Of Creepy Vs. Cute

Creepy girl

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Everyone has the potential for coming across as an all-star creeper. Trust me, I have the skills to creep your pants off if I desire – take that literally or figuratively, I don’t care. At the same time, all humans can come across absolutely adorable, cuteness oozing through all pores. So the next time you think, ugh s/he is so creepy, just remember that someone somewhere in the world thinks the exact same thing about you.

The real question is what makes a person or interaction creepy? To put it simply, I think it comes down to understanding a rapport. Are we friends? Are they attractive? Have I met them? Do I like them (romantic or platonic)? These are the questions that determine if the behavior is cute, creepy, or creepy-esque (an awkward, but awesome, friendship).

For any of you that are easily confused by social situations, if the answer to the question, have I met them? is no. Then don’t make a move other than to get to know them – for you will come across creepy unless you’re celebrity-level-attractive.

If the answer to all four questions is a heartfelt YES!!! Then any attempts at being creepy will fail. In order to succeed in making the other human uncomfortable you’ll have to put forth a lot of effort and catch your romantic interest off guard. Best to accept your fate and just be the delectable little dumpling that you are, for everything you do will have your partner thinking, awww. So relax, watch some gag worthy romantic comedies, snuggle whilst drinking tea, and proceed to melt into an adorable pile of goo.

In all other circumstances there’s a boundary. Defining the line of cute vs. creepy will require you to pay attention to your surroundings. The same behavior can trigger very different reactions if you’re lost in your head. I’ll give you an example:

I was saying goodbye to a girl I was kind of/sorta/almost seeing for a while and she put her hands in the pockets of my trench coat when we stood outside my car. We were standing in a middle-school slow dance pose chatting, when I paused for a moment, looked down, and said, “Hey, I sent a man away for putting his hand in my pocket.” To which she replied, “Yeah, but you like me.” We proceed to kiss goodbye and I drove away. It was all very simple and sweet, damn cute I’d say.

The man that I mentioned to her, trespassed into creepy territory. I was at a nightclub and I gave the bastard a chance by letting him dance with me. And to my surprise he was decent (for a club dancer) and he even bought me a drink.

I’d never had someone buy me a drink before, and I haven’t since. He continued hanging around me, which was fine, after all, I did let him dance with me and buy me alcohol. But then he put his hand in the pocket of my dress. Excuse me! Those are my pockets. Mine! Put your arm around my shoulder or waist, fine, but don’t put your hand in my pocket, mediocre looking man I’ve just met. I lifted his hand up and said, “You can’t just put your hand in my pocket.” And he said, “But I bought you a drink.” And I said “Yeah, and thank you. But you still can’t put your hand in my pocket.” Then he huffed and puffed away and eventually was groping on a super skanky chick. Creepy.

Ultimately the behavior was the same – hands in pockets – the difference was the rapport.

The final type of behavior in these situations is creepy-esque. Basically it’s taking what would be seen as creepy and blowing it up to satirical proportions. Be warned, not everyone has the personality or skill to pull this off. It really is a talent you’re born with, and can only be practiced on people who actually like you as a human being. Otherwise – you’ll have no friends.

I have some friendships that are founded on my being creepy-esque and them playing the straight card. I’ll hug them, whisper sweet nothings in their ear, and they’ll stand there like I just put a gun to their head. Everyone laughs, and we go on our merry ways. Other friends will dish the creepy-esque right back – quickly those friendships turn into a competitive, top that bitch, type of bond. And there are some people who I wouldn’t be anything but cute and socially polite for, why?, because I understand our rapport and they couldn’t handle the creepy side of my persona.

Are you/they being cute or creepy is a question that can easily be asked daily, both in romantic and platonic situations. It’s amazing to me how many people don’t understand the nature (and beauty for that matter) of various forms of friendships and bonds.

So are you cute or creepy? The answers gotta be, “Yes.”

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Of the Female Friendship Ladder

Friends

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In the female world, whether you happen to be gay or straight, there is a ladder of friendship. I’ve chosen the 10 most frequent (at least in my life experience) types of friend to encounter. We lesbians just happen to have the extra “girlfriend” or in my case “love interest who ended up being either straight or taken” that gets tacked on the top of the chart in the same place where “boyfriend” would be for the straight community.With men there’s only three levels (Can’t stand you, you’re okay, or we’re buds), that’s it! Of course with females we’ve made it more complex and challenging with layers and rules.

