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Not a Pretty Boy - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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February 11th, 2005


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09:56 pm - Not a Pretty Boy
Last night at dinner, I met a girl. She was someone I'd seen around at pharmacology seminars, but I didn't know. It turned out she was an undergrad working in one of the labs, and now she was applying for the grad program. This is our recruiting weekend.

There is a certain type of beauty, at least in my system of aesthetics, I've found is quite rare. Off the top of my head, I can only think of two other girls I've seen who have the look. It's a look of serenity, the face of a girl in a Renoir painting. Features not sharp but lightly smoothed. The kind of face the lilt and flow of the word "lovely" was made to describe.

As I said, I'd seen her before, and she had intrigued me then, but now that I was talking to her, and the pretty face had a person behind it, I got an Instacrush that superseded my previous crush on a classmate with Black-Rimmed Glasses of Total Sexiness.

I steal glances at pretty women. Supposedly, this is very stalker-ish of me, but I'm only admiring from afar. A smile can slay me. I try to be discreet.

Once at Starbucks, a cute barista was chatting with her co-worker, and she said, "I know what anaerobic means." Because science is hot, I smiled in her direction. Then she saw me and smiled back, and I, confused and startled, quickly averted my eyes and awkwardly walked away.

Your appearance is the first thing someone notices about you, and perhaps I'm overly fixated on it. It's what draws the eyes. I'm frequently drawn to women, as the Biscuit might say.

And I wonder whether I have that effect on anyone. Does anyone ever steal glances at me? Do I look like a painting to anyone? Does anyone go home and try to visualize my face so they don't forget it?

Before you discover my rapier-like wit, pop-culture knowledge, and rudimentary grasp of the English language, you have to get past my exterior, which evidence suggests is at least reasonably attractive. But not attracting. Enchanting, alluring. I don't think I have participles working for me.

I'm not allowed to complain, though, am I. Because this is a world where it's the guy's responsibility to make the first move, and I've only ever asked out one girl in my entire life, and it was for coffee, over e-mail, and she never got around to responding, but when I ran into her again she informed me she meant to e-mail and tell me that "she couldn't," because she hated coffee, or she hated me, or she hated e-mail, or I have no idea. I've never been so bold as to use the word "date," though I've been on countless non-dates.

I am crippled by my absolute certainty that no girl is seriously attracted to me. But there's more to it than that. I've noticed that often when I steal my glances, I immediately give them back, my eyes reverting to their previous position. As if I'm not worthy. As if I don't deserve it.

It's possible I need a therapist. I went to a counselor at Rice once, though, and I was really uncomfortable talking about myself to a complete stranger in that setting. It kind of soured me on the whole process.

It's possible I'm too introspective for my own good. I can induce a sharp, cutting pain running from my heart to my stomach.

I'm not allowed to date anyway. If I did, I'd just get to lie to my mom even more. Besides, I'd be a horrible boyfriend. I'd be needy and overprotective and jealous and I'd ruin everything. Plus, I'm not sure how my soul would deal with the idea of a girl I liked liking me back. My being is too wrapped up in the word "unrequited." I'd have nothing to complain about.

Now, I just stop everything before it starts. I can't ask, because I'm afraid of what happens if she says no, and I'm afraid of what happens if she says yes.

It's possible I'm more afraid of what happens if she says yes.

I think that was the first genuine epiphany that came out of writing this.

I ought to watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind a dozen more times until my subconscious realizes the correct answer to "What if it doesn't work out?" is "Who fucking cares?"

It is time to wind this entry down, with a quick reminder that I met a pretty girl last night.

I keep some fortunes in my wallet, fortunes I like especially that I'm waiting for to come true.

Someone special admires you.

With loose definitions of "special" and "admires," this one could be said to be true, but not in the way I'd like to interpret it.

The near future holds a gift of contentment.

This one did come true in its own way after I received it. I'm still waiting for more gifts, though. I'm greedy.

Today, at lunch, I got another fortune worthy of the wallet.

There's a secret romance blooming! Go for it, in spite of your hesitation.

I hate when life fucks with me like that.
Current Mood: lonelylonely
Current Music: Tegan and Sara - Come On

(49 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


From:metabeta
Date:February 12th, 2005 03:00 am (UTC)
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Can you, perhaps, hear what I might say to this?

It involves the words "go" and "for" and "it" and "don't make me send another memo, bitch."

