Oh, the Games we Play

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What’s up with games?

I think everyone will agree with me when I say that we all live in a playing field.

When we were little, there is nothing more valuable than the games we play–hide and seek, tag, you name it. We can’t wait for the bell to ring just so we can go out in the playground for a whole session of swings and slippery dips. Then, throughout puberty, we spend hours of time playing video games–Mario Brothers, Pacman, Nintendo, Playstation, Xbox, Wii. Every year, it seems there are always new games introduced that will never fail to hook us to addiction.

And it doesn’t end there. When we’ve had enough of these online games and whatnots, we turn on the TV waiting for the next season of Games of Thrones, if not, we go to the movies to watch the Hunger Games.

Everywhere we look, there is always something suggesting that we have to play the game.

Now, as you would have guessed, this is the part where I start talking about relationships and ranting about games adult people play.

A few nights ago, I was talking to a friend on the phone, and I was telling him how it seems so unfair that some people can demand so much out of someone and they can have it all. Meanwhile, here I am, just wanting the guy I like to like me back, without conditions, without demands, and I can’t have even a quarter of what I am asking for.

And this friend just started talking about how men are hunters and how they like a good challenge. He told me not to be an easy prey–to play the game, to play hard to get, to not initiate contact, to wait for the guy to ask me out.

He told me that when a guy likes you, he will take the step, he will act upon it.

Well, bullshit to that!

I think women who have the courage to tell the guy they like how they feel is everything but an easy prey. Why is the world so patriarchal that it denies women privileges that men so likely take for granted?

I find it unfair how they always say “when a guy likes you, he will take the step and he will act upon it.” Why can’t a girl take the step and act upon it when she likes someone?

Why do I have to play hard to get? Why can’t it be as simple as “you like me, and I like you, let’s stop pretending, spare me the drama, and get over it!”

The real tragedy lies when a woman is brave enough to actually tell the guy she likes about her feelings. The tragedy does not come with the rejection that is just waiting to happen. It comes from the reality that when a woman is actually man enough to grow some balls, she is seen as borderline desperate, rather crazy, straight easy, less desirable.

Please, cut us some slack! It is not desperation or insanity that drives us to refuse to play games. We’ve been playing games since childhood and we can only take as much.

Men are hunters, blah blah blah. Does it ever occur to you that women hunt too?

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Five Revelations at 25

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You are wearing Quarter Life Crisis on your sleeves

This is the part of being 25 you are so good at. Trying to make the puzzle pieces fit, trying to figure out what you want, trying to reach your goals, trying to change, trying to lay out a plan, trying to make a difference for the greater good (or, often than not, for your own good.) Everything is all about trying, isn’t it?

Everything at 25 seems like a mystery that it usually doesn’t make any sense. You sleep at night feeling so jumpy and happy, but you wake up the next day with an extremely troublesome feeling that springs from nowhere. Well, let me tell you where that sick-to-the-stomach feeling comes from. One word. Uncertainty. Because last night, you went to bed knowing that you have a plan, believing that your life is just where you want it to be, but today you wake up realizing that you have no idea where exactly you really want it to be. That’s what quarter-life crisis does, it hits you on the forehead with a big bang.

This is the year when you are bombarded with so many questions that you’ve lost all the energy to come up with even one answer. People asks you all the time: “when are you getting married?” and you just want to punch them in the face for asking the wrong question.

Your friends from a younger age group keep asking you for advice about life, career, and relationships. They ask you “how you do it” and you smile and give them encouraging words of wisdom, or more specifically, you tell them the most impressive answer you can come up with because that is what they expect from you. But hell, what they don’t know is that, at 25, you really have no idea if you’re doing things right.

The best advice I can tell you right now is not to worry too much about all these uncertainties. You screwed up? You’re not good enough? You failed? You got rejected? That’s alright! You’re 25!

You are definitely smarter, but certainly not wiser

Congratulations! This is the point in your life where you can show everyone that you have quick-witted intelligence. Finally, you have a career you can humble-brag about at social gatherings, you have control over your life, you have a steady income at your disposal, you are responsible for what you eat, and you can be so proud that you know how to take care of yourself, damn it!

