparel of someone who at first glance might look like a dedicated member. I spent a year trying to look like I was trying instead of actually trying.

It wasn't until the microwave that I fully acknowledged it. It wasn't until the age change, and the realization that I was nowhere near submitting papers, and that 21 was suddenly just over a year away, that I wouldn't be worthy to submit them by the "old" sister missionary age, let alone the new.

And things started to change. It took a few more nudges, and one excruciating act of courage and discomfort that--sorry--I'm not going to post on the internet, for me to start to come back.


Perhaps the trouble was that I'd never considered a mission. Girls aren't "required" to serve. I'm lazy. I always have been. Each time missionary work was brought up in every church related anything, it was always prefaced with "girls aren't required to serve," so I'd dismiss it. I bundle up the mission notion and toss it in the corner with the laundry I keep forgetting to fold, dust off my hands and say "When I'm 21 I'll decide."

That's great for an eight-year-old. And a twelve-year-old. And a seventeen-year-old, but suddenly you're twenty, and suddenly everyone a year younger than you is signing off of Facebook and signing in to the ranks of God's army and you're....staring at a microwave.

I'd always thought it would be easy. I'd obviously continue in righteousness, so worthiness wouldn't be a question when I reached that crucial point of 21, but there was something else that stopped past-Erica from daydreaming about skirts and tracting.

Marriage.

I was going to be in a relationship, nearing or in the process of getting married, because it's not hard to find a soulmate in the movies, it's not hard to court and wed with Barbie dolls. It's not hard to locate love in Disney.

I wouldn't have to go, because I'd have a man to keep me here.

Spoiler alert: there's not a man. So far there's never been a man. Just a series of daydreams in dreamclouds above my head that are popped before they can progress.

So far I'm everything past-Erica didn't want to be. So far I'm nega-past-Erica. And, along with waking up to the realization that life isn't as cookie cutter as you can make it with Barbie dolls, I had to acknowledge that I don't have an excuse not to go. I could honestly serve. There's nothing keeping me here.

I took a mission prep class as an Institute class this semester. It seemed like neutral territory; either way I'd emerge a Mormon more comfortable with sharing the gospel, whether I did that with a nametag for 18 months or as an average Jane for forever. I kept waiting for this ah-ha moment, this bolt of lightning, this angels chorus, this earthquake of a revelation that YOU ARE TO SERVE A MISSION.

Spoiler alert: there's not been a revelation.

At least...not like that.


Part of the conditions of my excruciating act of courage and discomfort was that I turned to the Lord in tear-streaked prayer and received no answer. I pleaded and read the scriptures and waited for His hand, but He didn't lend it. He left it to me to decide. He left it to me to be brave or continue on in my solitary laziness. He let me choose which path.

I feel He's doing it again. There's been no revelation, no realization that I need to go. I want to go. I'd like to go. It makes sense to go. But it makes sense to stay. It makes sense to continue as I have been, to remain secure in my finances, to graduate on track.

But mission prep is doing what I was afraid it would; it's talking me into going.

I just...I feel excellent all the time. Good things are happening to me, and in the past four months I've become closer and more lenient on the Lord than I ever was in 9th grade or any heightened spiritual point of my mortality. He is with me. He loves me. And I love having that feeling, that spirit, I love carrying this gift of God and siphoning it off to others in word and deed. I love giving what He gives me. I love the feeling of testifying, the strength of His doctrine. And I could spend 18 months sharing it. I could run away to wherever and whomever He needs me to be and lose myself in Him.

I don't know. I'm not deciding any time soon. 21 has been too long stuck in my head for me to go against it. I've got some months ahead of me. A lot can change. For now I'm sticking with the answer He gave me facing the microwave, the sliver of truth I was ready enough to receive when the thousands of girls became sisters:

Live like you're going to go. Live like you're preparing for a mission.

That may be all I need, or all I need for now. It may be up to me and if I decide to make that sacrifice; He won't screw me over for straying from my course for His work.

