Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Expiration Dating: Part I

Sometimes, when you start dating someone, you realize that the relationship has a definite endpoint—an expiration date, if you will. For whatever reason (and there are many), both of you know that this isn’t really going anywhere, but you decide to have your fun anyway.
In my opinion, with hindsight being 20/20 and all, expiration dating is a phenomenally stupid idea.

My senior year of college, the stars aligned and for the first time ever, someone I was interested in was interested in me, and we both actually did something about it.

His name was Johnny Brandolf, and we’d been friends for awhile—we bonded one spring night my sophomore year over our mutual heartbreak when we were both rejected by the objects of our affection. He was musician and a bit of a bad boy; I was a good girl who was finally starting to come into her own.

We struck up a flirtation after I got back from Italy, and it became clear that things between Luke and me had fizzled anti-climatically. Those first couple of weeks back at school were delicious—I wasn’t exactly sure of Johnny’s feelings, but I felt this zing of frission any time we were together. The promise of possibility hung heavy in the air.

Finally, we were at his place one night after a few drinks at O’Bannon’s. We had been watching TV (back episodes of HIMYM, if I had to guess), and all of his roommates had gone to bed, leaving Johnny and I snuggled up on the Cuddle Bag. I must have had some sort of out-of-body experience, because I actually made the first move and kissed him.

Past experience had taught me that we might make out a few times, then things would get awkward, but Johnny ended up surprising me. After a couple of weeks feeling each other and our intentions out, we started dating.

For reasons I won’t get into here, we decided that we would keep our fledgling relationship under wraps for a bit, simply because we didn’t want to deal with all the inevitable drama—basically, our group of friends was slightly incestuous in an “everyone-has-dated-everyone-else” kind of way, and we knew the fall out was not going to be pretty.

Besides labeling was proving to be a bit of an issue. Johnny wanted us to date exclusively: he didn’t want to see anyone else, and he didn’t want me to either, but any mention of the G-word made him visibly cringe. It seemed that we had a fundamental difference in definitions: to me, dating exclusively meant that Johnny was my boyfriend. Johnny, however, did not agree.

Other issues began to arise. It’s true, Johnny and I had a lot of fun that semester—I was taking eighteen hours, but still managed to hit up O’Bannon’s with him five nights out of seven; he lived with a bunch of guys I’d been friends with since freshman year, so it was never awkward when I came over to hang out—I became pretty much a permanent fixture at their house. He was an excellent kisser. But our relationship was purely superficial. We never really talked about anything important. Honestly, we didn’t do much talking, period.

It wasn’t that Johnny was just a really private person who didn’t discuss his problems with anyone. No, he would talk about them—with a couple of his close, female friends, over long lunches. I’ll admit it, I was jealous, mainly because I didn’t understand his relationship with these girls. Because we didn’t talk about it. It was quite the catch-22.

After we’d been together for about a month, Johnny gave me some bad news: he was going to be moving back home at Christmas. He didn’t believe in long-distance (remember this, it’s important), and so this thing we had going now had an expiration date. We agreed that we would keep seeing each other, but with the understanding that we were over come Christmas break.
I said that I was okay with this, but the truth is, I was starting to be way more invested in this “relationship” than I was letting on.
Sidebar: This, in my opinion, is why expiration dating never works. Someone is always going to develop stronger feelings than the other, and inevitably, they’re the ones who are going to get hurt when the relationship ends. I think it’s better in this situation to just cut your losses while you’re still ahead, before there’s any bitterness.
Expiration date or not, Halloween that year marked a big step for Johnny and me—he finally (albeit drunkenly) dropped the G-word. He and his roommates threw a huge party at their house—we had Jell-O shots that didn’t gel because there was so much vodka in them and some truly atrocious trashcan punch.  At one point, Johnny decided that it would be an excellent plan to climb up onto the roof for some impromptu star-gazing—I broke their back screen door attempting to head him off, after which I stumbled upon a couple making out in the bushes.
Sidebar: It was my friend, Sean, and an unnamed lady friend. He refused to reveal her identity to me that night, so I pretended to let it go. Really, I just put a reminder in my phone that read, “Sean’s secret—discover.” I got it out of him eventually the next day.
Johnny was kind of in and out of the house all night; I think he was bouncing back and forth between his house and another party down the street. Left to my own devices for half the time, I struck up a conversation with a cute guy who was dressed up as Indiana Jones.
Sidebar: I’m a little obsessed with Harrison Ford in the original Indiana Jones trilogy—he was one of my first celebrity crushes. Needless to say, I was a smidge smitten, and consequently may have flirted with CC Indy a bit.
Indy and I were beer pong partners and, let me just say, we were rockin’ it out. However, in between one of our rounds, Johnny and I found ourselves semi-alone in his room—his friends kept popping in and out, and Johnny, exasperated, huffed, “Can’t I just have a few minutes alone with my girlfriend?!”
I raised my eyebrows, and he shrugged sheepishly, a sly grin on his face.
“You think you’re sneaky, huh?” I asked, and kissed him. “Finally!” I thought. Progress.
About ten minutes after this proclamation, Indy asks me out.
I try to let him down easy, saying that I was actually seeing someone already, and things had literally just started to get more serious between the two of us (I had conviently forgotten that this relationship was only good for about six more weeks). Indy said he understood, but to call him if things didn’t work out and I found myself in Houston. I said that I definitely would.
As any comedian worth his salt will tell you, good comedy is all about timing. So, naturally...
...five days later, Johnny broke up with me.


  1. I think we could make an entire blog out of the events of Halloween night....

  2. @Joe or a tv show.

  3. so did you call indy

  4. E,

    *Looking into mirror with the best thousand yard stare that not even John Rambo could match...* Yeah, so much of life is timing.


  5. The Halloween Party was simultaneously my greatest hour and my lowest point at the RY/St. Mary's

  6. i am still so incredibly upset that i was not part of the "cool kids" club yet and missed the epic halloween party. especially when i literally lived 2 streets away...

    :( jeni

  7. Jeni,

    Reading the blog at work?! niice...

    Elise, I almost called you E, but you dont have your own talk show or book yet so I'll wait for that...why did you disguise a certain someones name in the bushes?? do you not name your peeps in your stories? just a curious question..that is all


  8. Dan,

    You know who "sean" and the unnamed lady friend in the bushes are? i'm dumbfounded. i can't even begin to imagine who that might have been, what with so many people there that night, and all over the property at that.

    -clearly confused e-reader

  9. i like the splendidly inconspicuous name you chose for this days un-sub. "Johnny Brandolf" surely only about 90% of your readers know who that is... ;)

    - Ian

  10. I wasn't part of the crew yet either, but I've heard some tales about these parties y'all had... shoo-wee.

    By the way, my thoughts exactly, Ian. Wonder if Johnny's seen this?

  11. I like the cheese bread reference personally, I always use food to describe my men.

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