~Thursday, January 13, 2011

Puke and Rally

Valdosta and I went out of town together last weekend. It was Harvey's husband's 30th birthday and 15 of my closest friends drove back to our college town for some heavy drinking. We met and formed our friendships in those same bars, so it felt right to return to celebrate.

Athens, Georgia is a drinking city. Hell, the university itself is currently ranked as the number one party school in the nation. We boast 64 bars in a 3-block radius. The best part of all? The booze is cheap. The downside? The booze is cheap so everyone is quick to buy a lot of it.

When Valdosta asked what to expect during our big night out, I said, "A hot mess." Friends agreed. And that's exactly what happened.

Valdosta, Government Mule, Jenna and me started drinking at 2 o'clock. We had three beers a piece. I got noticeably tipsy. Then we met up with the group for the main event, took a nap, and was back at the bars by 6:30. At the urging of Valdosta and Schmoozer, dinner was accompanied with a jager bomb. And a beer.

I leaned towards Schmoozer. "What are you drinking?"

"Vodka and Red Bull."

"Ooh! Let me try," I reached out.

"No!" He pulled his glass away from me. "I don't want your cooties tonight."

"Tonight?!" asked Valdosta.

"I mean ever," Schmoozer corrected facetiously.

"Hey! No one's ever complained about my cooties!" I slurred. "My cooties taste great!"

We left the resturant bar and headed to the next bar on our to-do list. There I had three gin & tonics and a blow job. A blow job is a girly shot of Bailey's and Kahlua topped with whipped cream. The trick is you can't touch the shot glass with your hands, otherwise it's a hand job. We were big into blow jobs in college. (That's what she said.)

The next bar was dance club that only played 80's music. Valdosta and I split a pitcher of beer and he ordered two more jager bombs. And that was the turning point of the night: the second jager bomb.

When I was in college, jager bombs were given in two parts. You got a glass of Red Bull and a shot of jager, drop and chug. Now jager bombs come premixed in a plastic cup. The cup is only about halfway full. When the bartender mixed our jager bombs at the club, the cup was all the way full.

"Uh, I think we should do this shot in two parts," suggested Valdosta.

"Balls up, Valdosta," I cajoled. "No one goes halfsies with jager."

He shrugged. We toasted and chugged. I sputtered afterward.

"I told you we should have done that in two parts," he laughed.

The girls pulled me away and we danced. Then Valdosta pulled me away and we danced. We returned to our pitcher of beer. Valdosta watched the others dance.

"I can't believe Katie is single," he said. "She's so great."

Fire alarms in my head. No way. Not again. Need we revisit my year-long insecurity of showing interest in guys who prefer Katie? Not again. And not with Valdosta.

"You can't leave me for Katie," I said. I'm not sure he meant it the way I took it, but he hit such a throbbing, exposed nerve. And that damn second jager bomb.

Valdosta was taken aback. Apparently I just got weird on him. "I don't want things to get too much more serious with us," he said.

Well shit, that was the wrong thing to say.

He tried to explain himself, but the conversation is fuzzy. He said something to the extent of he didn't want to get so serious that we had to have talks of someone leaving someone. I think.

"Are you dating other people?" I asked.

"Yes," he admitted.

"Are you sleeping with other people?" I immediately asked.


He said a lot of things. He said he hadn't dated for a long time before he met me. He said he really liked me, and that I am the only one he's dating seriously. He said he's wasted years of his life dating the wrong people and wanted to be sure he's not wasting his time the next time he gets into a relationship. He said he's still not sure he ever wants to get married.

I think all of those things were meant to be taken in a positive context. That he likes me and takes dating seriously. But all I heard was, I don't want to commit to you, and then, You're not good enough for me.

"So what do you think?" he asked.

I ran my hands through my hair, mussing up the roots and readjusting the locks falling across my shoulders like I always do when I'm anxious.

"I told you where I'm at. Where are you?" he asked again.

Mel walked up, "Hey guys, we're moving to the next bar for the midnight birthday shot."

Jesus, it's not even midnight. That damn second jager bomb. "Give us a minute," I said. "We'll meet you there."

"So?" prodded Valdosta.

I couldn't take my hands out of my hair. Every strand had been properly fluffed and now I was going back for second and third rounds.

We had finished the pitcher. "I wish I had a beer," I said.