  1. “Absolute Bitch.” This is the girl that makes your skin crawl. When she enters a room you sigh in disgust and immediately start whining to your friends. Should she so dare as chew gum or eat a banana in your presence you shiver in annoyance, how dare she eat like that? Didn’t she ever learn how to chew? This hatred is not without reason, maybe she insulted someone you care about or slept with your partner. Maybe she’s just mean to everyone and has no regard for humanity. The point is, you can’t stand even the sound of her name being called.
  2. “Resident Annoyance.” You don’t particularly like this girl but you can’t seem to get rid of her. Typically these people latch onto you in the work environment or during a class. She’s like the lice you got in third grade – you can’t get rid of her until you isolate yourself and go through an uncomfortable treatment (or get a new job).
  3. “Friend of a Friend.” If there’s going to be jealousy or awkwardness within a friendship, this girl is the reason. She’ll show up for a weekend to visit your friend. If she’s awesome and you all click – consider yourself lucky. Most the time there are lots of uncomfortable conversations. The natural cadence of your social circle treading water as this new person has a different rhythm. Still you smile politely, carry on conversation, and probably actually like the girl. But seeing as she’ll be gone in a matter of days there’s no point in developing a deep bond.
  4.  “Acquaintance.” You met this girl once, you got along great, and you friended her on Facebook. The catch is that you know nothing about her and you see her, on average, every other month at a party.
  5. “Class/Work Friend.” You love this girl (in a strictly platonic way), the laughs shared between the two of you seem to be endless. Only you’ve never seen her outside of the classroom or work place. Regardless, you know the details of her weekend, life, and opinions. In theory you two would get along great chatting over a cup of coffee, odds are you’ll never find out.
  6. “Distant Friend.” You two have known each other since you were wee tots, but as you developed into women you grew apart. Even so, there’s still a connection and catching up often turns in a “Hey, remember when?” session.
  7. “Instant Friend.” These are rare, but spectacular. Remember in elementary school how you would meet a classmate during recess and within five minutes you were best friends? This is the adult version of that. Somehow you and this girl cross paths maybe at a party, bar, work, club, school, dance, etc. And something clicks, for a moment you’re back in kindergarten and this girl is officially one of your favorite people. You just know you’ll be friends with her till your both gray haired and wrinkly. Instant friends quickly jump ahead to a deeper level of friendship.
  8. “Dear Friend.” Over the years you two have become incredibly close. This is the level of friendship where frequent phone calls and impromptu visits (or adventures) begin. For some reason amongst women there’s unwritten rules about who you can call, ask to hang out, and how often. Should you break these laws you will be considered a creeper or rudely invading their space. With a Dear Friend you don’t have to worry about such nonsense.
  9. “Best Friend.” Back in kindergarten you were only allowed one, as a teenager you struggled defining the term and balancing multiple friends while deciding who was truly your best. Now that you’re an adult you’ve learned the secret – you can have more than one best friend. I’d say you can have up to 5 before you come across as greedy or delusional. This is the girl you can count on to answer your phone calls at 3am, drive to pick you up no matter where you are, let you cry on their shoulder, and still love you after you’ve drunkenly thrown up (even if the puke got in their hair).
  10. “Sister.” This girl surpasses the ladder of friendship – you have known her literally since you were able to remember. She is immersed in your life so deeply that the family even considers her an adopted member. My Sister has gone to family functions when I was unable to attend, is included in family portraits, and is beloved by everyone (except my grandmother, but that’s a different story). Think back to the episode of Boy Meets World when Mr. Matthews is in the hospital. I don’t remember why he’s in the hospital, only that it was sad and everyone was worried. But I do remember that the family waited for hours and when the doctor came up to them he wouldn’t let Shawn in to visit. “Sorry, family only.” The doctor said. Mr. Matthew’s walked up behind the doctor and said, “He is family.” And the doctor let him through the doors. That’s what a Sister is – she’s not a just a friend, she’s your personal Shawn Hunter.

Of One-Way Friendships

One Way Street

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There’s nothing quite like friendship. Right?

It brings people together: they laugh, they dance, they sing songs, they get deep (real deep), they get drunk, they go on adventures, they rant, they go on and on about their romantic lives (or lack there of), I could write this list for hours. I love friends, more specifically, I love my friends.

But … more than once, in fact, more than thrice I’ve ended up in one-way friendships.

These are tiring, and usually occur once a human being reaches a point of expecting – meaning that they just assume that I’ll organize things. Or a point of taking me for granted – meaning that they know I’ll always be there. In both cases, I’m the one who has to make all the phone calls, organize plans, re-organize plans when suddenly they can’t make it. I get a lot of silence on their end and, “Oh my God I’m so sorry.”