*mmhug*
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From:spectralbovine
Date:February 12th, 2005 03:15 am (UTC)
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You should turn the memo into a meme-o.
From:metabeta
Date:February 12th, 2005 03:21 am (UTC)
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Don't make suggestions to me. You know how my evil mind works.
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From:capnnick
Date:February 12th, 2005 08:09 pm (UTC)
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Did I tell you I like your angry cat? Because I like your angry cat.
From:metabeta
Date:February 13th, 2005 12:38 am (UTC)
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Thaaaank you, cap'n. *salutes*
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From:dachelle
Date:February 12th, 2005 03:12 am (UTC)
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Hey, you're me! Except for like with the science and stuff, because I'm totally not smart enough for that. Anyways, I, the dateless wonder, am hardly qualified to give you advice, but {{hugs}} and understanding abound. And also, from your pics, I think you're quite nice-looking enough to attract attention.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:February 12th, 2005 03:16 am (UTC)
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Aw, thank you. *hugs back*
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From:foresthouse
Date:February 12th, 2005 03:46 am (UTC)
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*luffs your icon*

*and Dylan*
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From:alliterator
Date:February 12th, 2005 03:37 am (UTC)
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Hee. Listen to the fortune cookies! I find fortune are almost always right. Except for the ones that say, "Try again later." Those suck.
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From:foresthouse
Date:February 12th, 2005 03:46 am (UTC)
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It's possible I'm more afraid of what happens if [s]he says yes.

I can sympathize with that one!

But...why aren't you allowed to date?
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From:spectralbovine
Date:February 12th, 2005 04:00 am (UTC)
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I'm supposed to have an arranged marriage. Apparently, I am allowed to find my own wife if she's Indian and Gujarati (from our state). 95% of my conversations with my mom include her making sure I'm not dating.
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From:foresthouse
Date:February 12th, 2005 04:21 am (UTC)
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Are you, by any chance...Sikh?

Or what is it that makes you have to have an arranged marriage?
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From:spectralbovine
Date:February 12th, 2005 04:25 am (UTC)
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I, personally, am pretty much agnostic, but my family is Hindu. And Hindus have arranged marriages. My cousin just got married a month ago.
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From:foresthouse
Date:February 12th, 2005 04:33 am (UTC)
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Ah-ha! I asked about the Sikh thing b/c my friend xxpreityxx is Sikh and has to have an arranged marriage, too.

I...can't imagine trying to find someone from a certain state who is acceptable to your family. Good luck!
From:fishinginthemud
Date:February 12th, 2005 04:18 am (UTC)
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I'm the same way, yo. I can make eye contact with someone who's already looking over at me, but I can't hold it. I always have to break my gaze first. Better to imagine what could have happened than to find out what won't happen.

Funny story: a friend of mine wanted to know what would happen if you just kept staring at a guy who was leering at you instead of looking away, so she did. He actually drove his car up to her and started having a conversation with her. I don't know if she learned her lesson from that or what.
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From:beathen
Date:February 12th, 2005 05:51 am (UTC)
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*hugs*

Now when you can't "date" what does that mean (i.e. at what base does it cross over from "more than friends" to dating)? (You know, holding hands, kissing, etc.)

I know you're pretty shy, and I think that's adorable, but what about "friends with benefits"? You could still be [somewhat] honest to your mom.

"No mom, I'm not dating."
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From:beathen
Date:February 12th, 2005 05:54 am (UTC)
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Darn, I'm still new to this board and haven't figured everything out yet. What I meant to say was...

"No mom, I'm not dating" [snicker in the background]
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From:spectralbovine
Date:February 12th, 2005 03:18 pm (UTC)
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Oh, it's not like I've never kissed anyone before. Just not on a regular basis. So I've already told those little white lies.

My mom gets suspicious if I go out to meet a girl, and sometimes I can allay her fears honestly by saying she has a boyfriend. Of course, there's always been the understood "who is not me."
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From:ariiadne
Date:February 12th, 2005 09:52 am (UTC)
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I am willing to bet a large lego set that someone's stolen a glance at you in that fashion. A very large set indeed.

The idea of going forth and being bold is so much easier in theory than practice. ::hugs::
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From:kibarika
Date:February 12th, 2005 12:01 pm (UTC)
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"Because this is a world where it's the guy's responsibility to make the first move"

I've been a really crappy girl, then, because I'm way move-y. Like, way. WAY. My boyfriend now, he said to someone, "I'm going to go see this play that [mutual friend is in]" and I said "I'm coming with you!" and thus we had our first date. (Apparently he mentioned it in hopes I would say I wanted to go, so, um, I guess he made the subtle move and I made the obvious move.) I also gave him a card that was like, "HERE IS MY PHONE NUMBER. You know, if you want to, um, call me, sometime, ever."

