Jennette McCurdy Seventeen column: I hate dating. I don’t hate meeting cool people, going fun places, and getting free meals. That’s all great! I just hate the process of getting all gussied up to meet someone you either don’t like that much or like too much.
I hate wondering what to wear, worrying about how I chew, and trying to look pretty. Granted, I feel self-assured enough that, most of the time, I don’t try too hard for dates, I figure if it’s the right guy, he’ll like the real me.
Dating is not as complicated and pressured as we girls can seem to make it. It’s simply two people seeing if they ‘fit.’ However, even with this logic set in place, I can’t help myself sometimes..
So I was into this guy and he was into me. We had hung out a few times, with friends, when he told me he got a job out of state that would last a month and a half. I was bummed, obviously, since I had already started naming our unborn children..
He said he wanted to bring me something before he left, so we made plans for him to stop by my place the next day. I didn’t wear any makeup that morning and afternoon so I could let my skin breathe. (Strategy, girls, strategy.) I showered, shaved, did my hair, used an ample amount of body lotion, and sprayed one too many squirts of Pink Sugar perfume. Luckily, I didn’t have work that day, so I just lazed about watching Breaking Bad, because it makes me feel cool. I hung out with my friends Colton and Brian, who had already met the guy, and gushed to them for 40 minutes too long about how nervous I was to spend one-on-one time with the dude.
Finally, the “date” was an hour away. I did my makeup so it would have enough time to settle in before he arrived. I kept it light and added eyeliner last minute. I had planned a harem pant, crop top outfit (my go-to for cute and comfy), but then I thought it looked like I was trying too hard – which I was, but it can’t look that way. I grabbed a pair of skinny jeans and a white jersey shirt with burgundy sleeves. I wanted to wear a white jersey shirt with blue sleeves to bring out my eyes, but of course, there was some sort of food residue on it. Alas, burgundy sleeves it was.
I started reading in my bedroom a few minutes before he was supposed to get there, and then I heard a knock on my door. For some reason, I started shaking. Full out shaking. It wasn’t cute, it wasn’t adorable… it was just embarrassing.
I opened the door, and there he stood, looking handsome and shuffled in the best possible way. Right off the bat, he handed me a few wrapped objects, which of course I had to receive … with my SHAKING HANDS. I want to think he didn’t notice, but let’s be real, he noticed.
Turns out, the gifts he brought me were very sweet and thoughtful: a teddy bear, a DVD of a show I had expressed interest in, and a book on writing with a nice hand-written note on the inside. Inside, I was screaming like a little girl, but I managed to maintain what small amount of cool I had left by uttering a simple, “Thank you so much! That’s so sweet of you.”
Along with the sweet gifts, my Prince Charming brought dinner for the both of us. A steak sandwich and garlic fries. I tried to eat it as daintily as I could, picking out little bits of steak and eating them one at a time. I’m so classy! I obviously (and with perhaps the most self-restraint my 21 years have known) avoided the garlic-laced fries.
We talked for about an hour before he headed out, leaving me with a kiss on the cheek. I stomped myself on the foot for not batting my eyelashes better or divvying out enough furtive glances to earn myself a proper kiss. Oh well, I thought, there’s always time. I then stuffed the garlic fries in my face in record time.
We kept in touch pretty well over the first few weeks. I stubbornly refused to initiate contact, so I left it solely up to him and tried to keep my mind busy with other activities while I secretly watched the phone in hopes of his name lighting up the screen. I’m either a hopeless romantic or just really, really hopeless.
Before I knew it, the guy crossed into my mind on occasion and not hourly. I would forget he texted and remember to respond a few hours later. I was glad to have the situation so “under control.”
Finally, close to Christmas, I get a text from him saying he had returned to California and wanted to know if I’d go to a party with him. I said I couldn’t go because I had plans … plans that I definitely could have gotten out of but that I was pretty excited to say I had because I felt it gave me that flirty, elusive, unattainable thing guys are supposed to love. I was sure I’d hear from him a few days later with another exciting party invite.
And still haven’t. I got a lengthy ‘Happy New Year’ text but that’s supposed to suffice? Come on, I’d rather just have some more garlic fries.*