Tag Archives: cringe

Origins #24

25 May

At the end of the last post I was lamenting the fact that I’d sent Rene an email after getting a bit sentimental at my final ever Powderfinger show. I had a proper self-cringe going imagining just how lame and embarrassing that email must have been.

Well, I got a little curious if I still had access to that email and it turns out I found it! Here’s what I actually sent:

I think I’ve finally gotten to my point:  I want to know who you are without all the walls. I’m not in a rush. I’m not expecting anything. I’m not looking ahead. I’m looking at some free time I have on Sunday and thinking I’d enjoy that time more if I spent it with you, regardless of what we call that.

You don’t need to reply. I don’t expect you to change your mind and I’ll leave it be from here on out. I just had to say this. Don’t even know why.

Yep, still cringe worthy but not nearly as ridiculous as I would have thought.

notentirelyunpleasant.gif

Considering the mental state I was in at that point in time, I almost give myself a pass. I wouldn’t have normally sent anything, but I wouldn’t normally have been in that situation to begin with.

I think most people would be stressed out enough with what happened with Rene, let alone with all the other shit I was already dealing with. Anyway, on with the story.

A new day cometh

I woke up the next morning and immediately knew it had been a bad decision to send that email. I also knew it was a fat lot of good coming to that conclusion after having sent it.

I avoided checking my emails for the majority of the day but I knew I’d eventually have to face the fallout, and finally checked my emails. There was a reply from Rene.

Fuck.

I didn’t want her to reply. I just wanted to tell her where my head was at. I was worried about making any missteps because I was worried about getting fired as a result, and I was  concerned that this might have been that misstep.

gulp.gif

Scared or not, I had to read her response. It read:

Of course I have to reply, and thank you for what you said.

The truth is I haven’t changed my mind. I know you’re not thinking beyond the present and have no expectations etc, but it’s never as simple as that – and I know myself too. That sounds so ambiguous and probably like a cop out, but it’s true and please just understand that.

I hope things are still cool.

I guess you can read things different ways depending on your state of mind but to me that was a fairly assertive, “It’s not gonna happen. Don’t bring this up again.

nonono

But what was that “ambiguous cop out” bit about? That thing about “I know myself” was  a head-scratcher too. It struck me that Rene was very clearly avoiding explaining anything and just wanted me to leave it alone.

At that time I was equally interested in understanding why Rene had made such a quick about-face as I was in trying to get her to spend time with me and I had lost out on both of points with that response. What she had said only brought up more questions and further emphasized that, whatever the cause, we weren’t going to be getting together to discuss that, or anything else anytime soon.

Yeah umm, sorry.

Given what I perceived as a pretty sturdy and undeniable “Back off”, and the fact that I had been worried about losing my job before any of that chaos with Rene even started, I decided to retreat and try to figure everything out without Rene’s help.

When I say retreat, I mean it. I had already gone into almost complete submission mode when Rene had gotten all freaked out about our upcoming date and I intended to be as delicate as I could possibly be from here on out to make sure my job wasn’t further threatened.

runnn

I have to explain something. I’m not good at bowing to people. I’m not a tip-toeing sort of person. It goes against my nature. I’m direct. I deal with things head on wherever possible. I find it more uncomfortable to dance around an issue than to just tackle it head on. But what choice did I have?

I responded in the least confrontational way I could think of.

Yeah umm, sorry.
Everything’s cool. I Just had a common sense failure after powderfinger got me feeling all sentimental.
Hopefully you can forget that happened or at least put it down to the absinthe I’d been drinking.

Stiff upper lip and all that

I had gone out on a limb at Rene’s request. I had been vulnerable at her request. She had  rejected me after demanding I ask her out. She had provided little in the way of explanation. What little explanation there was had proved more confusing than no explanation at all. Plus, I was sworn to secrecy so I could only speak about it with Rene. Except she didn’t want to talk about it all, which meant I couldn’t talk about it with anyone.

