Every now and again, every girl needs someone to lean on for something they can’t get anywhere else.
It could be sex. It could be some heat-of-the-moment attention and PG-13 physical contact. It could just be someone smiling and chuckling a little when you stop to talk to them for thirty seconds.
I’ve always had a problem with feeling ostracized. Not like Hester Prynne with a big fat scarlet “A” on my chest, but still, I never really feel like I click wherever I go. The truth is this is probably all completely psychosomatic, but a mix of long-term friendships that ended badly throughout my high school and early college years left me a little jaded. It makes relationships tricky, whether it be my best girlfriends or any potential significant others. In any case, it is in no way limited to a one-night stand or a friend with benefits.
I’ve never particularly liked Seth. Sure, he’s attractive, athletic, and at the top of our class. Technically, he’s three for three on the things-I-like-in-a-potential-partner list. Unfortunately, that’s about all of the positive qualities I’ve managed to find despite spending a handful of racy nights together with him. His intelligence made him egotistical and a know-it-all. His attractiveness made him narcissistic. All of these were items on my thing-I-don’t-like-in-a-potential-partner list. In class and even sitting at lunch with our friends, he got under my skin, and not in the hot-and-bothered way.
Seth had done the typical thing—we’d hung out at a party, played a few drinking games with our friends, et cetera. He’d offered to make me a drink and I followed him back to his room in the upstairs of the house, and next thing I knew I was lying on my back on a futon and we were making out like the drunken teenage mess that you can find in any stereotypical college comedy.
I wasn’t used to having sex. But I did it anyway.
It was nothing special, probably right around average for a drunken hook-up, maybe slightly subpar considering my inexperience. He didn’t exactly blow me away, either. He didn’t seem to care. He asked me to stay the night and I left the next morning, and we never spoke again until our next hookup, and the next, and the next.
My friends absolutely abhor this pattern. They say it’s because they know I can do better, but I don’t really care. I’m in my early twenties, and I’ve spent all but about nine months of my life single and bored. The single part doesn’t bother me. I’ve known since I was eighteen I probably wouldn’t ever get married, and I don’t care. I don’t need a man to have children—nowadays I can do that all on my own or adopt any of the millions of kids who need a mom. I don’t need him for financial support—I’ve got the grades and the major to make a career of my own. I don’t need a man—except for every once in a while when I’m a little lonely.
Seth and I never really talk when we are together—we just fuck and go to sleep, then wake up the next morning and leave as soon as we can. It’s not exactly a relationship so much as an arrangement. The point is, I leave in the morning with something I needed—some physical contact, some adrenaline in my veins, and an urge relieved.
So what if I sleep around, even if it is with someone I can’t particularly stand in any other context? Even if there are no fireworks and dazzling lights? I don’t care. There’s a reason Disney princess movies are animated—they aren’t real. Just because I can curl my hair like Aurora and do my makeup for a blush like Snow White doesn’t make me a Disney princess. Just because I can speak my mind like Mulan and work my ass off like Tiana doesn’t mean I get a handsome man to compliment me at the end of the day. This is the real world in Technicolor, and you don’t get a good man just for having a pretty face and a functional brain.
Seth’s no prince in any sense of the word. Anyhow, my mom used to say that everyone has at least one thing to offer to us, and I know for a fact my mom has never steered me wrong before.