I don't know. And maybe I won't know for a while. But I'm putting Him on my horizons and letting Him worry about all the little things. I'm living my religion, loving my religion, and working again for heaven.

To be, or not to be.

That is the question.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Maybe the Best Hasn't Happened Yet

Let me teach you something:

Life doesn't turn out like you expect it to.

And regardless how many times you learn this lesson, the knowledge never seems to stick. You stroll away and continue to make expectations out of life, to personify your view of an ideal world onto the actions of others. You place a contingency on the fault of mankind.

Inevitably, things fall through.

Here's a story.


In ninth grade the local theatre became home to a budding improv comedy troupe: The Improvables. I was taking acting classes there at the time, and attended the shows as often as a junior high student lenient on her parents' inclination to drive her around at ten o'clock at night could. The group continued to play and I waxed on in age and entered high school.

My junior year going to The Improvables was a rad thing to do; a couple boys from musical were in the troupe, so a gaggle of us would go after football games to support. It became a regular thing for me and my best friend at the time to go see the shows weekly (they only performed Friday nights). Before long audience participation games began to creep up.

I volunteered.

Every time. To the extent that I recall Paco once telling me no, someone else needed to have a turn.

You see, I wanted to be an Improvable. I'd taken acting classes at the theatre for five years, and each "semester," if you will, started with a few weeks of improv games. It was invigorating and excellent and I loved it.

The Improvables did beginner workshops, but they were on Saturday mornings, and I was barely nine months into a job at a bakery that had said flat out from the beginning "You have to work every Saturday. You can't take them off for dances or things. Saturdays are a must."

So I could never workshop. So I could never be an Improvable.

The closest I would get was audience participation.


Sad story, right? Another dismissed dream and abandoned ambition. Another letdown, another aspect of my ideal life to lack.

You're right. It's horribly sad. To 16 year-old Erica. It's sad in the moment.

Because, as a junior in high school not cognitive enough to ask her super kind coworker/boss if she could come in a few hour late on Saturdays for a month, did I know management at the store would change? Did I know our numbers would dwindle and I would be the most experienced closer left? Did I know the separation between morning shift and closing shift on a Saturday would become more separate and distinct?

As a junior in high school did I know I'd be friends with Paco on facebook and get an invite to Improvables auditions? Did I know, though not making it in the troupe after auditions, that I'd become well acquainted with one of them who would invite me to linger with the Improvables after at Dee's? Did I know there'd be a beginner's workshop I was capable of attending for the first time?

Did I know in four years time I'd be accepted into the troupe? Did I know in four years I'd finally be an Improvable?

No. No I didn't.


And that's my point, reader. That's my point.

We see what's around us, we see where we're at immediately. I don't know where I'll be next year, I sure as heck don't know where I'll be in four years. I'd forgotten the Improvable dream. I'd been letdown, been upset, and moved on. I'd applied for colleges and wound up at the one I least wanted to go to and would most fully love with all my heart. I'd focused on performing well so I could get a bit of the spotlight senior year. I started decorating cakes at work.

The Improvables crossed back into my perceptions when I was ready for them. But I didn't know.


Life doesn't turn out like you expect it to. I expected to be an Improvable in high school. I expected to go to college in Virginia. I expected to be in the publishing process by my 20th birthday. Those things didn't happen. My life is awful.

To 16 year-old Erica.



My great expectations have fallen through. I've been shattered again for assuming too much of a person, and it's the same lesson I learned before. The same lesson I planned to pen in the novel I was going to have in print by now. I'm not in control here. I'm not the all-seeing eye. I don't have a magic coin that makes my wishes come true or a Brechtian ability to break the fourth-wall. I am subject to my story. And no, it's not going how I expected at all. It's not taking the turns I mapped out over the years. I'm not where I wanted to be.

I'm where I need to be.


