I have wanted to write this since my first blog post. It has been in my head the whole time. I haven’t written a word of it until now, but it has been screaming inside me [which would explain the headaches] for months.
The whole story is far too lengthy for a single blog post. But it needs to be told. [Okay, I need it to be told.] Shall we begin?
Part 1 – Fame.
Eighteen years ago, the internet was not what it is today. When I needed to find a way to meet people, I could have gone to a bar or signed up for some sort of class. But that was never me [not a joiner and definitely not comfortable in a social setting like a bar]. And I didn’t have any close friends in the area. I certainly wasn’t going to go bar-hopping by myself. So I had to find another way.
I chose the alternative weekly artsy newspaper [yes, newspaper… fuck, I’m old], and after probably 50 revisions, I submitted my personal ad. I swear this is a true story. A fucking personal ad.
Shockingly [especially to me], my ad was a hit. I guess even back then, in less than 40 words, my writing captivated people. Men-people. The first time I dialed the number [yes, on my landline phone] and entered my special code, I was astounded to hear the robot-voice tell me I had thirty-two messages. For a couple of weeks, I received an average of fifteen messages each day. Eventually, they trailed off. Oh, believe me, I heard lots of messages that made my skin crawl… and I quickly hit whichever number meant delete. But some were… promising.
I went on A LOT of dates.
[Aside: I have no fucking clue how on earth I was able to do this. I know my social anxiety and lack of desire to be around humans in general has worsened with age, but I still cannot believe I was able to do this, even back then.]
I remember three stand-out guys. I found a connection with each of them. One turned out to be far more interested in fooling around all the time than building the non-physical part of our relationship. I was a little bit okay with that… at first. Then, not so much. One of them sort of fizzled out. And one of them was just… perfect for me.
Jay and I dated for a while. I thought I was never going to have to weed through so many creeps and dumbasses ever again. But one night, after we watched a movie at my place, he told me he hated that he found this amazing girl [me] but he couldn’t let go of his old crush. To my knowledge, he never dated her. She was his friend and he had been madly in love with her for years. And apparently, even with someone as amazing as the girl he was dating [me], he couldn’t move on. He kissed me and left. And I never saw him again.
Within days, I received a truly unexpected phone call. From a local radio station. Part of the same media organization as that alternative newspaper. ‘Your personal ad has garnered a huge number of responses. We’d like to interview you on a live radio broadcast.’ What?! My ad was so well-written, they told me. Holy shit. Of course, it’s not like I found true love. Or untrue love. Or any Goddamn love at all.
I did the radio show with two other partner-seeking young adults. The media people took us out for dinner. They gave us all-access passes to a local music festival. It was pretty cool. And I was mildly famous… for about five minutes. [Maybe this means I still have 10 minutes of fame remaining?]
In a fascinating twist, I met other radio staffers at that music festival and became friends with them. We went out for drinks. We met up for dinners and shows and… drinks. [Did I mention drinks? Ah… maybe this is why I rarely drink now.] And before long, I met their friends. Suddenly, I had friends. I think this was the only chapter of my life when I became anything close to outgoing. Honestly, I was still the least outgoing girl in the room whenever I was with these people. But it was huge for me.
I met all sorts of interesting people. Even some marginally famous ones. A girl deejay became my best friend [until she moved to Georgia or some crap for a job]. And I met men. Lots and lots of men.
Did I mention this was also the chapter of my life when I went through my own personal sexual revolution?
Part 2 – Sandra Goes Wild.
[No pun intended.]
Update – now posted:
Part 2 – Sandra Goes Wild
Part 3 – Sandra Grows Up… and Down
Part 4 – Uncomfortably Numb
Part 5 – What is Love?
Part 6 – The Love of Romance
Part 7 – Let’s Go to Bed (the final chapter)