I’ll Be Around


If you know me well, or if you’ve read pretty much anything I’ve written, you know that I fancy myself a strong, independent woman who needs no man. Most of the time, I’m downright relieved that I don’t have to devote any mental or emotional energy to any sort of romantic relationship. All the other life stuff is truly more than enough to worry about.

Earlier this year, however, I realized that I may have too readily dismissed the remote possibility that I could meet someone I really, really wanted to date. As usual, this is something my mom has told me more times than I could ever count. Each time, it’s fallen on deaf (stubborn, salty, obstinate) ears.

The details aren’t terribly important, but I met an adult human man who met all my ridiculous criteria (and then some) for a beau. We hung out several times in the following week and then, out of what seemed to me like nowhere, he told me (via text, mind you) that it just wouldn’t work. And that’s the whole damn story.

I’m not usually one to let myself get excited about anything unless the signs are crystal clear. And I’m certainly not one to let myself become attached to another human unless I’m confident that my excitement is being reciprocated. I’m not saying I loved the guy, but I was comfortably certain that whatever was going to happen would be good.

But nothing happened. And I’m still annoyed. I think I might be annoyed forever.

When I was in high school, a close guy friend joked that I would marry the first guy I fell in love with. I’d argue that it was one of the meanest things a friend has said to my face to this day. It’s something I usually end up thinking about when I’m navigating a rough mental-health patch and it’s something I always end up thinking about when I start to like someone. It doesn’t happen very often, but my friend was right to a certain extent.

When I fall, I fall hard and I don’t always know how to separate my feelings from the real things that are actually happening around me.

Anyway, mister perfect didn’t want to date me and he wouldn’t tell me why. Maybe it was because he didn’t want to hurt my feelings any more than he had to, or maybe it was because he had no intention of dating me in the first place (a notion I still refuse to entertain). Either way, I now have even more ridiculously specific items on my must-have list than ever before, and I don’t think it’s going to work in my favor as I get closer and closer to that magical age when people throw in the towel (see Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari) and get engaged to whoever they’re dating.

I guess my point is: if there are any Chicago-based, Latino mama’s boys who love women, enjoy tidy living spaces, want a dog, think Obvi is awesome, want to help me learn Spanish, think I’m weird in a good way, and (most importantly) won’t dump me via text, get at me. I’ll be around, pretending I’m not waiting for you to tap me on the shoulder on the train or something.

Madelaine Walker Contributor Photo
Madelaine Walker : Anthropology enthusiast, bookworm & couch potato. In search of a life I’ll be proud to recount in old age. New Motto: Do no harm, but take no shit.