Let me tell you a thing about being single

**adult content**

Relationships suck. At least that’s what I’ve noticed. I have a case of the SSB syndrome, or Single Since Birth. Don’t trademark me on that, I heard it while watching a Filipino drama. By the way, have you ever noticed how long Filipino dramas are? Have you ever noticed Filipino dramas? If not, you should get on it.

Relationships suck. You don’t have the freedom that us sexy, free, and single people are. And for the 10% who are wondering, no I was not trying to make a reference to something, but I am ready to bingo whenever the situation arrives. I walk into a bar these days and all I see are couples or men sitting at the bar waiting for their other half. Why sit at the bar if you’re not single? Sit at a table where the other unavailable men sit!

I went out with a Jessie on Valentine’s Day, or as all us single women call it, Galentine’s Day. We went to a bar near the university where you get free entry with a student ID. Luckily, I kept my old student ID with me, but at the time it wasn’t really fake, I just didn’t tell my friends that I was back in school. It’s kind of embarrassing when all of your friends are successful and you’re back in school at twenty-four. So sue me, more knowledge is better knowledge. I flashed my ID at the bouncer, who was honestly too skinny and white to be even a decent bouncer. He looked at me and I looked at him. Yup, we have definitely seen each other on campus. This is good, I might be able to juice some perks out of this.

Jessie instantly left me for the dance floor, to which she proceeded to grind all up on some guy who looked like he low key sold Mary Jane by the Environmental building. I headed straight to the bar and order something light to start off. If you know me, then you know that I like to say, “Start off light, end the night right.” I sat at the bar, watching the guy slowly develop a boner as Jessie continued to grind on his crotch. A horrific dance if you ask me. You would never catch me grinding up on some guy, unless that guy was Bruno Mars, or course. But I feel like Bruno Mars would be the kind of guy who would stop you before you even start and say, “No honey, you’re a good girl,” and then proceed to sing one of his songs that is obviously talking about sex, but is so good you kind of just gloss over the fact. I bet silk soaks up tears real well. I’m kind of drunk as I’m writing this.

After drinking my light starter, I chased it with something a little stronger. I hate bars, but they’re the only place where you can relate with other people over the reasons you are drinking. A breakup, getting a B on a math test, someone in the family just died, just cause…

As I drank away at my medium beer, I noticed a man at the corner of my eye. Now, at this point, you are probably thinking that he was staring at me and casually winked when our eyes met, but as I remember it, it was the complete opposite. I was already red in the face, so if I was blushing, it was hardly noticeable. The guy noticed me and I did a little head nod in his direction. He nodded back. He had a nice smile, hair, eyes, face. Wow, maybe I was drunk. I didn’t have the nerve to get up and talk to him, because I hate talking to people, but I felt like we were having a nice non-verbal conversation.

I thought that the guy and I were hitting it off, that is until she walked in. Some girl in a tight, short green dress with long brown hair that didn’t stick out of her head like little antennas. The guy wrapped his arm around her waist and gave her a kiss. I instantly shoved another drink into my mouth and drank whatever was left. That entire situation signified my entire life when it came to relationships. I wasn’t at all devastated, I was just ashamed. I didn’t go to any more bars in the area for fear that I might see the guy again and do something stupid. In fact, I haven’t been to a bar since then, and that was my first time in a bar.  I guess that shows you how socially capable I am.

Relationships I know nothing about, but when it comes to crushes, I’m a natural. I’ve had around ten crushes in my life so far, most of which never went very far. I recently asked some of my guy friends if they would ever date me. Most of them said they thought I was more friend material than girlfriend material, and one of them said he would never date in a million years unless I had a dick. That really put a damper on my esteem. And so, looking back I realized that my crushes never went anywhere because all those boys thought I would be better suited as a friend than as a girlfriend. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

My first crush was my next door neighbor, Sam. He was pretty cute and his parents were really nice. We went to school together and came back home together. Of course, we were way too young to even begin to comprehend the concept of love, so we remained friends. One day, as if something out of a movie, we decided to get fake married. It was a great reception. One of our friends from school did the deed and we put those plastic rings you find around a bottle cap on our ring fingers. This was all for fun, and our “wedding bands” instantly fell off, but it felt so real to me. I had seen how in love my parents were, and I knew that I wanted whatever it was they had.