You can live your life in bitterness, thinking of all the "if's" and "maybe's." You can focus on the failure to win his affections or your inability to get cast in a show outside of an educational setting. You can self-depreciate over your writer's block and lack of time management and hate every obstacle the wind has blown your way.

Or you can look at the musical you're directing, that 100% fell in your lap. You can look at the good fortune of having a college with proficiency in your major so close to home. You can smile that you met Jason Mraz and Daphne Willis performed a mini concert for you and... you're an Improvable.

It was four years more than you expected, but you're an Improvable.

What's coming next? Where am I going? How can I dare be discontent over the cracks my hopes are falling in when there is such a blessing coming down the turnpike? How can I muddle and murmur when tomorrow is an open slate, and the most skilled hand is waiting to fill it?

Live in the moment, that's the trick to happiness. The past is passed. What made me happy then won't make me happy to dwell upon now; I'm not there anymore. The view from here will never be the view from thirty feet back. A painting is different facing you than from 180 degrees. The future is as unwritten as my next breath; safety lies in patience. Happiness comes from the wait. When I idealize and fantasize tomorrow is when the pain builds up. Life doesn't turn out like you expect it to.

Stop expecting it to.

I may have said this here before but I feel it should be said again: Stop praying for what you expect. Pray to find what He expects for you.

He's writing the story. He knows your course. He knows you're 16 and can only see this moment, this hour of broken expectations and hopes, this instant of failed ideals. He knows what you'll be in four years, what you'll miss, what you'll crave, what you'll actually have. He knows what you'll need and He's planned when to give it to you.

I didn't know then. I could have never known then all of the blessings and miracles that would shatter through my stain glass sunlight and illuminate my life. So many things have happened in the last few months, so many dreams/hopes/wishes have been brought into reality in ways I never expected. And all I have expected has crumbled in contrition, dampening the levity of life.

Hope in Him. Pip, take these great expectations and set them aside. See the world for what it really is, see the beauty of your life in His eyes, in His plan.

So your blueprint wasn't fulfilled. That's not what He was hired to do. He's not working for you.

He's working with you, and giving in the moment. The moment won't be now. The moment might be in four years, but it's coming.

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself." -Matt 6:34-

Four years from now I'll look back at these failed expectations and they'll either be humorously pathetic or surprisingly fulfilled.

Who knows, maybe the best hasn't happened yet.



Sunday, March 17, 2013

My Inevitable Letdown

"It's empty." He said as we stood shoulder to shoulder. I watched with eyes cast down, contemplating all the hype we give these moments, all the expectations that ultimately end in ruin.

When has reality mirrored my mind? When has the outcome exceeded my expectations and dreams? When have these things gone right?

I slowly came to a squat and brushed my fingertips against the jagged wood of the chest. I felt him sink beside me.

"I guess that means we fill it."

He took my hand and pulled me up, the warmth of our touch lost in the wind, my eyes somehow seeing what they've always seen, forced now, by my inevitable letdown, to take the sight for fact. We gathered up our things.

I helped him fill the box, did my best to contribute, but it boiled down to the fact that he had the most to add. He brought the nic-naks and souvenirs we could bury for decades; the things we want to remember but will come to forget. I hid the few I wanted, the things I couldn't bury, the things I need to keep though they haunt me with their memories and gather dust before my eyes. I slipped them in my bag as he hunched over, arranging the box.

He looked up at me and smiled.

I received it emptily, finding a disconnect with each article we piled in the box; drained of all empathy in the act of packing it away. He smile faltered for a moment. He stood.

"Would you say we're done? It's full."

I touched my bag lightly with my foot, an affirmation it was real. "I can't imagine what else we have to bury."

He smiled with heart and clamped the chest shut. "Let's throw it in the sea."

I let him take it, trailing behind, a melancholy seeping in with each step, the bag on my shoulder dragging me down and stopping my steps. He walked to the edge and heaved it over, letting go before I was near enough to watch it plummet and crash to a watery grave. He turned as I reached him, and smiled with ease.

