Is it worth it, let me work it.

Maybe it was my wallet being stolen, maybe it was this tweet that should be funny but actually got me really upset [https://twitter.com/jazzminaudria/status/664633824681271296], maybe it’s the episode of Master of None that talked about feminism but today I got to thinking about worth. What is a woman worth? What is a woman’s opinion worth? Why is it that worth is measured only in gain and money? Can my worth be measured in compassion, expression, love. The simple things. Why do I have to impress society while society beats me down into the ground.

Readers, it’s 2:11am. I haven’t been able to sleep. I feel very sad and I feel a lack of worth. Maybe it’s because an old fling and I were familiar again, maybe it’s my opinion and input not mattering, maybe it’s the fact that I am lamenting over 7+ years of being single. What is my worth? Is it outside of love? I have had this conversation so many times that you don’t need to be good at everything. Maybe the things I am good at fall outside of love. And that’s okay. I think this post is to say to myself, I know you have loved deeply and many, but it’s okay. There are things that give you worth that isn’t love, that isn’t sex, that isn’t gender. It’s okay to separate myself from that to move my life towards being human, to trying to understand how to be selfless. The things I should be good at are outside of being in a loving caring relationship. They’re not for everyone. You don’t get everything you want.

I hear all the time that it’ll work out; I need to look for someone nicer, outside a certain group, somewhere else. And it all ends up being the same. We have some drinks, we have some laughs, we have some deep meaningful conversations (or sex), and then it fades, it ends, the timing isn’t right, we weren’t exclusive, it’s casual, you’re cool but, you’re chill but, you’re fucking insane but, I think you get my point. I’ve come to a generalization that all the guys I turn out to be interested in are terrible, don’t know what they’re looking for, or looking for something better. I have had too many guys make me feel like I wasn’t the better, I wasn’t the worthwhile one. I’m sure a lot of people can empathize with me here too (guys as well, this isn’t supposed to be a man hating post). It’s finding a way to see your worth that is outside the perception of others. Your worth is not made by others. I still struggle with accepting that and moving forward. It’s not an easy thing to do.

This blog post may make no sense, might not be worthwhile to read, doesn’t have a fun quirky story about some guy I slept with but it’s the selfish thing I needed in order to get some sleep and clear my thoughts. Goodnight readers, thanks for taking the time to read this.

PS Credit to Missy Elliot for the title from the song “Work it”. Very clearly the song and my blog post go hand in hand.

Bloody Mary

Dear readers,

It is 3:15am, I can’t sleep and I don’t have the motivation to study for an exam I have on Friday. As I was in bed trying to convince my body to go to bed, I realized it was all in vain and wasted effort and I should crawl here to tire myself out to the point where I go to bed. I thought how I haven’t posted anything on here for a while so in the spirit of Halloween, let me post a gory tale of my hook up past. Disclaimer; It will get graphic and there will be blood. Read on if you dare.

My sophomore year of college was an interesting time. I met a guy who I was really into and would always talk about him to my friends, since many were friends with him, in order to pass on that I was interested in him. I thought he was charming, into good music, really funny. Why wouldn’t I be attracted to a person like that. Well one night all of my dreams came true! After weeks of saying how into him I was (to everyone except him), I finally got a chance to be with him. I was hanging out with him and a whole bunch of our friends. We were watching videos, drinking, etc etc. Then as our friends were enthralled with a video, he turned and kissed me! Then he said the only 7 words I wanted to hear “Want to go back to my room?” (paraphrased my friends, my memory is not what she used to be). So we slyly leave the room (JK we just blatantly walked out, but hey the video was so interesting I’m sure they didn’t see us leave) and went into his room.

We start hooking up, my (wet) dreams coming true, when I still don’t know to this day what happened. It was definitely very wet, and I don’t know if he had used his fingers too hard but I felt something was very, very wrong. We both looked down at one point and his stomach was covered in blood. Readers, so much blood. I think we both had a freak out. It must of been some sick joke my body decided to play on me. I was MORTIFIED. He told me that it was perfectly fine, people get their period, except haha jokes, didn’t have my period. What was I to do. If there was a God and if he was gentle he would have transported me that second to a far, far, very far away place. (Except that I sin excessively so maybe it was some sort of punishment). We did the only possible thing that we could in that situation, we went to go shower the blood off.

Obviously in the shower we made out a little bit but he couldn’t really get hard, or in bed after which he was said was due to the incident… and I don’t blame him. I literally bled on him. I am amazed he kept talking to me afterwards. I am amazed he let me sleep over. What a kind gentle soul. I still think back to that moment and want to curl up in a ball and die. But hey that’s life. We hooked up a couple times again after that (blood free!!) and then he started dating someone and I was devastated.

Happy Halloween Readers! Have a safe, gore free holiday!

No One Listens to Techno pt 1

This guy has been sitting in my drafts for about 10 months… I decided to finally finish part one and post it. Part two will come in another 10 months, or when I get heartbroken again and consequently feel really inspired to write, whichever comes first.

While no one listens to techno, I sadly love techno ie electro. I listen to it all the time in the car, while I study, while I do work. It calms me, relaxes me, motivates me, and helps me concentrate. I’ll listen to an hour long mix 3-8 times in a day if I really fall in love with it. I love electro so much that when my friend posted a comment on a remix of a song and asked me to join him for a festival, I skipped my third day of graduate classes to drive through the night in order to go to a music festival for the weekend. I’ve had plenty of wild weekends but I think back to this one a fair amount. I feel in love twice, one night right after the other with two different guys. And by fall in love I mean I was riding the induced love that club substances make you feel. Sorry Mom. Side note: Mom if you are reading this, please stop right here.