I took care of Sam like I had seen my mother take care of my father, and he just went along with it. I didn’t know it then, but I would find out that most relationships in high school went that way. Where is Bruno Mars when you need him to slap boys with the classy stick? A few years went by and Sam and I kept on pretending to be married. We didn’t tell our parents because we had just learned what the word “eloped” meant and thought it would be a funny story to tell our kids. But three years is not enough for a worthwhile marriage. Our time was running out, and when it did, Sam moved away and we got a divorce. I was heartbroken. My mother comforted me, saying that I only felt this way because a good friend has left. But I genuinely liked Sam. He was my first friend and husband. Boy, was I a dumb little kid.

My second crush was a tough one. It was also the one where I told my mom that I was having a heart attack. I wasn’t really having a heart attack, but sometimes you see a person that is so good looking it’s like, “Damn, you’re giving me a heart attack.” This happened almost right after Sam left. A girl, who was a little older than me, lived across the street from me. She had a brother, let’s call him Arthur (I really like that name). He was so good looking. If I remember correctly, he had dark brown, curly hair, kind of a chubby face, and was tall. The first time I saw him, I thought he was a man, not so much a boy. I was wrong, but this is speaking from the eyes of a ten-year-old who still thought that cooties were a thing. I was ready to risk my health for Arthur.

I became fast friends with this girl and Rebecca, her next door neighbor. Living nearby meant that I was able to go over to their houses at any time to play. Of course, I would be more partial to seeing hot Arthur, but Rebecca had an older brother as well. He wasn’t as good looking though. After school, I would go over to my friend’s house and play with her Barbies. We waited for Arthur to come home because then we could have a snack and watch TV. During this time, it was the perfect opportunity to squeeze in between the two and get close to Arthur, but the chance hardly arose. And then one day it happened, I got to sit next to hot Arthur. His arm touched mine and I got so excited, but then I began to feel a little sick in my stomach, not the stomach aches kind of sick, but a different kind. My heart started to pound ferociously. I instantly left and ran home.

I ran to my mom, telling her that I was having a heart attack. She told me, “You’re not old enough to have a heart attack.” To which I replied, “You don’t know that.” I told her what happened and how I was feeling, and she laughed and laughed. “You’re not having a heart attack, you’re having a crush.” I looked at her funny. I had heard the word before in school but didn’t know what it meant. “It means you like him.”

After that, I was in a constant battle of do I like Arthur or not. It hit me one day when we all went to the pool. It was the first time I had gone to a pool with someone other than my parents. When Arthur came out in his little jammers and no shirt on, I just about died. I was afraid to put my head in the water, but I would gladly drown if I could be in the same pool as Arthur was. So we spent the day swimming and splashing, and at the end of it all, I knew that I did in fact like Arthur. This constant fear and joy of going over to my friend’s house went on for four years. I then moved and never saw Arthur again, but I sure would like to see him again.

Now, I’m not going to bore you with all my failed attempts at romance, but one last crush was the longest and voted most likely to turn into a real relationship. Whatever I did wrong here, I wish that I could go back and change it, because this is a crush that I constantly come back to whenever I feel lonely at night.

It was during junior high when all hormones are on extreme. I reluctantly joined the science team (what the fuck?) to rack up some extra credit points. It also would look pretty good on my college entrance application. Everyone signed up for the team gathered into the science room for the first meeting. That’s when I saw Darren. The teacher’s son. He looked like Brendon Urie in the Nine in the Afternoon music video and I was drooling all over that. This was before Justin Bieber, so any mention of a hair flick is not referring to the Biebs. I thought he was the cutest boy I had ever seen (not entirely over Arthur, but this was a new city, so roll with the changes, right?).

