I’m Listening to Your Conversations and Writing Down Your Words

One of my favorite pastimes is people watching. It began as a simple pleasure.

Dining alone at a restaurant allowed me to play games in which I guessed everything about you, from your relationship status to the reason you ordered the salad or the steak. I’d watch carefully as you tucked that strand of hair behind your ear 15 times or as you hugged your girlfriend, wife, mother, child goodbye at the door. I’d create a story about you in my head that made sense. Sometimes it was a funny story, and sometimes it was sad. But it always felt real.

Sometimes, I’d pen a few words in a notebook as I watched you. Write your story down, to remember it. To change it and tell it later. Maybe you’d be the hero in my future fiction best seller. Or the villain in a screenplay I’ll write one day.

And then something changed. I started carrying this mini computer everywhere. I got lost in Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat. Blogging. E-mails. Everything but what truly surrounded me. Scrolling through an endless stream of what people I “know” are up to. What they’re eating. Where they’re vacationing. When they go to work. How they go to work. I discovered I could people watch without watching anyone. I could see their lives unfold without being anywhere near them. I didn’t need to make up a story, because it was all right there on my screen.

You were forgotten.

Instead of watching you argue with the cashier at LOFT about a coupon, I was staring down at my phone in a trance. Watching them talk about their most recent Amazon purchase or what their kids ate for breakfast. Laughing about a meme that everyone was sharing.

Once in a while, I’m reminded of you. Your screaming is so loud, I’m drawn back into the real world. I see you. I hear you. And everything you say is absolute gold. And now, with this tiny computer, I can capture it. Whether I’m recording you on Snapchat like an asshole (I’m the asshole, not you) or sending myself your words for posterity in an email, I’m there. Listening to everything you say. I promise.

I'm Listening to Your Words

In case you don’t believe me, here are some of my favorite things you’ve said.

Middle Schoolers on an air plane trip to Washington DC

“I feel bad for all these people.”

To be fair, we were warned that it was a full plane and the back half of the plane was going to fill up with tweens.

“You have to pay $8 for Facebook!?”

Technically, it’s $8 for the whole Internet, but you know…tomato, tomahto.

“I’m attracted to a 7th grader.”

I’m assuming you’re in 8th grade, and it’s probably not going to work out for you, my friend.

“Wow, they’re really pooping those things [luggage at baggage claim] out.”

You’re not wrong, my young friend. You’re not wrong.

In case the Internet isn't creepy enough, whatever you say in public has become fair game. Click To Tweet

Lady on the train without a ticket

“My sister died! My sister died! They didn’t even let me see her! You know who my grandfather was? Al Capone. Could you hold this [coffee]?”

I feel really sorry for you, lady, even though you’re lying…at least about Al Capone. But I also feel sorry for the women to whom you passed your coffee cup. We shared a sympathetic look as she set your coffee cup on the floor while you went to take a crap in the train bathroom.

Business guys at a hot dog joint

“What is she Croatian? Is she Romanian? I know she’s not Greek, ’cause I insulted the Greeks in a meeting and she didn’t flinch.”

Oh boy, gentleman. Your deep Chicago accents are making this way more entertaining than it should be.

“He dead?”

You sound so flip. At least train lady was obviously distressed.

“Just like that guy who got his arm stuck in a boulder and had to cut it off.”

You guys are a train wreck. Please don’t leave. I want to listen to you for hours.

You left.

What juicy conversations have you overheard in your world? What are your favorite people-watching places?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Things I Did to Make The Grown Up Dump Me

It took me a while to figure out how to tell you guys this part of the story. Because I was a hot mess when I met The Grown Up. I knew he was pretty fantastic, but I had been seriously messed up by the ghosts of boyfriends past. He was going to turn out to be just like the rest of them, so I figured I might as well lead the horse to water. Like any self-respecting lunatic, I made it my business to convince The Grown Up that I was bat-shit crazy. I tried desperately to show him my crazy without really trying.

Now, I’d been in a couple of relationships before. I had even broken a few hearts. But there was something different about The Grown Up. Either he didn’t scare easily or I was superb at keeping my crazy in check…or he wasn’t smart enough to recognize that I was insane. Because it took a lot to get him to truly want to kill me. I tried all my regular tricks…

How to lose a guy in 6 steps

When the guy you've been dating for a week or so seems too good to be true, you start busting out the big guns to see how far he'll let you go. Sometimes relationships are really weird.

Continue to stalk him

The day after our first date (when we had that glorious kiss, and it was quite apparent that he really did like me), I messaged him several times to chat. While he was at work. Because, you know, I really like liked him. And that’s what you’re supposed to do. I finally found him on Facebook (I guess when you’re super clever and computery, you have multiple e-mail addresses…and don’t use the one that you signed up for Facebook with when you e-mail girls. At first. I caught on and found him. Although it didn’t seem like he used it all that often, so the only pictures of him were…a little strange. I wasn’t going to be showing off his long hair days to my friends), so I added him as a friend. I also called him to chat when he was home from work to invite him out…Because I was hanging out at a friend’s house pretty near his place.