There are times where I like to do spontaneous things; take a road trip, go out when I still have so much work to do, go on a random date because I’m bored and haven’t met anyone new in a while. Well one of my close friends, Allen, told me about a festival is New York City, Electric Zoo. For those of you who don’t know it’s an Electric Dance Music (EDM) festival and one of my more favorite (or rather a dj that I actually know) Don Diablo was playing. Literally a week before this festival I decided to go. I got tickets from a friend of a friend of a friend and Allen was actually going to drive up to my town in order to pick up some “friends.” I told my dad that my friend was driving up and we were going to drive down together, in the same day. Allen drove 5 hours up for us to drive the 5 hours down. My dad’s friend immediately asked (cause you know we’re Russian) if he was my boyfriend. After I said that no he wasn’t a boyfriend, just a friend, she turns to me and says “too bad, he should be your boyfriend.”

Anyways, we made the plans where Allen would pick up some friends and we would leave in the morning to him picking up friends, me getting drunk at a bar, and us leaving at 1am to drive 4 hours to get to his house, the halfway point to the festival. We get to his house at 6am and pass out until 9am. Literally, so exhausted we went straight to bed. 9am rolls around and we are trying to catch the 10am bus. I get up shower, put on makeup, whatever and then Allen wakes up, takes his dear sweet time and we miss the first train in his hometown, can’t find parking at the second train station and miss that train, only to drive into the city and park up by Columbia. Since that time, that’s where Allen always parks his car when he comes into the city and takes the 1 train down.

So we get to our other friends apartment in Times Square and they leave for the festival. I stay the first day programming and doing a homework assignment because hey I’m still a grad student and have things I need to get done… Ie, I worked for a bit and took a nap. I ventured out finally and met the girl and got my pass for the next day, got dinner with a friend, came back, and took another nap. I started to get ready for the night because hey it’s 8pm and I was ready to go to an after party. So they get back, Allen met a girl at the festival and me, Allen, and his new found love (Lana) head out to a club to see 3lau. So I take a little something something for a good night and we leave. About an hour in the lights look amazing, the music is amazing, the sweaty disgusting gross guys are amazing. Allen and Lana are dancing, I’m having a great time by myself, because at this point in my life I’ve figured out how to third wheel all my happy in a relationship friends and enjoy my own company. I dance next to some guy, give a big smile to another, and then it happens, some guy starts dancing behind me. If it had been earlier in the night I would have pushed them away and moved deeper in the crowd, like I had with the other 2 or 3 guys that tried dancing with me. Most guys that come up and try to dance with you are creepy as fuck, grope you, or honestly are just bad dancers and kill the whole vibe. But not this guys. But again. Maybe it was that substance induced empathy that made me take a second and give him a chance instead of walking away.

Anyways, the new found guy, lets call him John, is dancing with me. I didn’t see his face but as the song ended I started walking away and he just spun me around. He introduced himself to me all suave and invited me up to the VIP section that he had with his friends. My brain literally thought, “No don’t do this, what a stupid idea, why would you do that? Don’t go somewhere with a stranger”, while my body was like “yeah why not? Good idea.” We go up and he pours me a drink and I remember him tasting it in front of me to show me it wasn’t roofied. A+ guy. I take a sip, realize I really don’t want the drink, and give it back to him. We’re chatting and I can’t really talk cause the lights and music are so overwhelming. We’re dancing, walking around, chatting, and then I realize Allen and Lana have been gone a while. So I call them and Allen and her are outside and they can’t get back in. John to the rescue gets them inside, and up to the VIP section after 45 minutes of talking to whoever he needed to talk to. Anything to get laid, amiright? So we get upstairs, are all dancing, drinking and finally 5am rolls around and I am finally ready to leave. John and I take a cab back to his place and I explicitly remember asking him to give his address to Allen so that they knew where I was going. Honestly, this day in age you can never be too safe.

We get back to his place on the upper east side, and head up to his apartment. He’s visiting from Georgia and his parents have a place in the city. He introduced me to his friends who had just played (and lost) in the US Open that day and I met Tim Howard, cause he was casually hanging out there. Tim Howard, the US goal keeper, saw me come back to this guys apartment to sleep with him. I shook his hand and John had to have a conversation with him to tell him that we were sleeping in that room. I’m sure I left a great impression. We hooked up and then ended up going up out onto the roof and talked as we watched the sunrise. We talked about how he’s now in business but he had always wanted to study physics and his parents killed that dream. I talked to him about grad school and my dreams and we fell asleep out there on the roof with the sun beaming on us. Finally after a couple of hours of sleeping outside we went back to his room and fell asleep there. 10am rolls around and I roll out, tell him I have to leave, and take the subway in a black halter dress and heels, stride of pride in all of it’s glory. I get back to my friends apartment and recap my night and pass out.

I never got his number, never talked to him again, never tried to add him on social media, thought about him here and there, and questioned my decisions. The only thing I think back to that night is how Tim Howard must have viewed me and questioned my morals and decisions. But we can’t win them all.

I Know You’re Tired of Loving with Nobody to Love.

Shout out to the great Kanye for the title. The only song I have listened by him, and will probably listen by him (JK I listened through the Yeezus album). Lately I’ve been thinking about this: What does it mean to be in love (from a person who claims to be in love with everyone), does love last forever, how enduring is it, and is it really love? I guess this post is being written for the long awaited blog post reader who I have thought I’ve loved for a while, but can never quite tell.