I truly found out what it meant to have a crush on someone. I would try to get as close to Darren as possible without him actually noticing me. I wanted him to notice me in a, “Hey, who’s that girl over there. Lemme just slide on over.” That was the early 2000’s version of sliding into someone’s DM. Our team went on to districts, which was held at the school. I got to spend a lot of time around him since we were both in the same subgroups: Environment and Anatomy. Oh God, the anatomy part still makes me blush. I remember having to identify parts of the body with him. “That’s the baby maker.” “You know you can say penis.” Was one of the questions: Why does someone blush?

Our team went on to state, which was held in Spokane (why does everything embarrassing always happen to me in Spokane?). The team stayed at this pretty swanky hotel near Eastern Washington University, and a few of us decided that it would be fun to hit the pool before dinner. This included Darren. I didn’t feel so anxious around him, since some of my other friends were there, including this one boy who I actually thought was pretty cute. What I had forgotten was that my hair gets ridiculously frizzy after it gets wet. We were getting ready to go to the pizza party when I looked in the mirror and saw a poodle with my face. Thankfully, one of the girls staying in my room had a cool hair straightener that dries and straightens. I didn’t exactly work, so my hair still looked like the top of a poodle’s head, but there was nothing else I could do.

The pizza party was the first time that Darren and I talked about things other than anatomy and trees. I don’t remember what we talked about, and I prefer not to, but I do remember that we both shared a hatred for stuffed crust pizza and so the teachers had to buy us an entirely new pizza just for the two of us. I mean, it was meant to be if we shared a pizza. I admit that I let him have the last piece, I honestly could have eaten the whole thing by myself. The next morning was the big day, but not before I had another chance to embarrass myself again.

After the talking with Darren the night before, I had definitely loosened up around him and I thought we were really hitting it off. I was down in the computer lab with him and two other classmates. We all got into this discussion over what the lyrics to Barbie Girl was as if that doesn’t tell you how old I am. Darren brought the lyrics up on the screen and we read through them all. For some reason, I had the nerve to start singing out loud the part that goes:

You can brush my hair

Undress me everywhere

Imagination, life is your creation

All eyes were on me, even the guy at the front desk. And then I silently said, “I think Barbie is a slut.” Darren laughed so much that he started to cry. Not surprisingly, he didn’t talk to me the entire day. It wasn’t until we had to describe parts of the brain together that he actually acknowledged me. At the end of it, we exited the room and sat on a bench near the door. He yawned and stretched his arms. I kind of expected him to do that first date at the movies arm thing, but he didn’t. I wasn’t surprised, but I was disappointed. And then, the most incredible thing happened. He put his head on my shoulder. There, on my little bony shoulder, was the head of the cutest guy in the sixth grade. His hair looked like a pillow, but I didn’t want to try anything. It was an incredible feeling.

The moment didn’t last long, it was over in a flash. He lifted his head, got up, and ran over to a friend of his. I followed behind in the shadows. I continued to follow Darren in the shadows for two more years before graduation, although I would end up trying to get him to notice me again in high school. We ended up being great friends, but nothing more. And then I saw him again in high school. I thought that maybe I would have another chance with him, seeing as I was more mature and older than before. But alas, I found out he was in a relationship. We met again in college. He was single, I was single, but we both decided to just be friends. Who knows, I could end up being the comeback kid.

So yes, relationships suck. As you can see, relationships have never really been my thing. I’m sure that at some point, I will find a nice guy and settle down, get some dogs and call them our kids. But for now, I think I’m okay being by myself. I have a great group of friends that are always there when I need them to be. I hate to say it, but I really do like being alone. Sure, I do get lonely, and I do wonder what it would be like to have someone who cares about you (other than my parents of course). That time will come. In the meantime, I think I’ll enjoy a bottle of whiskey by myself while watching Game of Thrones. A perfectly ideal situation in my SSB mind.

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