Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Way You Make Me Neurotic

Last weekend I went on a date with chemistry bachelor #3. We went out for dinner, but it was difficult for us to have a conversation because it was the weekend before St. Patrick's Day. Therefore, apparently every bar and restaurant in Chicago was full of drunk people wearing green. Also, bar owners everywhere apparently thought that drunk people in green clothes like loud music a LOT because the music was blaring; everyone had to yell to make themselves heard.

Here is a little bit of what our conversation was like:

CB #3: So, have you ever been here before?
Me: What?
At that moment, a drunk guy at a table nearby jumped up and started dancing while waving a glass of beer around.
Drunk Guy: WHOOOO!!! I LOVE St. Paddy's Day! Everybody DRINK!
Drunk Guy's friend: Keep dancing! I want to get a video of you so I can put it on Youtube, hahaha!
Drunk Guy: WHOOO, YOUTUBE! Everybody DRINK!

After yelling over the music for a while, we went to a coffeehouse, where, despite the large amounts of caffeine everyone was drinking, the atmosphere was much more tranquil. Unless you count all the people running back and forth in front of the cafe who were screaming for no reason and spilling beer on the sidewalk. (Gotta love Chicago.)

What made this guy different from the last several guys I've gone out with was that I actually liked him. Those feelings that just weren't there when I dated chemistry bachelor #2 all came rushing back when I was with this guy. How did I know I liked him? I mentioned in last week's post that when I'm around a guy I like, I become overly self-conscious. With this guy, I was way too aware of how I thought he must have seen me; because of that I became Super Klutz. (Neurotic Workaholic is my not-so-mild-mannered alter ego; Super Klutz is the superhero I become when I go around trying to save people but end up knocking things over and falling down instead.)

I normally carry Band-Aids with me just because I trip and fall that often, but when I'm around a guy I like it's even worse. I didn't fall down during the date, but I did accidentally knock over my drink. I also made the mistake of talking with my mouth full at one point, so that a piece of bread fell out of my mouth and onto the table in front of him. I was so embarrassed I wanted to distract him by pointing to Drunk Guy, who was now acting like he was going to take off his shirt and do a striptease in front of his cheering friends, and then I wanted to run out of the restaurant and never eat bread again.

The problem was, chemistry bachelor #3 didn't feel the same way about me. I couldn't help noticing that at one point during the evening he spent more time looking around the room than he did at me, as if he was looking for the nearest exit or at least for a less neurotic girl with nicer legs whom he could finish the date with. I sent him a message to say hi the next day, but he didn't answer. And that, in itself, was an answer.

Even though it's too bad that we didn't make a connection, a part of me was still glad that I went on a date with him because for just a little while I got to feel those emotions that I hadn't felt in a long time. Before that night I'd started to think that I'd become some kind of robot who was incapable of feeling anything, the kind you'd see in a science fiction movie who looks and talks like a regular girl, right before she malfunctions and turns into Evil Robot Chick with scary red eyes and then starts attacking everyone.

I have to admit that I briefly had a "woe is me" pity party when he didn't call. I started thinking that maybe I really am the problem. I wondered if there was something about me that repels every guy I'm interested in, yet somehow attracts every guy I would never be interested in.

I thought about how maybe there's a reason that I'm a workaholic. Maybe I'm not meant to become anybody's "one true love" someday. I thought that maybe I should just forget about dating and focus on making my other dreams of becoming a published writer and a respected college professor come true instead. That's not to say that being a workaholic means that you'll be single forever, because of course there are plenty of people who are addicted to work and still manage to have successful relationships. But maybe the fact that my work has always been more important to me than any guy I've ever met means that I'm just not the marrying kind, or even the dating kind.

But I stopped feeling sorry for myself long enough to realize that I haven't given up hope of finding the right guy, at least not yet. "The one" for me will be someone with whom I can be my true neurotic self without making me feel self-conscious about it and who will love me in spite of (or because of) that. I also think "the one" will be someone I'd be willing to take a day off from work for, just so I could spend some time with him.

