A Scent to Call Your Own

When your memory fades, scent is the last to go, if at all. But with him, scent was the first to go…

I know he smells of “cigarette and cologne” but I can no longer remember the exact combination that made the scent unique to him. They’re vague words that I use singularly and combined; they create generic scents but I can’t remember the version that is his. I can no longer pull it up as I pull up a file in my memory like when I think of dove soap, imagine the smell and remember the time I buried my nose in his neck and inhaled that intoxicating I-have-just-showered-and-put-on-a-freshly-laundered-shirt smell. OR when my best friend tells me her scent is Ralph Lauren Romance, and I laugh because I swear I can smell him (“Junior and Jolie’s dad”) right there and then. Just as real as the first time I pulled the bottle off the dresser, sprayed it mid air and he watched me dance under the falling mist.

If my subconscious could speak, it’s probably telling me, “I’m keeping the ones I  like, doing away with the ones that break, burn, and end.” and I would probably reply, “Patience, I think we’re almost there.”

 

 

It’s not that easy

Cheating.

I tell myself, it’s one of the most disgusting things a person can do to their significant other.

There’s something so inherently ugly in the word itself, like trying to get away with more than you deserve. Than what is due to you. You’re trying to double the benefits, while weaseling out of the work.

And yet, when it happened, I felt nothing other than a deep, profound sadness, doused with disappointment. There was anger, but that was momentary. It was a side thought to the awning black hole of feelings of grief and loss that were building up in me.

Like when you’re playing Monopoly, 3 hours in, and an opponent flips the board out of anger. Chance cards and Community Chest cards littered about, metallic dogs and hats strewn on the floor, Property cards everywhere. There’s no fixing that, you can’t just put all the pieces back on the board. There were so many cards, tiles, pieces that went into that game, even if you tried to restore everything by memory, something will always be missing, and you’ll realize that it takes little for that situation to happen again.

Who knows what could have happened in our future? Now I’ll never know. It’s not fair that someone decided to end the game for me before I was ready.

During a normal breakup, reasons come up – you weren’t good enough; I don’t love you any more. I would have preferred that. At least I would know he was no longer invested. But he couldn’t tell me why he did it. He wouldn’t even tell me he didn’t love me anymore.

They all wanted me to be mad, angry, furious. Even he was surprised I wasn’t yelling at him all the time.

I couldn’t see the point, and I still don’t. It wouldn’t make me feel better.

He wanted me to give him another chance, to move past it. That was inconceivable to me. How could I take back someone who didn’t hold sacred the same things as me?

As if a person in shock, I wandered around for a while, not able to understand why people were telling me the things they were. Like a victim of a natural disaster who has been rescued, dazed and confused, people tell you to do things, and a lot of the times, they don’t make sense to you. It might seem natural to someone who hasn’t just had their entire world flipped upside-down, but to the person who’s just gone through it, it’s all just background noise.

The part I’m still trying to get past, is how people couldn’t understand how much I still cared about him, even in the weeks that followed. You don’t just go from loving someone to hating their guts in one day (unless of course there’s physical abuse). You are angry with them, disappointed, furious, but you can’t just stop loving them. Not immediately, at least.

I guess though, I still don’t hate him. I pity him. And apparently, that’s one of the worst things you can do to a person.

Love vs teddy bears

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Recently I had a conversation with some girlfriends about the modern day wants and needs for boyfriends… And how they’re inversely related to your status in life.

As a younger single girl, insecure, unestablished in life, we need to feel some sort of gratification or justification for being who we are. So we do it the ways we know how: tons of frenemies and the precarious dream of that perfect boyfriend.. Sir prince charming.

Some of us get lucky, find our mate and that’s the end of the SGA.. and for others, we drift around whether by choice or not, and as we progress in life and social status, the mindset towards boyfriends becomes more of an ideal that a goal.

At least, that’s what it’s become for me. The idea of a boyfriend is as nice as the idea of a bestest best friend-forever. We don’t want to be lonely, and it’d be wonderful to have someone around who knows you.. The real you.

That’s one feeling single girls not-so-new to the dating scene have in common: a shared annoyance with the continual introductions. Talking about your background, where you’re from, what you do, what you enjoy, and whatever else makes you different from every other girl. Oh, and then pretending to care about what he says. The whole schpeel. We’re sick if it. And for the most part, we still have to do it because how else are they going to get to know the real you in an evening?

Anyway, back to the point; for the jaded, independently successful single girl, the ideal boyfriend is much like the picture up above: available, hassle-free, comfortable and your own personal sex-toy.

