Catching feelings is the worst. But even worse when have fashioned a carefully curated aura of nonchalance. The cool chick. The one you can just chill and kick it with. Ugh. Usually, I can’t decide if I am a flaming erotomaniac or have an immense capacity to attract mindfucks. This is the process:
Boy, you may not even be attracted to, is nice to you. All the time. It’s uncomfortable. But.. nice. He cares. Most of your friends don’t. In fact, the majority of your friendships are predicated on the fact that you are a good listener and your friends like to talk about themselves. But boy is nice and he cares and he wants to know what you think. He engages in long conversations usually over some instant messaging platform because amongst your many quirks, you suspect you may also be agoraphobic. But you’ll break out every once in a while to see him and leave strangely energized. You start to notice how happy you are after every coffee, every shopping trip set to the sound of 90s pop music and 3-5 chin-rub-worthy wardrobe changes in your head.
Boy is sad that you are moving half way across the world because even when you’re in the same city and spend what feels like eons of time together (but not really, because he’s nice and it’s fun), time just never feels like it’s enough. But Boy says, of course I’ll come visit you and sends you travel search notifications to your destination and similar ones from yours to his. Boy is a planner and your are not. You need someone like Boy in your life.
Suddenly your friends stop talking about themselves and start asking questions, you’ve secretly pondered on your own: ‘What is going on with you two’? ‘Is this the start of something?’ ‘What do you think your babies will look like’? ‘Why haven’t you hooked up yet?’ You start to think it’s you and your inability to connect with people generally, but even more so like a normal well functioning adult. You blame your parents.
Boy buys you presents, but not like big presents. Little sweet, thoughtful presents like a keychain with a girl with an afro on it to inspire your natural hair journey. You’re like, OMG Boy gets me and my complex black girlhood. I think Boy likes me. Do I like Boy back? You could but, more importantly, you know you really should because Boy is nice. Boy is responsible. Boy knows what taxes are and which ones to pay. Boy is father material, but unlike your father, Boy won’t show up to your recital two hours late ask if it’s over and walk away without a flinch or a bye when you say yes. And you’re not even 8 years old anymore. Boy tells you you’re pretty. Boy makes you feel important. And boy, are you excited.
You convince yourself that you like Boy and watch it manifest into feels. You throw yourself into the pool of feels and swim in a cesspool of expectation, hope and Latin quotes you don’t understand. ‘This is it!’ you say as your lungs fill with gangrenous water and you feel yourself start to sink deeper into the violent lull of definitive maybes. The future shines bright like a beam of light beaconing death. But then there’s a jolt.
What was that? Boy is telling you about a Girl you instantaneously hate that he has been seeing for the past few weeks. What?!
In an attempt to administer CPR, Boy punches you in the stomach. You smile as forced breath replaces the sweet putrid bliss of regurgitated ignorance. You come to and are confused, but too cool to show it. ‘That’s great,’ you lie, followed by the ‘What is she like’s and the’Oh she’s cute’ when he shows you her picture.
Is she prettier than you? No. Why is Boy into her? Boy is so nice and insecure he goes for girls he know he can have easily. You must save Boy. Even though all you want to do now is run, you must stick around and smile and become besties with Boy’s Girl and like their Facebook posts and offer to be godmother to the 3rd of their 2.5 children. Boy needs you for that day when he realizes that this Girl will never get him the way you do. STOP.
Go to your house, lock the door with a supply of red wine, chocolate, peanuts, reality tv and water. You’ve caught feelings and it’s important you don’t infect anyone else. Where you caught it from is not important and you gain nothing by tracing fault back to patient 0 or, in this case, specific things he did that may or may not constitute leading someone on. During this time, Boy will call you incessantly. Switch off your phone and block his stories from your Facebook minifeed, because you’re a cool chick and deleting him would be just cray, even though that’s what you are. Because Boy cares, Boy will show up at your house. Close the blinds and switch off the lights. Wait a week. Then clean your house. Reactivate your social media and the part of your brain that thinks you’re Tess McGill from Working Girl. Because you have a head for business and a bod for sin and there’s nothing wrong with that. Use both, but tell your ovaries to shut the hell up.