Valdosta spun me his PBR. I hate PBR, but I took it. I don't know, if I didn't have enough alcohol in me by then, I don't think there was enough alcohol in the world to prepare me for this.

"This isn't the time nor the place I wanted to do this." I stammered. I rambled. I yakked my feelings all over him. I told him I was in a previous relationship that very nearly destroyed me but I got through it. I told him that I date a lot. I've dated more than I should have to date, and that I really liked him and saw something different and special in him. I told him that I was dating two other people, but I broke up with them after Christmas because it seemed like the right thing to do, which is technically true because I never saw Memphis again since Christmas, even though we had been in contact, and the Hungarian was over way before that. I said I didn't regret that decision.

"So what now?" I asked. Clearly we're in two different places.

"Nothing changes," he said. "I still want to date you and see you."

We met up with everyone at the next bar. I ordered more shots (red snapper--had to keep the jager theme going and not mix colors). And then I headed into the bathroom and cried a little to my girlfriends. I don't think I can count the number of times I have cried in that particular bar bathroom. They said what I already knew. That it's time for me to withdraw, start dating other people again and play the game. I nodded. I'm good at playing the game. I just thought this would be the one person I wouldn't have to play the game with. I dried my eyes.

Valdosta saw me and asked if I was okay. I laughed and said I was. Katie thrust her beer in my hand, which if you're keeping count was my eleventy-ninth drink of the night. We played Pac Man.

The rest of the group headed to the same sandwich shop that Valdosta, Government Mule and I started out at. Valdosta and I headed to another bar that his roommate had suggested before we left on our trip, and there we had another shot. It was called a sex bomb and it was some clear liquor (mixing color alert) in a shot glass placed on top of chop sticks over some juice cocktail. You pound the bar until the shot falls into the glass and then chug. From what I remember, it was fun and it tasted good.

Then Valdosta had us walking quickly to the sandwich shop. He said it was cold out; I was so liquored up that I couldn't tell one way or another.

"Baby, we have to slow down. I need to stop and rest. I'm feeling wonky," I said.

"It's too cold," he said. "Keep moving."

"But I'm wonky. My stomach is wonky. I'm wonky!" I chanted for an entire block.

We stopped by a tree. There was already a pile of vomit at the foot of it.

"Get sick here," he said.

"I don't want to yak; I want to sit," I protested.

He faced me. "Just do this," he put his finger in his throat. "It's what I do."

"I don't wanna."

"You'll feel better, I promise. Just puke and rally, baby. Puke and rally."

There were about 4 policemen within 40 feet of us. He stood between me and the policemen. I did as he said: sex bomb in, sex bomb out.

I stood back up.

"You yak very femininely," he said. Well at least I have that going for me.

By the time we made it to the sandwich shop, everyone had already gotten their orders and were taking them back to the hotel rooms. We pressed the elevator button in the hotel lobby. The doors opened. Someone had taken all the fake plants in the hotel and shoved them inside the elevator along with an iron bench. I shrugged and took a seat on the bench, not really comprehending that something was amiss. Valdosta laughed.

The elevator opened on the next floor. A couple stared inside the elevator and saw us sitting on the bench amid this jungle of plants and looked at the two of us like we were the world's biggest assholes. So I scooted over on the bench and made room for the woman, who also took a seat.

Schmoozer tried to sleep in our room. Valdosta kicked him out. We climbed into bed.

"So we had a serious conversation tonight," I said.

"I know."

"What now?" I asked again.

"Nothing changes," he said again.

"I don't want to get hurt," I mumbled.

He brushed back my hair. "That's not my plan," he said.


The next morning, Valdosta found the Gatorade I had packed and chugged it and brought it into bed with us.

"This is a good idea," he said, gesturing to the Gatorade. "We should do this every time."

I reached my hand out for it. "Uh, you don't?"


"It's a good move." I drank half of the liter. "What's your hangover cure?"

"Nothing. I'm a glutton for punishment."

Everyone else had left. Valdosta and I were on the hunt for some Chinese before we left town. There we learned about the shooting in Arizona.

Then we both shouted simultaneously:

"Wait, you're a Republican!?"
"Wait, you're a Democrat!?"

"Do you still like me knowing I'm Republican?" he asked. "I'm with you: socially I'm very liberal, but I think we're in times right now where economy is more important."

I stared in disbelief. He doesn't want to commit to me, yet he's asking me if I still like him.