Lie like a rug

That night, he turned down the opportunity to hang out with me because he was supposed to have dinner with a friend. I messaged him several times, optimistic that when he arrived home from dinner, he’d want to see me. Because I’m an idiot. I only called like…three times…and left like…two texts. That’s not stalkerish, right? When he still hadn’t responded, I started heading home. I was on the highway when he called. I pulled off the first exit and talked to him. He wanted to see me! I  was already halfway home and didn’t want to seem like a crazy person who turned around for a guy, but I definitely wasn’t ready to go home…

So I lied.

I told him I was still at my friend’s house and just a few minutes away. And let’s be honest. The second he called, I more than just got off the highway. I got off the highway and turned around, heading toward his house. I wasn’t stupid, even if I was a little more than insane.

Be in his space all the time

For some reason, I just couldn’t seem to leave. I didn’t want to go home, and The Grown Up certainly wasn’t kicking me out. Half the time, he would pick me up on his way after work. So I became a regular fixture in his house. I almost felt guilty for his roommate, but I was living in this weird glowy universe where nothing bothered me. Something was definitely going to go wrong.

Talk too much

As The Grown Up drove me home some mornings, I would ramble on about this person at work or that thing I love. It was all morning gibberish nonsense, but he was often silent and unresponsive. I apologized for talking too much, and he told me it was okay. He didn’t seem to mind me talking, as long as I didn’t mind that he wasn’t going to respond all that much in the morning. It was a match made in heaven. Was this guy for real?

Rush into a relationship

Within a week, The Grown Up became my boyfriend. I wasn’t really into titles, but I knew that I was going to be monogamous with The Grown Up. So I asked the dreaded question – “So, what are we?” He told me that if a girl was spending every night in his bed, she was probably his girlfriend. I swooned a little bit that night.

Piss off his roommate

The Grown Up’s roommate had a fancy black car. One day, I showed up, and the car was a little dusty. Of course, feeling secure in my sense of humor, I wrote a message with my finger in the dust, “Clean me.” According to The Grown Up, his roommate didn’t take too kindly to my little prank, and I needed to apologize. At that point, I got that oh-my-God, nervous stomach, I-hate-confrontation feeling. Now I was in my comfort zone. That anxiety was more along the lines of what I was used to. I decided that I would just curl up in a little Chrissy ball and never show my face again, rather than feel like an asshole. I vaguely remember asking The Grown Up to tell him I meant it as a joke – and I don’t actually remember if I apologized or not, but I absolutely remember how embarrassed I was. But even after that, The Grown Up still wanted me around. It was too much.

I was going to have step up my game. It was time to introduce him to my friends. That would surely scare him away.

What stupid things do you do when you start relationships to test your suitor? What are your signature moves? Have you been in a relationship where you wondered how the hell someone put up with your bullshit?

For the next episode in the saga, click the image below.

Recipe for disaster - new boyfriend plus bar.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Desperately Seeking Something: How to Fuck Everything Up

After I met two cool guys at the bar at which I was working, and stalked the shit out of the handsome one, I went into work that next afternoon, swooning. The mysterious Grown Up (formerly known as Handsome) was completely occupying my mind. I was always game for a challenge, and someone who couldn’t be found on social media was definitely a challenge in my book. My bartender friend and I spent the very slow work day planning my future wedding to my newest crush.

Desperately Seeking Something

I didn’t have to wait long for the first real email. Some time around noon that afternoon, The Grown Up responded to my adorable comment with just enough sass to make me laugh and just enough weirdness to make me smile. I knew responding to him was going to be fun.

He told me that I obviously had beer goggles on, as he was definitely not “adorable,” though I was welcome to call him dashing, debonair, distinguished, or even elegant. He made some ridiculous nonsensical commentary on my email signature, which referenced a leadership role in an organization and my consultant status for Tastefully Simple. It was teasing, light, and absolutely adorable. His sense of humor really nailed it for me. It was just random enough to make me think more and carefully craft a response that played off his playful tone.

I told him that he was definitely all of those things, but he was also adorable with the definitive argument that it was my word and so it would be that he were adorable.

I added a little light banter about his obvious modesty, and sent the response later that evening. As I waited for another email, I analyzed every word in his first email. I used any personal details to continue my Google search. I still couldn’t find him on social media. Maybe he didn’t have a Facebook account. Maybe he wasn’t that techy or internetty. I even sent him a chat request that went unanswered.