It started my Junior year of college. We’ll call him Scott. There’s nothing special in the first times we met. I don’t even remember when we met. I just remember making comments how he always had hickeys on his neck from his now ex girlfriend. We saw each other around a lot mostly because we had the same group of friends, but never really talked. He performed in our schools Male Beauty Pageant in my friend’s talent act, in which they dropped him during a flip. But hey, that happens. So we never really saw each other, so how did any of this even come about?

Well that year I was supposed to be abroad and wasn’t so I commuted from home. I was staying with my friends a lot in their house. Along with a lot of other things that made me depressed that semester, I was very invested in another guy and found out that he had slept with me when he was blackout. I felt incredibly insecure, upset, and was not in a good place. In the three weeks after that incident I was driving from dinner with my friend who lived in the same house and he asked me how I was doing and I broke down crying, letting him know what had happened and how I was feeling about relationships, that year, and everything that was going on (Short story: Junior year was not a good year).  But that’s alright because my sister (Recently out of a relationship) and I were going to Puerto Rico for spring break with some of my fraternity friends! Obviously the best thing that could happen to two girls (Plus our other friend so three girls): going on spring break with 20+ guys. My break down to my friend happened days before leaving so I was very ready for vacation and sun.

Well we got there and my sister went off with my friends while I stayed in the hotel room to sleep (We woke up at 6am, missed out first flight, and spent the rest of the time in the sun, my body was tired and I was old (being 20 is hard)). So I was boring the first day and stayed in while everyone went out to the bars. But that’s alright because the next night, while everyone was sleeping from being hungover from the beach, and I was very awake, I looked at our group thread and saw that Scott and our other friend, Chase were in their room just talking and drinking. So I decided to go over and hang out. Chase told us about his summer job selling expensive knife sets and honestly, I wanted to buy a knife set from him. He was that convincing on why I needed them. Scott and I laughed and enjoyed Chase’s stories. Then my sister and our other friend, Gavin, came into the room and we all left to go out. I just remember at one point right before we left, Scott and I sat next to each other on the bed and for some reason I felt a spark. Weird how that happens, right?

Well we go to the bar, and there’s a lot of guys kissing one another, in the best fraternal brotherly love way! So I’m in a three way hug with Frat Friend #1 and Scott, and as they kiss, Scott leans down and gives me a kiss. For show or because he wanted to, we’ll never know? Unless he weighs in, he does read this blog btw. So back to socializing, drinking beer, smoking cigarettes, and it’s getting late. So our original crew tries to find a cab back and we get back to the hotel. My sister wanders off to go do her single girl thing and Scott and I decide to go “hang out” by the pool. (Mom, if you read this blog, I’m sorry) So we start hooking up by the pool and very quickly notice that there’s a person doing rounds. My room not being an option since there was sun burned people sleeping in it and my sister had taken Scott’s room for her own hanging out needs, we had to go find a more secluded place outside but hidden away from everyone. This hidden away place is 10 feet from the pool by the wall of the hotel. I find the most romantic situations don’t I? So we hook up, go over to the hot tub and chat and get to know one another, and then the rest of our friends and my sister come out. I wandered back with my sister to our hotel room and fell asleep.

The next morning Gavin, my sister, other friends, and I head out for some breakfast (We literally went to the same place all vacation) Gavin and I at one point got lost trying to find the restaurant, mostly cause we took a left when we should’ve taken a right but that’s another story. So we get to breakfast and a second crew shows up, with Scott in it, and Scott’s eye is completely red. Why? Because he accidentally put in the wrong contact solution that has Hydrogen peroxide (?Could someone clarify these details) in it and burned his eye. My dear Scott wants to be a doctor, but everyone makes mistakes when someone explicitly tells you not to use their contact solution. So he shows up to breakfast with a burning red eye. And I laughed. Because there’s not much else to say in that situation. We left breakfast to go to the beach and day drink, leaving Scott’s red eye and crew behind.

So we continued seeing each other for the rest of vacation. There was that time that I went to go shower before going out to dinner and mid-shower I heard a knock on my door and it was Scott. Shampoo in my hair and a towel over my body I was taken aback that he was here in my room with me looking the way that I did. I quickly let him in and retreated to the shower mortified that he had seen me out of my element. (What element?!). So eventually I got out, changed, and started to do my hair while chatting with him. To make this story a little less  confusing I should backtrack. Before we went on vacation Gavin (Gavin, my sister, me, and Gavin’s little were all sharing a room) told me that if I hooked up in the room I would have to pay for all of it. Well awkward cause as Scott and I started hooking up someone walked in, saw feet, and left. It was over. I would be out hundreds of dollars. Side note I wasn’t, I just had to switch beds.

We spent the days talking, drinking, seeing our friends and the nights lying on the beach, walking around various neighboring hotel pools, and trying to catch up with the rest of the crew after we had enough alone time.

Readers, I should leave this blog post here. To preserve that memory, to not ruin the image of Scott. To only remember the warm sun, salty ocean crashing into us after we kissed, his flirtatious ways that I was naive and though we’re only for me… But this blog is about heartbreaks as well…

Fast forward 2 days after we get back from vacation. It’s St Patrick’s day, I’ve been talking to some other guy as well during spring break, did I mention I suck as a person, and I see him in Starbucks. I get upset because he was supposed to text me when we were back. I always look back and wonder, if he actually texted me would things have worked out differently between Scott and me. What if I had texted him since it shouldn’t be all on him? So I was talking to my best friend and told her about Scott and was like you know things went well between us, I should just text him. And I did. And because it was at Patrick’s day I went over to see him and drink and hang out. From what I remember we hooked up but that was a long time ago.