I wonder who will find it. I wonder who will know. I wonder if the box will beat, if it will thump a rhythm of the lives contained from its place at the ocean floor, or creep its way underground to be dug up by a boy with a bike.

I turn to find him gone; I stand alone at the edge of the sea, knowing it won't be the same. The box is full but my soul is empty, save the pangs the weigh my purse. It's time to find another chest, to invest in another container and hope and pray there's something more within than air.

I've taken too much of me to fill more dead space. I've taken too much of me to have any to spare.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Greatest Thing I Ever Wrote (otherwise known as The Epic of Erica)

It was 2009, the home-stretch of my sophomore year of high school (my that dates me), and we were assigned to write an epic about ourselves.

Mind, illiterate modern-age child, an "epic" is the tale of a quest, not a dumb word people use to talk about cool things.

I hated having to write about myself, so I just used my name on a made up character. And the assignment irritated me, so I went crazy weird on it, which resulted in my favorite written work to date.

So, without further ado, completely unedited from its time of original composition, I present The Epic of Erica.


Long ago there lived a young lady named Erica. She was basically your average girl, but her chivalrous attitude often got her into trouble; odd as that may seem. Her teeny village was settled neatly in the crevice of two monstrous hills; it was a tasty, fertile plot of land.

But one year that fertile land didn’t seem too fertile at all. Nothing grew whatsoever; wheat was sparse, vegetables seemed nonexistent, and because of the faltering vegetation the animal population soon hit disintegration. No one was sure what to do, they couldn’t plant again so soon; it was almost out of season, nothing would have been able to grow.

As one the village compressed together and offered prayer and various offerings to Demeter, goddess of the Harvest. For days following the mass-offering of prayer and goods the town’s food supply dwindled into oblivion. Several days later there was no food to be found, the people were going to die and that would be the end of their humble valley village.

But then, in the early morning just as the sun caped the hill, a rumble broke through the stillness, sending villagers out of their beds and onto the floor. Bemused the people crowded the lowly streets, their brows furrowed and their eyes crusty from sleep.

“There!” Shouted one, pointing his hand at the dip between the two hills. From there emerged the source of the thunder; it was larger than the valley itself, fields and all. It was like a lemon, only elongated to a rounded oval in a peachy-orange color. It rolled lopsidedly through the hills and teetered to a stop. It was then the people became certain what it was.

A kumquat.

A massive kumquat.

And it was rolling right for them.

Screaming like mad, the little townspeople ran for the fields; houses regurgitating women and children and elderly cripples. Some barely made it to the fields when the kumquat tipped down into the valley, but it didn’t matter. No one could run from the kumquat.

The massive kumquat.

As it bulled through the smooth hillside the people stood panicking. There was nothing to be done. In exceeding fear several called out last minute prayers to the gods to save them from this fate. Apparently some gods took pity on them, for the kumquat slowed to a fraction of its original speed, and only destroyed half the town.

Stragglers were compressed beneath the kumquat’s fruity skin, houses wedging under it like a doorjamb only to be flattened by its doom. The kumquat soon came to a halt, its mutant skin having been peeled away in the chaos leaving a gooey trail of orange fruit-mush. The townspeople in the fields stood frozen, a breath away from kissing the kumquat.

(The massive kumquat.)

As the valley wound down the kumquat rattled. Swiftly it split into two, collapsing on the other half of the living population. Erica stood at the far end of the field, several inches from the hill. The ten people or so that had survived began frantically trying to help those with their limbs just poking out from under the massive kumquat.

Erica knew the kumquat was an answer to their consecutive prayers; that this had to be Demeter’s sick way of giving them food. She decided she needed the confront Demeter about this; her people were mostly dead or flat. She scooped up a handful of the citrus fruit and headed up the hillside.

***

Days had passed since the kumquat-slide, and Erica was still nowhere near Mt. Olympus. She wasn’t sure where else she could find Demeter, so she figured she would start there.

