Last week, I stepped outside after an early morning doctor’s appointment and a seagull promptly pooped all over my $400 parka. I think my avian friend was aiming for my shoulders but by the time I noticed what I had happened the mess had already migrated to my sleeve and started to drip down all over the front of my jacket. Random seagull blitzkriegs are one of the few tradeoffs of living in such a beautiful coastal place. I came to the conclusion that there is no journey longer and more agonizing than the crowded cross-town bus trip you take covered seagull poop. However, a few days later I learned that there is something much worse: the silent car ride you take after you’ve broken up with someone at 2 am.
Since December I’ve been hanging out with “The Chef” one of the guys I’ve met through my recent initiation into online dating. The Chef is a good guy. He’s the kind of guy you only hope you’ll meet through online dating. He’s kind, generous and does not own a kayak or a rotating tie-rack. He’s an adventurous, fun loving guy who shares my intense passion for food and eating, and enjoyed cooking for me. When we weren’t out sampling restaurants or cooking up a storm, we’d indulge in marathon viewing sessions of the Food Network. Sounds perfect right?
A few weeks ago, while watching “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” we started to make-out. When I opened my eyes and glanced towards the TV screen I saw Guy Fieri biting into a massive, oozing, Philly Cheesesteak and was suddenly filled with panic. Was it possible that food was the only thing we had in common??
Sometimes I think dating would be so much easier if I’d never been in love. If I didn’t know what it felt like to curl up in someone’s arms and know that this person is your person. I’ve only experienced this a few times in my life, but I know the feeling very well. If it’s not there, I can still enjoy being with the person for awhile but eventually I just start to feel sad and my instinct to run kicks in. That’s generally when things start to get messy. Maybe ignorance is bliss?
Flash forward to last week when I was laying the the Chef’s bed. He was curled up next to me when the panic started again and I said the words that no one wants to hear, let alone at 2 in the morning.
“I don’t think I can do this”
Recently I wrote about overcoming sexual shyness. In case you hadn’t already guessed from reading this blog, sexual shyness is not one of my issues. I kind of have the opposite problem. In the past, I’ve found myself in situations (both romantic and sexual) where I decided to just go with the flow, because it just felt easier to say “yes” than to say “no.” However, that was then and this is now. I made a pact with myself after my big breakup, that I would look after myself – both physically and emotionally – and not do things that were self-destructive. My good friend Lindsay says that this means “listening to your Buddy voice” at all times. In other words, listening to your instincts, showing yourself some love and only doing things that feel right and authentic to you. So, last week that’s exactly what I did.
He drove me home in stony silence, the 15 minute drive feeling like 50.
I thanked him for being good to me and asked him whether we could stay friends.
His response, “I don’t think so”
Can you blame him?
I’m proud of myself for listening to my “Buddy voice”. It just really sucks that I ended up hurting someone’s feelings in the process. Given the option between how I felt stepping out of the car that night and what happened earlier in the week, I’d choose the bird poop – hands down.