A week later there was a huge party in the fraternity I hung out with. So I brought my sister and went with my best friend. It was fun until I saw Scott talking to another girl and I had an internal freak out. I realized that I kept wanting to see him outside of just hooking up, I was scared of it just ending, I didn’t want it to end so soon. So I went upstairs and cried. One of my friends asked me about it and I spilled out everything to him only to run into Scott moments later, get locked in a room because security was walking through, and learned Scott took recreational drugs. So there I was crying into his arms about my insecurities while he told me everything about his life. We were a mess. My sister had gone off somewhere, I stayed up til 4am in the house only to end up sleeping in Scott’s bed while Scott slept on the floor and his friend from home slept in his roommates bed. I repeat, we were a mess.

After this we kept slowly seeing more and more of one another. I went to go study with him, we would go get ice cream and chipotle burritos, he even took me to Moes for the first time in my life. So romantic I know, but I remember thinking it was sweet. Here’s this first guy I’ve cared about, for the first time in a long time, and wanted to spend time outside of just sleeping with him once, rolling out of bed the next day, and only saying hi when we run into each other. I actually wanted to know about him. He fascinated me. He put up a front but was a lover of art and art history, anime, neuroscience.

Before I start getting into the bitter sweet stuff I should let you know for context that Scott had recently gotten out of a relationship, had mainly been in long term relationships, had family issues arise, and was a typical sophomore questioning his worth in academics and worrying about what he can do in the future. We’ve all been there.

Again, before we get to the bittersweet stuff, I just want to remember a couple more sweet memories. There was one time we were in our school stacks, “studying” til 3am which was actually studying with a hint of showing past pictures on our Facebook , telling stories from our families, and hooking up. I still think to this day the person doing rounds either came right as we finished, or knew and waited to do rounds. I remember going to our friends band and him yelling out random stuff but looking down and kissing me, watching Drive where he fell asleep on me and I drove home after, watching half of Django Unchained and spending the night, having to get creative on where we hooked up because his roommate went to bed early, getting caught hooking up by student patrol and talking our way out of it then after staying up til 3am talking. There’s more good memories I’ll keep writing. We were even talking one time and I suggested he should stay the summer and he said he was most likely staying, and I was so excited.

But this isn’t a story that’s all lighthearted . There was a lot of bad within the good. For one, he told me at a bar party he was hooking up with other people and we talked about it and decided to be exclusive in the sense that we could make out with anyone, since he hadn’t slept with those people, but not sleep with other people. I at least kept up my half which I found out years later that he hadn’t.  There was another girl that was blatantly into him and he denied it every time I brought it up to him, he ended up taking her to formal using the excuse that she had asked him to her formal and couldn’t unask her cause he didn’t want to be that guy, but hey that’s fine to do to me. I wanted to take him to my date party but didn’t ask because he always complained about how much studying he had to do, only for him to go to another formal with another girl the following day. I cried a lot into Scott’s arms. To this day he has shirts stained with my mascara

I was stupid. My best friend and I went on a run and I told her everything and cried and realized I should end things. And I tried and said the words to Scott but then as we were sitting on the warm sunny quad at dusk I took it back in moments. I was stupid.

So the year ended, he went on a break with me, even though quote: there’s nothing to go on a break from since we weren’t dating. And we kept talking because I couldn’t let go.

When he came back we were both in an awkward place, I didn’t have a car and couldn’t move into my place yet so I was staying with my close friends, but Scott as well couldn’t move into his place so he was also staying with my close friends. I tried to be avoidant and sleep upstairs, but one night I decided to sleep downstairs with him in his bed and we turned back into the rut he was trying to get out of.

So we kept seeing each other, he took me out for dinner for my birthday and out for drinks with my friends when I turned 21. He bought me a shot and complained about the price of it later. He helped me pack up my room and move into my new house. We fought about various things that are too personal to put here.

After a party we had one night, my roommate ended up sleeping in my bed and we went back to his place. I packed up my glasses and retainer and was giddy and maybe it was the too many drinks but after we brushed our teeth and I put my retainer in he just looked down at me and said this is too datey. And I cried. And wanted to leave. But he felt bad and asked me to sleep over and held me all night and I didn’t sleep, just wanted to leave and be anywhere else.

So it ended. And I started seeing other people, his friends, my friends. Then on July 4th he had a party and the girl that was blatantly into him was there. We got to talking and I told him I started hooking up with other people and he got upset and said he hadn’t hooked up with anyone. 2 hours later of fighting and me taking him away from that girl and he admitted that he slept with her. I had a panic attack and cried and we both went our separate ways.

Later in the summer I saw him very obviously leave with another girl and I felt like he was rubbing it in my face. I may have slept with a lot of people but I didn’t parade it around. So I texted him something mean and ignored him for the next 3 months, cried about it to one of my friends, and hooked up with someone. Readers I was a mess after junior year. Hell I still am.

He started dating the girl he left with that night. I’m sure they had their rough patches getting to the point of dating, but they started dating. And it killed me because our whole relationship he told me how he didn’t want to be in a relationship because he wanted to be his own person. So we talked in October for the first time, and it was calm except when I got mad about him sleeping with that girl but making me feel bad about myself for sleeping with other people. And I stopped ignoring him, and we would snapchat here and there and talk.

And this went on for two years. After I got back from Russia he was one of the first people I texted, because i ran into a mutual friend and he told me to text Scott about the details of watching a soccer game. Surprise, surprise he told me the details but never told me when they were leaving. We chatted and that was that.

