I recently fell in love with a one-night stand.
And I fell hard.
It happened on Halloween, a night of which nothing good can come. I went to a party dressed as Tracy Morgan’s SNL character Brian Fellow. I wore a short-sleeved Dickies jumpsuit, a lopsided hat, fake glasses, and across my back read, “Safari Planet.” I was a vision in khaki. Unlike other girls at the party, I was not sexy and I was not trying to be.
I never go to parties looking for boyfriends. I never go anywhere looking for boyfriends. But there he was, a really cute boy, and I wanted to wife him. He was brooding and dark, lanky, and had bad posture, aka exactly my type. He was dressed as Hello Kitler, which, no, is not a thing, and his costume consisted of a plush Hello Kitty hat and a Hitler mustache. He was obviously a hipster and obviously thought of himself as one, too. Already I was in love.
Out of my character, but in the character of tequila, I talked to him. Upon further inspection, he had light green eyes and black hair. I was so into it. We talked about normal things, like work and mutual friends. The conversation was rife, a good back-and-forth. I was really feeling it. But after my turn, he chatted up my friends and other girls. My confidence waned. I was unsure where his interest lied. Probably not with me, I thought. Not with the ugly girl dressed up as a man.
He followed my friends and me into the living room, where I made sure to sit next to him on the couch. Then, miraculously, we were left alone.
“Want to go outside and make out?” he asked.
For whatever reason, I was the chosen one. Hallelujah.
My friends eventually found the two of us on the front lawn, alerted me of their want to leave, and I, smitten with like, decided to stay. Not long after, the boy took my hand and directed me to his car.
(My therapist later scolded me for this. Didn’t I realize how dangerous this was? I was going home with a complete stranger. But, in the moment, I was blindingly trusting. Don’t try this at home.)
“What’s your name again?” he asked as we walked down the sidewalk.
He, too, was obviously in love.
Skip to the bedroom where I was stripped of my khaki.
What happened happened.
(And if I’m honest, it wasn’t even that good.)
Skip again to the morning, when we had more sex, watched TV, and shared his Soylent. It felt so natural, so genuine. He placed his hand on my back while I drank his coffee. Our love was pure.
I ended up (accidentally!) leaving my scarf and belt at his place, and we needed to meet up for the exchange. He asked if I was free Thursday. He was going to a comedy show, and maybe I would go with him? Was this a date? Was he into me as much as I was into him?
Thursday came. I missed the comedy show due to traffic (damn you, Los Angeles!), but eventually made it from west to east. We got drinks and shared gnocchi at a restaurant next door to the comedy venue. After the check, I slyly invited myself over:
“Want to watch Jeopardy?”
It worked. Hook, line, and sinker.
We didn’t sleep together to my disappointment (what did I do?), but did make out and cuddle. In the morning, he kissed me goodbye (twice) after walking me to my Uber.
We were now practically boyfriend and girlfriend.
“Text me,” I demanded. He nodded okay.
And then it happened: I got ghosted.
(Cue the song, “Hey Boy” by The Blow.)
“You can’t be ghosted after one date, that’s not ghosting,” a friend texted. “It has to be at least 5 dates before you can get ghosted.”
Whatever. It may have been one maybe date, but emotionally, it felt like a year-and-a-half relationship. (Oxytocin is real, you guys.)
Ghosting is a digital age phenomenon. I suppose before iPhones, one could ghost by not calling back on a landline. But technology has made ghosting easier and more hurtful. There are so many platforms on which you can be ignored, not getting a text back being possibly the worst. The silence is debilitating.
“What do I do?” I asked.
“Just wait, he’ll text!” people said, encouraging.
But he didn’t.
I needed to confirm our love. So, of course, I did what girls all over the world told me not to do: I texted him. And multiple times, too. (Is a gif really a text, though?)
That’s when I went crazy.
Why is he not texting me? Why is he not texting me? Why is he not texting me? Did I say something? Did I do something wrong? Gah, why did I sleep with him so fast? Maybe I shouldn’t have slept with him. He must not respect me. Maybe I wasn’t good. But there were so many signs! I could have sworn we had something. We watched Colbert together! Why is he not texting me? But I am in love with him! I want to see him again! Twice isn’t enough, I want more! Why is he not texting me?
I was told I hadn’t been this obsessed since I broke up with my first boyfriend seven years ago.
I texted again, this time not with a meme but with a simple question: “Want to hang out?”
And, finally, a response!
“I don’t think so.”
He then followed up with, “I have been in a heightened sense of antisocial behavior.”
What the fuck? What am I supposed to do with that? I paused.
The advice came pouring in.
“He doesn’t seem disinterested, just depressed.”
“He’s obviously a loser.”
“You don’t want to be around a downer like that.”
But I refused to give up. I texted again.
“Want to hang out when you’re feeling better?”
It’s only been a couple of days, but now, I know and am pretty positive that I won’t hear from him again. He’s not texting back and never will. And I have (sort of) accepted that.
I don’t know why I got in so deep with this particular boy. I’ve had three or four other one-night stands and no attachment was made. (Except for that one other time…) Why was this one so special? Perhaps it had to do with his good looks. Perhaps my extreme attraction to him, the level of comfort we had together. Maybe it was the pseudo-date. Maybe it was the extent of my loneliness. I hadn’t slept with someone for over a year, and maybe I was out of emotional practice. All I know is that I fell in love.
And this is why I’m giving up one-night stands. The rollercoaster isn’t worth it. The neurochemicals are too powerful, and I need to learn how to keep myself in check. I will not be another crazy girl. I will not be that person. I will be strong.
I may have fallen hard, but at least I didn’t friend him on Facebook.