Still, I was more worried about what was going on in Rene’s head than my own. She’d mentioned dealing with an extremely difficult situation that had left her “nothing left to give”. I wanted to help but it was very clear that I wasn’t welcome in any of whatever was going on on her side.

As for me, it’s funny, I’d had a crush on Rene before all this had happened, but I didn’t think about her unless we were in the same place at the same time. I hadn’t intended to try and make anything happen with her, yet suddenly, there I was doing things I wouldn’t normally do. Those emails were a prime example. I didn’t understand what was happening on her side, or mine.

I felt embarrassed, exposed, rejected, humiliated and a host of other feelings that I didn’t even recognize, and the only person I was allowed to speak with about the situation was  clearly unwilling to do so.

I was out of options. All I could do was try to process it alone. I told myself that if I could hold out for a while, Rene would calm down and we’d talk it out then.

determinedornot

…”Hang in there baby” You said it kitty. “Copyright 1968?” Hmm, determined or not, that cat must be long dead. That’s kind of a  downer…

 

I knew that would be exceedingly difficult but that was what I was facing, so I resigned myself to fate. Stiff upper lip and all that.

faceTheStorm.gif

 

Next time

I’ll tell you about when the levy broke.

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Origins #20

12 Jul

After breaking up with me, Rene had promptly decided that giving me a smack on the arse was the appropriate course of action to take. After I wrestled with her trying to kiss her, she’d told me, “Don’t make this hard.” and I, more confused than ever was now sitting in the passenger seat of her little BMW as we trundled back from our non-date.

I had thought the situation was pretty straight forward until Rene had smacked me on the arse. I had thought she was just not attracted to me anymore for whatever reason, and while I thought that was a shitty thing to deal with, it was something I’d seen happen before, and something I could deal with.

When Rene smacked me on the arse and giggled her head off while I wrestled with her to kiss her, I had gotten a very, very different impression. It appeared that Rene was still very much attracted to me, and that she might possibly have been genuine about the ‘bad timing’ stuff. I had of course thought that was all a bunch of bullshit she’d been spouting because she didn’t know how to tell me she wasn’t interested, but it seemed remotely plausible after the surprise smack on the arse.

Small talk: Take 1

Anyway, her little BMW rolled on as we both peered out at the nearly empty streets. Not wanting to “Make this hard” and also wanting to avoid the awkward silence we’d been sitting in for the past minute or two, I tried to find a benign topic to fill the time discussing.

You must have worked really hard to afford this car. It’s amazing. The leather seats, all the technology, you must have been very proud to have earned it.

Ah… actually… it’s a company car. I didn’t pay anything for it.

Rene looked somewhat embarrassed upon providing the details.

Strike 1! But that was an interesting thing to learn. I’d been under the impression that Rene had worked hard to afford that car. I had seen her working at Tim Everlong’s businesses so long that I assumed she had made good money and bought it for herself as a reward. That little fact lodged in my head in just the same way as watching Rene choose not to wait for the pedestrians earlier in the night.

Small talk: Take 2

Does Laura know where you are tonight?

God NO! She thinks I’m out with friends! I had to lie to her! I NEVER lie to her!

Special circumstances, I guess.

Y’know, she asked me about you…

What about?

She asked me what you looked like under your clothes. She asked “Is he really fit? Is he cut?”

This was a revelation to me. Learning that Laura had wondered how I look naked had put a massive smile on my face, conversely, it had also stressed me the fuck out! Laura wasn’t supposed to know that anything happened between Rene and I. The momentary glow of flattery was quickly overrun by concern about dealing with Laura’s knowledge of events.

What? Wait! Why would she ask…? Hang on! Did you tell her that we…

No, no, no, no, nothing like that! When she asked I said “How would I know?” and she let it go. I hate lying to her. I tell her EVERYTHING. It’s going to kill me to keep this from her. You can’t tell anyone. Please, don’t tell anyone about this, ok?

