Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Mulligan Theory

I have a thing in my life - an idea.  It's that each person is allowed a "mulligan".

What's a mulligan?

A mulligan is a golf term synonymous with "do-over".  Basically, you get to erase your mistake.  Hit a shot that goes into the water?  Mulligan.  Putt and miss the hole from 3 feet away?  Mulligan.  Mulligans make everyone a good golfer if given enough time.

So I've taken that concept and applied it to life.  More specifically: Dating (surprise surprise!).

The idea is this - each person is allowed to have 1 mulligan in their life.  You're allowed to highlight one relationship and press the delete key.  Boom.  Never happened.  No shame, no worries, nothing.  It's gone.

The rules are simple:  After applying the mulligan, you have no knowledge of that person ever even having existed.  You erase all contact with that person - block them on Facebook, erase phone numbers - anything.  When people bring them up in conversation, you pretend you don't know who they are.  When someone asks you, "Hey, do you know Mulligan?" You say, "No" and you do everything you can to make yourself believe it.

I never used my mulligan until fairly recently.  Sure, I'd made dating mistakes, but none that I was absolutely ashamed of.  For the most part, my dating adventures have been with attractive, well-adjusted girls who were interesting on at least a base level.

And then I got home from my mission and for some reason, all my judgment was like, "Lol, you're on your own now, homie."  Because since coming home, I've just had awkward relationship after awkward relationship.  I realize that that's most likely because of me, but stay with me, here.

My first "relationship" after getting home as with a girl that I will call Womantis.  Why do I call her Womantis? Well, it's a combination of two words: Woman, and Mantis.  Woman, because I'm pretty sure that's what her gender was.  Mantis because I'm pretty sure she copulates like a praying mantis.  The first 4 days of the "relationship" were great.  She was really cool, pretty hot, funny, charming, and probably the best kisser I've ever encountered.  But then I met her mother.  Then Womantis went crazy.  And I don't mean "crazy" like planning the rest of our lives together.  I mean "crazy" like... seriously... batshit crazy.  Like taking something I say and making it into a huge fight crazy.  The kind of crazy where she calls, yells words into the phone, hangs up, and then you're stuck there thinking to yourself, "wtf just happened?"

We gave it a couple more swings after the initial crash-and-burn, but things didn't work out.  I now realize that she didn't really have any intention of dating me and just wanted a quick hookup.  I wish I had known that at the time; I probably would have been for it.

But I didn't use my mulligan on her.

The next relationship was Jamie.  Jamie was pretty cool, but just wasn't the girl I wanted to spend the rest of forever with.  The only thing I would mulligan about her would be how she told me she loved me after two weeks of dating (!?).  But even then, I don't use my mulligan on her.  I generally leave her alone when telling stories and stuff because she did nothing wrong (aside from telling me she loved me after two weeks of dating).

The next relationship was Beluga.  Why do I call her Beluga?  Because kissing her felt like I was kissing a Beluga.  SHE'S the one that previously had the mulligan.  People would try to talk to me about her and I'd be like "I don't know anyone called Beluga" (very loosely referencing High Fidelity when John Cusack says "She doesn't know anyone called Ian").  Dating Beluga, I'll go ahead and admit right-out, was a mistake in every way imaginable (and I'll explain a few reasons why in a bit).  But in my defense, I was in kind of a vulnerable place and while I don't feel like she took advantage of that, I'm... well... actually I'm still not totally sure how it all fell into place.  I guess when you take someone who is supremely depressed because of the recent death of their best friend and give them someone to talk to through the night, feelings get confused and misinterpreted.  Long story short - we dated for about 12 hours (no joke) before we realized we had made a terrible mistake.  But it was too late because news had already spread that we were together.  That was two years ago and I still get asked if I'm the guy that dated Beluga.

Just to give you quick glimpse of the severe mismatch that I put myself in - Beluga had a phobia of being naked.  No, seriously.  She was uncomfortable being naked.  It's called gymnophobia.  Now, I never saw her naked or even came close or anything like that - we only talked about it.  But still.  She had gymnophobia.  To put that into perspective for you, I'm naked right now (and not ashamed to admit it).  The first thing I do when I get home and go into my room is take off my pants.  When I'm married, there will be a very strict "no pants in the bedroom" rule.  Being naked is very important to me.  So a fear of being naked doesn't mesh with someone who has a very basic desire-bordering-on-need to be naked.  There were other things about Beluga that were obviously a mistake for me, but we'll leave it at that (for now).

