What You Should Know When I Like You
If I really like you, my brain slows down — or rather, it speeds up so fast I can’t use it appropriately. While this is happening I may appear, for a moment, bewildered or upset. I’m not. I just like you.
What I wish more than anything is that I could still behave with you the way I act with people I know, people I like in general but not, you know, in that way. To anyone who is not you I am reasonably intelligent and engaging and, if not dynamic, at least not confused by sarcastic comments.
When we initially met, before I liked you so much that I couldn’t finish sentences, and when I didn’t convulse with laughter after either one of us said something that was not really very funny, I behaved this way toward you as well. I was interesting and quite possibly articulate those first times you saw me. I’m sorry if it seems now like I’ve misled you. I haven’t really. It’s just temporary. When I like someone there is a short period of time when I am an idiot.
Because of the whir of useless brain activity taking place when I’m near you, my conversation is probably stilted and peppered with inappropriate anecdotes. “I almost got attacked by a raccoon last night,” I will blurt out as though that is a very interesting conversation starter. “Well, actually, it was just sitting on some trash cans, but it gave me a really scary rabies look.” Here, if I really, really like you I may attempt to recreate the raccoon’s facial expression, perhaps even standing up and hooking my fingers like claws in your direction. You would be sweet to act impressed by my theatrical retelling but I don’t blame you if somewhere in the back of your head you’re a tiny bit afraid of what it says about me, and perhaps later what it says about you that you kissed me anyway.
There are many people who will not turn into an idiot when they like you. You might be inclined to go be with one of them instead. They won’t mispronounce easy words or trip in their flip-flops walking down the street next to you. Maybe you won’t be able to help your attraction to them instead. You might even be biologically inclined to these other survivors, who are so sure of foot and tongue.
If you do like me back, just know that it will go away, probably in a couple of weeks. Nobody would describe me as normal, but I swear to you I am not crazy, either. I will at some point — some point soon, I promise — stop convulsing with laughter after absolutely everything either one of us says. I will not keep making strange uncomfortable hand gestures or patting you in a platonic way on the shoulder. Except for on occasion. I’ll mellow out and the nervous ticks you’ve so kindly ignored will, for the most part, go away.
And until then, please just remember that I am good in bed.
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1. You don’t wake up to a Christmas tree–you wake up to bagels and a prolonged discussion about whether the family should consider going to a new bagel place because the lox aren’t sliced thin enough.
I thought that a man crying was a rare and ugly thing, certainly nothing that I would encounter in my romantic life.
You were a founding figure in the “adorkable” movement.
I always imagined as I grew old and desperate I would become less picky when it came to qualifications for men. Strangely enough, I’ve experienced the opposite. Consider the Erica of age 18.