Saturday, November 29, 2008

advice from a stranger

Last night the best girlfriend and I went out to our favorite Mexican restaurant (after the Texan bailed on me... for the second night in a row!), where we know the waitstaff and the owner. We always have a good time, the vibe is laid-back and fun, and the free shots and margaritas don't hurt either. (I would feel worse about this did the staffers not also drink with us and did we not hang out outside the restaurant as well.. but they do and we do, so I'm OK with it.) The best girlfriend had called a mutual friend and his roommate to come join us - primarily because she liked the mutual friend and he's been flirting with her all semester long. He's a good-hearted, ridiculously handsome guy, and she asked me to make sure she didn't get in too deep with anything, being so fresh from the breakup, but she wanted some attention. Since I know him so well also, I assumed we would all be OK, and I knew I could call him off if need be. He brought his roommate, making it a kind of funny, awkward psuedo-double date. Of course, his roommate (my "date") has a girlfriend, so we were basically the wingmen... wing-people... Whatever.

Anyway, while my girl and our friend were talking and flirting, I started talking with his roommate, who I don't think I've ever said a word to before, but who struck me as a genuinely nice guy. We were talking about our mutual dislike for giant discotecas here, and I mentioned my particular experience the night before. I had gone out with basically the entire program (some hundred of us) to an overpriced, overcrowded disco. I was sober, and not particularly in the mood to be there, but I was, in fact, making an effort to have a good time. Crush was there, along with a fellow program-mate who has been, of late, hooking up (I've seen them making out, but I hear there is more that goes on as well) with the boy I kind of liked when I first got to Spain. Anyway... This girl and Crush were just all. over. each. other.

Generally, this wouldn't bother me so much, but combined with the shitty situation of the night, I just cracked. I don't even particularly think anything will happen with Crush, nor does it need to, but it's still less than fun to watch someone you're attracted to all over someone you don't like. I left shortly after and went home alone.

So I was telling my fellow wingman about this (including the girl's name, who we had been discussing, but omitting Crush's name intentionally), and he asked me who Crush was. I wouldn't tell him. He insisted. I told him it doesn't matter, since nothing is going to happen, and I leave in a week anyway. He persisted, and shared a secret of his own, and I caved and told him Crush's name. (On a side note, why is it that sharing secrets makes us feel more bonded and trustworthy? I suppose that's mostly rhetorical, as it's pretty obvious, but still...) That sparked a conversation about what a nice guy Crush is, and I mentioned my concern that he's basically out to get everyone to like him. Which there's nothing inherently wrong with, I just as of late have been questioning how genuine he's been with me. (That isn't out of the blue... other things have transpired that I haven't written about.)
Wingman: Well, have you told him?
Me: Who? Crush? That I like him? Of course not.
Wingman: Well, maybe you should.
Me: Yeah, thanks. I think I'll pass. There isn't really a point anyway.
Wingman: But if you don't tell him, then he can't do anything about it. And then you'll go home always wondering what if.
Me: But... but.. I mean... *whimper*
Wingman: He's a really nice guy. He's not going to shoot you down. And you'll be angry at yourself if you don't take the chance.
Me: OK. Hypothetically, were I to do this. What do I even say? I don't want to come off like some love-sick puppy or a clingly stalker. Imagine you're him. What do I say? How would you want someone to tell you they like you?
Wingman: Let's see. I'm Crush. There's a girl that likes me, and how would I want her to tell me she likes me? I'd want her to be honest. Tell me how she feels when she's with me. I'd want to know if I make her smile when we're together. I'd want to know if there was some single moment when she realized she liked me as more than a friend. And I'd want her to tell me how often she thinks about me. Those are the things that matter. That's what I'd want to hear.

And I was a little taken aback. It was so honest, and sweet, and, near as I can tell, spot-on. Applicable in just about any situation. Maybe it was just seeing his expression soften a little, hearing his tone change, but what he said went straight to my heart. It really took hold. I was thinking about it, and I think that's something any person would like to know. Who wouldn't want to hear that? I don't think it comes off crazy or obsessive. I think it comes off as maybe just vulnerable enough to be sincere.

I'm still not sure if I'm actually going to have this conversation with Crush, but I think what wingman said might be the best advice I've ever gotten from a relative stranger. It's something I'd want to hear. It's something I'd like to say someday. I think it's something just about anyone would want to hear.


Wilhelmina said...

Hmm. I've always wished people actually *wanted* the honest approach, and always assumed that they wouldn't and tried to play the whole complicated flirting game that I don't even understand half the time... it's nice to know that some guys just want honesty =)

When are you leaving? If it's not too soon maybe you should talk to him =)

Amalthea said...

Interesting post my dear - and you've come to the crux of why I always tell my family and friends I love them. And at the same time why it is sometimes so hard to do with those we feel 'more' for.... Rejection hurts, and losing a friendship on a chance is something I'm always afraid of too. I'm the queen of protecting myself, and the best way my mind does that is by talking me out of putting myself out there too far.

I'm intrigued by the comments you made about Crush too. When someone seems to need others to like them so much... that scares me. I try to stay far away from them. I'm always afraid they'll compromise themselves for that approval... and if our friendship or anything about me comes into play to do that, they might compromise me too. That said, it doesn't mean that he doesn't sincerely like you or feel something for you at all. In fact, he probably does, and the advice wingman gave you was very good life/friend/people advice.

PS - :D I am so excited about the last comment you left me!!! Weeee!