Read Dear Girls Above Me: Inspired by a True Story Online

Authors: Charles Mcdowell

Tags: #Non-Fiction, #Contemporary, #Biography, #Humour

Dear Girls Above Me: Inspired by a True Story (20 page)

BOOK: Dear Girls Above Me: Inspired by a True Story
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“That’s my mom!”

He slowed down his stroking movements in disbelief. “What—that’s not—wait, how is that—okay, is that your mom?”

“Yes! Stop masturbating to her!” Tears began to stream.

It took me a while to fall asleep that night. The image-that-must-not-be-named was still burning up my mind like the Chicago fire. So when I tell you I chuckled at Cathy’s complaining about Chad’s looking at pictures of her mom taken during a family cruise, you now understand why I think such a concern is a joke. Try walking a mile in my Ninja Turtle sleeping bag.

THE GIRLS ON THE KARDASHIANS
Dear Girls Above Me,
“Oh thank God, for a second I thought I read Kim Kardashian died!” Nope, just an evil dictator that sort of looks like her mom.
Dear Girls Above Me,
“Ahhhhhh!” What? “Ahhhhhh!” What? “Ahhhhhh!” What!? “Kim Kardashian is getting a divorce!” Thanks for wasting my whats.
Dear Girls Above Me,
“The Kardashian Wedding was totally our Royal Wedding.” And just like that an empire falls.
THE GIRLS ON ADDICTIONS
Dear Girls Above Me,
“I wish I had hotter addictions like heroin and cocaine. Nasal spray isn’t sexy enough.” Don’t underestimate medicated nose water.
THE HORRIBLE WEEK REBECCA BLACK WAS INTRODUCED INTO OUR LIVES
Dear Girls Above Me,
“Hey Claire, what day is it?” Oh no, please don’t sing—“It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday.” It’s Thursday!

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

“I don’t think we can be friends with Kayla anymore?” Cathy half proclaimed, half asked. It was an odd speaking habit that I noticed the girls had recently adopted.

“What happened now?” Claire asked. “Is it because she hooked up with Steve? I mean, who hasn’t.… I hooked up with Ryan, who hooked up with Jenny. And Jenny used to date Steve. So in a weird way, I hooked up with Steve too.” If Steve ended up hooking up with Kevin Bacon, I think they may have stumbled upon a new idea for a “degrees of separation” game.

“No, that’s not it. It’s because she broke up with Tom. We were only friends with Kayla because she and Tom were dating. Without Tom in the picture, what the hell are we supposed to talk about?”

This was something that I could relate to. I’d lost my fair share of friends as collateral damage due to my former relationship’s imploding. I used to have a ton of friends. Before my relationship I’d had at least three of them. But what tends to happen during a serious relationship is you lose touch. It’s inevitable, it’s shitty, it happens.

Now, as a couple, you meet new people, but these are “couple friends.” In other words, they’re shared. But more importantly, you only exist to them as one-half of a relationship. The very nature of a friendship with couple friends hinges upon the concept that you’re the other half of a whole. And when you’re part of a social circle that has only existed for as long as you’ve been in a relationship, you run the risk of those friends only being able to see you in that particular light. Which is a huge problem once your relationship ends. It’s the friendship equivalent of the “Successful Sitcom Curse.”

Successful Sitcom Curse
(noun)
After a megahit sitcom has its run, the main actor has difficulty finding other roles because he or she is so identified with the iconic character portrayed in the show.

Well, when a megahit relationship ends, it’s no different. As far as my group of couple friends was concerned, I was viewed as my ex’s boyfriend. And now that our relationship was over, they couldn’t see me as anything else.

I’m like Matthew Perry in every fall season’s inevitable attempt at a post
-Friends
TV show. My couple friends give me a chance, they have a few chuckles because I’m still the same guy, but something seems a little off. The dynamic isn’t quite the same. They can’t put their finger on it; it just
feels
different.…

Soon they come to the conclusion that even though I’m Matthew Perry, I’m no longer Chandler Bing. I may look like Bing. I may act like him. But I’m no longer must-see TV. So my social circle stops calling me until eventually we’re no longer Friends.

As my date with Katie approached, I couldn’t help but wonder if she was the right type of girl for me to see after my ex. “Beer before
liquor, you’ll never get sicker.” Well, dating the wrong type of girl after a relationship ends could induce a similar kind of illness. Who you choose to date next should be an easy transition from whoever you dated previously. You can’t go from the girl next door to an S & M dominatrix. Been there, done that.

Going back to my successful-sitcom analogy, after the show has its run, the actor having trouble getting work may try a new sitcom. But this new sitcom will be somewhat similar in tone to the show they’re best known for, this strategy being an attempt to slowly wean the audience off their preconceived expectations while still remaining familiar. “I may not be playing George Costanza anymore, but my new role is still a comedic weasel who’s manipulative.”

Did this mean that post-breakup I should date someone similar to my ex? Hmm … Do you remember the show that Jason Alexander did after
Seinfeld
ended called
Bob Patterson
? Don’t worry, neither does Jason Alexander.

The other, and more extreme, route to go would be to shed the very image that’s holding you hostage. Meaning, if I was the wacky next-door neighbor on a sitcom, my next role should be a drug addict who teaches at an elementary school full of inner-city children in a gritty indie film. Did I look for a girl who was the polar opposite of my ex?

I wasn’t quite sure where Katie would land on the fucked-up spectrum compared to my ex-girlfriend’s personality. I wanted to find out. So I did the only logical thing I could think of.… Stalk her Facebook page. That’s a dangerous game to play, because one’s Facebook page is in no way indicative of who one really is. But at worst, you can always pick up a few context clues, right?

