The following story is all true, I deliberately changed names and fictionalized extremely minor things to cover my own arse, and the identity of another who probably doesn’t deserve it. (But would complain if I didn’t so we’re back to covering my own arse again)
I woke up and looked over at Jenny sleeping in bed beside me. She yawned and stirred herself awake.
“You’re not going for a run this morning?” She asked. I smiled and leant down and kissed her.
“Thought I’d take a day off from running,” I told her. “How about I make us breakfast? Feel like pancakes?”
She smiled and nodded and I walked into the kitchen while she jumped in the shower.
In the kitchen I grabbed some blue food colouring and added it to the pancake mix while I made them. Jenny eventually appeared behind me and wrapped her arms around me just as I was serving the last pancakes on to the plate.
“You’re in a good mood this morning,” she giggled looking at the brightly blue coloured pancakes. “What brought this on?”
“Just you,” I said smiling at her.
We ate the pancakes chatting and then went shopping. Afterwards we headed to a party at a friends house. We came home to ours and fell asleep on the couch, in each others arms, watching some old episodes of Quantum Leap.
My eyes shot open.
“Well, that’s new,” I said to myself, extremely surprised at the dream my subconscious had just thrown up at me.
Other than admitting that Jenny was ridiculously hot I never thought I felt anything more than friendship towards her. At least consciously anyway.
But here I’d just had a dream where we were dating. Full on, living together, sharing an apartment, falling asleep on the couch together, dating.
This wasn’t the first time my subconscious had seemingly blindsided me with me information via my dreams, and certainly not the first time it had managed to produce a dream so vivid that when I woke up I was confused as to how I had gotten to my bed. The reality of the dream seemed so real it didn’t seem logical to suddenly be waking up in a different place to where I was a moment earlier.
Unlike last time, however, my subconscious was a little more forgiving. The last time the reality of the dream had been set in the ‘present day’ so to speak. In that dream I’d still lived in house I was living in at the time, still went to my sister’s place and walked the family dog, Lentil, like I used to do. That dream had been harder to distinguish from reality than the previous night’s. When that dream had happened it literally took a good few hours for it to completely dawn on me that the dream hadn’t happened.
This time the dream had been set in an alternate reality, or at the very least in the future. The life I was living in the dream was so different to the life now it was easy to distinguish between what was reality and what wasn’t despite the dream being so vivid and real it was disconcerting.
Of course, as Jenny was a friend of mine I still saw her on a regular basis. That freaking day in fact. Immediately I put to work 4 years worth of high school drama classes in an attempt to act normal around her. I pondered whether it was like in sitcoms where the girl in question is completely oblivious yet everyone, especially the audience, are completely aware of the fact.
If I was being totally honest with myself, which wouldn’t happen for at least a couple of weeks, I could’ve just told her about the dream. Irregardless of her boyfriend. Not for an attempt to win her over, but due to the sheer comic nature of the entire thing. I’ve had dreams about hooking up with friends before. (Minor aside: I would like to point out, in this particular dream while there was a lot of relationshipy stuff, we did not have sex… apparently even in my dreams I don’t score…)
Having absolutely no romantic inclinations to the person in question I’ve told them about it figuring they’d be as amused by the whole thing as I was. Ninety percent of the time it was all fine. The other ten percent it confirmed their long standing (but completely untrue believe me) suspicion that I’d actually harboured strong romantic feelings for them. So ten percent of the time it was awkward for a short period until they got over themselves. Sometimes I pushed the ‘healing’ process along by deliberately talking with them about girls I was actually interested in.
I’ve actually had the ‘just friends’ talk delivered to me by a number of female friends despite the fact I wasn’t interested in them. So maybe it was the fear of accidentally triggering that conversation with another friend that caused me to hide the details of the dream and attempt to act normal around them and not like I’d just had a dream where we were in a loving committed relationship.
I was on skype one day waiting for my friend Trev to come online so I could tell him all about it. Nothing like having a friend over the other side of the world who can laugh at your expense but who is also completely removed from the situation.
But I got impatient waiting for Trev’s timezone to sync up with mine and opened a message window to my friend Emma and told her the entire thing, typed it up as quickly as I could and hit send.
Except it wasn’t Emma. It was someone right next to Emma on my contact list who happened to actually be friends with Jenny, and was not separated by continents and timezones like Trev was. And man, did she take great amusement and mockery of the entire situation. She had a field day. For days.
Trev came online late that night when the timezones synced up and told him, even adding on the accidentally messaging to someone else. He did what all friends do in the modern age and immediately facebook stalked her. As well as her boyfriend.
Trev didn’t openly acknowledge the obvious reason for why I was fighting so hard not to actually tell Jenny about it. He knew when I’d had similar (though in at least one case, far more erotic) dreams about other friends I’d told them about it. I didn’t even hesitate when it happened with my old housemate Tam. We laughed about it the next morning. We thought it was funny.
Except this time…. this time…..
Trev’s final notes on the entire situation were simple.
“She has a boyfriend, so there’s no real way to make a move without coming across as a dick in some way shape or form. So the smart and logical thing to do is just forget about it and remain friends.”
Then, after further commenting that she was, in fact, ridiculously hot he added:
“……BUT if in some how or some way, something ever does happen between you two… you HAVE to give me details.”