However, this is still not the point where you have enough experience, knowledge, and good judgment. And I know this for the fact that you still go to the clubs, or the bars in the hopes of hooking up with someone. I told you, you still lack better judgment!

But hey, 25 is the year where there is no such thing as age-appropriate. It’s not like the movies where you can say it’s PG or R18. No, 25 is a much complex age than these ratings. It is the time when you are just always somewhere in between. You’re in the middle of too naive and too mature, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

25 is the year when you can make mistakes and be given a free jail-card pass. It is the year when you are still young enough to smoke hash while listening to Armin van Buuren on the background, but you are old enough to invest in something worthwhile, like planning a 4-day holiday, watching the news, reading a decent book (and by decent I don’t mean the Twilight saga!)

You are not invincible

But you can certainly try. You are the young, ambitious, adventurous beast that you imagine you are, until that Friday you decided to stay home than go on an all-night out with your friends. From a packet of Marlboro reds a day, you now cut down to ten sticks because of the heaviness you started feeling.

Do not mistake this as being boring, you are just realizing that you need an eight hour sleep and give your lungs a break to stay in good shape.

At 25, you want it all–a social life in hyper motion, a career that pays really well, a relationship minus the drama. You want to make the world a better place, you try to understand the complications of human relationships, you try to engage into political issues, you try to make sense out of nonsense, and you try to find beauty in ugly. You fear. You hope.

When you’re 25 everything about yourself is in your control. There are no more puppet strings pulling you left and right. You can decide for yourself. No one is going to tell you what to do, and even if you are told what to do, the decision is still yours to make. That’s the thing though, being in control means being responsible for everything that you do. You have to put an effort to look after yourself. Eat well, go to work on time, read, play video games, stop playing video games, attend your meetings, do not forget to take a shower. Where your life is heading at 25 is your choice because you are the driver, I can only hope that you will take the best possible route.

You are not on the same page as your friends

Let’s go back to the good, old university days. Remember those friends you spent an all-nighter with for that last final exam? Yeah. They’re also the same friends you had to drag home when they got too wasted to even remember who they are. Where are they now? Do you still talk to them? Or have you settled in just looking at their facebook updates without really saying hi?

At 25, you will start feeling as though you are not on the same wavelength as your old friends. It seems that maturity kicks in on different time zones. Some people grow up much faster than others, and it just so happens that you feel slightly older than some people you know. Or vice versa.

It’s like all of a sudden, you are not in sync with your friends anymore. Your priorities are different from theirs. Your lifestyle and theirs don’t match anymore. The gap between you and the people you used to spend so much time with is becoming palpable every hour.

You look at their Facebook pages and you wonder who this person is. I’m pretty sure they’re doing the same thing–lurking at your wall posts and almost failing to recognize who you are. Unlike before where you always use final exams or alcohol as an excuse to bond, you find no reason to talk to each other anymore.

Maybe they still prefer spending Saturday in a bad state of hungover and you don’t want that anymore. Or you prefer spending Saturday drunk and they don’t want that anymore.

You lose touch with your friends sometimes. It’s sad, but it happens. Maybe you’ll meet new friends who are on the same page as you, just keep hoping that the same thing will happen to your old friends too. But 25 is a really cheeky year, it’s an age of transformation and growing on so many different levels and at different timelines, so who knows? Maybe at one point, you and your old friends will be back on the same track again.

You are just getting started

Back when you were 20, everyone seems to ask you “where do you see yourself five years from now?” Remember how you used to look out in your future and see nothing but an empty space? Well, gone are those days of looking for an answer, because you have your answer, right here, right now. 25 is all about defining who you are. For the first time, you are aware of who you are–what you are capable of doing and not doing.

The things you are good at? You marvel in it. The things that you are not so good at? You make a way to be good at it. For once, you are not distracted with the petty dramas of everyday life. You are not the 19 year old kid who locks himself/herself in the room for being rejected. You know how to move on. You learned that there is more to life than torturing yourself for your shortcomings.

