1. “Oh wow– you got another tattoo. Yeah, I love it! It’s so cool.”
2. “Mom, I’m coughing because I just got over a cold. No, you know I quit smoking months ago.”
3. “I can’t afford it. I mean, I have a savings account– duh— but obviously I don’t want to dip into that.” (The first sentence is true.)
4. “Yeah, no, for sure, I definitely don’t want to be in a relationship either. I am just not ready to settle down with, like, you know, just ONE person! That’s crazy!” Let me tell you something right now. I will never, ever say this again. For the rest of my life. Or at least not until after my first divorce. I never thought I’d be one of those women who uses the phrase “I’m too old for this” but GUESS WHAT. I’M TOO FUCKING OLD FOR THIS SHIT. And this is coming from someone who is, in fact, somewhat of a commitmentphobe. I haven’t had a legit boyfriend since college. (When I tell people this, they look at me like maybe I secretly have AIDS. Are you looking at your computer monitor as if it secretly has AIDS? Dick.) I am terrified of heartbreak. I leap willfully into the laps of men I know– whether through their reputation or my instinct– will never become my boyfriend because then I know that at least I will never have to go through a breakup with them. I’d rather mess around with you casually and get hurt in many small ways, than actually be truly intimate with you and run the risk of eventually being hurt in one major way.* And I am a total cocktease. I will flirt with you like crazy and then scamper away at the first intimations of penile insertion. I am scared of letting my sex number get too high. I am scared of getting pregnant (what this has to do with having a boyfriend is rather vague, as modern technology has made NOT getting pregnant really quite easy, but I thought I’d throw it in for good measure). I watch all my friends getting engaged and married and buying homes and having babies and making families and I think to myself, Am I crazy? Well, yes. Being afraid is a waste of time. I’m also scared of flying and if I never got on an airplane again, I’d miss out on some of the best parts of life.
But I guess another part of it is that I’m also pretty weird. I think sometimes I am Camilla, and I just haven’t met my Gonzo yet. And I think if I did see Gonzo from across a crowded room, and time stopped and “Dance At The Gym” from West Side Story started playing, I would probably say Fuck it and twirl my multilayered mambo skirt right on board the love-plane. HOWEVER: if, once on board, Gonzo turned to me and said “Camilla, I don’t want to be in a relationship right now” I hope to God that I would, at long last, have the balls to say “Okay. Goodbye.” First of all, if he doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you, he’s probably not your Gonzo. I’m all for taking things slow, but please. We all know when we’re absolutely batshit crazy about someone (and I sometimes think men feel these things even more deeply than women do): you don’t ever want to let them go. And sometimes you know someone’s not your Gonzo and you just keep fucking around with them anyway. And sometimes you think someone IS your Gonzo, and they just don’t feel the same way. I never thought I’d be one of those people who says “That’s just the way life is” but you know what? That’s just the way life is. Rejection sucks hard, but continuing to dick around with Gonzo after he’s directly informed you that he’s not “ready” for a relationship, thereby indirectly informing you that he’s not, in fact, batshit crazy about you, is not ever going to make you feel better. Of course, if I had followed all this advice for the past decade, I would’ve missed out on so much fun. So, who I am to tell you not to make like Carrie Fisher in When Harry Met Sally?:“He just spent $120 dollars on a new nightgown for his wife. I don’t think he’s ever gonna leave her.”
5. “Can I have five packets of honey mustard? I promise, they’re not all for me.” Said with a knowing smile and a “my friends– who sent me on this run to Bojangles; I would never come here just for me— sure are crazy” shake of the head. I never lie to the kid in the Chic-fil-A drive-through, though. There’s just something so fresh-scrubbed and gee-darn about the high schoolers that work at Chic-fil-A that I can’t even bullshit them. I just look little Beaver Cleaver straight in the eye and say “Six packets of Chic-fil-A Sauce please.”** Even though I know after he hands them to me he’s really thinking “My pleasure… fatty.” I believe that S. Truett Cathy puts just the tiniest pinch of heroin in every packet of Chic-fil-A Sauce to keep the DeKalb County housewives nice and docile. And coming back for more. Can’t you just picture the little children strapped in the backseats of Land Rovers, lustily protesting, “But Moo–ooo–oom, I wanna eat at the Whole Foods salad bar! Awww, no! Not Chic-fil-A again!” while Mom silently pilots the SUV past the waving cow into the parking lot, wearing a look of grim lockjawed determination normally seen only on the faces of meth addicts navigating the streets of Detroit in winter in search of a fix and a VCR to dismantle, one bead of sweat trickling down from beneath the shimmering blonde lowlights at her temple. Chic-fil-A Sauce is more addictive than cigarettes that give you an orgasm. And thank God no one’s invented those yet.
*I apologize for my use of the word “intimate.” Usage of sex words that end in “y”– intimacy, panty, titty– should be avoided at all costs.
**I still can’t get over the name “Beaver Cleaver”. Surely the creators of Leave It To Beaver knew what they were setting up when they chose their protagonist’s name, much in the same way that Disney animators knew what they were setting up when they drew King Triton’s castle?