Erica was scrambling through the forests just as hungry as she’d been back home, when she came upon an abandoned barn.

“How very odd.” She said to herself, looking at the decaying shelter. “I wonder why there’s some random barn out of society’s way.”

“I wonder why there’s some random girl out of society’s way,” Came a squeaky, deep little voice from within the barn. Confused, Erica approached it.

A minuscule bat came flapping out of the barn. Erica shrieked in surprise.

“Oh it’s okay.” The bat said; speaking in the same squeaky, deep little voice she had heard before. “I am a fruit bat. I just eat fruit.”

“Okay…” Erica said, regaining her composure.  

“No I am not,” the bat protested. “We’ve had no fruit for days. My kin and I enjoy eating a lot, it mostly just goes right through us… but that’s not the point. We are starving.”

“Well my kin is starving too!” Erica explained; the bat frowned… if it’s even possible for bats to frown.

“That doesn’t make it any better does it?” He scoffed.

“No it doesn’t, but I was going to see Demeter about a massive kumquat…”

The bats beady eyes widened and his little mouth watered. “Kumquat?” He drooled.

“A massive kumquat.”

“I’ll accompany you on this quest malady. We will be fine.” The bat started flapping off, glancing back every so often make sure she was coming.

Days later they finally set foot and talon on Mt. Olympus. The bat turned to her and sighed.

“What now?”

“Now we find Demeter.”

They walked/flew around the mount several times, walked/flew up and down it awhile after that. Finally they stopped on the top and Erica just called out to Demeter, requesting a moment of her time.

Demeter was a lot busier than usual, so after a stack of paper work, a long wait, and a year’s worth of out-of-date magazines reception finally let her in.

“No… ‘Flying Foxes’ allowed.” The gum-snapping receptionist said. Erica frowned and the bat flew back to the overrated magazines.

“I’ll be fine.” He assured her. “Just fine.”

Erica took a deep breath and opened the door.

She found herself in the gods’ palace in the sky, a place she’d never even dreamed of being. Demeter was several kumquats away from her, mulling over some grain samples from Athens.

“Uh… Demeter… I uh… I live in that village that’s been praying to you a lot lately, and I thought it was probably you who sent us the massive kumquat…”

Demeter turned slowly, a thoughtful expression on her face. “Kumquat…” She muttered.

“A massive kumquat.” Erica corrected.

“No, I do not remember any massive kumquats. You’re thinking of the wrong goddess.” She smiled sweetly. “Is that all dear, I’m quite busy.”

“Oh no it’s not! Who else would send a massive kumquat to a famine-ridden town?”

Demeter’s smile twitched. “Young lady, as a goddess I think you owe me more respect.”

“Well you haven’t earned mine.” Erica retorted, crossing her arms.

Demeter was usually very calm, but Erica’s complete ignorance was starting to get on her nerves. Winter was drawing ever nearer and she was losing precious time with Persephone.  

Demeter tried to calmly tell Erica to quit her brown nosing when swarm of fruit bats swooped in and battered her up a bit. Erica’s jaw dropped as her faithful fruit bat companion came to a flutter next to her.

“I thought we might hit some sort of snare, so I sonared for backup.”

After emerging with her various scratches and nicks (all of which meant next to nothing of course, she is immortal after all) Demeter gave into their demands, agreeing to remove the massive kumquat from Erica’s town to the abandoned fruit bat barn and supply Erica’s people with a proper end to a famine. She also had them both taken home. She’d do anything to get them out of her hair so she could be at peace once more.

“I have to thank you.” The fruit bat said as he and Erica went to part.

“Why?” She asked, “I just did what needed to be done.”

“But if you hadn’t been so chivalrous my kin and I wouldn’t have a massive kumquat to fuel our hunger.”

“You’re welcome then little fruit bat.” She held out her pinky and they shook. Finger and talon.