You are still far from where you want to be, but you take comfort in knowing that you are actually doing something to get there. Emphasis on ‘actually’. You are starting to understand that disappointments and failures are bound to happen, but that won’t let you down. If anything, it will keep you going because that’s what 25 year olds do–prove the world they’re wrong about you–that you are much better than the world assumes you to be.

If you’re 25 and your ideals and expectations seem to be going the wrong direction; if you feel like you have your life mapped out only to find yourself in a maze; if you can feel straight up happy and spiral down to sad in a span of 10 minutes, if you are confident, delusional, humble, arrogant, ideal, optimistic, pessimistic, confused, sleepy, lazy, giddy, carefree, silly, untroubled, troubled, high, drunk, overjoyed, content, discontent all in the same day, don’t fret. You’re doing 25 right!

So, if you’re 25, this is the time for you to make all your rules and break them. Go high, go low. Be sane, be insane, be a little bit of both, or somewhere in between.

And just in case you missed it when they made the big announcement on national TV, life starts at 25! So, celebrate, embrace it, live in that moment because you can. You’re only 25 once, might as well make it a hell of a good one!

The downs of being sick

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I don’t know what else can be more depressing than being sick. There is definitely no ups to it. It is on days like these that I become a horrible, red-eyed, drooling troll version of myself.

All of a sudden, I can’t think of anything to like, or want, or love, but I can come up with an endless list of things to hate. Yes, hate. Strong word. I’m usually not one to use that word, but I will use being sick as an excuse to use hate overtly this time. (Don’t worry, it’s just a one-off kind of thing.)

I hate being sick. I despise it to the core that if flu is actually a concrete thing you can toss and burn in a rubbish bin, I would have done so, four days ago, with gasoline and matches in hand. It’s a major pet peeve. It paralyzes my social life in HD. It’s like all of a sudden, I’m stuck at home with my pity bags of tissue, and all I can muster to do is blow my nose and cough like a buffalo on repeat.

Catching a terrible cold that evolved into a terrible flu sucks. Mainly because it sucks the life out of me. I find myself sleeping at 8:30 in the evening (who does that?) when usually I would have just been starting to get ready to salsa!

What is worse than being sick is having to admit to myself that I am not infinite (that, in itself, is a mortal sin.) I am no iron lady (no matter how much I’d like to think that I am,) and neither am I a cat with nine lives. Today, my power is powdered to ashes and I can see the wind chasing it all away.

Since I have already committed the mortal sin of admitting I’m not infinite, I might as well say that it is on days like these that the independent me feel helpless and could only wish there is someone to look after me (not to worry though, I am not in a coma to go down the I-need-to-get-a-boyfriend road!)

I hate being sick because I get so lazy that all I will ever want is a magical genie or a leprechaun who will make fresh orange juice at a flick of a finger, or change the tv channel when the show gets too Jerseseylicious for my liking, and remind me that I have to take antibiotics on the dot, because admit it, when we’re sick, we just want someone or anyone to make things easier for us.

I can’t remember the last time I’ve gotten real sick, but when I think about it, I usually have my dad or my brother looking after me. They were there to check up on me and make hot noodle soup without me having to ask them. They just do it, out of love, of course! After all, they signed the paper to take care of me when my dad decided to have me as a daughter, and when my brother was left with no choice but have me as his bossy, big sister.

But living far away from home has torn that invisible contract my dad and brother had lovingly signed. It’s like all of a sudden, I have to look after myself, even when my nose is too stuffy to do so.

I hate being sick for the reason that I become too whingy and selfish. I just expect that people will understand–understand that I have all the valid reason to be irrational, and demanding, and moody, not because I am PMS-ing, but because I’m still sick (which is a hundred times worse than expecting a monthly period;) understand that I don’t have the energy to engage in long hour chats not because I don’t enjoy talking, but because I’m (wait for it) sick; understand that I don’t have the enthusiasm to respond to a question if it is not answerable by yes or no, for the same reason that, surprise, I’m still sick. So, please don’t take it personally. It’s not you, it’s me.