“Thank fuck for that”, I thought to myself. At least Laura didn’t know anything. At least that was something.

Of course, Laura. I promised, I won’t tell anyone, and I won’t.

Rene was upset. “Dammit, I just called her by her sister’s name, didn’t I?”, I realised.

Sorry. You know I know your name, Rene. You know I know who you are. I just slipped because we were just talking about Laura, that’s all. Nothing more than that.

We’ll have to find a new Flash developer

Jesus, what a night.

That’s ok, but don’t do it again or we’ll have to find a new Flash developer.

Rene laughed at her own “joke” and I did that stupid thing where you automatically laugh when someone else is laughing. Then I registered what Rene had actually just said.

Wait! What?!

I’m only joking! haha! Oh my God the look on your face was priceless!

Oh. Right. Good one.

I mumbled the words, far from impressed with Rene’s joke.

The scenario itself was stressful enough without adding the anguish of contemplating Rene turning on me and getting me fired, which apparently was an option available to her. I hadn’t really considered that possibility. I had been worried about her father or her sister being upset with me and firing me, but I hadn’t considered that Rene could say the word and have me removed. Great.

I felt like a blind man in a minefield. Rene noticed that I didn’t take the joke very well.

You’re really cute when you’re angry.

Whatever.

Oh, don’t be like that, I was joking. But you are really cute.

She looked at me like we hadn’t just been through some weird sort of break up barely 20 minutes earlier. She was looking at me like she was properly interested in me. I don’t know exactly how to explain it but I knew she was into me and I knew she wanted something to happen between me and her.

You’re beautiful.

Rene blushed. I reached over and put my hand on her thigh. Her brow raised in surprise.

Don’t. Don’t make this hard. We can’t.

Yeah, you’ve said that. You’ve said all of that, but I still get the vibe that we’re going to get together.

Rene looked me in the eye and gave me a confirming, flirtatious smile.

I know.

Nearly 5 years have passed and I still remember that smile like she’s right in front of me. It’s carved into my memory. I can’t forget it, no matter how much I want to. Rene’s smile amplified the words she’d spoken. That smile said, “You’re right, and we both know it.”

It made no damned sense to come so close and then just turn and walk away before we’d given it a shot, especially when there was no denying we were interested in each other. I didn’t know what the hell else there was to do and I figured if Rene would just let it into her head that I was genuinely interested, she might not be so resistant to the idea of us spending some time together.

You’re one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met. You’re smart. You’re sexy. You’re not perfect, and you know it, and that only makes you more interesting. You’re an extraordinary person.

Yeah, I’m cringing pretty hard at that memory, but that’s what I said.

Rene had gone quiet. She was nearly crying again. She was shivering in her leather seat as she gripped tight onto that luxurious black leather steering wheel with its white stitching. She ushered out words as if she wanted to hold onto them at the same time as forcing them out.

That’s… the… That’s… the nicest… thing… anyone… has ever… said… to me.

I mean it, Rene.

Back to the bell tower

_belltower

This place, except, y’know, it was night time.

I’m not sure why we ended up back near the Bell Tower. It would have been shorter to go a different way. Whatever the reason, we were now traversing the same street on which I’d run into my friend Chico earlier that night. To my left was the venue at which Powderfinger, my favourite band, had played one of their last ever shows. A few stragglers were still milling around the mostly empty city streets.

The traffic light ahead had turned amber. Rene’s elegant and practical company car slowed to a stop as light turned red.

There was still music playing at the park to my left as the last of the punters wandered out. It had been annoying me that I hadn’t tried to kiss Rene when we were having our talk at the beach, even though I’d been overfull with that tasty burger. I was annoyed that it seemed like Rene wanted something to happen and was talking herself out of it.

Rene looked especially beautiful there in the wash of the orange and white street lights. She was looking straight at me, almost like she was daring me to do something. The words “Do it” rang out through my head. My internal monologue shouted, “IT’S NOW OR NEVER.”