Erica’s people never found out how the massive kumquat vanished, or how a lifesaving harvest arrived right before Persephone’s departure without them even planting anything. Some of the fruit bats never got the chunks of Demeter’s immortal flesh out from under their talons, which really didn’t matter because they only live five to ten years max; and Demeter’s gum-popping receptionist never learned that gum wouldn’t be invented until the late 1940’s (A.D.).

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Modern Romance

aka The Only Way Men Talk to Me

I'm not really sure if/how this will benefit anyone; it's just happened too many times for me to ignore it's a trend.

So I'm going to address it. Obscurely and vaguely via the interweb.

Huzzah.


As I said, I have experienced this phenomena on several occasions, the most recent lending me to believe that either this is what courtship is now, the boys in my area all think the same, or I give a general vibe that I should be approached in this specific manner.

What manner is this, you ask?

Let me give you the outline for The Modern Romance aka The Only Way Men Talk to Me:

Step One: Meet me in person.

Here it is discovered better than any other time that my awkwardness is charming to a tolerable degree. Something about me must be deemed pleasant before moving on to

Step Two: Friending me on Facebook.

Facebook is Facebook. That's what it's there for, is matching my face with the "book" upon which it is splayed. There are varying ways to attempt this, and for the sake of making this post a little more exciting, I will give you an example of which conditions the friending has, to my experience, taken place under.

  1. Dude found me that very night.
  2. Dude commented on a shared event, I "liked" his comment to enable his finding me, which worked.
  3. Dude found me after I added a friend of his.
  4. Dude waited the three day decorum time slot then added me.

Granted, aside from one of the four, I'm not necessarily 100% as to how I was located, though these options are safe because, well, none of them knew my last name.

Bonus fun fact: in The Modern Romance aka The Only Way Men Talk to Me, your profile picture of you and Jason Mraz (who to any non-Mrazfan looks like just another guy) does not threaten them into avoiding you under the belief you already have a relationship.

Which is a little depressing to consider that people don't think I stand a chance with Jason Mraz. 15 years isn't that big a deal.

It's more my religious beliefs and his veganism that are problematic.


Step Three: Private message me.

There is different decorum for this as well, which, surprise surprise, I'm going to elaborate on; based on my experience: (please note the following steps are interpreted as coming from the man's mind)

  1. Give it some breathing room, we're just talking, it's cool.
  2. Have my number.
  3. Cascade dumpsters full of compliments upon her glorious visage.
  4. Ask generic question. See if she has plans.

Step Four: Give me your number.

Inadvertently, the next logical step is to extend our budding relationship beyond the confines of Facebook; mainly make it so upon contacting each other we are immediately notified as to when the other has responded, rather than being lenient on when we or the other check Facebook.

  1. We have built a foundation. Here's my number. (At this point I assume foundation will continue to be established via text.)
  2. Have my number. (The ball is now in my court entirely. Well played.)
  3. Is it too soon to text? You're a glorious person with an amazing laugh. (I'm kind of choking on the compliments, but they make me feel nice.)
  4. Wait almost a day to respond to her last message, whether intended or not. Just cut to the chase and give her your number. (I...I don't know how to start this conversation. Do I respond to your inbox message or just text you? Or both?)
Step Five: Ask me out.

The timing of the asking is varied, anywhere from about a week later to that very night in about ten minutes time.

And, naturally, this step ends in a variety of ways; maybe we hit it off really well but I'm just not interested romantically. Maybe I had a gut feeling to steer clear of a relationship with you, regardless how nice and cool you are. Maybe we went out a couple times and you stopped talking to me. Maybe I still haven't texted you so you haven't asked me out yet.

Step Six: Repeat.

Because yes, guys are interested in me, and I'm interested back. But either I change my mind or they change their mind and in the end we all end up single.

And that, my friends, is The Modern Romance.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

I'm closing the window, Peter.
I know I said I never would,
But it's becoming painfully clear
That the only thing an open window gets me
Is a draft.