"I'm more middle of the road economically," I said. I took a bite out of my crab rangoon. "What was your favorite part about last night?" I asked, changing the subject. There were a lot of favorites to be had.

"I think my favorite part of the night was you sitting on the floor of the hotel room drunk and you were throwing Combos in the air for me to catch with my mouth," he said.

Of all the moments he could have chosen, he chose a simple moment when I was being myself and goofing around. Why does he do that? Why does me make me like him and want him to be my boyfriend when he doesn't want to be?

I'm more distraught about this than I thought I would be. For the first time I'm like, Oh, this is going to fizzle out. This isn't going to go anywhere. And of course because I've been snowed in my apartment for the last three days and have been alone with my thoughts, it's now translated to He's figured out that I'm not good enough. I couldn't hide the fact I'm damaged from him. Yep, this is going to be my story. I'm that girl whose feelings are never reciprocated. I'm a sad sack of a person. When am I just going to accept this?


Me said...

Ah. Fuck! For real. I mean, you were really good with what you wanted in a relationship from the start and now we have someone here who wants his cake and eat it too.
Because that what it is right?

"nothing changes".
He can still date other people but he is really only SERIOUSLY dating you until when...until someone better comes around?

I don't like this one bit, my darling. I do think, as much as I hate to give "advice" that when you are ready, put yourself out there, go out with some others. He basically told you to do it. He wants you to do it. He wants you to protect your heart.

Do it.

You deserve a guy who only wants to date you. Period. Especially after this length of time...he still wants to date around? tough shit. Watch a good ship sail away to brighter seas :)

Anonymous said...

Wow. I have only two bits of advice for you:

1) Keep your chin up and your heart open, because no matter what, you DESERVE to be happy - whether it's with Valdosta or someone else.

2) Valdosta obviously isn't ready to commit. Whatever his reasons are, they have nothing to do with you being "damaged" or not "good enough." They are HIS reasons.

As I see it, if you're ready to commit to something more serious and long term, but he's not, you can either move on or wait for him to get ready. Only you can decide which choice is best for you. Either way, DON'T let him game you. He doesn't get to have his cake and eat it, too.

For what it's worth, I spent 4 years with a man who never was quite ready to commit to me - until I left him, and he discovered what he'd lost. By then, it was too late.

If your heart is telling you there's something special with Valdosta, and you're not ready to give up on that, don't give up hope. Just retreat for awhile and let him chase you.


Anonymous said...

You're not damaged. If you are damaged, then he is damaged as well with his being afraid of marriage. I see that you have a leg up on him since you have worked on your issues, not just acknowledged them. He doesn't get to date you and then date other people. Don't be as available. Be busy even if you aren't. If he's a smart boy, he will realize that you're the total package. If he doesn't realize it, then he's not for you since you're too good for him.

Anonymous said...

My heart hurts for you, I've been there so many times. I truly hope things turn out (I think they look positive, knock those walls of his down!) Chin up, dear! x

Jess said...

The only thing I've learned about men is when they say things like " I don't want anything serious" they mean it and they usually are interested in someone else.

But I can say with confidence he's a moron because if I could, I'd date you...in a very non-lesbian girl crush- I want to be you sort of way.

Anonymous said...

All great advice! hang in there, girl. You're great and if he can't see that then that's his problem!

Anonymous said...

Well crap. Not exactly the fun time I was hoping to read about next for you. And as much as he's lost points, I'm still rooting and hoping it works out how you want it to.

I honestly think he is scared and trying to make sure he firmly puts one foot in front of the other. In some ways it's a good approach and in other ways it's not. At least at this point in time as far as we know he has been honest with you which is a plus. It's an ify situation at best.

But I do have to say, as much as I know you are scared to get hurt, don't let your fear rule you. Don't try to control how you feel about him because it just doesn't work. Even if he may not feel as strongly as you do relish in the fact that you can indeed feel this way about someone still. Relish in those little moments that mean so much to you, enjoy each day as it comes and remember to have faith that someday somewhere you will find exactly what you need. Granted it may not be what you think you want but it will be exactly what's meant for you and it will be amazing.

freckledk said...

It's funny (in a sick sort of way) that "nothing changes" for him translates to "everything changes" for you. Your friends are right -- you need to detach and date others. No more sleeping with him, either (until there is at least some promise that this could become something long-term).

Sorry, Sarah. I'm sure he's a great guy, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's deserving of you.

Dream in Grey said...