But I wouldn't take too many days off, of course. Maybe it could just be an occasional afternoon off instead of an entire workday. What can I say? I am and always will be a workaholic. 

Check out Daniel Powter's video for his song that came out a few years ago; it's called "Bad Day". I like watching it after a bad day (or a bad date), not only because the song is good but also because of the video's hopeful ending. In a way, watching the video motivates me to keep hoping that something good really will happen for me.

What kinds of things do you do to motivate yourself to keep hoping for what you want?


  1. I have a similar inner monologue every time something doesn't work out with a boy. You know, the whole, "maybe I'M the problem, maybe I'm not meant for a relationship, maybe I'm too neurotic for my own good, etc." But I'd like to think you're right and that there are guys out there for quirky, motivated, klutzy girls like us.
    Anyway, sorry things didn't work out with CB #3. At least you got a good Saint Patrick's Day story out of it. Haha.

  2. Hi lalalalauren,
    It'd be nice to find a guy who was also quirky, motivated, and klutzy, because I think that those types of guys are cute. :) But you're right in that I got a good story about it. Even though online dating hasn't helped me find the right guy just yet, at the very least it's given me some good writing material.

  3. hmmm, I don't know. I try not to think about it? I read a lot and watch a lot of movies. The only time I really think about certain things is when I'm with my family. There's something about family that just makes me feel insecure and stupid.

    With men, every time I've been interested and they haven't, I learned to think that people are like fruit. I don't like apples but I love pineapples. And there are people out there who hate pineapples. More for me! :D It's not personal, it is what it is.

  4. Hi Hannah,
    I do like watching movies, especially comedies because they can be funny distractions. I try not to watch romantic comedies after not-so-great dates, though. The reason is because I start making comparisons between the guys in the movies and the guys in real life, even though a lot of the actors in the movies are probably just like guys in real life.

  5. I'm sorry it didn't work out, but I know what you mean about feeling things. My last whatever-it-was, though it was brief and ended very immaturely on his part, ended up being a good thing for me. Because of that guy, I now know I can be attracted to and enjoy spending time with a guy other than my ex. And considering I was with my ex for longer than some marriages, that's a very good thing. It's like Carrie said once on Sex and the City, "Maybe there's just something to knowing they're out there."

    I too think I may be through with falling in love. I was once for a very long time, it was a good experience and made me who I am today, but I'm not sure it will happen again. I am trying to be open-minded though.

    And I love romantic comedy heroes, as well as dudes in romance novels. Those guys rock!

  6. I had a similar experience to you, actually. I'd dated loads of guys but I just couldn't conjure up that lovin' feeling. Then I went with this one guy and... wow. I really like him.

    He, like your date, seemed to stare around the room a lot. I sent him an email a few days after and... nothing. Ah well.

  7. I'm glad someone made you feel it even if he didn't feel it back. Kind of the reverse of your last bachelor. I hope #4 it's mutually feeling it.

    And a 1st date on St. Patrick's weekend must be tough!

  8. Hi No Way Cupid,
    I'm not through with falling in love, because I still have hope that the right guy is out there for me. And I think it could happen again for you, too; you never know.

    Hi Talli,
    I have learned to read into guys' body language; staring around the room a lot is usually not a good sign as far as the date goes. It makes me pay more attention to my own body language too.

    Hi Theresa,
    I suppose it could have been worse. It could have been New Year's Eve or something; I'm not sure if that would have been a good time for a first date because every place would've just been chaotic.

  9. Sounds like you and I have a similar thought process! I always wonder "what is it about me that I keep attracting the guys I DON'T want and not the ones I do want" though it's not as bad as it used to be, i'm still single so I still wonder what in the world the deal is...of course I'm in a job where I'm surrounded by students and women coworkers...I'm sure that doesn't help!

  10. Hi Catherine,
    Like you, I'm also surrounded by students and women coworkers; there are a few male grad students and instructors, but most of them are married. So that's why I've had to look elsewhere when it comes to finding someone. The good thing about online dating is that I've had the opportunity to meet guys that I probably wouldn't have met otherwise.