A year out of college we would talk at the bars if we saw each other and text and snapchat and I was always okay with it because I knew he had a girlfriend and he loved her. The part that got hard was recently when they broke up. I had heard about it through the grapevine. And I ignored it, knowing I would get sucked back into the pain and hurt I felt so many years ago. I wanted nothing more than to hang out and see him but I kept myself occupied with work and friends and other people I was seeing. But he kept snapchatting me, asking me to come out but I would go to sleep instead. We even talked to the point knowing we would see each other and he walked by me, without acknowledgment. He said it was the look in my face, that I didn’t want to see him and it was probably true. I wasn’t upset when he walked by me and didn’t say anything to me. I knew that’s who he was. Hiding behind his phone, because the only time we ever discussed our problems was when he was drunk and the only time we would talk is through snapchat. Why would I think he would change 2 years later and actually invite me to see him and hang out outside of snapchat?

So we saw each other on graduation day and had a quick kiss before I left. Nothing special. The next day I was exhausted and at work but I went over to his place to nap and help him pack and move. Nothing happened. We just talked and I admitted that when I found out he would be in the same city for the next two years, I was disappointed because I just wanted space away from him. That every time I looked at him and thought if our timing and circumstances were different, if something could have actually happened and we could have been together. I told him I still really liked him, we hugged, and he drove to go home for the month.

We talked (snapchatted) a lot and then I heard that he got back together with his girlfriend. So I blocked him. Because I thought to myself, what are you doing? Why are you playing into something that’s not going to happen? And I knew I didn’t have the willpower to ignore him because I wasn’t angry enough, so I knew the only way i wouldn’t respond was to block him. And then he came to visit and we just said hi and didn’t talk, and then he came back for good and told me blackout how it’s complicated what was going on with him and his (ex) girlfriend. So I gave in an added him back. I ended up seeing him the next night with my friends and we continued talking and he told me about his life problems. Then we all stayed up til 5am. In that night he poked with spoon, almost burned my foot on the stove when I was trying to get a bowl, we did the lift from dirty dancing and failed, listened to levels, we talked about our futures and he told me how his job fell through. Then at 5am our friend drove me and my other friends home and I said goodbye and he watched the sun rise.

Then I went on vacation and  he went on an interview. I told him before I left that it would be nice to talk sober in person and he agreed. When we got back we didn’t talk but that Tuesday everyone was going to a bar close by because one of other friends who was abroad for a year was back. I drove us to the bar and put on Sunday Candy and as I sang he sang along too. At the bar I tried my hardest to avoid him and then I couldn’t any longer and we talked and I tried to lean in and kiss him and was rejected. And I felt like a fool and wanted to disappear and leave. So I drove everyone home (it was 1am by this point) but he asked for a ride home too. We dropped off the first group and then I put on Sunday Candy again and we drove singing at the top of our lungs and laughing and smiling and happy. Then I dropped him off and I cried. I cried because he was leaving the next day to move to a new city in which he found a new job. I cried because I felt like it was too short. I cried because I was thrown off guard. I cried because I knew that unless we all went out together that night, I wouldn’t of been able to say goodbye.

I drove home and sobbed, then texted him and came back and we talked until 3am. I told him how I felt about him, the situation, the past two years, the future, and got the closure I was looking for. He told me about his family, how he was going to try long distance, and I didn’t want to the night to end because I didn’t want to accept that this was the last time we would really talk but then I had to leave and go to bed and go to work. As I left, I told him that I would be visiting the city he was moving to in October to visit my other friends. We talked about how we would get burritos from Annas and catch up. But those are just words.

From Russia With Love

Today as I was packing for my upcoming trip I was reminiscing about my trip to Russia (the one I mentioned like every other blog post). My boss made a comment today about how I will on the lookout for love while traveling and then I got to thinking about my blog and then the time that some guy in Russia had my number and how awful it was. This is that story.

In my program, we had 9 people. 2 guys and 7 girls. One Russia Day (a made up holiday (literally it’s only existed for not that long and Russian’s aren’t super patriotic about it)) we decided that the 6 of us girls will go out to make Russian friends and drink. The boys wanted to go do their own thing and it’s wasn’t really the 7th girl’s scene, which is totally fine. So we go to this street that turns out to be super sketchy and at a loss at where to go we text our program leader for a recommendation for a bar (Cause it’s Russia and our program leader was super chill). She suggested this bar called SPBar (I think it stood for St. Petersburg Bar, so creative Russia) which is actually a chain in Russia.

We show up and pull out all forms of IDs, Russian passports, American passports, copies of passports, hell someone may of had a birth certificate just hanging out. They let us all in and we’re about to sit at a table when a waiter abruptly stops us and tell us we can’t sit there because the two guys at the table next to us were waiting for friends, confused we asked where we could sit (in this pretty empty room) and the two guys said it was fine and we could sit there. We tried sitting again and the waiter got upset and told us we couldn’t sit there. Still confused we had to explain that the guys next to us said that it was okay if we sat there, so the waiter huffed and let us sit down.

The two previously mentioned guys, Ivan and Sasha, decided to take the booth behind us. My friend Mary was on such a quest to find Russian friends that she got the balls to go over to them and ask for a beer recommendation (You go girl) and came back with her beauty and charming ways. The guys were charmed. Sasha (tall, full jaw, blondish hair, pretty cute), decided to engage with us. Me, being the only person who could fluently converse, starting talking to Sasha. He found out we were students and told us that he and his friend, Ivan (dark, brutish, the type of guy you see as an evil character in Russian stories) and him were also students. They looked like they were 30 but whatever. I was over 20. My marriage prime was way past me.

