New Boy came to visit me this weekend.
New job, new love, New York, New York.
I like new things because they’re never dull. They can be confusing, challenging, and excruciating. And they’re usually uncomfortable. But there’s a fun kind of mystery to it. I feel the same way about relationships. I think the substantial part of a relationship comes with the long-term, with the knowing each other and the being comfortable, but I still have a deep appreciation for the beginning; for the getting-to-know-you, and awkward silences, and not quite knowing what’s going to happen next. For getting gussied up, thinking twice about your outfit, and being annoyed for caring all too much. That’s an important stage in a relationship. You’re looking your sharpest, trying your hardest, being on your best behavior. And of course this isn’t the meaningful part of a relationship. This isn’t the real connection you form with a person. It’s not the deep conversations, or the way he sings when nobody’s around, or the way she snorts when she laughs. It’s not the little things we learn to love about someone. It’s the beginning stuff, how people project their ideal self, the superficial stuff. But it’s still fun.
I understand that that feeling of mystery and excitement fades. Later on, after time, you don’t get excited about what to wear around him, or worry that a text you sent sounded stupid. It changes into something different, something routine. You develop an understanding, a comfortable silence, a place where your head fits on his shoulder. You know each others little ticks and faults. You become comfortable talking about more and more things as you build trust. But that’s something you earn with time.
Boy came to visit me in New York this weekend. Our relationship was still very new, and then we suddenly found ourselves in a situation where we were living together, spending every waking moment together, for an entire weekend. Suddenly the option of being on my best behavior all the time became less and less feasible. He was there when I woke up. He was there when I went to bed. He was there when I got out of the shower, before I’d had my caffeine fix, at my best but most certainly at my worst.
But I still wanted to keep things new, I still wanted to try. So I attempted to look and act my best all the time. I got out of the shower before bed, put on makeup, and went back to my room to get my pajamas.
He looked at me, confused. “Did you put on makeup?”
It was then that I realized that was a really ridiculous thing to do.
I hate when I do something stupid but I hate it more when people realize I’ve just done something stupid. Solution? Do what all the great leaders of our time did in moments of stress and panic. Act cool and pretend like nothing happened. Lie. Lie, lie, lie.
“Yes you did. I know you did.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. My eyelids are just naturally glittery.”
He wasn’t convinced.
“You just lied to me. Why did you put on makeup before bed?”
I couldn’t bring myself to let the words, “I wanted to look pretty for you” escape my lips. It was too stupid and pathetic. Suddenly my makeup felt more like a sign I had plastered onto my face saying, “Hi. I’m insecure. Please love me.”
Needless to say that was a mistake I wouldn’t be making twice. But quite honestly, I didn’t want him to see me without make-up yet. I wasn’t ready for that. I liked getting gussied up, doing something special, being perfect in someones eyes. But he didn’t expect me to be perfect. He didn’t want me to work to get him to like me. He already liked me. He already thought I was perfect.
And perhaps that’s not so bad after all.