Thursday, April 24, 2008

"What Are We?"

Or some variation of that. I heard the words coming out of my mouth and I felt sick. And yet I couldn't help myself.

And I'd played it so cool until then. I never called. I didn't ask to see him. I regaled him with stories of my exploits in a carefree, "ohmygosh, my life is just too too busy to care just about you, don't you see, dahling?" kind of way.

I'll admit I was ignoring the symptoms for awhile. I felt vaguely uneasy when we'd say goodbye and I'd want to call after him and say, "Come back! I'm not done with you yet!" I refused to give in to the impulse, but I should have known when my brain was even contemplating such action that I was due for a relapse. When resisting initiating public displays of affection became superhuman, I knew it was too late to do anything about it. It was back. She was back. The return of Needy Girl.

I thought maybe recognizing I had a problem was the first step towards rehabilitation. More dates! More men! I counselled myself. "I am fabulous. I am successful. I don't have TIME to fall for someone right now and I'm having way more fun playing the field." Ginger counselled me. "Look at your shoes. They are beauteous. Their wonder must be shared with the world. More. Men." Our work husband (yes he has multiple work-wives, welcome to the office equivalent of Bountiful, BC) was firm with me: "Don't. Ask. What. You. Are."

"There's nothing that'll send a guy running for the hills more than asking what you are. Just go with the flow, RCC. It is what it is."

OK. It is what it is. It is what it is. I repeated it like a mantra. And yet, the other night, my resolve crumbled. It was like having an out-of-body experience as I heard myself start the Conversation, not wanting to but feeling absolutely compelled to make the effort. Horrified on the inside. Giggly and insecure on the outside.

And guess what? He ran for the hills. Well, not really. But I waved enough Needy Girl flags and danced around the "What Are We?" subject for just long enough that if he knows what's good for him he'll stay away for awhile. As for my part I'll have to be extra-ultra-casual to overcompensate. "What? Tommorrow? Sorry, honey, I've got plans! How about next Wednesday?" I'll need to put myself into serious training mode (perhaps we'll have to go back to the three-dates-in-one-day obstacle course) to get myself back in shape. I am NOT Needy Girl. I do not fall for one guy, certainly not this quickly and certainly not without a few trips to Italy thrown in to sweeten the deal. I play the field. I am fabulous. I get what I want, when I want it, from who I want. I don't ask what we are, I DEFINE what we are.

I was commiserating with a guy friend last night. Ranting to him, actually. Appalled at how quickly one guy out of many great guys had me acting like Needy Girl, as if my fabulous turquoise leather boots were just, like, not anything at all. "I am chased, I don't chase," I babbled. "I lay the ground rules. I play the field. I am strong. I am the hunter. I'm not soft, and I don't. fall." There was much sympathetic silence, followed by the following gem of an observation:

"Face up to who you are, Cookie, " he said. "You're mostly mermaid. And maybe, 1/20th wolf."

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