I hadn’t yet decided to go but found I was already leaning in. I was going to kiss her, right there in front of the Bell Tower where this whole ridiculous evening had started.

Next time…

I’ll tell you how leaning in to kiss Rene played out.

Origins #17

30 Jun

I’d sent through an sms to Rene suggesting that we talk about things in person rather than by text and was waiting for her response.

Luckily, I didn’t have to wait very long for a reply on that occasion. Rene replied within a few minutes. She said something like:

Yes. Let’s talk about it in person. I know you’re without a car at the moment, so how about we meet up in the city and talk it out over a coffee.

Sure, going to the city seemed weird considering Rene clearly knew I didn’t have a car and it would be just as easy for her to drive to my place or meet at a cafe nearby, but all things considered, I thought that was a decent outcome. We weren’t making it a huge deal, we were just going to talk it over and figure it out from there, plus, we’d be hanging out, so that was a win too.

On the flip-side, we were organizing a very, very strange first date.

awkward dateThat all happened Tuesday afternoon and we planned to meet up in the city at 7pm Wednesday for our chat.

Can you keep a secret?

If you recall, Rene made me promise not to tell anyone what we’d gotten up to. I had kept my promise. That meant that all of this was being done without anyone else knowing what was going on, or at least not on my side, I have no idea who Rene told or didn’t tell.

If I wasn’t sworn to secrecy I’d have found someone to talk to about how to handle the night ahead, but that wasn’t an option, so, I instead spent a lot of that Wednesday trying to not think about the situation. That was a challenge.

Trying not to overthink it and trying not to ignore it completely. Trying to come up with ways to give Rene an easy out if she really wasn’t into it and trying to come up with ways to figure out if she was just scared. Trying to figure out how to proceed given the two potential outcomes. All while trying not to think about it and trying to ignore the ridiculous workload I was dealing with at the time considering I was at work, y’know, at the company her father owned. A challenge indeed.

Honestly?

I don’t remember the exchange too well, but I know that between me finishing work and the time Rene and I were meant to meet, we had an sms back-and-forth which makes me cringe pretty severely.

I guess we were discussing exactly where to meet and somehow got onto other things. I know that I was trying to give Rene an easy out in case she was freaking out. The part of the conversation that I do remember and still makes me cringe, went something like this.

Don’t stress too much about tonight, I always thought you were way out of my league anyway.

I think that whole leagues thing is B.S.

Easy for you to say, you’re playing in the majors 😉

I mean, who does that, honestly?

honestlyYes, I used a smiley. Yes, I was effectively telling her I thought she was too good for me and that I wasn’t confident that she should be interested in me. Yes, I was doing a piss-poor job of attempting to lighten the mood and make things easier on us both by trying to make a joke. Yes, I still cringe at the slightest thought of that exchange. Hopefully writing it down gets it out of my head forever, ’cause yeeeeesh I’d like to forget that one.

To the city!

The time had come to head to the city, and public transport was going to be a pain in the arse, so I got a cab. That poor cabbie, he had no idea what was coming when I got in. He asked me where I was off to and out poured the whole story about how I hooked up with my boss’s daughter and how she seemed to be buggin’ out and how my boss had already made it very clear he was pissed about the whole thing and blah blah blah! Poor bloke! Clearly trying to keep that secret was proving a challenge and this anonymous stranger who couldn’t escape was at my blurting mercy. Don’t feel too bad for him, there was so much traffic that the 5 minute drive lasted half an hour, so he got some good cash out of it and he had a good laugh about the situation with me, or at least I think he did, I’m not entirely sure he spoke English.

Anyway, I was now dropped off in the city and wandering towards a coffee shop I’d never heard of even though there are about a thousand coffee shops within a few steps of my place. I was still trying to find the place when my phone started to ring, of course it was Rene.

Rene tells me that she’s stuck in traffic and it looks like there’s no hope of her getting a parking spot. The best course of action, Rene had decided, was for me to meet up with her at the Bell Tower, where she’d pick me up and we’d head off somewhere else for our coffee.