I hate being sick because not one feel-good movie is feel good. I’ve had a marathon of The Vow, The Lucky One, and Dear John, and what did that do to me? Nope, it didn’t make the flu go away. If anything, it just made me realize I have a flat screen tv that works, and a couch that I never use based on the amount of dust it has collected.

And, finally, I hate being sick because I become a very vengeful person (which, trust me, is really out of my character. I’m really sweet as a pea, believe me.) Vengeful in the sense that when all of these coughing and spitting (yes, I know it’s gross!) is gone, I will avenge and make myself the best homemade food that I am capable of cooking, I’ll be the last one dancing at any salsa event, I’ll make myself fresh orange juice, even apple, or kiwi, or nectarine because I can, I will not waste time on bad tv, and I will engage in long hour conversations with friends until they get bored out of my wit.

Until then, I just have to remind myself that, yes, I maybe confined to the walls of my flat, but it won’t be for long. Now, can someone pass me a tissue roll, please?

In a relationship with… myself

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To my closest friends who have become so worried about me being the only single girl in the group:

You guys are the best and you definitely know this. (I can’t remember how many times I have stressed this before!) I love you guys for always having my back and making sure that I am enjoying my time, and you know that I do! Which makes me wonder why, lately, it has been quite obvious that you’ve all started asking ‘what happened to me.’ As if I got an immune disease from a different universe.

Come on, it’s not like all of you guys are getting engaged or married, or was I sleeping when you announced the news? I’m pretty sure there were no wedding invitations in my mailbox the last time I checked. So, it’s not like I’m missing the boat or anything.

I know very well that you care for me just the way I care about you. You want me to be happy the way I always want you guys to be happy with your relationships. That’s what friendship is about, making sure that all of us are getting our ups when everything else is pulling us down. Believe me when I say that I get my daily dose of happy when I see your holiday pictures by the beach with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Even those cheesy banters you and your significant other exchanges on your Facebook walls seem cute to me when usually it would have made me irk.

I appreciate that you are observing and commenting about my love life (or the lack there of) as if I am a specimen under a microscope, but make no mistake–I am happy. Genuinely. And I mean every word.

On those Thursday nights that you are all bundled up in bed, cuddling with your babe/cupcake/honey/sweetheart/whatever-crazy-name-you-call-them while waiting for your pizza delivery, I’m not watching the worst ‘Lifetime’ movie, crying my eyeballs out, while I go hugging my cats. (You all know I’m not a cat person!)

On those nights, I’m out, smoking shisha, having a good amount of conversation with whoever you guys happen to be free, and if that’s no one, then I’m out, dancing the night away with my friends from salsa.


I know why I’m single. I know that there’s nothing “wrong” with me. (I’m perfect, the way you guys always remind me so.)

It’s just that the guys I happen to like are emotionally unavailable. And I wouldn’t just be with any guy who I am not attracted to and whose character does not appeal to me just because he is emotionally available (the bars are raised much higher now.) I am turning 26 this year, and here in Cairo, 88 percent of guys my age are already in relationships, getting engaged or are already engaged, getting married or are already married. The remaining 12 percent are guys who are most probably assholes, and if they are genuinely nice guys, I’m pretty sure we have different mindset and takes on life. Please don’t let me start talking about cultural differences, religious beliefs, political views and opposite mentalities. I have yet to meet a single guy my age living in Cairo whose definition of dating and/or relationship is equivalent to mine.

Being single at 26 isn’t something I should be worried about and neither should you. It doesn’t make me a lesser person. In fact, singledom is the major reason why my life feels so full at the moment. You guys of all people in the world would know how much of a workaholic and social butterfly I am. If I am in a relationship, do you think I’ll be able to travel when I want to? Go to the gym because I’m motivated to? Attend salsa parties because I love to? Write for three different magazines because I have the luxury of time to do so?

