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The “Not Dating” Game: A Case Study

December 12, 2013

Hypothesis: It is difficult to “not date” two guys, who are friends, at the same time.
Null hypothesis: It is not difficult to “not date” two guys, who are friends, at the same time.

So far, my case study seems to be supporting this hypothesis. Yesterday, I didn’t talk to TLTL at all, and it didn’t bother me, or at least it didn’t bother me enough to even send him a random text. Instead, I hung out at the bar while MTIA worked, and then we ventured to a bar in another part of the city. It was a raucously good time, so MTIA and I didn’t get back to my place until after 3. We played guitar and sang songs for a while, eventually retreating to the couch to listen to Songs from The God That Comes from start to finish (instead of listening to “He’s Mine” on repeat twenty times in a row). It was perfect: MTIA dimmed the lights, and we curled up together under blankets, eventually falling asleep around 5am, still wrapped up in each other’s arms.

At some point early in the night, I swore I would learn all the words to THIS:

This amused MTIA because he already knows all the words, as he apparently felt compelled to demonstrate to me three times today. You know, because he’s such a thug, wearing work boots with pink glittery shoelaces. Earlier today, MTIA was showing them off to my brother when he (my brother, that is) popped by for a quick visit. My brother expressed an appropriate amount of amusement at MTIA’s obvious pride in his shoes. He’s adorable. Did I mention he had on hiking boots with cherries on the white shoelaces the other night?

I shouldn’t have expected TLTL to just disappear. He wants to go to the mall on Saturday and then to dinner at a Brazilian place nearby. I like both of these ideas. We should hold hands in the mall. But couples hold hands. And we are not a couple. It is for this reason, too, that I didn’t take MTIA’s hand in the car today while I was driving.

Five ” not dates” this week between Monday and Saturday is a LOT of “not dating” to handle. I’m feeling a little less crazy, at least, though I’m still not terribly interested in food. When I do eat, I scarf down as much food as I can as quickly as I can. And then I lose interest. Today, I’ve had coffee, two bites of chocolate, and an apple cinnamon granola bowl thing. I know it’s not enough, but I am exhausted, feeling sick, and am really just not hungry. Of course, I am sick and exhausted because I stayed up all night drinking beer with MTIA; I had ridiculous cheese fries at the bar, too. That probably gained me back some of the five pounds I’ve lost. My obsession with food reminds me that I am still very clearly a bit crazy or I wouldn’t be trying to force this kind of control. And it’s not hard to see what in my life feels so out of control – my emotions, my relationships with MTIA and TLTL, my physical pain.

Wait. I don’t want to talk about food. This part was supposed to be about lots of “not dates.” I’m afraid I’m falling more and more in love with MTIA and out of it with TLTL. The latter is probably at least a healthy thing, and will keep me or him (or both of us) from being shot dead by my family, but it’s not what I wanted to happen. It feels like, though, that we have nothing to talk about. Or, maybe it’s that he doesn’t act interested in anything I do or say. I don’t know what to ask him about to get him talking sometimes, either. You can’t really love someone under those circumstances. What is there to love? Unfortunately, every time I look at him, I’m reminded of his sweetness beneath the gruff exterior, and how his bright blue eyes used to light up with mischief when he would think of something silly to say or do.

TLTL and I once expertly put Saran Wrap over the guy’s toilet seat in our favorite dive bar and then sat nearby, waiting for some insanity to unfold. We giggled maniacally.

We were younger then.

If I could have all the good parts of TLTL back, I’d not be falling out of love. I suspect he’s been feeling the same way, which might account for some of his silence when we are together.  I don’t know. I don’t really care. And that has me upset.

Simultaneously, as much as I grin when I see MTIA’s ridiculous shoelaces, for some inexplicable reason (Twig, you liar. You know exactly why the shoelaces upset you.) they make me remember that I’m never going to be enough for him. And I actually seethed with jealousy yesterday when MTIA talked about how his eye infection (he’s developed an allergy to the makeup he wears on stage for his shows, apparently) is clearing up thanks to some homeopathic eyedrops that the CAB bought for him. “I should be the one taking care of him,” I thought. I’m being asinine.

To complicate matters further, a (distant) friend asked me out. I’m not interested. I told him I’m not in a dating frame of mind right now. It’s a lie, but close enough to the truth: besides not being interested in him, I really can barely handle “not dating” two guys. A third might be the death of me, or at least wind me up in the hospital with pneumonia, which I’d like to avoid.

I need a nap.

I also need to get Lorde’s “Royals” out of my head.


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