So I called my mom the other day. Ah the miracle of Skype for those of us who live far from home. She asked how I was. I said I was a little down.
“One of my friends kissed me at the Firehouse the other night, and now he says there’s no chemistry between us. Well why did he kiss me, then?!” I explained it was the same guy who came round my house for dinner and then told me he didn’t fancy me. Stupid boys.
Relating the story I told Mom that Mr. No Chemistry told me he’d always felt we were good as friends and he had never fancied me. I naturally asked him why he’d kissed me, since my definition of fancying someone basically revolves around whether or not I want to kiss them. He said, and I quote, “You know what boys are like” (!!) Then he said, “And you are very beautiful, you know.” I thanked him in a pugnatious manner. He insisted on saying it again: “No, really, you are very beautiful.” (Mixed messages much?!)
My mom laughed. “That’s just what boys are like. What does he do, anyway?” He just graduated with his BA, I said, and then hastened to add that he’s only a year younger than I am because he took some time off. “He’s right, Cait, he IS a boy–you need to go out with a man!”
“But Mom, I don’t know any.”
“Well, the truth is, there aren’t that many of them in the world!” (My dad, in the background: “I heard that!!”)
I had already sussed out that No-Chemistry Boy didn’t want to go out with me, because he’d avoided seeing me for almost a week. But I really wasn’t prepared to hear him say that he didn’t find me attractive and he never had. Seriously?! But the kissing? Mom said, “He was just sampling the wares, Cait. They’re all like that.” And the calling me very beautiful? “He sounds pretty confused. Like all boys. That just doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?”
I’d been feeling pretty embarrassed about the whole thing, because when I thought back about how I’d behaved towards him ever since we met, it had entirely been guided by the idea that he had a thing for me. So when he said he didn’t and that he never had (and that he had no idea where I’d have ever got that impression anyway), I thought about how all of that must have appeared to him, and I couldn’t help feeling rather stupid.
Mom to the rescue: there’s no point in being embarrassed about how I behaved when he’s running around like a particularly troublesome adolescent mule, and the unfathomably foolish antics of young men are not worth wasting time over–unless they can give you a good laugh.