Look, at this point I figured as long as we get to have the conversation we needed to have, that’s good enough. Where, when and how, didn’t matter a whole lot. Good thing too, because the traffic was so bad that I’d be waiting at least half an hour for Rene to even get to the Bell Tower.

To The Bell Tower!

No worries. The Bell Tower isn’t too hard to get to from the middle of the city, so off I headed towards it, but even that would prove to be eventful. For starters, the footpaths were as busy as the roads, which meant even walking was slow-going. It turns out that when the city you live in is blocked up like a drain full of hair, you tend to see people you know.

As I walked down the main street towards the Bell Tower I heard someone yelling out my name. I discovered that the origin of the noise was my mate Chico, who was half hanging out of a car sitting in the jam-packed main street. Chico called me over and asked if I was “going to the show?”

I didn’t know what the hell he was talking about so Chico kindly explained that Powderfinger, my favourite band, who were doing their farewell tour around Australia, had put on two extra shows due to overwhelming demand, and that was why he, and several thousand other people, were in the city that night.

I knew Powderfinger were playing Friday, because I was going to that show, but this Wednesday night show was news to me. Chico asked what I was doing in the city that night. I fell into an impressively stupified ‘Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm’ and eventually explained that I couldn’t tell him. That, of course, only triggered more questions. I promised I’d explain at some point but that right now was not the time. He was still trying to get it out of me when the traffic finally started moving enough that he had to drive on.

But wait! That’s not all!

My phone starts to ring again. This time it’s my friend Becky. Becky had previously worked at Everlong, but had quit due to frustrations from having to work under Gus. Becky and I had gone out several times but it was always a weird “we’re not really going out” scenario because we worked at the same place, but since she’d quit we’d gotten a bit more familiar and would talk on the phone for ages and ages. There wasn’t anything particularly romantic between us at this point and we would talk to each other about all the details of our lives. For me, what was happening with Rene would be a prime conversation to have with her, but instead I had to pretend nothing was happening.

Becky naturally asked what I was up to and explained that it sounded like I was somewhere busy.

I was on the spot and had to come up with an explanation that made sense, so I told her I was down at the Chesterfield waiting for people to show up. How cunning, she wouldn’t even know I was in the city! It was genius! Except it wasn’t, because Becky proceeded to inform me that she was stuck in traffic in the middle of the city right near The Bell Tower.

So, now I’m busy on the phone with Becky, doing my best to not look like me, as I walk directly towards where I know she is. In the meantime, I have no idea how far away Rene is and I have to make sure she can recognise me if she’s there already. Rene of course can’t tell me where she is because she’s busy driving, Becky on the other hand has hands free and can talk as much as she wants… and I’m apparently only waiting for mates to show up at the Chesterfield, so I’ve obviously got time. I also can’t tell Becky that I’ve gotta get off the phone because people have arrived because anyone who would be meeting me at the Chesterfield would be someone Becky would know and she would always ask me to pass the phone to people she knew.

Man, I thought this would be bloody simple!

I don’t remember exactly how I made it to The Bell Tower without Becky seeing me. I seem to recall that she said something about having to focus on driving because her car was manual and that at least helped me get off the phone with her. Becky never had the best eye sight, so luckily enough, she didn’t spot me and I didn’t have to explain why I’d just flat out lied to her.

Finally

I finally made it to the Bell Tower parking area where I was supposed to wait for Rene. And there I waited. I don’t have a clue how long it took but it felt like an hour. Then in rolled Rene, in her fancy little BMW, looking somewhat flustered from the frustrations of traffic. I climbed into her car and off we went to continue one of the most confusing evenings of my life.

Next time…

Next time on how not to be a crazy bitch:

  • “Very smooth by the way”
  • Someone touches a bum
  • Someone nearly burps out a burger
  • Someone pulls a matrix-esque dodge
  • More mega cringey moments

Seeya then!

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