So we get to talking and Sasha tells me how beautiful Mary is and how his heart stopped when she came over to ask him. So he suggested that all of us should move to a Sushi Bar. Russians loveeee sushi bars I had come to learn. So the six of us girls ordered a vodka shot, drank our beers, and decided to go to the Sushi Bar with Sasha and Ivan. Before we leave we talk about how it would be so nice to walk the white nights and spend time together. So I have Sasha my number so we could all keep in touch. Mistake. They seem like great guys right? Charming? Sweet? Wonderful? WRONG.

We get to the sushi bar and I continue translating between the groups and Sasha orders us more vodka. We take some more shots, with drawn out toasts of course, and then things start to get a little bad. Sasha and Ivan start bitching about how American’s only thing that Russian’s drink vodka and have bears. We get upset that they think that and defend with that no we don’t think that and there are American stereotypes that are highly believed as well. Then Sasha starts getting upset with my friend Betsy, saying she’s too butch. Betsy gets upset, very sarcastically starts saying things to him, which makes Sasha even more upset (Russian men DO NOT like sarcasm) and then tells him how she has a boyfriend back home. Sasha uses the line, if he’s not here then you don’t have a boyfriend (Russian male mentality at it’s finest). We obviously all got upset.

Sasha then thinks it’s a great idea to propose to Mary. Literally, in the less than 2 hours that he knew her he was going to marry her. Papers and all. So serious about it. Mary explained, in very broken Russian, that she needed to finish school and get her career started. Sasha scoffed and said that he could pay for her. Mary kept telling him that she needed to finish school and Sasha at one point turned to me and said “I don’t understand, I can provide for her.” Cause god forbid a woman has a career.

We’re upset. We’re hammered. We want to leave. So we decided to leave and take the bus home. Oh course the chivalrous men that Sasha and Ivan are they of course had to walk us there, because god forbid 6 women find a bus station. We stop in front of the Church of Spilled blood, take a photo together, and continue walking. On this walk I start telling Ivan (who beside his dark facade seemed really great compared to Sasha) how I miss being independent, we don’t need them to walk us to the bus, that we don’t need men to watch over us. Ivan tells me how in America it might be okay for a guy to just peace but in Russia they want to make sure that we get somewhere safe. Which is an internal struggle. On one side it’s nice to feel safe and protected, but on the other I can be my own person and am independent. How do the two go together? But I digress…

Ivan tells me how he’s really interested in our friend Claire but alas Claire also has a boyfriend. Ivan was upset that it seemed like all of us had boyfriend. So he took an interest in me and I take zero interest back. But hey I’m the third option, single girl so why not. I would come around eventually, right? Sasha and Ivan run into some guy, take shots (in the middle of the street) with him and then continue following us. My friend Jackie is yelling at them, in broken Russian very drunk, that we don’t need them, to leave and that we can find our way back. Mary still mesmerized, and drunk, is still very into Sasha so she sticks by his side on our walk to the bus. We finally make it to the bus and THANK GOD that as the bus pulls up and the doors its doors our two GUY friends are serendipitously on the bus. I have never believed in a lord until that moment. I’m pretty sure there was a beaming light of glory around them. We had other guys looking out for us, so the two Russian guys had no excuse to come with us. I was actually getting nervous because I didn’t want Ivan finding out where I lived.

So we get on the bus and on this trip I have a dumb phone. I get a text from Ivan. That bastard Sasha gave him my number. So Ivan starts telling me how great it was to see me and how wonderful I am etc. I say goodnight because I’m exhausted and want to go to bed. But Ivan keeps going. Can I take a second to pause and explain how hard it is to text in RUSSIAN on a t9 keypad? It’s a skill man. Anyways, he tells me how we should meet up and then I do the only thing I can think to say to a Russian man who is a misogynist:  I tell him I have a boyfriend. Because that’s the only way. Ivan then starts asking if my boyfriend loves me and telling me how he will care more for me and be so great. But readers, my imaginary boyfriend is the shit. Not only does he care for me, he fucking loves me. I relay this information to Ivan. Finally after a series of interrogations Ivan asks the ultimate question: Would my boyfriend die for me. Readers, of course my imaginary boyfriend is going to die for me, why wouldn’t he? He has no tangible body to be scared of losing, he just lives in the realms of my mind, and if he disappears it’s not hurting anyone. Finally, Ivan having enough tells me what a guy my boyfriend is and that I’m lucky to have him. Damn straight.

So I don’t hear from Ivan for about three days and then I get text messages from him, slews of them, and I just ignored them. He told me to respond, how it makes him feel like a child to text me and be ignored, to say something, and finally to him getting angry. But I knew better than to engage because there’s nothing worse than engaging again. I knew it would be an endless cycle. If I even responded with even a “don’t talk to me” it opens the flood gates of groveling, insensate texting, and convincing me to see him. I just stayed quiet and a week later I took out the sim card, returned to Moscow, and broke up with my imaginary boyfriend.

My Four Year Hook Up Love Story

Once upon a time I had an on and off again hook-up for four years. This is our story.

I don’t even remember how we met. I think I was super drunk with my best friend in a frat house and we were going off what a great fraternity it was and that the two guys we were talking to, he was one of them, should join it. (Jokes cause we stopped hanging out there after sophomore year.) But we met. And then met again and again, except he was always black out so he never remembered that he met me time and time again. In his drunken state he made up a nickname for me, Gertrude. (Flattering, I know). So the first time we hooked up, well made out, I was getting into an elevator with him, his friend, and myself. His friend got off on the fourth floor and he told me how he had laundry upstairs, since I was going up to the sixth floor. We got off the sixth floor, went up one more floor to the laundry room, got his laundry from the dryer, and made out on the dryers, until someone came in. (Romantic, I know). My roommate was out of town so I asked him back to my room. We made out, he took off his pants, and I told him I had my period. Done. End of year one.