But he e-mailed me the next day using that same, adorable and teasing tone.

Modesty

Words turn me on.

I was seriously hooked. His word choices. His sense of humor.  He was smart. And a smart ass. I loved him. I sent another chat request before responding to his e-mail.

Actually, I sent him several chat requests that soon went unanswered. Shit. Was I fucking this up already?

If you didn’t already know, I was/am a master of fucking things up. I push buttons…A LOT. I kinda like testing my limits. It’s a thing.

These are actual messages my dope ass sent to the poor Grown Up...who was probably doing grown-up things.

These are actual messages my dope ass sent three days in a row to the poor Grown Up…who was probably doing grown-up things. I’m really bad at flirting.

My third IM (which was on the third day – and actually in the morning, and not at night) was met with an awkward response that made perfect sense. He worked at a computer all day. If he looked like he was online at night, he probably wasn’t ACTUALLY online.

Oh.

So we briefly conversed about our jobs and career paths, and I told him I wanted to be a teacher. Our conversation concluded with this little blurb of utter genius…something that I had forgotten completely until finding old conversations to use for this tale.

Grown Up: Being around young people is a good way to stay young. The company I work at now is practically geriatric. I'd say that the corporate culture is stilted... but, honestly, I think most people are kind of stilted generally and almost all corporate cultures have a chilling effect on individuality. me: yeah. The closest I came to working for a corporate company was when I was a catering manager, which hardly constitutes the corporate world Grown Up: Count your lucky stars! me: Every day!

Wise words from The Grown Up… If only I remembered this conversation before I jumped into Corporate America. It almost makes me a little sad for Corporate Chrissy…

After a three day Gmail love affair, though…life took its typical turn in relationship Chrissyland…and the handsome Grown Up didn’t respond again. Christmas was a few days away, and my last e-mail went unanswered. I failed to send another desperate IM during the busy that was Christmas.

Two days before Christmas, I met someone else…and two days after Christmas, someone from my past came back into my life, and the Grown Up that wasn’t pursuing me got pushed to the backseat by the boys that were. I suppose the saying is true…when it rains, it pours. And for me, it was raining men.

Hallelujah.

Was this the end? Would I ever see the Handsome Grown Up or Bright and Shiny again? Friends, tell it to me straight – have you ever pushed a little too hard when you were interested in someone? Do you not push enough? Tell me your tales of woo and woe!

Find out what happens next by clicking the picture below!

a long day at the bar

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

When I Like Like Someone, I Internet Stalk Them

As we began our story last week, I met a couple of dudes in a bar and they invited me on a trip to Ireland. Just like that…

And I considered it for a hot minute.

And then fucking logic set in…

“But probably not. I don’t even know you guys!”

When I like like someone, I internet stalk themBright and Shiny was all, “Well give me your number just in case. Maybe we’ll all hang out again sometime or something. And then we won’t be strangers.”

So I gave him my number. I was having a good time with these guys…maybe I would end up going to Ireland with them. Maybe I would get to hang out with them again.

The brooding handsome guy didn’t say much…but he seemed really smart, and when he did speak, I’m sure he had very interesting things to say. I just don’t remember. But as they were leaving the bar, he asked for my email address instead of my number.

“Uhhh sure.” I rattled it off to him. Within 5 minutes, he had sent me a very simple email with his full name, the day of the week we met, and the bar.

So I got a number and an email address in one night. As a single, carefree 20-something, I thought it was a pretty successful evening. Even if I was way more interested in Handsome than Bright and Shiny.

Before any of us left the bar, I let my beer respond to Handsome’s email with, “you’re adorable.” And I meant it. (Yes, I emailed him while I was sitting across from him. Don’t judge me. That guy did it first!) Handsome didn’t read my email right away, and if he did, he didn’t let on.

He was attractive and smart. He had a job. He didn’t live with his parents (or anyone else’s parents). He seemed…like a grown up. And I had been dating a lot of non-grown ups. I decided then that I was interested in him. Apparently, the bartender, my girlfriend, could also tell I was into him before I knew it. She thought it was hilarious. After they left, she came up to me and teased me for my awkward flirting.

So I did what I always did when I was interested in a dude. I went home and proceeded to internet stalk the shit out of him. I  Googled his name. And searched for him on Facebook. And MySpace. And anywhere I could possibly find him on the internet. I searched by his name. His e-mail address. Everything. Anything. Every detail he had provided the night before. I was a woman on a mission.

And he was a fucking ghost. I was intrigued. Who doesn’t have a Facebook?

Do you vet potential dates on the internet before going out with them? Did you ever meet someone at a bar? How do/did you check out potential dates before going out with them?Who is this guy? Did I date him? Is this another story of unrequited crazy?

Click the pic below to read the next installment of this story

Desperately Seeking Something

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!