Spending the Night: A Tragicomedy

Ah, you and that cute guy have been dating for awhile and have thus reached that glorious point in the relationship. Take out your frilliest panties, ladies; you’re about to spend the night!

Please note that this post is not for you (yes, you) sexy people out there who put on your tight jeans and high-heeled boots and go out to bars with your other good-looking, cutely clad friends. You toss your hair and wink at the buff, blue-eyed Ken doll on the corner, and you end up getting 6 free vodka-sodas, and then you go back to his place and the two of you rub your smooth, pinnacle-of-evolution skin together, and you both wake up in the morning without a hair out of place. Then he kisses you on the cheek and you agree it was fun and you strut on out of there and find another Ken doll the next weekend. Hats off to you if you’re one of those! I am nothing but envious.

This post is for those of us who have to plan the first night together because the thought of that being sprung on us at any given time fills us with horror and dread. The crazy twist is that my ex-boyfriend was like one of the smooth operators described above. This created an interesting, and ultimately doomed, dynamic.

Here it is. The day. You’ve reached the height of intimacy. He is going to share his house with you, his bed, his food. It must be love. So you waddle over to your underwear drawer (because you’ve just gotten a Brazilian wax. Otherwise, it’s where-the-wild-things-are down there) to pick out your sexiest pair. This is a particularly complex process because oftentimes your sexiest underwear is the most likely to cause a healthy bit of wedgie-picking. There will be no wedgie-picking on your day! You finally settle on a promising pair that is girly, but regal, and most importantly, stain free.

This is only the first step. You must then decide on your oh-you-know-I-just-threw-these-on clothes for when you do your tantalizing walk about his premises. What would be most likely to make his mouth water? Your Gryffindor tank top? Your Tinker Bell terry cloth shorts? What about the ones with the cats on them? Will he like those? That’s when you decide it may be best to go bottomless (you did just spend all that time picking out your underwear) and bring your vastly oversized black t-shirt that confidently sports the saying, “Poets are Sexy” on the front, just incase he needs to search his mind for something sexy about you after you’ve spilled water on yourself.

You straighten your hair, you meticulously put on your makeup, you brush your teeth. Twice. You iron your clothes, but not with creases because you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard. You slip your bag on to your shoulder. You look in the mirror and admire your work.

You glance at the clock and realize you have 5 ½ hours to go.

You end up falling asleep and waking up with only minutes until you have to leave. You settle for a callous reenactment of all your necessary sleepover efforts and pray that God is good to you.

Finally, you arrive. You have to ring the bell three times. You panic that he has forgotten about your rendez-vous and you will die of embarrassment here in the freezing cold on his front lawn, but then you hear his footsteps. You attempt to lean casually against the side of his porch as he opens the door. You trip and smack your head against the rail. He asks if you’re okay. You are.

You walk in to your new temporary quarters. It’s clean, but not too clean. He looks cute, but not too cute. Expectant, but not too expectant. He gives you a look that says you look tired, but not too tired. It’s on.

You put your stuff down in his room. He kisses you for awhile. You think this is all going to turn out to be okay. You think, “That’s right! I am kissable! I know just what to do with my tongue! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!”

He puts music on. Otis Redding. It’s soulful, smooth, exhilarating. He pulls you to him and begins to sway to the music as he breathes into your neck. You try to make it look like you don’t have two broken hips. You stare into his eyes with an intense, “Come hither” look. He asks if you’re sure you’re okay. You’re not sure.

Dinner arrives. He ordered Chinese. You look at the table setting he elegantly laid out prior to your arrival. Candles, cloth napkins, no forks. Oh, God. Where did he put the forks? Did he forget the forks?

You look at his perfect freaking face and realize no, he didn’t forget the forks. People like him don’t forget the forks. Fork you, man.

You can do this, you tell yourself as you struggle to snap the chopsticks apart. He asks you about your day as you attempt to mold your fingers around them. How the heck are you supposed to hold these things? Like a banana? Can you get away with holding them like a banana? He repeats his question about your day as you drop food in your lap. You look up at him with soy sauce streaming down your face. He laughs at you and tells you you’re cute in a way he would call a baby cute because they, too, cannot feed themselves. You feel weird wiping your face with his fancy napkins. You attempt another bite and drop the food again. He asks if you’d like a fork. God, yes.

Everything goes smoothly for a bit. You choose activities that are virtually awkward-proof: a light-hearted movie (to prevent any ugly crying from happening) and a little wine (because a little wine never hurt). As long as anything physical or conversational is being kept to a minimum, you are going to own this.

You get back to his room. He compliments your underwear. All is well.

Then bedtime rolls around, and your body is swallowed in a fit of intense fear. You realize this is really what you’d been worried about all along: the actual sleeping. You suck at sleeping.

He sweetly kisses you goodnight as he shuts off the lights. He places his arm around you and puts his head in your hair. How does he breathe like that? How is it that his arm weighs 400 pounds? How is it that his natural body temperature is this hot? You shut your eyes and try to settle underneath it. It’s no use.

His room is a little dusty and that causes a bit of congestion in your nose. You remembered to bring your nasal spray, but is now really the time? A gorgeous guy has his arm wrapped around you. He seems to want to smell your hair. Can’t it wait? No, it can’t. If you fall asleep with a stuffy nose, you will snore like a Yeti gargling seawater.

He welcomes you back to bed without asking any questions because he is too polite. He spoons you for a few more minutes and then rolls over to his own side. His bed is really comfortable and you finally feel yourself start drifting off to sleep.

That’s when the gas kicks in.

Why oh why did he have to order Chinese?

At first, it’s not so bad. You think if you ignore it, maybe it will go away. It doesn’t. You bite your lip because it hurts so bad. Your stomach is staging a rebellion. The sesame chicken wants out and it wants out immediately. You keep clenching. You are determined to win this battle. You think maybe if you roll over, it will be better.

You do. It isn’t any better. It may be worse. Can you roll over again? Will he think it’s weird if you roll over again? Will he see through your façade and realize you’re just an anxious, gassy mess and make you go home? But this is just.so.uncomfortable. You roll over again.

“Why don’t you just go to sleep, babe?” You hear him say from his side of the bed. You start to die of frustration. Oh, you gorgeous people and your just sleeping. You’ll simply never understand.

You do eventually fall asleep. You wake up to another tender kiss from him. Your mouth feels like some old cheese and spoiled meat decided to ferment in it and make a nice little putrid garbage baby. He has no morning breath and his hair is perfectly neat because he is not human. You try to keep your lips tight and limit your words to the bare necessities. When, for the love of God, will you get to a bathroom?

He makes you breakfast while you brush your teeth. You get a look in the mirror and pray he hasn’t looked actually looked at you since you’ve woken up. You both need to get to work. He kisses you and says this was fun and you should do it again next week. You nod and smile and cry on the inside because now all spending the night with this guy means to you is pain and discomfort as you hold in your gas for a night.

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