Summer came and went and Sophomore year came. We saw each other here and there, said hi, and he made me laugh a couple times when I was studying with a friend and he was there. He still brings up those jokes to see if I’ll laugh. I was still Gertrude. I tried on occasion seducing him. Once it was me him and another girl in the room. I think he saw it as an opportunity for a threesome, even though he said he didn’t want to sleep with the other girl but hey a threesome. After a half hour of this, the girl asked me if I could go and leave them alone, I stormed out. (Subtle, I know). I was very set in having this happen and one night, drunken of course, I went into his room, confident and bold, and we slept together. We hooked up once or twice more that year. Done. end of year two.

Sophomore summer came and we were both in the same town for the summer, a street away. I came over one night and we watched a hockey game into overtime. It was taking too long so he asked me if I wanted to go upstairs, I said we can wait for the goal to see who won. We waited five more minutes and finally the team that he wanted to win scored. We went upstairs and slept together. I drove home after since he didn’t like sleeping with other people in the bed. (Straightforward, I know). The summer continued in the same fashion, me coming over, us sleeping together, his pillow talk only consisting of him talking about hunting, and he would take me home after. At one point though we did take a trip together, I took him to pick up a motorcycle, he took me out to lunch, I had some of his paper work that I returned to him later that night, and we went to Wal-Mart after. Our only date. What a summer fling.

Junior year came and he got back together with the girl he was dating Sophomore year, and I moved on to other loves and people I wanted to be with. We’d still text each other, the times when I got out of a hook-up fling, when he was broken up with his girlfriend. A semester of this. Winter break and we’re texting. He’s telling me about his new found love for emojis. He’s asking me to send naked pictures. He texts me “download emoji’s it’s unreal and I’ll show you bold.” I have never received a better text than that one. I still refuse to send him anything. Finally spring semester came and what a hell of a semester (I guess what a hell of a year but I digress). Spring break came around and we were snap chatting back and forth, talking about how we would see each other when we got back, asking for the occasional sext, me not going past my bra and underwear (cause he’s only a hook-up and doesn’t deserve even that). He promised me that he would text me so that we would hook up when we got back, but he never did, even though I saw him the Sunday before classes started up again. I texted someone I had a fling with during spring break the moment after I saw him because I was like fuck waiting around for him. (Desperate, I know). I started to become invested in the spring break fling but he would still message me. I would ward off going over only to get responses of ‘cold’ from him since I did actively engage in conversation. Done. End of year three.

Summer after Junior year things were going terribly with spring break fling. He returned home and the other guy texted me asking if I wanted to come over. I told him no since I wouldn’t want to tell spring break fling that I had slept with someone in the time frame we were on a break. (Stupid, I know). And you know what. He was so comforting and gave some great advice that maybe spring break fling wanted to see other people, I was just too stubborn to accept it. In the three years that was the most genuine moment I had ever seen from him. So we didn’t talk for a little bit, while I was a mess.

Senior year came and I saw him on Halloween. I had done a Halloween frat crawl with my friend. (Fratty, I know). We were texting back and forth. I had told him how I had been at his fraternity earlier and he asked me to come back. So I did. He showed me his dental scrubs that he got from his grandfather that were his costume and we made out in the stairwell. We went upstairs and slept together and discussed what had happened over the summer. So used to our routine I knew I had to leave afterwards, so I left. We texted over thanksgiving break and winter break, talking of seeing one another. We didn’t see each other for a while. Done. End of year four.

I fell into another fling, graduated, went to Russia, came back, and was heartbroken. I texted him again seeing what he was up to these days, since I knew he was still in town. I came upstairs and after some shallow small talk, we slept together. Sprawled out in his bed, he told me about hunting and looking for work. He asked me to leave, using the same excuse he had for years. I lost all spark I had for him. I didn’t text him again after that. We ran into each other at a bar recently and gave each other a hug and caught up a bit but I was meeting up with someone he didn’t like so we didn’t talk long. Done. End of hook-up

Dancing in the Moonlight

For the longest time, and still, I thought of the whole “dating” thing as obsolete. I mean dating in the sense where you go on actual dates. Those awkward dinners (who’s going to pay?), trying to find some common topic to talk about over coffee and avoiding eye contact when you can’t continue a topic, trying really hard not to show all your flaws to try and impress the person, and at the end of the night either leaving with a hug, a handshake, a first kiss, or jumping into bed. Maybe all four. When I think of dating, I think of it as someone who I have known, who I can enjoy my time with, and the things we do feel natural, not a forced location and time. But to each their own.

Readers, I’ve been tired of dating. I’ve been tired of not having someone find me exciting or not finding the other person exciting. I miss spontaneity, but realize I don’t go for spontaneous guys. I miss getting excited. I’m tired of losing excitement because the other person shows an extreme character flaw. But this blog post isn’t about me whining about dating. Because I actually went on a great date this past week and felt he made the cut to make it onto my blog.

It was a Sunday night. I had just spent the weekend traveling to NYC for one night (12 hours of travel for 15 hours of stay), staying up til 4:30am, having heartfelt talks, realizing my future fears, reading some beautiful short stories that reminded me of what my sister and I are going through (Haruki Murukami for the win), saying goodbye to one of my friends as she left to pursue the next chapter of her life, and starting to work on the stuff for my class that was going to start that week. After this exhausting weekend, one of my friends texted me asking me to come out to the bar that is literally across the street from where I live. I thought about saying no and making excuses and staying in, but instead I said ‘Fuck it’, I’m not going to be flaky, I’ll go.