I found this little exchange so amusing that, in an effort to make some peaceful conversation with my housemate at the time (a relationship which deteriorated further and further as the lease came to an end) I told her about it.
Her response was of course, to look up Jenny on facebook. Her words stung a tiny bit.
“Wow, there’s no way YOU have a chance with girl like her. She’s way out of your league. She’s like actually hot.”
Now, I take up argument with this comment, and not just because there’s indirect slight on my physical appearance. It’s not the “she’s out of your league” comment. That part’s true, I’ve been quite clear on Jenny’s attractiveness. I have issue with the ‘there’s no way YOU have a chance with a girl like her’.
People date out of their league all the time. And it’s even okay to acknowledge that you are, in fact, dating out of your league. Or at least trying to. It’s the moment you let that fact BOTHER you is when the situation becomes an issue, and insecurities begin.
I’m trying to keep this post relatively lighthearted because the last one (or maybe two) were a bit of a downer. So on this topic I’ll just make two quick points:
1) If you’re dating someone who you think is out of your league, and think about it a lot, that’s okay, that’s AWESOME. Focus on the positives though. Not the ‘they could leave me at any time because they can do so much better’ – this will only breed negativity and unhappiness, think the positive route ‘This is awesome. They could’ve had anyone and they choose me. This is great.’ because this second statement, well it’s more true than the first negative one.
2) As for perusing someone you think is out of your league I’m going to use a quote from the book ‘Shit My Dad Says’:
“That woman was sexy. . . . Out of your league? Son, let women figure out why they won’t screw you. Don’t do it for them.”
Okay….. I admit it….
Crushes are a very young thing. Someone I contacted for my book said that. (oh god, I hear you say, again with the book). At the time it annoyed me because I was writing about crushes and the way she said it was patronizing and a little arrogant.
Crushes still happen when you’re an adult. However, as I’ve made it clear by now, it is an entire different ballgame. Because as an adult you don’t have the ‘I don’t want to make high school a living hell’ line. As an adult you realise, or at least you should, that if you have a crush on someone you should just admit it and tell them. Worst thing that can happen is they reject you. You might hate yourself for a tiny bit, but you’ll get over it. It’s highly unlikely the world will end.
I’ll allow two exceptions.
When it’s someone you work with, there ARE complications. Sexual harassment laws are in place. You have to be careful. It can be considered unprofessional. It can get you in trouble BUT if you think about it, and it’s safe, and the worst that will come is utter awkwardness around the person in question YOU SHOULD DO IT ANYWAY.
And of course, if the person is in a relationship. Especially if they are married. Then most of the time there is nothing to be gained and maybe you should consider ‘just getting over it’. (Jenny’s not married btw. But she does have a boyfriend.)
So after weeks of fearing Jenny might figure the whole thing out, and eventually acknowledging to myself there may be a reason, in this case, that the dream happened when it did, I woke up one morning and realised I’d put a considerable amount of brain power into something that I didn’t need to.
I like romantic comedies. This should be my one shame as a man, but really, I just don’t care if other people pay me out about that. Thing about a lot of romantic comedies though is the rules are different to how reality works. You’re rooting for the sweet guy in the movie who’s pursuing the girl of his dreams despite the fact she has a boyfriend. The boyfriend is often portrayed as being a douche in some way shape or form so you know you’re in the right that you’re happy she ends up with the nice guy stereotype.
(Another quick aside – ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ is the one chick flick I’ve seen where the boyfriend/fiancee character is NOT portrayed as a jerk! And so is the one chick flick I’d recommend everyone check out. )
Except in reality, while this is the case some of the time. (The boyfriend being a douche) There’s a lot more to it. She was clearly with the guy for a reason. Couldn’t be that, you know, there were admirable qualities in him that she fell in love with that you’re not seeing because you’re biased there, could it?
I wasn’t going to be a dick and go after a girl with a boyfriend. Especially not when she seemed happy with the guy. That’s not being fair on her, that’s purely being selfish.
If she was happy, I was happy. And I was okay with that. And it was this startling revelation that meant I didn’t act weird around her anymore. Which was good, because shortly after that the whole nasty redundancy happened and I could use all the friends I could get.
I am curious as to whether Jenny ever figured it out. She’s often spoken about not being able to ‘read between the lines’ well. Then again the mutual friend hadn’t noticed any change in behaviour. When I wrote my book (oh god, he’s talking about the book again) about tracking down and interviewing every girl I’d had a crush, seemed to be an even split between the ones that knew I had a crush on them and the ones that didn’t.
And this Grey’s Anatomy quote (yes, along with chick flicks I watch Grey’s Anatomy) echoed in my head a couple times when I was ‘trying to act normal’ around Jenny. To give some minor background, the guy has been shot and can’t get medical attention so is saying his last words.
Charles: Can you find reed? When this is over, can you find her? I always … I always had a crush on her. I don’t think she knows.
Mary: She knows. Girls always know.
Charles: Well, tell her anyway.
Did she figure it out? Does she know? It doesn’t really matter. I’m sure I’ll tell her someday. To be honest, part of me kinda hoped she did. The rest of me, however, is firmly in the camp of her never finding out about it until I tell her.
So the logical thing to do is to write a goddamn blog post about it that she may read, right? Lol, oh well. I thought the story was amusing.