Katie’s page gave me no context clues. I mean, this was a girl with a Tupac profile picture, for crying out loud. I was in no-man’s-land. I
was about to give up for the night when I noticed a comment on her wall. An “I miss you, sweetie, don’t forget to check the air pressure in your tires” type of comment that could only have come from a parent. Yes, it was her mom.…

Click. Click. Click
.

And like all moms before her, her page had absolutely zero privacy settings. Katie’s entire family history was up for grabs. But first things first; I needed to check out the photo albums.…

Click. Click. Click
.

That’s when I hit the jackpot. Not just one picture, but multiple pics of Katie Rosenfeld spanning across numerous albums. Family vacations, mom-and-daughter spa day, Hunter’s bar mitzvah, creepy Uncle Ed’s sobriety birthday—it’s like I was there for all of it. And any doubts I had about Katie’s not being the flawless specimen I remembered her to be in high school were shattered. She was perfect. Thank God for moms and their love of and devotion to the “upload” button.

Speaking of moms, she looked pret-tay hot as well.

THE GIRLS ON DATING
Dear Girls Above Me,
“Wanna know what he said to me? ‘You had me at hello.’ He’s so good at being romantic.” He’s so good at Netflixing
Jerry Maguire
.
Dear Girls Above Me,
“He was literally perfect! Except for when he asked me if it looks like his eyes have seen murder.” Don’t get caught up in details.
Dear Girls Above Me,
“That fucker had glitter in his beard, which means he was making out with some whore!” Maybe he’s really into arts and crafts?
Dear Girls Above Me,
“We have a major situation on our hands: He’s ungoogleable! I don’t date anyone I can’t stalk first.” Thank God we’re not dating.
Dear Girls Above Me,
“I pretended to take out my wallet but he never stopped me! Who makes a hot girl split the bill?!” The guy you still slept with.
Dear Girls Above Me,
“I’m responding ‘with my BF tonight.’ He won’t know if I mean boyfriend or best friend!” You’re like The Da Vinci Code of texting.
Dear Girls Above Me,
“I can’t keep saying I have my period to this guy; it’s been 3 months, and he’s becoming suspicious.” I knew girls did this.
Dear Girls Above Me,
“I can’t believe I’m 24 and I haven’t even had my test-marriage yet!” Calm down, your rehearsal soul mate is out there somewhere.
Dear Girls Above Me,
“I knew Kevin was in love with me when he said it was okay to pop his back zits.” Did I just hear the opening to your wedding vows?

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

“One little push-up … Two little push-ups … Three little push-ups … Four little—ehhh, I’m done.” Building up the lats sporadically throughout the day of the date may not be effective if you prefer to use things like logic. At the right angle, with the light dimmed just enough and your eyes squinted with the correct level of strain, I promise you there’s kind of a difference, sort of. After an impressive seventeen-message e-mail thread with Katie Rosenfeld, my high school crush, I was ready. It was time. I was 100 percent confident in every aspect of tonight’s date. Only, I wasn’t sure if she knew it was a date or not. Also, in the event she knew it was a date, I was a little rusty on today’s dating protocol, so I’d been taking (stealing) one-way advice from two girls who could confidently tell you what color shirt Robert Pattinson would wear on any given Wednesday because they’d memorized his laundry cycle. But other than those things, I was 100 percent confident in every aspect of that night’s date.

Before heading to my car, I took one last look in the mirror to
pep myself up. Typically this would have had the opposite effect and drained my confidence, but that day was a new day. My body was in tip-top shape, if you were Stevie Wonder, and my apprehension about the new ways of dating had been temporarily relieved due to some choice advice from the girls above me.

It was a cool, crisp Friday evening. Traffic was light, the windows were down, a breeze was in the air, and I was behind the wheel cruising, with Ace of Base crushing it as they usually did when blared through my speakers. Not “The Sign,” as if I was some Johnny-come-lately. No. I’m talking about “All That She Wants.” You know, the good stuff. Right now, if my penis could have spoken it would have said, “Put me in, Coach, I’m ready to play.” Somewhere around the second verse of Ace of Base’s supremely underrated song, I began to pay attention to the lyrics. “All that she wants is another baby, ooooh yeah yeah.…” The “ooooh yeah yeah” notwithstanding, I found the lyric to be troubling. I immediately thought of: “Ugh, he showed up with a condom. I so would’ve fucked him if he hadn’t expected to fuck me.”

I was torn. This was the longest red light of my life. In a panic, I immediately turned off Ace of Base, an act of betrayal I would have never conceived of as an option five minutes prior. I began to question everything I had ever learned from Mrs. Tamblyn, my seventh-grade sex-ed teacher. I was quite sure she was adamant about
always
practicing safe sex and never relying on your partner for a condom—“Bring your own!” But the mere fact that I jotted those sex-ed notes down on paper attached to my Trapper Keeper was enough to tell me that times had changed.

The girls above, specifically Cathy, were offended when a guy brought condoms, expecting to get some. Did I listen to Cathy and Claire or did I listen to my seventh-grade sex-ed teacher? Maybe in
this day and age it’s okay for the girl to supply the condoms. Did I risk it? If something sexual were to happen, would I potentially be blowing it if I wasn’t prepared? Should I bust a quick U-turn and go home to get some condoms?

This would prove tricky on multiple levels. The most obvious and pressing issue being that I didn’t even have a condom to bring. Remember, I’d just gotten out of a serious long-term relationship, and in this serious long-term relationship other birth-control measures were taken. My last purchased box of condoms had expired sometime in the Mesozoic Era.

At this point, I wasn’t sure what the right call was. It’s audacious enough presuming that you’ll get laid on the first date, but I couldn’t even say for certain that this
was
a first date. It’s not easy being me. To a much lesser extent, it’s not easy being men.

BOOK: Dear Girls Above Me: Inspired by a True Story
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