1. Follow you around on the internet with a magnifying glass.
If we’re having a conversation at some point and you start talking about that time in 2003 when you went to that summer camp and broke your leg falling off the dock into shallow water, and I’m like “Oh my god YES that was hilarious,” despite the fact that we’ve known each other for a total of 4 days and you’ve never mentioned that — don’t panic! It’s just that I’ve been spending the past 4 days poring over every link that Google can conjure up for your name, and I found a Xanga you used to keep before you realized how absurd that whole website was. I simply forgot to turn that switch in my mind that says “Don’t mention all the terrifying knowledge you’ve collected about him, keep up the facade of being coy and attractively hard-to-get.” When I mention a cousin of yours you’ve never told me about, it’s only because I’ve been combing through your Facebook friends because it’s one of the limited things I have access to without actually adding you. And when we finally do become Facebook acquainted, and I ‘like’ something from four years ago, it’s only because my Sunday was spent rummaging through your photo albums like a crazy hoarder looking for a nice spoon in a junkyard to add to her collection. Don’t be afraid, I just want to know everything about you without your permission. This is romance.
2. Analyze every word that I get from you until they have absolutely no meaning left.
A Nobel Peace Prize to my friends who humor me while I sit there, phone in hand, asking them for the forty-fifth time in an hour what “I’m kinda tired tonight, think I’m gonna stay in ;),” could possibly mean. The thing is, if I really like you, I will all but hobble out of my house with pneumonia and a broken leg if I know you’re down to go hang out. The idea that someone would just willingly be like, “I’m a little tired” and let the opportunity to spend the whole night making out and laughing at each other’s jokes is absolutely incomprehensible. Even if we’ve seen each other literally every other night that week, I’m probably going to go through every stage of grieving at that text message, and were it not for a friend holding me back, would likely tell you that your winky face “can go f-ck itself” out of rage. Of course, in the morning, I’ll realize how ridiculous that whole episode was, but in the moment I’ll go through about 100 potential meanings behind that sentence, all ending in you sleeping with someone else at that very moment while making fun of me to your friends and cackling at the moon.
3. Send incredibly spastic text messages.
Here’s the thing about any text message you receive from me when I’m really into you — it did not just fall out of my fingers like delicate, feminine shooting stars and float to you on a cloud of wit and composure. No, no. If I actually managed to get something to you resembling a recognized human language, it was after about 50 attempts at creating something with the perfect combination of humor, intelligence, levity, and charm without even a drop of the sweaty desperation I’m actually feeling. This is generally the progression of one of said texts:
“Hey, I had a really good time last night, too. The movie wasn’t so bad, either. I feel like Johnny Depp is finally hitting his stride with more dramatic films — he’d put out a couple weird ones lately. Anyway, give me a call when you want to do something again. xo”
No, too serious.
“Hey hey, I had an awesome time, too! Did you like the movie? I’ve been thinking about it all day — Johnny Depp was pretty good I think, I haven’t seen a movie with him I’ve really liked in a while. Anyway, call me soon. :)”
Ending on a smiley face is international code for pressed.
“Heeeey. I had a nice time last night, too. :) That movie was ridiculous — Johnny Depp is like a cockroach, he will never go away. Pretty sure he would survive a nuclear blast specifically to keep making sh-tty Tim Burton films. Anyway, call me sometime.”
Maybe he likes Tim Burton — can’t take the risk.
“:) I had a great time, too. Also, Johnny Depp is starting to look like a melting wax statue of Johnny Depp. Call me.”
WHAT AM I EVEN SAYING ANYMORE
4. Imagine a future with you when I barely know you.
It’s really nothing personal — I mean, it is, but it’s not only with you. Anyone that I’m suddenly feeling overwhelmed with emotion for, and to whom I ascribe all the qualities of husband material even if I am not sure he fully possesses them yet, is subject to my creepy imagination. I’ll just let myself get lost in a sea of potential futures, vacation houses, children’s first names, trips to Istanbul and Martinique, and towels with monogrammed initials on them. It’s just that everything is an open book, a blank page, and filled with so much possibility — don’t ruin those precious moments when I can project all of my hopes and dreams onto you without ever telling you about them because you would trip over your own feet trying to run away from me. I mean, even I catch myself and realize how creepy I am. I’m like the emotional equivalent of the homeless man leering at breasts in the corner of the bus while swigging from a bottle of whiskey. “Yeah, that’s right, I bet you’re goal-oriented but caring. I bet you’d make a great father. Oh, yeah.” If I could stop this, of course I would, but it’s clearly not an option at this point so just let me imagine what you’d be like with salt-and-pepper hair.
5. Including your exes in my ugly rampage of stalking/fact finding.
It doesn’t matter if she was a crime-fighting philanthropist who spent her spare time dressing up in comic book costumes to go entertain sick children in hospitals — I will hate her. In fact, if she actually does have credentials that good, I will probably hate her more. Who does she think she is, that little goodie two shoes? She is so pressed to look like a good person, it’s not attractive. Plus what is she even doing with that brown hair? Who even has brown hair anymore? What is this, 1896? Not to mention her school…Yale? Lol, what do Harvard and Yale students have in common? They both applied to Harvard! Dumbass. Theoretical mathematics, what a dumb ass major. She really needs to get her sh-t together, it is just unattractive. And of course, as any good friend knows, their job for the near future will be to look at pictures of said ex with me and agree with how lame she is/find faults in even the most awesome thing she does. Don’t get me wrong, ex-girlfriend, you’re probably pretty awesome and once I get secure in this relationship, we may even come to like each other — but for now, you are literally the incarnation of the devil and to even briefly accept anything cool about you would be sacrilege. You know how it is.