It is with a heavy heart that I report that even with years of experience, and even as you edge ever closer to your dirty thirty, it is still possible to act like a total freak about liking someone. No amount of practice, no level of like that you’ve experienced in the past, no Yahoo answer will prepare you for the way you will act when you like someone new. The only thing you are adequately prepared for is that thing that comes most organically–to act like a giant freak, if only inwardly.
I haven’t really liked anyone in a very, very long time, so maybe I’m just severely out of the loop on how to behave when you’re in like. But now that I do like someone, I’ve started to fear, yet again, for my sanity. It’s like a siren has started whopping in my head, the circling light giving me the feeling of vertigo as it flashes rhythmically against the back of my eyelids, squeezed shut as I clench my fists and will myself, “Chill out man. Just be cool.” The undulating sound wave is deafening.
So against my better judgement, the first thing I do is become very, very insecure about things that barely warrant being insecure about, which goes hand in hand with over analysing just about everything the other person is doing or saying. Does my hair look stupid like this? Am I acting too shallow? He said yeah instead of yes, does that mean he’s really non-committal about saying yes definitively? Should I have only had two drinks instead of three? Does he think I’m a kleptomaniac? Why is there no “x” on the end of this text? Is this ingrown hair on my left public bone the most hideously disgusting thing of all time and is it going to turn him off so badly he’ll never want see me again and then tell all his friends how gross I am and will they all FAKE RETCH and LAUGH about me?
So as you can see, it’s pretty sane up in my brain. As someone who generally gets around not caring twiddly-fuck about what anyone else thinks about them, it’s very confronting to be suddenly so invested in the opinion of another person. To realize that you might finally have something you don’t want to lose–and that you could end up feeling very hurt if you muck this one up.
Somewhere between staring at the blackened screen of a phone or trying not to let your voice get shrill when it does finally ring as you try to disguise the fact that you are crazy with worry about nothing and everything, you’ll have the epiphany of your newfound freak-hood. It will hit you like a sack of bricks swung at your groin and instead of making you withdraw and assess it will make you freakier yet; what if the person you like can see how much of a freak you’re being? What if all the pains you’ve taken to hide your hysterical thoughts have actually exacerbated just how entirely uncool you really are?
I like to think it’s OK though, to be a little bit caught in a madness when you’re first swept up in the way you fit into someone else’s nook. It’s OK that when you’re sitting side by side at dinner and food almost comes out of your nose because they made you laugh when your mouth was full, that you might mentally make a note to put a little less pasta on your fork next time. It’s OK to want to put forward your best, most positive, wonderful self. And–correct me if I’m wrong–but I think it might be all OK because when it’s the “right” person, the person that is deserved of your blathering freak liking, they’ll be just as big of a freak for you too.