Romance is scary. But also nice. I would go nuts if I had your "requirements" though. I ogle attractive men as often as I find them (not too often, I think, my standards are kind of high).

I did think it was hot that you said "participles." Grammar is sexy.
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From:sterope
Date:February 12th, 2005 05:12 pm (UTC)
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I totally agree with basically everything! I never act on any crush I have at all, although I'm trying to right now. It's so hard. I have this massive fear of rejection because the one time I asked someone out (to a dance in high school) he told me he couldn't because he was going to be out of town and then I found out he was going with another girl (who asked him after I did.) It was the most awful thing ever and has soured me on being bold forever. It sucks! But yeah, I hear ya. *Hug*
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From:golden_aurelia
Date:February 12th, 2005 06:41 pm (UTC)
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Dude. You need to make more trips to Chicago so I can take you on a tour of Devon. You need to be where you have some possibility of meeting Gujarati women if you plan to abide by this arranged marriage thing.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:February 12th, 2005 07:28 pm (UTC)
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Ooh. As for abiding, it's not so much a plan as a bridge I haven't lit the torches to burn yet. It would be very convenient for me indeed to meet a Gujarati woman worth falling in love with. Right now, of course, it's a matter of not being able to deal with any women, wherever they're from.

I like your penguin.
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From:capnnick
Date:February 12th, 2005 08:10 pm (UTC)
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I hate fortunes cookies. And horoscopes. They all think I'm some sort of overbearing megalomaniac. Arr!

Women are nice, yes? Except when they're not. Then they kind of still are.
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From:jeeperstseepers
Date:February 13th, 2005 01:19 am (UTC)
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"Features not sharp but lightly smoothed."

So she's...fuzzy? Whatever floats your boat, dude.

I know where you're coming from with the not-allowed-to-date thing, but I can one-up you: I'm not supposed to be friends or hang out with guys, period. So nyeah. But I do anyway. Once in a while I tell the truth and other times I tell lies that have a grain of truth.

And your fortunes sound nice. You know you're supposed to add "in bed" to the end of every fortune, right?
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From:spectralbovine
Date:February 13th, 2005 01:47 am (UTC)
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So she's...fuzzy?

You freak. I'm no good at physical description. I just meant not...angular. I don't know.

I'm not supposed to be friends or hang out with guys, period.

I don't know whether that's the official policy for me, but it sure seems like it, since any girl friend is suspected of being a girlfriend. It's always, "Don't you have any guy friends?" And the ever popular, "Don't you have any Indian friends?" My best friend freshman year of college was a white girl, and her parents, because they are nice, invited me to their home for Christmas, and my parents freaked the fuck out.

They were all, "Who is she?" And I was all, "A friend!" And they were all, "What kind of a friend?" And I was all, "A...best...kind." And they were all, "No, you can't do that! You cannot cross the line! YOU WILL BURN IN HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY NYAH NYAH NYAH."

(In their defense, she did end up being my first kiss. But they didn't know that and it's not like I kiss every girl I know. Just...some of them.)

It is not happy fun times, me and the parents.

You know you're supposed to add "in bed" to the end of every fortune, right?

But of course.
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From:jeeperstseepers
Date:February 13th, 2005 02:31 am (UTC)
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I can beat you again with the following conversation I had with my father a few years ago:

Crazy Father: Why does this boy want to hang out with you? Is he interested in dating you?
Me: No. We're friends.
Crazy Father: Why would he want to be your friend?

Thanks a lot, Dad.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:February 13th, 2005 02:36 am (UTC)
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Wow.

Okay, you win.
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From:lyspeth
Date:February 17th, 2005 11:26 pm (UTC)
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For some reason I always find it strangely funny to read references to myself where I'm not me, just a kind of character in a story.

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From:pixxi_is_dizzy
Date:February 13th, 2005 02:52 am (UTC)
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Last night I was reading on imdb about Howard Hughes (for some 4 am kind of reason.. I think it was Simpsons related.. anyways) and it told me that he went to Rice University and my first thought was "Oh my goodness! That Sunil guy went there too! Sweet!" and you're already fairly substantial coolness points went up a few more notches.

I'm that much of a dork. It's kinda sad.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:February 13th, 2005 02:59 am (UTC)
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Howard Hughes went to Rice? I didn't know that! How cool. I wonder what college he was at.

Oooh, he dropped out, though. Just like Candace Bushnell! I should have dropped out of Rice; I could have been famous.