I invited my roommate who also surprisingly decided to come out on a Sunday night, I mean the bar is literally across the street. We go over and give the bouncer our IDs, mine checks fine and then he sits there with my roommates for about 3 minutes, putting it in and out even though it was scanning green each time. She may look young but for someone who is turning 23 soon don’t mock her ID by trying to get a red light and an excuse, it’s a Sunday night. We get into the bar and see our friend, Matt and his roommate, Joss, and his friend who was visiting out of town, lets call him Liam. I knew Joss but Liam seemed really familiar, turns out not only did we meet back during my freshman year, we were even facebook friends.

So Joss and I went and got a larger table in the back for the 5 of us. Soon the rest of them followed. We had some beers, Joss and I sang our hearts out to Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, and danced around to Michael Jackson. In this time frame, I must have charmed dear Liam because he took an interest to talking to me, making jokes, and keeping my attention. As it neared 11pm (PARTAY ANIMALS) we decided it was time to head out, but Liam wanted us to stay out by suggesting we go to another bar. With a 4:1 vote we ended up parting ways and going home, back across the street, it was a Sunday night.

The next morning as I’m sitting at work around 9am I get a FB message from Liam. He told me how great the night before was and invited me to go out to a Music/ Art show thing one of his friends had created. I said sure but only after 9pm because I had a dance class. The rest of my day went by, work, home, food, nap, reading, and finally got to dance. The music/art show thing started around 8:30pm and my dance class ran a little over so I didn’t get there til 9:15pm. 45 minutes late to a date, playing the lets keep ’em waiting card AKA I don’t know how to schedule my life.

The art instillation was amazing. They had a music ensemble with this : The Only Thing I Have Ever Truly Loved. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Liam got me a glass of wine and we went on discussing the workings of these sugar cubes and how the LED lights worked (I surprisingly knew more about the background then I thought I would but hey earlier that year I did a dance collaboration piece that had the similar idea behind it. Dance, the mediums that come out of it, amazing. I can talk about this in a not hookup related blog, HMU). We talked about trying them out but I didn’t really want to play with it. Finally we got our picture taken together in front of it. Ballsy for the first date. But I like it. It was bold and fun just to get a picture with the sculpture. Plus we had some fun poses, a couple tender ones (which I couldn’t take seriously and ended up squirming away). Liam kept saying how we should go out afterwards and his friend who created the sculpture, his brother, his brother’s girlfriend, and two of his other friends ended up going to this Belgium Beer Bar down the street. We joined since who would actually go out on a Monday night?!

So we got there and decided to all sit outside. To get to the restaurant you have to go down a set of stairs, like going into the basement, so the outside had a feel that we were in a pit but surrounded by greenery, wood, outdoor string lights, a lot of open space and a fireplace. Our waiter was a little upset that he got such a big table right near the end of his shift. He was a pretty chill guy except a little spacey. He took our order. Liam and I split duck poutine and I got a fruity beer that had a lot of cherry flavor. Liam got a Belgium White. We chatted, about nothing in particular. I was intrigued to listen to the other people at the table as well. It was like we were having a group date with our tiny date being a subsection of this huge date. Don’t get me wrong, I was really interested in Liam, but more so that we were doing these spontaneous artsy things that I usually do alone.

Time went on, we kept talking, eating, drinking. Then one of the girls had a brilliant idea to ask the waiter to turn the music that was playing outside up. They had a large amount of 50’s going. So the sugarcube guy, after a couple drinks, asked the waiter if he could turn the music up and there would be a hefty tip included with the request. So the waiter did. At first no one got up, but then it happened. The Twist came on. I’m a pretty jittery person so I HAD to get up and dance around. The other girl, May, also got up and danced the twist with me. Liam watched in adoration as I twisted my hips and spun around and made a complete fool of myself. Then he got up and joined me on the next song. We first danced like we had a body between us but as we got comfortable we moved closer and closer together, him spinning me around, bringing me in, moving side to side. Dancing in the moonlight came on and spun around and shared our first kiss. It felt like I was on a movie date. The guy sees the girl, asks her out to an event, goes out afterwards, they laugh, look into each others eyes, and it’s perfect. It felt like that. If I could capture a feeling and moment and relive it, it would be that.

We keep dancing, and finally it’s getting late, I have work in the morning, he has to drive 5 hours to get back home in the morning. So we decided to head in. Now the next part gets a little less romantic. We drove back and I parked in the parking lot by my apartment, we made plans to go back to the bar we had met at, and then we just sat making out in my car for a while. A homeless guy walked behind my car and we spent five minutes debating if he was stealing the actual trash can or just the cans inside it. After all that romantic talk, I invited him upstairs. We hooked up and then I asked him if I could bring him home. Maybe it’s the fact that it was 1am, maybe the fact that I had work in the morning and didn’t want another thing to add to my already rushed routine, maybe I just lost all love for cuddling, but I asked him if I could take him back to where he was staying. He said he appreciated the honesty. I took him home, he asked me if he could text me, and I said yes (granted he didn’t have my number still). And that was that. We texted the next day, I sent him the pictures we took, he asked me to come visit, and I said maybe.

For the first time in a long time I was excited. Maybe not about the guy but at the potential of what a date can be. It didn’t feel like a lets get to awkwardly know each other, I actually felt like he was a friend and we were only hanging out. It felt like the momentum I needed. I just needed to experience one good thing in a sea of bad to realize there are people out there I can have a relationship with. This one may not have worked out but it gave me hope to go forward. Or at least know that a stranger would be willing to dance in the moonlight with me.