Like my time isn’t as valuable as their’s, as if I don’t have homework, a job, a family, or other people I’m trying to balance. Apparently I have all the time in the world to sit around and wait for their convenience. Here’s the point of this rant: make time for your friends people, especially if plans you made plans in advance.

I wish it was as easy as toss them to the side, who needs that kind of friendship? Truth is I’m bad at ending friendships, I want to keep my friends – as I said earlier, I love them. Who likes to break up with somebody or enjoys confronting them about unfair behavior? No one.

I’ve been forced to walk away from a few best friends. It sucks, and there’s always a lingering bitterness. It’s worse than breaking up with a partner – because friendship isn’t as simple as we single or taken. Friendship cuts deeper, makes for allowances, and hopes that the other person will come around. Ending a friendship feels like a betrayal.

At the same time, if a person is putting zero effort into your friendship, they’ve created a problem that is nearly impossible to remedy. So to the people who live a life with one-way friendships it’s time to adhere to the age-old question: should I stay or should I go? (and yes, please start singing now).

Of a Washingtonian’s Social Life

Me and Nicole

Me and one of my besties, Nicole. Initially her and I were not friends, now we think we're both pretty awesome.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the quirks that seem to be shared by 99% of those around me. Namely my fellow Washingtonians, whom if my life goes according to plan I will no longer be living near, at latest, by next Fall, I’M COMING BACK NEW YORK!! (the city this time, not Amish country – thought I should clarify). There’s the more obvious traits, coffee habits and an extreme aversion to the umbrella that I’ll never understand – it was literally designed for our climate, yet, it is a sign of weakness to actually use one. But the most fascinating thing about Washington is the social climate.

We’re very polite, pretty much all the time. Canadians come down to the States and say they like shopping here because we’re all so nice. I always smile and joke about how that’s because we’re all 70% of caffeine. Even customers who yell at me at work for (being forced) to sell them a membership, say thank you after I hand them their tickets.

We all smile and nod as strangers pass by, if it’s an acquaintance we’ll throw in a peppy, “Hey how’s it going?” maybe a quick hug. The following responses are respectable: good, fine, tired, busy, late … and/how-about you? repeat cycle. Note how they are all one word responses, we don’t actually care how you are doing and you don’t actually want to tell us – but it would be rude to not acknowledge their presence. Nobody wants the following conversation to occur:

Person A: Hey how’s it going?

Person B: Not good, my cat/grandma/lover/car just died.

Person A: Oh … I’m sorry

Person B: Yeah, I’ve been really depressed. Are you free to talk?

Person A: I wish I was but I’m actually running late. We’ll talk soon.

Or

Person A: Hey how’s it going?

Person B: Great getting married tomorrow!

Person A: Wow, Congratulations

Person B: Thank you, well … let’s hang out soon!

The word soon is our saving grace. It has the ability to be manipulated to mean yes, no, or maybe depending on context.

The thing I’ve learned from living with Washingtonians is that sometimes the best thing I can do, is lie. Or rather, imply a maybe. Here’s a real world example:

Me and Erin

Me and one of my other besties, Erin, she's the one I quoted ... she's also awesome.

I was out drinking and dancing with several friends. I was the driver, it was 2AM and I wasn’t good to drive yet, and I had three incredibly drunk ladies surrounding me. Our friend calls us, wanting us to stop by his house. Saying, “no,” was ineffective, he just keeps pleading. So we start to say, “we’ll try,” and “maybe,” even though we have no intention of actually going over. He accepts this – probably knowing that we weren’t actually going to come over, that’s not the point, the point is (much like the word soon) we might try. Might.

After we hung up the phone I mentioned the social rules we just followed. My friend Erin said, “That’s how you have to deal with a Washingtonian, especially a drunk one.”

The phenomenon is exactly why when I transferred to Western as a Junior it was hard to make friends. I’ve always been a very social person and I am not shy (outside the world of romance) but moving back to Washington after a year and a half in Amish country New York – I began to question my social skills and doubt how awesome I actually am. On the outside everyone was very pleasant, we would talk about hanging out, but we never would. It felt like I was asking people out on dates just to have friends. Maybe this (and the lack of sunlight) are key to why the depression rate is so high around here.

But please don’t be fooled, we’re not all bitches, and we do actually want to hang out. It’s the making it happen that’s the hard part.

However, once you’re in, YOU’RE IN, and they got your back. Also, the too-much-too-soon factor that people tend to frown upon in other places I’ve lived seems to get thrown out the window – most people will tell you almost anything (within reason).

After I got past that pleasant but frustrating social barrier I found lovely people to hang out with. These people are hilarious, outgoing, and outspoken … I love them dearly.