Rinse, Lather, Repeat

by Jane Moneypenny

“I really really really like you.”

He holds my face in his hands as he mumbles this. To my surprise, I feel little emotion.

Instead, I laugh it off and reply, “You’re very very drunk, dumb ass. Go to bed. It’s 2am and I have work tomorrow.”

No matter how many times I remind him I have to get up very soon, he keeps kissing me, even going as far as opening the door, stepping out and coming back in. I finally manage to get him out the door with promises I’ll see him tomorrow.

I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, wow! That’s great! Finally!”

Wrong. Step back.

Drunk men never (rarely) mean what they say or say what they mean. I’ve learned my lesson over and over again. Despite the fact we had been good friends for the last year, made out a few times and flirted incessantly the last  months, this declaration meant nothing. I felt nothing. I couldn’t even let myself feel anything in absolute fear of everything that’s had happened in the past. It’s as if my mind shut down. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe he was attracted to me or enjoyed my company; that much was obvious, but to actually believe there were legit feelings? No way. Wait until there was sober proof, at least.

And per usual, I was right. When I asked if he wanted to grab dinner and a movie the next day, he backed away quickly and started avoiding. Deja vu. After a few days of nothing, he finally admitted he was avoiding me because he was confused how things suddenly changed over night. After some intense arguing (he blamed me, of course), he realized he had no memory of the things he said that night and took it back (“I say a lot of bullshit when I’m drunk.”) Checkmate. I win.

Is it always a game? Maybe it won’t be when I meet a nice guy. If Pen had killed any last trust I had in men, Mr. Drunkard solidified any last hopeful emotion I could feel for them. I know, I know all the cliches: not all men are like this; he’ll come around when you stop looking (I’m not even looking! This one happened out of the blue); be yourself!; a nice guy won’t make you guess, etc, etc., etc. But I’m tired. I’m becoming more and more the odd number wheel in my variety groups of friends. And that’s fine, except all the couples are all over each other, holding hands, whispering to each other while I stand in the middle, scrolling through my phone in attempt to not feel awkward.

So whatever. Life goes on. I continue to focus on myself: exercising, tennis, photography, traveling… Needless to say, my recovery time on these situations is so much faster than it used to be.