Love, Anxiety, and Bad Comedy
In Looking back at my old journals throughout high school and my early twenties, I have had a strange realization: I am the female version of a poorly acted movie from my teens. I am Chuck from “Good Luck Chuck”. Now, for those of you who didn’t have a weird Dane Cook phase when you were in middle school (when you were way too young to understand most of his jokes, in part because sexual knowledge at 12 is really limited, and in part, because the man is wildly sexist and being 12 is really when that is beginning to become apparent) let me fill you in.
Dane Cook was and is a bad comic that reigned during the 2000s. He’s featured in a couple of movies like “Employee of the Month” and “Good Luck Chuck”. The plot of the latter being a man named Chuck discovering his superpower. Women he sleeps with will all find the love of their life after their ephemeral tryst with him. Of course, this point is served by a montage of weird sex scenes that my fourteen-year-old brain didn’t really process except for that sex = love As an adult, I have come to understand with great sadness, I too have inherited the powers of being the conduit to helping past lovers find their true loves. Now, halt the crude and potentially judgmental thoughts because this isn’t about one-night stands and reckless sex to find love.
In this life, I would say that I have had the joy and pain of loving to varying degrees, three men.
Some even spanning back to the yonder years of high school. All of which are either getting married, having children, or simply in a loving and stable relationship where they live with the woman they found after me. One of which was engaged less than 6 months after I dumped him. This, of course, was something he felt the need to chase my sister down in a grocery store to tell her. I’ll have the joy of that story literally seared into my skin by the knife I was using when the tale finally got back to me. One second, I’m merrily chopping away at wine corks for my sister’s wedding, and the next I am being regaled of how he followed her down the frozen food aisle to inform her of his upcoming nuptials. Being the stellar sister, she is, she pretended to not know him at first and gave a disinterested “congrats” before moving on with her shopping. However, the shock and confusion that flooded my mind distracted me just enough for that metallic mermaid knife (the one he gave me for my birthday earlier that year) to slice through my finger.
Four stitches later and a new hatred for wine corks, I was suddenly less enthused about the whole institution of love and marriage.
This wasn’t even the first man that found his forever woman directly after me. My “high school boyfriend“ is currently with the mother of his first child. From the last, I heard they are living together with their little family in his mother’s basement. And even still, the man I loved off and on through high school (while still dating the “high school boyfriend”, don’t judge, we were all young once) and into my early twenties is happily dating the woman he went steady with after I finally said I wasn’t willing to date him.
Even I have a line where I am no longer willing to risk getting my heart getting stomped. He had the lovely little habit of doing that each time I thought we might finally get to be together. It took me almost ten years to learn that little lesson.
There have been other romances in my life, all mostly short-lived, their lives afterward are mostly a mystery to me.
I don’t know the time requirements of this pathetic superpower of mine or how long they must be with me before finally finding love in a hopeless place (thanks Rihanna). And I don’t know what it means for me, does this power of allowing others to find love with my exit preclude me from finding the love of my own? In the film, Chuck falls in love with a woman played by Jessica Alba. They eventually make it work after Chuck relaxes and lets her go thinking she is another victim of his superpower. It relies on the clichés if you love it let it go and ends with the two of them together. Considering the fact, Dane Cook now dates a girl even younger than I am, that ending really seems less believable than the already thin and simple plot.
The fact is that I don’t know. And if one more person says, “You’re still young, don’t worry about it, you’ve got plenty of time,”
I will bury them in the mountain of corks I cut for my sister’s wedding (she didn’t even use those corks by the way). Because the reality is, I don’t know how much time I have. None of us do. And in the sex and love-obsessed society, we live in, anxiety over finding that someone to do the white picket fence with is a real concern. Just look at the shows Netflix makes; they have people getting married when they have never even seen the person’s face. I can’t even make it past the 3rd date. Not to mention the Bachelor, that is a rant for another day.
Yet, despite our culture of love minded people, there is a strange stigma about those who perchance to dream of it. There is the worry that perhaps I am not feminist enough because of how much I think about love. My Facebook feed is constantly filled with signs like, “Who needs a man when you have Takis?” or “Who needs a man when you have and education, and a vibrator?”. The fact is that I have Takis, an education, and a vibrator with a happy and fulfilled life. I don’t need a man; Chuck did not need Jessica Alba (just kidding we all need Jessica Alba). I am just a hopeless romantic. I have saturated my brain for too long in love stories. Spanning all the way back to elementary school playing the princess that saves the prince from the monkey bars.
I love love, I love to love. Maybe that has cursed me, to be so surrounded by it in media and literature and social media but do not yet obtain it for myself. Or maybe I am lucky to have had these loves to now write about in my quarter-life-crisis. We won’t know till we tune in again for my mid-life-crisis in another twenty-five years to see if I am still so Zen. Either way, fifty-year-old Silvana is still going to be an introverted feminist that loves love as much as she loves books. Which is a lot, just ask the bowing shelves of my poor bookshelf.
None of these observations come with anger towards these men I have loved. I am genuinely happy that their lives have been so full since my less than graceful exits. Each of them had a place and a lesson in my life. Teaching me what is acceptable behavior of myself and my significant other. And when to stay and when to run screaming into the night. Hating these men would essentially feel like hating myself. They have been written into the story of my life. There is no backspace button, no eraser large enough to remove them from my mind and stories.
They are a part of me like scars. Similar to the ones I got from falling down my apartment stairs before graduation. They are a little painful and embarrassing to look at, but also a reminder of where I have been and all that I have before me. And cursed or not, those are scars I am happy to bare.
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