I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me

Ringling Days

Ringling Days

20 years ago, I was performing with Ringling Bros. and we were enjoying an afternoon off in Kansas City. A few of my fellow dancers and I went shopping in this great bookstore…I have since forgotten the name, but I remember the girls bringing me a self help book titled, “I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me.” They were crying laughing and knew they had found the perfect book for me. My God, were they right.

This week alone, I suffered from this strange affliction. My friends were hosting a Sugar Bowl party and invited me along. Anyone who knows me understands that I don’t do sports, but I do love a party! So, I borrowed my 8 yr old son’s OSU sweatshirt, and got ready to go. Meanwhile, my friends decided I should be set up with the other single guy that would be in attendance. Here we go….

They sent him my pictures (without me knowing) and he approved… I internet stalked (don’t judge) and discovered he was cute. Not my normal guy, but cute. So, I headed out to meet Single Guy. Now, before I arrived, I was extremely hesitant. I already knew he wasn’t my type:

-marathoner (20 of them so far)
-iron man competitor

So, I’m at the party, and Single Guy walks in. We hold eye contact just long enough for it to be a little bit sexy. He’s wearing a ballcap, which is great, since I don’t usually like bald dudes, (Sorry bald dudes) and he has a cute smile. List above? Forgotten. It takes a while for Single Guy to come over, and when he does, it’s completely awkward. Too many knowing eyes watching us to see if we are getting along. The entire room must have been in on it. I notice he’s wearing really bad running shoes and horrible jeans. Not my type, but I suck it up and proceed to ask him a million questions anyway. He asked me nothing. Nada. Zip. He’s either socially awkward or not interested. I was being fairly charming and looking really good in my skinny jeans, so, I’m going for socially awkward. I hate socially awkward guys. At this point, I need to know if it’s me or him. Single Guy works in PR, so as an excuse to get up, he says he needs to walk around and take pics for his promo page.It was painfully obvious. He just got up to get away. OMG….IT IS ME!

Did I mention that the whole room was watching, so now I’m not only feeling the shame of being publicly dissed by Single Guy, but I’m also getting pity glances from the entire room? It was the worst! I wanted to hide under a table. As always, that fake confidence of mine had other plans. I was going to make Single Guy like me! Who cares if he’ll expect me to go jogging at some point? Or that he’s uninterested in me? Or bald? Or outdoorsy? I can’t handle the rejection. I’m even ignoring the bad jeans and shoes. I went full on flirt. I was totally embarrassing. I couldn’t laugh enough at his bad jokes or stop pretending to be completely enthralled by his presence.

I found out he grew up in the mountains, Bleh. White water rafting, Bleh. Fly fishing, Bleh. Camping, Bleh. Was a corporate fitness trainer, double Bleh. Still, I was so pissed that he wasn’t asking me anything! Why didn’t he care to hear about me? But most importantly, why did I care what he thought????

He left even more awkwardly than he arrived. Our mutual friends were trying to give us some space so he could ask me out. (None of them believed me when I said he wasn’t into me). Again, it was all so forced. When Single Guy was given that split second of privacy to ask me for my number, he instead took it as a sign to break for his car, and walked away as fast as possible. Leaving me to yell, “Nice meeting you” into the wind. I walked in shame back to my car, wondering what the hell just happened?

Go Bucks!

Go Bucks!

The one thing that will make me dump a guy right away….

I have a dating deal-breaker. When I ask you what your favorite album of all time is, you better have a good answer. We don’t have to have an agreeable answer, but it better be a well thought out answer. In fact, I want to see a passionate response. A reaction that indicates you get truly excited when talking about your memories surrounding music. I don’t think anything can transport a person back to an important place in time, more than a song.

