My weekend can be summed up in a single question that a friend asked me as he consoled me in the urinal bay of a men’s bathroom at a bar that I’ve never been to (and probably won’t visit again, because now I’m the girl who cried next to a very disgruntled pee-r):
“Have you ever thought about seeing a therapist?”
He asked this as he wiped tears and an odd swirl of eyeliner off of my face. I’m sure peeing guy and the non-English-speaking bar back who signaled to me that I had to leave were wondering the same.
I want to preface this story by saying that I’m not typically a crier when I drink, at least when I’m out. If I’m going to cry, it’s going to be when I get home and put on an episode of Gossip Girl (xoxo) where Chuck and Blair blow it AGAIN. Or when I get home and blast “1+1” by Beyonce. Or when I get home and eat a regrettable amount of cheese. I am NOT a bar crier. But last night… I was a bar scene in and of myself.
The reason I was upset? Boys. Not in the sexy, Britney Spears way, because I am NEVER in control when it comes to boys. In fact, I am a moron. I guess it comes from lack of experience—what feels like flirtation to me probably comes off as like… rough-housing your brother or recording his conversations with my Girl Talk and playing them back, hysterically laughing at the horror on his face.
I guess this all comes with the territory of me. This territory is kind of like the Native Americans’ America: it was once a looooooot bigger. It keeps on shrinking, but, do they ever really forget? No. And neither do I. I have been at my current, normal-human size for about four years now, but my brain is still perpetually sweaty and shopping at Lane Bryant. She’s still funny, but only when she gets to know people. She still really, really likes Smartfood Popcorn.
When my friend suggested that I see a therapist because of my ill-timed outpouring of emotion and negative supply of self-esteem, I answered honestly: I have thought about it. I’ve wondered if seeing a therapist would really help me shed my insecurities. Perhaps laying on some old man’s couch and telling him all of my issues would make me feel better about myself. Perhaps.
I’ve spent today thinking about this, too, and I’ve come to realize something that may make me sound super shallow, but, whatever: the therapy I need is for someone to fall in love with me. I need someone to take interest in me beyond my sense of humor and weird, superhuman store of pop-culture information. While these are wonderful qualities of mine, there’s more here. There’s a girl. Hi, yes, shock: I’m a girl and I want to feel pretty and I want to snuggle. I have spent the past four years wondering why I don’t feel fully into myself, and I decided today that that’s why. I can have 1,000,000 friends and family members and gay strangers in Boystown tell me that I’m hot. (Okay, fine, that only happened once with one gay, but let me exaggerate. I’m real vulnerable right now.) I know I’m smart and accomplished and funny. But, you know what? I’m so sick of hearing how wonderful I am and ending every day feeling less than that because I’m alone. No girl should ever feel like this, and I don’t think a therapist can talk that away or write a prescription to fix it…unless my therapist happens to be an attractive, cuddly male who falls in love with me, but that’s a different Lifetime story.
I know I can’t force someone to fall in love with me—believe me, I would’ve done that long ago if it were a viable option. But what I can do is to cut out all of the fucking bullshit “flirtationships” that I’m always somehow falling into. I feel like every girl should do this. Stop talking to IDIOTS who only want to talk to you when it’s convenient to them. Stop drunk texting. Stop putting the penis on a pedestal. I’ve always wanted to say that out loud, because I’ve said it A LOT in my own head.
It’s going to take a lot to convince my brain that its body is a little bit different now. I’m almost there, but I know deep down that the missing piece of the puzzle is in the shape of a really nice boy with patience and an affinity for spooning and perhaps even a soft spot for shitty pop music. He’s out there somewhere, so I guess I can’t give up just yet.