Dorkiness is way cool.
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From:pixxi_is_dizzy
Date:February 13th, 2005 03:18 am (UTC)
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What were you thinking? Completing your years.. tsk tsk!

Look what you've given up! And for what? A proper education? Geez!

*grins*
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From:beathen
Date:February 13th, 2005 07:18 pm (UTC)
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What I'd like to know is why are you following what your parents have laid out for you in terms of marriage? Why do you feel compelled to let your parents decide how you should live your life and why not just tell then you are going to do things your way? I know I'm coming from a different perspective than you, especially regarding the religion, but in my opinion, as adults we should be able to decide what is right for ourselves instead of letting someone else dictate our lives.
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From:jennnk
Date:February 14th, 2005 12:47 am (UTC)
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I think you're cute, but I have a thing for dark haired/eyed guys and/or nerds.
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From:casinobaden13
Date:May 25th, 2005 04:24 am (UTC)
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Everyone in the world is insecure, even 'pretty girls'. My roommate is gorgeous (I can show you a picture, if you don't believe me), and she's one of the most insecure people I know.

I say go for it too. Family is important, but having fun is important too.

I lie to my parents all the time.

I'm a horrible influence.
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From:punzerel
Date:July 28th, 2005 07:57 pm (UTC)
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Change "Don't you have any Indian friends?" to "Why aren't you friends with any Jewish guys?" and you have my life. Unfortunately for my parents, I'm deviating from the path; took a chance on dating a non-Jewish grumpy agnostic guy and fell absolutely in love with him. When they find out, oh boy am I in for some hellfire. I hope you find someone - if you find someone parent-acceptable, your life will be a hell of a lot easier, but if she's not, and you love her? Go for it anyways, because it could still end up being the best thing in your life - and it opens you up to so much in the way of new experiences and feelings and questions. And struggling through the "oh-no-what-are-we-gonna-do" sucks, yeah - but it also makes everything that much more intense.
(It would have been simpler if I'd fallen in love with a nice Jewish guy - but I have the same issues with the Jewish community that you seem to have the Gujarati community around you. Maybe if I'd spend more time with them, I'd have found someone I could deeply connect with - but on the other hand, I spent the majority of my schooling within the community and I didn't see it happening any time soon. And I love my boyfriend so much that I can't see it as a bad thing that I fell in love with him - we'll work out a way to reconcile our philosophical differences. The only thing that hurts is the fact that I'll be hurting my parents.)
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From:spectralbovine
Date:July 28th, 2005 08:00 pm (UTC)
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I wish you much luck with your parents, then. *hugs*

Also, you're really bored. But thanks for going through old posts. I'm enjoying it.
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From:punzerel
Date:July 28th, 2005 08:03 pm (UTC)
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Thanks :)

And. Erp. *blush* Yes. Sorry about that. Afternoons are slow at the office where I work.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:July 28th, 2005 08:05 pm (UTC)
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No need to apologize! It's terribly flattering, and, like I said, I'm enjoying it.
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From:punzerel
Date:July 28th, 2005 08:08 pm (UTC)
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Excessive apologizing used to be something of a trademark of mine - I'm cutting down on it though ;) And I'm glad you don't mind; I don't want to be creepy, skimming through your archives.
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From:soleta_nf
Date:March 28th, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
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Dude, I'm not even done reading and I have to respond. I guess I hadn't read this before, didn't know you in 2005.

Because this is a world where it's the guy's responsibility to make the first move,

Man, I wish that were true! I mean, I suppose it's supposed to be, but guys don't make first moves with me. I have recently taken the "fuck you" sign off my forehead, though, so maybe that will improve in the near future. But the current boy in my life? I make all the moves. :(

and I've only ever asked out one girl in my entire life, and it was for coffee, over e-mail, and she never got around to responding, but when I ran into her again she informed me she meant to e-mail and tell me that "she couldn't," because she hated coffee, or she hated me, or she hated e-mail, or I have no idea.

Aw. I just wanted to say I loved this line, in its poetic-ness. "because she hated coffee, or she hated me..."

Now, I just stop everything before it starts. I can't ask, because I'm afraid of what happens if she says no, and I'm afraid of what happens if she says yes.

SO YES! Success in dating scares me as much as failure, seriously. My current thing is at a standstill I think. Physically, it has been developing well. But the other stuff is scary, the "dating" part, which I really don't know how to do. So I just sit in my emo, hoping it all works out, or dies a quick death, or something. :(

And this feels weird to say, and by saying that I kinda spoil the casual I guess, but I think (hope) this might make you feel better so... I want to let you know that I had a crush on you for the longest time. And yes I like your photos. You're hot! There, I said it.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:March 29th, 2008 12:09 am (UTC)
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I just wanted to say I loved this line, in its poetic-ness. "because she hated coffee, or she hated me..."
Thanks. I like it too.