Hmm, I like that's he is honest about his feelings but I don't like that you were both bombed when he said it.

You're both still open to dating other people and that's ok. Maybe you're a bit further along than him right now, girls usually are but don't let not being in the same place RIGHT NOW make you doubt yourself or run away from him

Anonymous said...

I can like someone, and I mean really like someone, but the moment they step on the gas I find myself reaching for the brakes. It's a knee jerk reaction.
It's not that I don't want to "get there", it's just that I want to take my time and make sure someone else's hands aren't on the wheel, making the decisions for me.
It's human nature to pull away when you feel a bit pushed for more than you're ready for. It's also human nature to reach for someone pulling away. Your friends are right, it's your cue to pull away a bit. Just don't get so caught up in the game that you lose yourself, and your heart, in it. You know yourself well enough to spot that line, so when you hit it, just be honest like he was. I admire him for that.

Pam said...

I have to disagree with the comment that "when men say they don't want something serious" they mean it. When I met my husband, he told me in no uncertain terms, he never wanted to get married agai. He had a bad marriage before me and didn't want to do it again. Now I always wanted to get married, but when I met him, I wasn't ready for anything, trying to get over my last relationship. Well I won't go into the whole story, but as stated in the beginning of this, he is my husband now, and he was the one who brought up marriage.
I do agree with the comment that sometimes people pull away from fear. I would just continue on. The relationship you write about with "V" reminds me so much of my relationship with the love of my life. Please don't let fear hold you back, follow your own heart, head and gut instincts.
Good Luck...... and I wish you nothing but the best.

however happy said...

I did not see this coming! Ugh. Guys can be so incredibly spoiled! I feel like they get everything without having to do a darn thing. Echoing the other comments, I think you'll somehow need to scale back how much you give him, which I know is hard to do when you like someone.

And really, I think one of the best things you can do is believe him. At least he's telling you rather early (before you're TOO invested)on what he's willing to offer at this point. Hang in there!

Dawn said...

SonofaBITCH! (No offense to his mother; I'm sure she's a lovely person.) It's just that this is not the road I expected this to take.

Je m'appelle Danielle said...

He is being an idiot. Don't waste months (or possibly years) dating someone who doesn't know if he wants to get married. If you push it, he'll resent you. He has to come to that conclusion for himself.

Secondly, who cares that your damaged? I'm damaged, and all my friends are "damaged" You know who I don't like, people who say they are NOT damaged, I don't trust those people. I read this comment on a blog once, and it embodied everything I could not put into words myself so here it is, (its long--oh well):

"Thing is, no one isn't damaged. Flat out, we're each struggling to find our place if we succeed at 'that' it simply means we've learned to except that the human condition is one of perpetual imperfection. We fear our own emotions, and we most certainly fear the vulnerability that each new person in our life represents. Sharing our lives with someone is our most courageous endeavor; never meant to be easy and never meant to anything more concrete than a commitment to the process.

Everyone wants someone who's damaged. It's the ones who think they aren't you've got to look out for. Damaged, crazy, quirky, weird, unique; we're all just looking for the damage that shines in the light we see the world through."

J said...

This post both made my heart smile and hurt. I smiled at your description of the festivities...it sounds so much like my friends. I hurt because I have been in this spot. (Yes, there is that twins thing again!) Just know that you are an amazing, caring, beautiful woman who deserves the very best. If Valdosta can't figure that out then he is a complete idiot.

Anonymous said...

All I will say is this reminds me so much of how things started with The Designer.

On the one hand, I want to tell you to just be a bit busier, not worry so much, carry on being the popular sociable girl that everyone loves - and he'll suddenly be the one trying to hang on to you.

I agree with Anon: "I can like someone, and I mean really like someone, but the moment they step on the gas I find myself reaching for the brakes. It's a knee jerk reaction. " because this is how TD behaves. Out of the blue, he'll suddenly seem to stop and suddenly it looks like I got it all wrong and then he just realises and it's ok and he laughs at himself for being stupid.

But on the other hand, do be careful. The ones that are lovely but do this stop starty thing are the ones that are the most "emotionally dangerous" and can fuck you up if he is just messing about.

Ease off on him, consider dating other people, see what he does.

Meghan said...

I read the first two comments and then stopped so forgive me if I'm being repetitive:


Guys are just as vulnerable and have just as much history as we women do. Maybe Valdosta - whether he admits it or not - has been through something just as damaging and altering as you have.