Juggling

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I was asked out on a date last week that went surprisingly well until about the end when I was hijacked in the bathroom by a slightly tipsy dude who proceeded to ask for my number. Excuse me sir, I am on a date, is it not obvious? Evidently not. The next day, I saw that he had texted me, having gotten my number from a friend of mine who was also at the bar. Creepy? A little but I figured I’d give him the benefit of the doubt because beggars can’t be choosers.

After cutting off booty call guy completely, I have been bombarded with equally useless men. Boys  really. Ones who play games and want to have fun. Sometimes fun is good but these days I can’t but feel that it’s a waste of my energy figuring out these silly games of theirs. So I’ve started to date casually, a few dates here a few dates there to see if anything works out.

You come to realise quite quickly what they want from you. And most of the time its not what is being offered up.

I’ve come to the conclusion though, that it takes a smart woman and a meticulously organized woman to juggle multiple men. It also takes a woman who can detach herself from her emotions from time to time, otherwise you end up with a big mess and too many balls to juggle (no pun intended).

Jaded

Here’s the thing about dating in your 30s… you know that inevitably, some of these men are not going to last. The men that hold your hand while they drive you home, the men that laugh at your quips across the table, the men who push you up against the wall and press their lips against yours, the men that give you butterflies by the way they look at you… they just aren’t going to last forever.

In that sense, I miss the youthful innocence of my teens when love seemed like forever, whatever forever may have been at the time. Or the hopeful romantic I was in my twenties when I believed that the he who was with me at the time and I would be able to make it last, come what may.

But in your 30s, you just know…

And after weighing the pros and cons, you break it off before it even starts because you know that the good men in your life, the ones you would have fallen in love with when you were youthfully innocent, the ones you would have given a chance to when you were hopefully romantic, these men will fade out of your life and become distant memories because you can already see that there is no future with them.

I don’t know when I became so jaded. Perhaps in between the last man to love me and leave me and him, I started building up these walls and controlling my emotions and making excuses for things not to work out. But between him holding my hand and making plans and his insistence that I become his, I felt a sliver of hope creep up from when I least expected it to.

In your 30s you’re just tired. You’re tired of getting hurt, tired of the men who play games, tired of the men that judge you so sometimes you may just miss what’s right in front of your eyes. In your 30s you can’t even trust your own judgement because they’ve been clouded by disillusionment. How do you learn to trust again and let love in? Because it seems like the hardest thing in the world…

Office Romance

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My colleague asked me out for a quick coffee last Friday, which ended up turning into dinner and drinks. A few days prior, he had walked with me from work to where I was meeting a friend and near the end of that walk, he reached over and held my hand.

‘What does that mean?!?!’ I screeched to my friend.
‘Maybe he was just being nice,’ my friend responded.

So I wrote it off as my colleague being nice (although who holds hands to be nice?!?!) and went on my merry way… until Friday.

Over drinks, he reached for my hand again, asked me if I was interested in him and then he leaned over the table and kissed me. On the mouth. You know, like a proper head tilt, put me off balance, against the wall type of kiss that, had I been a few years younger and a little less experienced, would have made me think I was in love.

Luckily, I am older and wiser… sort of…. so I only got the butterflies.

Shit shit shit shit shit.

Not sure what they’re putting in the water these days but men in their twenties are pretty aggressive. Where is all this confidence coming from?! I’ve never dated a co-worker because I feel that it’s really inappropriate. While this guy is not in my department and we don’t work together directly, we nonetheless see each other every day and work on the same floor.

‘I’m probably going to do that again at some point,’ he tells me while I glare at him and berate myself for allowing it to happen.

I’m still of the opinion that office romances are never a good idea.

Thank goodness for extended business trips.

21st Century Dating

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I have been dating quite a lot recently, just dates… with many many non committal men who will text occasionally, booty call frequently and generally confuse the hell out of me. Where do I find these guys? Honestly, I have no idea. It’s like they just show up at my doorstep or something.

21st century dating culture is so strange. You spent more time on your phones or tablets and on social networking sites than face to face having meaningful conversations.

Guys have freaked out over the word ‘dating’ one too many times. Fine, I’ll say casual dating, as if that makes a difference; labels don’t really matter to me. But since when was dating something to freak out over. The guys I date seem to think that this is the gateway to marriage hell but let’s be real.. I don’t want to marry you either buddy.

I find myself becoming more and more jaded to the process, especially these days when communication is over messages and you find out the guy you’re seeing has gotten back with his ex over Facebook.

These days, a dinner and drinks seems to be a precursor to an ‘official date’, sort of like an interview to see if you really want to interview someone as a proper candidate.

I think its safe to say that the golden age of dating and being ‘courted’ has officially ended. We are now stuck with a string of wishy washy commitments and blah blah blah conversation until you get wifed up.

Romance is dead.