You can start worrying about me being single when I hit 35, (but you’ll probably be too busy worrying about your own family and kids then.) Until then, just chill and relax.



The bottom line is that I’m not actively looking for someone to share my Facebook relationship status with other than myself. (See how I have so much free time that I was actually able to create another Facebook profile because Facebook is too selfish to allow anyone to be in a relationship with themselves.) I am really enjoying my mid-20’s. I go to salsa parties every other night, I take myself out to expensive dinners because I deserve it. I have the time to read books and be inspired by the writers, to watch movies in an actual cinema, to spoil myself with presents and not feel guilty about it. I am taking this relationship hiatus as a beginning to a deeper relationship with myself. Everyday I am learning and discovering something new about myself. I challenge myself and feel proud when I live up to it.

Rest assured, when I meet someone who lives up to all my ideals and expectations, you’ll be the first to know. ‘Til then just be comfortable in the idea that I decided to give all the love I have to give to myself, and I don’t see any reason why not.

So, stop feeling sorry for me. There is no need to make it your personal goal to hook me up. No need to feel bad when you and your babe/cupcake/honey/sweetheart/whatever-crazy-name-you-call-them are out with me and I am not holding anyone’s hand, because I don’t need to be with someone just so I can hang out with you guys. No more double dates and enough of those blind dates. Instead, let’s plan our next group date, shall we?

Xoxo,
Jen.

Love, just humor me for a second

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Love is quite amusing. It is a paradox in 3D. You can lay down definitions after definitions, find the synonyms, search for all the antonyms, turn it 180 degrees around, and it will still be love. Makes sense? Or is it just non-sense?

When it comes to love, everyone seems to have the answers, and yet we still question why. If love is built in trust, how come we are always in doubt?

Funny how love works. It works with reason, it works without reason. You will find all the logic to give up yet you will still irrevocably hold on. It gives colors and flavor to our tasteless life, but it can also send us to that dark place of no return.

Do we even realize how frightfully powerful Love can be? A genius in love can turn dumb in a snap. The strongest becomes the weakest. The sane becomes a little bit mental. Shower the saddest person in the world with just a tiny touch of love and see that person become the happiest, as though love is something greater than winning the lottery. Scary. Funny. Creepy. Silly.

Isn’t it ironic when you are always looking for love and it always feels like no one wants to come along? And then just when you are this close to giving up on love, there it comes–knocking at your front door. Sometimes, it even seems that if you really want to fall in love, all you have to do is shout to the world that you never want to fall in love again, and kaboom! You’ll find love lurking outside your window, flirting with you, and you will more than willingly flirt back.

When it comes to all of my friends’ love problems, I can come up with a two-hour monologue, three-page theory, and a formula to their situations. Sometimes, I even think I’d make so much more money than Dr. Phil should I start working as Dr. Love. But when it comes to my own love problems, the same advices that I have given and used to solve my friends’ dilemmas just never seem to work. Funny, because I’m pretty sure there is nothing wrong in my advices, and yet it seems that there is also absolutely nothing right. And I am left scratching my head. 

What’s even funnier are those people who perfectly know that they will be hurt in the end, yet they will still dive into love, with their head on first! And when their egos and self worth are practically reduced to nothing, of course it’s not their fault. The other person will always be the one to blame! “Why did he leave me?” “Why did she hurt me?” with matching head-butt on the wall! 

Even I have fallen victim to love’s unmerciful hand a number of times. It’s not even funny. It seems I can write about it endlessly and still, I wouldn’t exactly know what I want to say. I know exactly how I feel, yet I don’t know what to call it. 

Love can be hysterically funny, but it can also be rather sad. Because when love starts playing a joke on you, you can gamble everything you have, anything you own, but at the end of the game, you will still lose it all.

Hilarious. Tragic.

Love sucks, for now

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Seriously, I am this close to blaming this wicked month for playing April Fool’s on my friends’ hearts–and the month hasn’t even ended yet!