He's being cautious. I respect that. He's being honest - I admire that. He's trying to let you know how much he wants something with you -- but he's being realistic and I think trying not to get your own hopes too high as well as HIS.

Don't give up on him. Do date around and try to keep your mind and options open -- but don't dismiss your feelings for him or dismiss him as an asshole that's trying to have his cake and eat it, too.

I really think there's more going on in his past then he's able or willing to talk about. And I truly believe he's sincere with you -- there's too much evidence there.

Don't give up. Don't start to let his fear of the future color your present.

You're happy when you're with him. None of us are promised tomorrow, try to enjoy today and let tomorrow be tomorrow's issue.

Simmarah said...

Being "damaged" is beautiful in a sense. You have a tough heart and I'm sorry Valdosta turned out to be a non committing type of guy. Good luck honey.

treacle said...

I read your post earlier on today and didn't quite know how to articulate a response.

Meghan did it for me.

Amy said...

Oh Sarah, I want to hug you! I just spent about an hour catching up and reading at least 2 months worth of posts (baby = NO TIME!) and I feel so happy to see the place you are in now. I recall the S. days and can see how much you've grown and worked through all that. I found myself sighing contentedly while reading many of the Valdosta posts, because whether he wants to admit it to himself (and you) or not, he's got it bad - GOOD! - for you, my dear! Here's the thing: he said it himself that men just want someone who can help to break down their walls. I fully believe he is dating other girls because he is afraid to get hurt (and we all know it's easiest to avoid getting hurt if we don't put all our feelings into one basket, so to speak). He's also dealing with the somewhat new battle of having to accept that his parents couldn't make it work after all that time. So, yeah...WALLS. At the same time, he trusts you enough to admit these things to you, so you clearly have busted down at least part of a wall, and he allowed you to do this. Give it time and just keep being you. He likes the REAL, honest you...so don't stop being yourself. No matter what happens, isn't it better to show all of yourself and take a chance? This guy is special and he clearly thinks the same of you. Sit back and stop thinking so much (Hahahaa!) and try to enjoy being treated like a lady. You've earned this. Hugs from the former Miss Curiosity! :o)

Lpeg said...

You know how I stand on this, and I also agree with Soups.

You're right - take a step back, make yourself busy, and see what he does. If you don't want to date other people, you don't have to.. just be more unavailable.

hugs. xx.

ps. love the combos. that must've been entertaining!

Emma said...

I don't think he really did anything wrong here or that you need to get over him. Or even date other people.

He's just moving at a different speed than you. That's all. I find that happens in almost any relationship and this power balance also changes during the relationship as well. As long as you think he's worth waiting for, I think you'll find that he'll realize you are what he wants.

He seems to really like you. I say hang in there!

Erin said...

I don't know... In my experience, the guys who want you- want you. They don't want anyone else to date you and they want to be exclusive. If he's playing the "still dating around" game then maybe he doesn't feel as strongly. Unfortunately, my ex is very much like V. Charming, sweet and a genuinely nice guy, but he definitely has a line of girls who thought they'd be his "girlfriend," but it never materialized because he said he didn't want a relationship from the jump. Some men just treat women well, no exceptions. Obviously there are others kinds of men too.

Take this with a grain of salt, but every book I've read about relationships that men have written (He's Just Not That into You, Act like a Lady, Think like a Man...), states that women overanalyze what a guy is saying. Take what he said as what he said. He likes you, but he doesn't want to get serious. So, continue doing what you're doing if it makes you happy, but realize that he's probably not going to change.

TC said...

I'm not completely ready to tell you to ditch him, but... the one thing I've learned is that when a man says he doesn't want to get serious, he doesn't want to get serious.

So enjoy him. Love him even. But know that he might break your heart.

Katie said...

You have a drinking problem. Find an AA meeting. Stat!

cornflakegirl74 said...

Awwwww, I kind of love that he picked that moment as his favorite of the evening. I'm not sure what he's looking for--I mean, he may be the type to say one thing and mean another--but it seems as though he really enjoys spending quality time with. That being said: you have to really evaluate what YOU want out of this and that should be your main focus. It doesn't sound to me that he can give you what you need and that will ultimately cause a huge rift, ya know?

I wish you the best of luck in any event.

Bathwater said...

You are perfect, that son of a bitch better figure it out and commit before all your friends gang up on him and kick his ass!


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