So what could possibly make me change my mulligan from THAT?!

Sara 2.1.

If you've been keeping up with my life (which shouldn't be hard because I've only been posting once a month lately), you'll remember that I had a girl in mid-December who led me on and all that.  Remember that?  Remember how Sara 2.1 and I decided to be friends again at the beginning of the school year?



For those of you just tuning in (and that haven't had time to read this whole blog), Sara 2.1 is the girl that I (by far) bash on the most.  She has received more than her fair share of posts full of me calling her an idiot and all that.

So to give a quick history (you can skip this paragraph if you're familiar with the story):  We kind of dated a year and a half ago, it didn't work out (because dating her felt like dating a 14-year-old).  Fast forward a year and she's dating a friend of mine.  She and I become friends again.  She and the friend break up.  She and I hang out a lot because we're friends.  But then things become more than just friends... and then I think you can take it from there.

Sara 2.1 and I have pretty-well established that we are incapable of being "just friends".  We can either hate each other, or we are actively trying (and failing) to fall in love with each other.  No middle road.

But Brandon, what makes you so ashamed about a failed relationship that you would completely deny it ever happened?

I'm not ashamed of the first failed relationship (when we tried dating a year-and-a-half ago).  I'm ashamed because I consider trying to date her that first time a mistake... and then I went and made that exact same mistake again.  So when comparing it like that, Beluga is a mistake I made once, and Sara 2.1 is a mistake I made twice.

The thing is - I see Sara 2.1 as someone with so much potential; I think that's one of the things that has attracted me to her in the past.  But she hampers herself with quite possibly the lowest self-worth I've ever seen in a person.  She's somehow convinced herself that as the daughter of a doctor growing up in a nice area of Iowa where she was given everything she ever wanted, she somehow had some rough teen years.  And as a result, she honestly believes that she's a worthless person.  I've heard all the stories (and rolled my eyes at them when she wasn't looking).  Her childhood was no different than anyone else's.  And she's a person chock-full of awesome potential.  But she has herself convinced that she doesn't, which I hate.

See, I've learned a lot about myself in recent years.  Basically, I really do want people to treat me like how I treat them.  In relationships, I'm really considerate, nice, supportive, etc.  I think back on anything good or considerate that Sara 2.1 did for me that wasn't done out of complete social obligation, and I draw a blank...

Aside from Eric (who quite frankly didn't care), Caitlin (who didn't learn about it until it was almost over), and Lauren (who I haven't talked to in forever), no one really knew about Sara 2.1 and me.  I didn't want people to know.  That's not the sign of a good relationship at all.  My parents would ask if I was dating anyone and I'd be like, "Ummm.... not really" even though we quite obviously were doing things with each other that only people who are dating do.

I have a friend that's on a mission.  Her name is Kristen.  Kristen used to sit and watch Sara 2.1 and I interact with each other (she's just that kind of person).  Kristen basically told me that I used Sara 2.1 as a teddy bear and not as a person (and then laughed hysterically at the thought).  While what she said (and the way she said it) was really, really funny, I realized she was right.  Kristen and I would sit for hours and have deep and interesting conversations, and then Sara 2.1 would come in and sit with me and we'd sit there and cuddle in silence.  All the conversations we had were stupid.  We hardly had anything in common.  The only thing that we had in common was that we found each other attractive.  That was pretty much it.  I hated her friends, and my friends hated her (and, now that I think about it, her friends hate her, too).  That's not a good combination.

Basically, going back to what I said in parenthesis above, everyone hates her.  And I'm not saying that out of spite.  I quite literally mean it when I say that her friends have straight-up told me that they do not want her around.  When people hear that she and I went out, they give me that look.  You know?  That look?  The "seriously...?" look.  And then they share a story of a time she was rude to them.  I really wish I was exaggerating, but I'm not.

Now, I fully understand that I'm an ass publishing this in a place where people who know her will read it and will most likely show it to her.  It's no secret to me that I've lost friends in expressing my thoughts privately on a publicly-enabled blog that I keep a link to on my Facebook profile.  But I honestly don't think Sara 2.1 will care (which means no one else should care, either).  She had moved on within minutes of calling it off with me (literally).  She's like that.  Everything is dramatic and she says she's just going to be alone forever, and then an hour later she's making out with a new guy.  If her heart had a password, it would be "password".

Originally, in that last sentence, instead of the word "heart" I had the word "vagina" there.

So it is with much pomp and fanfare that I officially bring Beluga back into existence, and knock Sara 2.1 out of existence.

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