I don’t know why I always find myself caught in between. It affects me when I get the news that my friends’ long-term relationship came to a halting end just like that–for the reason that it didn’t work out. (They’ve been together for practically over a year, and it’s only now they realized it’s not going anywhere?) Or that one of my friends got himself turned down by a girl he genuinely cared about, or that another friend caught her supposedly ever-so-loving boyfriend sleeping–with someone else–on her bed! Her bed! Different people, different stories, yet it all boils down to the exact, same thing–a broken heart.

They’re all recent victims, and the culprit is this deadly, four-letter-word we call love.

Oh, love, what have you done this time? Aren’t you supposed to bring happiness and contentment and all these butterflies-in-the-stomach bullshit? You were meant to make everyone feel high. Everyone assumes that whenever you are around, there will be nothing but passion, and romance, and lots of sex too. Instead, you started stabbing my friends behind their backs, leaving them bleeding for dead.

I am 101 percent positive that they are thinking that this is the worst break up/rejection/cheating ever, that nothing is going to make things right, that things won’t go back to normal and they will just be stuck here, in this black, depressing hole–for life. They’re also probably thinking that I need to shut up now because I have no goddamn idea what I am talking about, and they are right, until they aren’t.

No matter how embarrassing it is for me to admit it, I think that if there is one person who would have memorized every single, excruciating second one has to go through in a break up, everyone’s fingers will be pointed at me. I used to be that person inside that empty box. I was the one wallowing in sorrow. I was the girl who turned blind to any reason. My judgment was impaired. I used to be the one drowning in my own pain and thinking this is the end of me.

At the moment, there is absolutely nothing I can say or do that will make my friends’ pain go away. I can tell them that he’s an asshole, or that she’s a bitch. I can tell them that it will get better, that eventually they will be able to move on, that sooner or later they will meet the right person who deserves them and who they deserve. I can tell them that they will be able to love again, but this is a fruitless task because at this very moment, it will just be me talking in mute. Right now, they’ve all gone deaf to anything that I might have to say because right now they’re in the dark. There is no vodka, or pep talk, or feel good movie that can take away the hurt. For now.

Because for now, they are thinking and feeling and seeing things in grey. They’re all imagining ‘whatifs’, and asking that horrible question ‘why.’ Right now, love has stomped their egos so hard that they have been reduced to someone who has lost the person who meant most to them. They are grieving, and that’s perfectly understandable, for now.

Being cheated on, being rejected, or broken up with, I’ve been through all those hells before and I’m so familiar at how much it sucks. I know how terrible and terrified they must be feeling right now, and I can only hope that soon, they will realize that good things actually come out from heartaches. Experience, for one. Later, they’ll be able to look back at their previous relationship and know what went wrong. They’ll start realizing that he or she wasn’t really that great (I wouldn’t be writing this right now if those people who meant the world to my friends were actually awesome.) Soon, they will realize that they have the power to actually get out of a bad, unhealthy relationship. They will realize there is no point in being with someone who takes them for granted, or that it is futile to be in a relationship clouded by lies and mistrust. I’m sure right now, they feel weak and vulnerable, but it only takes some time for strength to come out of them, because the best thing about heartache, is that once they get their sanity back, they have survived it!

We are all fighting the same fight and we will not be defeated (no matter how much they think their life is over at this very moment.)

I’m sure that eventually, my friends will be able to move on, just the way I did. No matter how cliche I may sound, I’m a living proof that life goes on, that we can recover no matter how deep we are into sinking. That we can be happy (if not happier) again. That no matter how disillusioned we were at love, at one point or another we will find the courage to love again, and this time it will be much better because of all the lessons and experience from our challenging past. Heartaches make us know better–what we really deserve, what we want out of a relationship, how we want it to start and grow. We know that next time, we won’t be with someone mediocre who will tell us that it’s just not working, or who will end up half-assing our self-worth, because now we know that the next time we’ll be in a relationship (whenever that may be,) it will be with someone worthwhile.

I have a crush? When did that happen? Part 3

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This would have been part 6 if I wasn’t feeling so selfish.

