Cosmo tells me that what makes men fall in love is doing stuff like putting my hair in a pony tail one day, wearing it down another day. That way he doesn’t feel trapped with one person. That way there’s no need for him to worry that we’re in a rut. You gotta trick a guy into feeling like you’re multiple people, because lord knows he’s going to get tired of banging you really quickly.
Cosmo tells me that I need to tell him if I’m afraid to commit, because that will make him happy. Cosmo tells me men think we’re all out to get babies put in our bellies and rings on our fingers. But if I’m afraid to commit, that’s because I don’t really like the guy. So I guess I shouldn’t tell him. This is so confusing.
When I first met Alan, we lived an hour away from each other. A Wisconsin hour away is no small thing. In LA, that’s just like, “She lives in Silver Lake, he lives in the valley. There’s traffic.” A Wisconsin hour away is dark and cold and full of black ice and deer running out in front of you. That drive will age you.
So, when we weren’t together, I would write to him. The emails were long, beautiful, streaming narratives. I vaguely remember writing something about elephants. There’s irony in me forgetting what I wrote about elephants.
When I first met Josh, he lived in Chicago and I lived in Waukesha, WI. Our first morning together was so beautiful that I cried when I woke up. I’m that kind of girl. When I couldn’t see him, I wrote to him.
When I first met Lee, he lived in England. K was in Santa Barbara. Ted and I talked via email for 6 months before we met in person.
Cosmo, a printed publication full of words about how you can get a man to love you, is missing out on something pretty major. It’s called words. And it’s not some stupid bullshit where you try to get crafty and play it cool and be evasive. It’s just, what are you thinking about?
Now, I get that this isn’t going to work across the board. Because sometimes what you’re thinking about is really boring. I think about boring stuff all the time. Just earlier I spent a good long time thinking about what it would be like to work in a pretzel factory and if that would make me not like pretzels. Yesterday I thought about my hair for a good chunk of the day. Sometimes I’m thinking about some conversation I had and how I should have said something different.
But, when I’m still, and I look around, or when I’m walking to the bus, my head is just full of stuff. Memories. Something I saw on the sidewalk. And that stuff is just going to go away. It’s not going to end up anywhere other than my head. But if I write it in a letter to someone I adore-if I just write all that stuff I was just thinking exactly as I was thinking it, I’ve just communicated in a rare way, thereby sharing parts of myself that the recipient isn’t going to see on some date.
It’s not a manipulation or a game or waiting till he texts me three times to text him back or not always being available when he wants me or whatever nonsense women are supposed to do. It’s the opposite. It’s honesty and communication and giving him something raw and vulnerable. It is intimacy. And it really, really works.
That said, a handie ever now and then doesn’t hurt. Whuhtwhuht.