Success in dating scares me as much as failure, seriously.
So it's not just me!

And this feels weird to say, and by saying that I kinda spoil the casual I guess, but I think (hope) this might make you feel better so... I want to let you know that I had a crush on you for the longest time.
Aww. That's sweet of you to say. *hug*

You're hot! There, I said it.
If you say so!
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From:soleta_nf
Date:March 29th, 2008 12:21 am (UTC)
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It's not just you at all!!

And you're welcome. :) *hugs back*

"You're hot! There, I said it.
If you say so!"

See, this is what I find fascinating about complements and such. And I used to do this all the time, so I am talking about myself and people in general, not just you. But it really is true (as someone said in your other post) that unless you feel good about yourself (at least in some basic, foundational way), nothing anyone else says will make any impression on you. I had guys hitting on me and following me around growing up, yet I was convinced I was fat and ugly. Nothing no one else said could convince me otherwise. So now that I have worked to feel better about myself (not all the way there, but a lot better), I have come to be able to accept complements and am even starting to believe them.

...My thinking here primarily is about the boy in my life, who has raging bad self-esteem. I think I'm starting to realize that no matter what I say that won't change unless he works on it himself. I don't know what that means for my desire to date him... It's just frustrating, you know, to not make any impression. To know the person's self-love "garden" is so dry and desolate that no seeds I plant can grow. Is there room for a partner there? I'm not so sure.
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From:electricmonk
Date:October 17th, 2008 11:48 pm (UTC)
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Jesus. I guess I didn't read this back in '05, or at least didn't comment, probably because I was off on study abroad, but... sometimes I forget why we're the same person.

This is why we're the same person.

Not that romantic insecurity and anxious stomach feelings are so unique — maybe everyone's actually the same person — but honestly. This:

It's possible I'm more afraid of what happens if she says yes.

Yes. Fuck.
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From:pica_scribit
Date:June 12th, 2012 07:09 pm (UTC)
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Not having met you in real life (and who knows? this was seven years ago; maybe things have changed a lot since you wrote this), I can't venture an opinion on this one, but you do manage to come off as quite charming and charismatic over the webz. Definitely the kind of person who makes me feel a little insecure in the, "gosh, I hope he thinks I'm cool" kind of way. But I think most people have these kinds of self-doubts to a greater or lesser extent. We're always going to spend more time noticing other people than noticing whether other people are noticing us. And even when we do notice other people noticing us, we often second-guess it and dismiss it as our imaginations. Because it is scarier to try and fail than to live in our imaginations, where we can always be the ones in control of what happens.

I also keep several fortunes in my wallet. Including an incredibly cheeky one that just says, "You will find a small fortune." Thanks, cookie.

(At this rate, I'm going to make you sorry you ever told me to comment on your old LJ entries.)
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From:spectralbovine
Date:June 12th, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)
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this was seven years ago; maybe things have changed a lot since you wrote this
What's really sad is that, no, things haven't changed that much. Except for the fact where I recently did, for the first time, actually ask someone out on a date, using the word "date." She said no, of course.

(At this rate, I'm going to make you sorry you ever told me to comment on your old LJ entries.)
Nah. No one has done something like this in years.
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From:pica_scribit
Date:June 12th, 2012 07:34 pm (UTC)
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Aw, that's too bad. I went on a couple sort-of dates in March with a couple I met through OKCupid. They were really cool people, but I just didn't have the energy to pursue anything with them. Working the night shift drains my life force. But I've been more or less happily single for a while now. It's lonely sometimes, but I do like having my time to myself to do with as I please.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:June 12th, 2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
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I did also go out on a couple sort-of-dates with a girl I met on OKCupid a couple years ago, but then she said we should just be friends, and then we didn't actually speak to each other ever again.

I don't know how to be anything BUT single.
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From:pica_scribit
Date:June 12th, 2012 07:42 pm (UTC)
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Strangely, I didn't used to know how to *not* be in a relationship. I constantly had to be with another person or pursuing someone to give my life meaning. I think it's been good for me to take a break, though, and figure some things out. I know I can be happy by myself now. Also, I've been sort of afraid to try anything again for a while now, since I have this pattern of always being the one who fucks things up, and I don't actually *like* hurting people I care about. If it's between than and becoming an old cat lady, well, I like cats.

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