Don’t Give a Damn

I’ll be honest, I don’t really know how to start this. And I know that some people who read this will be disappointed and kind of annoyed. And I was at first, too. But then some of you will understand where I’m coming from and understand why I feel so fed up.

I finally met with my old crush this morning. It was the first time since I’d last seen her about a month ago. This was the day I had been anticipating and preparing for since three months ago (to the day) when I came out to my first friend (“The best friend“). But I didn’t feel the nerves that I felt a month ago when I was about to see her. Last night I didn’t spend any time fixing up my nails or my eyebrows, this morning — though I did wake up a couple hours early — I didn’t put any extra shampoo in my hair. I stuck to my normal routine, which was weird since I was about to see her.

The only thing I tweaked a bit was my style, sort of. I made sure I was wearing clothes she hadn’t seen on me before. I pinned my hair a little differently and applied my eye makeup a shade darker. I wanted to seem different. Like I’d moved on, like I wasn’t stuck in the character I embodied almost two years ago when I saw her daily. I’ve grown up a little, changed a little, increased greatly in confidence, self-awareness and strength.

But now I know I didn’t dress myself that way for her. She didn’t notice — and subconsciously I didn’t expect her to. I did it for myself. I did it to prove that I was over her, that I didn’t feel so vulnerable and infatuated with her anymore. Because I didn’t.

I set my alarm for 9:00 a.m. and shut it off at 8:58. I stayed in bed for almost half an hour, wondering if I should feel nervous or excited or relieved or scared. I ended up feeling pretty neutral, maybe a little pressed to find clean clothes to wear. That’s a lie — I basically already knew what I was going to wear, because I had thought about it in preparation. Oh, well. I’m allowed a little primping, right?

I showered and started applying my makeup, all the while listening to Lorde’s only CD, my go-to album when dealing with coming-out stress. I really wasn’t stressed, but I think I thought I ought to be. “A World Alone” gets me every time.

As the minutes counted down before I had to leave, I started feeling slightly more panicked. I got in the car and my stomach was tight and my throat knotted. It was uncomfortable both physically and because I didn’t really have much to be afraid of. I would never have to see her again, and I really didn’t want anything from her, so I was pretty much free. 

I sat in the parking lot of an IHOP waiting for her, and my nerves were on fire. I turned the car off to save the battery and my upper lip sweated. I kept glancing around waiting to see a Silver Dodge, every white or gray car making my eyes widen and heart quicken. I got a text that she had arrived so I walked to the restaurant door.

Then I saw her. And I felt nothing. I didn’t feel any pang of nostalgia or longing or bittersweet memories. Nothing. And I was really proud of myself in that moment. 

We sat down and started talking, and it was very casual, a little forced. I kept wondering what her face would look like once I told her. The restaurant was packed from the after-church clans, so I knew I would have to tell her outside. So I waited for a good time to suggest we leave — and several opportunities arose, but I let them pass. Until it reached 1:15 and I had to be at work in less than an hour. We got up and left the building. It had begun raining softly. I unlocked my car, which came before hers, and she hovered around for a moment to say bye. I lingered for a second and she noticed, quizzically lifting an eye to me.

“I have to tell you something.”

“What?”

“Umm…” I started to feel really uncomfortable, like this wasn’t right — the right time, the right place, the right person. “Don’t judge me?” I didn’t care. I smiled nervously.

“Okay, what?” She saw me unlock the car again and reach for the door. “Are you going to tell me and then just bolt into your car?”

“Uh…yeah,” I said, staring at her with strained eyebrows, trying to figure out if I should do it or not. I opened the door wider. “Actually, I think I’m just going to bolt into my car. Never mind.” She looked confused, shrugged, and walked away. 

Before I pulled out of the lot I texted my friend (“The lesbian friend“) in short bursts explaining that I didn’t tell her, though I had planned on it. “Aw, honey I’m so sorry,” she said, but I wasn’t. I was glad I didn’t tell her.

The girl I used to like doesn’t need to know I liked her because I don’t anymore. I knew that for a fact sitting across from her for an hour and a half. My friend (“The lesbian friend“) told me weeks ago that it would probably be good for me to tell her so that I could get some closure and finally move on, but I don’t need closure anymore. Telling her now would only freak her out, because she’s not a very understanding or sympathetic person.

Along those lines, I didn’t want to tell someone who wouldn’t be willing to help me if I needed it. That’s not to say that the other three people I’ve told are just there for me to cry on — they’re there because they’re some of my closest friends who I think deserve to know this personal thing about me. When we got out of that IHOP today, for a second I looked at her and was struck with all these ideas about the ridiculousness of coming out. Why does anyone need to know about my sexual preferences other than my significant other? What’s the point? I just got sucked up into this giant, monumental notion that LGBT people put themselves through this heinous process for something that is correctly assumed for everyone else. Why must we come out as gay if heterosexuals don’t need to come out as straight? When I’m talking to a person, I don’t care who they love, so they shouldn’t be caring who I love — and I shouldn’t have to test my emotional levels by notifying them of it, either.

I texted my old crush when I got home from our lunch, and she didn’t ask about what I was going to say. Then I realized — she wasn’t interested in what I had to say, so why was I trying to make myself compelled to tell her? She doesn’t need to know. It’s not relevant to her anymore. She wouldn’t be understanding or there for me, she’d get defensive and closed off. And I don’t need that in my life.

So when my friend (“The lesbian friend“) said to me today something like, “I’m sorry, I understand it’s hard to come out to people,” I just said, “I don’t give a damn.”

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2 thoughts on “Don’t Give a Damn

  1. I love, love, love this post. After all you went through… It’s fantastic to have that kind of attitude. I mean, some people believe it’s ‘hard’ so they end up making it hard for themselves in the end. But we’re not all the same, really. Not giving a damn, in this situation, can be quite relieving, and it’s good to know there’s people like you out there, coming to this realisation. Lots of love =) Peace x

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