A few years ago, I started dating this super-hot guy. Let’s call him “Hot J.D.”. He was REALLY hot. We had dated for a while and I wanted him to meet my brother. My brother, Adam and I are 7 years apart in age, but super close. Adam also lives out-of-town, so it’s like magic if I’m actually into a guy while my brother is home. This was one of those magical times,so we made plans to meet that night for a beer. My brother and I had just finished loading the jukebox with some of our favorites and came back excited to share the stories surrounding some of the songs. In particular, we love the Black Crowes. We both remember a particular drive, when we listened to “Hard to Handle” over and over again until he nailed the lyrics. It was a great day. Windows down, music loud and such a binding moment for Adam and I. A great memory.

We shared our story and then asked Hot J.D. to share his favorite. His answer? YANNI. whaaaaaaaa????? Surely, he was joking? Nope. Not Joking. He thought YANNI was a genius. I lost the respect of my brother in that moment. So embarrassing. YANNI. On a side note, I found a box in his room containing gay porn a few days later. And, no Hot J.D., I don’t think you were really “holding onto that box for a friend.”

This summer, I dated a guy that I believe to have been on the spectrum. Let’s call him “Shmeith”. He was the least emotionally in tune person I have ever dated. He admitted it was his biggest problem and could not pick up on any social queues. We drove from Cleveland to Chicago and I was determined to figure out his likes and dislikes. He appeared to have no opinions. On anything. I loaded my iPod full of story telling memories and hit the road. When I asked what his favorites were, he replied “I’m not really into music.” Whaaaaaaaa? I tried to get anything out of him… greatest song? Band? Concert? Nothing! Who’s not into music? Not even a favorite song….So weird to me. Next!

Today I found myself driving with my 16 yr old, Jake. He requested Matchbox 20 for the drive, and I was thrilled to oblige. During that hour, I went from nostalgic, to sad, to happy all because of the memories attached to so many of their songs. This band has literally had a hit song for every major event in my life. I can’t listen to “Push” or “3am” without tearing up. And if I’m seeing them live, forget it. I’m a hot mess. It takes me right back to when the love of my life, let’s call him “Shmenny Shmucha”, left me the day after I told him we were pregnant. I have never felt so afraid and alone. I couldn’t believe that it was over. Not only did I have to raise a baby alone, but how was I supposed to get over him? You know when you feel like you can’t get any air? That’s how it felt. Good luck hearing Rob Thomas sing, “And I don’t know if if I’ve ever been really loved, by a hand that’s touched me” without ugly crying all over yourself.

Their next album, Mad Season was released 2 years later and I still never heard a word from Shmenny. Again, Rob was totally in my head. “Can you help me I’m bent, I’m so scared that I’ll never be put back together.” I wasn’t sure if I could ever recover from what Shmenny Shmucha did to me. To this day, I’m still unsure. I listened to “If You’re Gone” so many times, that my Jake called it “Mommas song”. He still does. I still couldn’t believe that Shmenny was gone for good. He had to come back, right?

When MB20 toured in 2002,Jake was 5 years old and ready for his first concert. It was awesome. My brother, and his now wife, and Jake and I went together. It was a perfect night. We knew every word to every song and sang at the top if our lungs. An older rocker chick Sat behind Jake and cat the end of concert, she tapped him on the shoulder and said,”Littlefield, you rock out” She made his night. “Bright Lights” was the song of my soul at the moment. I mean, how did Rob know to write a song about me wishing I had made it on Broadway? Get out of my head, Rob! Today, hearing it makes me smile. “Yea, I gotta scar I can talk about.” Better yet, the night was so fun, that it turned a sceptical Adam into a fan.

They went away for a while, and came back with “How Far We’ve Come.” By this time, my little one, Max was born and this became his favorite song. He loved to watch the VH1top 20 every weekend morning and would get so excited when this video would play. The video had fireworks! FIREWORKS!!!! Ahhhhhh!!!!

Finally, MB20 released North. The lyrics are no longer gut-wrenching, rather uplifting instead. I was ready to be uplifted by Rob. Too many years spent waiting for Shmenny to show up. Too many tears wasted on what could have been. He’s clearly never coming and I stopped wanting him to come back at some point. My head knew but it took my heart a bit linger to catch on. Today, Jake and I ended our drive singing along to “Overjoyed,” smiling and realizing “How Far We’ve Come.”