He looked like he just stepped out of a J.Crew catalogue. He was tall and beautiful, with just enough scruff, and had on those leathery rugged handsome boots—the ones that look like they’re meant for hiking up a mountain or chopping firewood, but they’re really meant for nice pants, a cashmere sweater, a clean navy coat. It all was such a look—the complete look of a perfect guy. And he really was perfect, so proper, so polite. Check, check, check. He really was everything.
He’d buy me coffee and we’d walk together on the street, talking about traveling and books and things. He’d offer his arm to me like a proper gentleman, which I took too softly, as I tried to stand up taller, to laugh with poise, to match the aura that lured people into staring at him, as though he was familiar from some series, some fashion ad. He really was that guy. And here I was “with” that guy. I’d see guys and girls like this on the street and I hated them. Because they were so fucking cute. And I wanted that, the whole picture of it, and now I smelled like pine trees because he smelled like pine trees. I was so wildly into it. I liked standing up taller.
A guy like that had never been mine. He existed solely in my mind, this rosy-colored perfect dream, but I was skeptical he existed in the real. So when we finally met I was so drunk about him. I almost didn’t believe it. I was in awe of him. Me? He liked me? Maybe it was time, anyway. To toss aside my worn-out chucks, polish up, get it together. I knew I was a different girl for him and that’s what he liked about me, but he also deserved a lady who would complement him, and impress him, too. I really wanted to impress him.
So I tried.
And I tried.
But something had to be wrong with me. There just had to be. Because what girl meets the perfect on paper guy and feels absolutely nothing? Nothing. Not even a little bit? Our chemistry should have been fiery and fucking insane. It should have been the best everything of my life. And I was bored. So fucking bored. Vanilla bored. And I was acting my ass off. I wasn’t myself at all. Everything I did felt calculated. Be more of this, be less of that. I wanted to belong in his world. I wanted him to be my type. But it wasn’t fun. It was stale, expected. “Is it ok if I do this?” politeness. I thought I wanted polite. But I also didn’t want to think about everything else in the world while it all was happening. I wanted to be consumed, have no choice about it. I wanted to want him. And I didn’t want him. I didn’t belong there at all. Even his bed was perfect—so perfect that I was terrified to sleep in it. I didn’t want to mess anything up.
I’m happy he happened, though. Now I can stop idolizing people I think I have an “idea” about. I can stop “thinking” I belong with someone without gaging them as real people first. It’s the catalogue complex.
The guy I’ll end with won’t belong on paper. Because sparks are created on impulse, for no good reason, with no second thought, and you can’t plan that stuff out and lead your life with a mind full of theories that ignore the truths of your heart. Fuck the plan. Fuck the formula. Stop thinking that you best belong with some guy who has a list full of qualities that make you act your ass off trying to compete with. I don’t want someone perfect. Because I’m not perfect. I’m sarcastic and inappropriate and I drink like a sailor and I have like one shirt from J.Crew anyway and I’m strange and all I want is someone I can be myself around. Life is full of surprises. And in my perfectly imperfect person, being surprised is what I really want.