I feel so oddly strange. I mean, whenever something good happens to me, I’m always the one to pool my friends together so I can tell them stories of what’s happening to me, what’s new (especially when it comes to my love department which, as of now, still amounts to zero.)

I like to think that better things (or rather a better bond or friendship) is happening between me and this guy I call my crush. But for some reason, I am not so keen into telling anyone (I can hear you yelling that I’m contradicting myself considering how I am writing this in a public domain.)

Maybe this is me being selfish in a way that I like to keep our friendship to myself. Or maybe this is me choosing to be on the safe side, not wanting my girlfriends to think or expect that it can potentially turn into something more when I am sure it is unlikely to get there, not even close. Maybe I am just thinking that should I tell any of my friends about this crush, the world will play another brutal joke and send all its hexes down my way to jinx my supposedly happy-ever-after. Or, maybe, I take pleasure in knowing that I have a secret that no one knows about.

I have a secret and it’s all mine! Boy, I love that feeling. For the first time, I have something (whatever it is, I’ll leave you to bits until you raise your white flag on this guessing game) that not even my dearest friends know of.

Do you know why Mona Lisa is such a phenomenon even though, realistically speaking, there are far more amazing women painted on a canvas? I think it’s because of her smile. She has that smile so coy that seems to trick everyone to thinking she knows something that we don’t.

Well, needless to say, I feel that I am having that Mona Lisa moment right now. I am smiling, and I will leave you to your imagination as to why.

Surprisingly, I still want to get to know him more, and deeper. It seems there is still so much to know about this guy, and so much to learn from him as well. Everyday, I feel that I am surrounded with people who are so consumed by themselves, but I get the feeling that he is different, he’s a breath of fresh air.

Often, I meet people who likes to please (or impress) me, who tells me things I like to hear, who agrees to everything that I say (not realizing that I am only testing where their judgments lie.) Or often, I meet people who are so stuck up, and full of themselves–who would enjoy a conversation only if it is about them and nothing else, but he is not like that.

He doesn’t tell me things I like to hear. He is outright honest. His opinions are his, not copied from or influenced by anyone. He tells me when I’m wrong, and he will blatantly say that I am being mean. That, in itself, keeps me grounded.

He is very realistic and detached, two qualities that are the total opposite of my idealistic and emotional take on life. I look at him and see this person who is not feigned, even slightly, by the littlest or biggest problems of life.

I am envious of his pragmatic sensibility. It is something that I have always successfully fail to master. Sometimes, I wish I could care less. And when I meet someone who makes me reevaluate my take on life, I know he is someone worth knowing.

As much as I’d like to make my crush sound like a battery-operated robot, I hate to break this into you, but he is everything but that. There are no on and off switch buttons. Sometimes I think he likes to think that he’s the most serious, non-expressive guy in the world, but he doesn’t realize he can be one of the funniest too. I don’t think I’ll be able to put up with someone who has a non-existent sense of humor.

Our inside jokes? How riveting! Our dialogues will fall on the lines of ‘Five-second Tom, you are tramposo, but good night and happy new year.’ I’m not sure what other people will make sense out of that, but it does make perfect sense to me. It’s something distinctly him and I. He gets me, and I get him.

He surprises me even when he doesn’t know it. When I am so certain that he is just a dull guy with a huge science background, he comes surprising me with his sharp wit and creative side. That’s what he does, he takes the right turn when I am so convinced he will take the left. He proves me right, he proves me wrong.

There are still a lot of things I want to know. I want to know what ticks him, what sends him off. I want to know things that is not common knowledge to everyone. I want to know how his week went, not because I am a crazy-creepy-stalker. It just gives me a sense of relief knowing that someone I care about is doing well. I want to know how he got that scar (oh, wait, I forgot I already know how!)

I want him to let me know him, but for this to work, he has to let me cut him open and trust that I will not accidentally hit a nerve. And I hope that he will, because when I look at him, I see someone who makes clear sense. I see a blip–someone who understands my jokes, who corrects me when I’m wrong, someone who makes me smile the way Mona Lisa does.