How I Figured Out I Suck at Love: The One That Got Away – Part One

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It was spring semester of my senior year of college when I met a boy who later would later be known as The One that Got Away. After having taken the time off I would still have one more semester afterward as a “super senior” to finish my credits to graduate, but at the time I tried not to think about that or the embarrassing moniker whenever possible. I had just returned to school after winter break and was looking forward to a night of pizza and booze with friends. My new friend Stacy had come to my dorm room to help me carry the alcohol I had acquired back to her room for the get together. On the way down the hall, she stopped in an open door and invited two boys to come over for the festivities. She clearly knew them and somehow I did not. The one boy looked vaguely familiar with his super friendly smile, I was pretty sure I had run into him and his cheery self in the hallway at some point, but the other boy I didn’t remember seeing ever before. His smile, decidedly less sugar coated happiness, caught my eye. I added an embarrassing aside about how I was bringing alcohol so they should come and then kicked myself for it mentally the entire way to Stacy’s room.

By the time we got back to her shared dorm room, most of our friends were already gathered. I squished in a spot in front of the bunk beds on a small pull-out pillow cot concoction I liked to take naps on Sunday mornings after brunch. We started making drinks and prepping for movie time when low and behold, the one who caught my eye arrives minus Mr. Cheery. I think I blush a little as I try not to stare too much. Since I’ve planted myself in the middle, he winds up sitting behind me diagonally. My only option for communication is to continually turn around and offer him slices of pizza from the box in front of me. Very smooth. Then the movie starts and I fall asleep before it’s over because I don’t drink often and whoever made my cocktail way overestimated my tolerance. I don’t wake up ’til the next morning and trudge back across campus wondering if I could have possibly made a stranger first impression on the one who caught my eye.

Never one to have much patience, I knock on his door later that day and begin rambling about how strange it is we’ve never met instead of waiting to inevitably run into the one who caught my eye again among mutual friends. But it’s ok, because we get to talking and he doesn’t seem to mind the intrusion. And the longer we talk the more I realize he’s incredibly smart and funny and generally everything I like in a guy. I wonder how he could have been living down the hall an entire semester without me noticing, and if I’m not mistaken, it seems like he’s thinking the same thing as his continues to smile at me.

Over the next few weeks we begin to pop in on each other regularly, laughing about random things our friends have done and sharing meals of Easy Mac. I think we would be perfect together, except I think he’s been in love with one of my friends, Jolene, since long before he’s known me. Seeing as I’ve been down this road before with Indecision, I decide to be content with friendship and begin causally seeing someone else. We even discuss my potential new relationship, and he’s surprised I’m interested in his fellow science major, joking about the type of guys he thought I would be into, guys more like his rich preppy roommate or jocky athlete types heavy on the muscle and low on the IQ. It’s said with a laugh, but I can tell he really believes that about me, and it hurts me a little. He seems surprised by my reaction, but I don’t give him a chance to ask about my change in mood before I fake a smile and say I have to be somewhere. I tell myself his poor opinion of me hurt because all this time I thought we connected as friends, but I know the truth. I’ve done it again, falling for someone unattainable.

I stop dating and try to concentrate on me…and ignoring my feelings for the one that caught my eye. But it’s not easy and in a moment of weakness I finally ask him about his feeling for Jolene. He tells me how he used to have feelings for her, but not anymore and he’s earnest, and honest, and I believe him. That night he sits a little closer than usual while we write papers on our laptops, but I try not to read into it, not until he asks me over to watch a foreign movie and he cuddles up next to me on the futon we’ve laid on the floor, making a ridiculous pillow and blanket fort with. It’s hard to read the subtitles as my mind runs through all the possible scenarios of what all of this could mean, and then suddenly the movie is over and I’m saying, “It’s late.” to ease my nerves and distance myself from the situation. He smiles at me and tells me I could stay; as if my room is twenty blocks away and not a mere twenty feet down the hall.

I look into his brilliant blue-green eyes and I know I’m completely safe with him. He won’t try anything more daring than the act of asking me to stay, which I can tell has him now embarrassed by my lack of response. “Ok.” slips through my lips and I find myself climbing the shaky bunk bed ladder and crawling under the covers, a resounding what the heck are you doing echoing in my brain. The pillow I lay my head on smells like him and when he crawls in beside me, I feel completely engulfed by him. Every feeling I had tried to avoid comes bubbling to the surface and for some reason it brings a tear to my eye that I bury in the pillow, pretending I’m already sleeping. He gently puts his arm around me, as if he’s afraid I might slap him away at any moment, and when I don’t he eases letting the weight of his embrace envelop me further. He gently places a kiss on the back of my shoulder blade before resting his own head, and I want to say something, anything about the way I feel for him, but I’m too afraid to ruin this moment…so I continue pretending to be asleep the rest of the night, only drifting off here and there.

The next day I slip out of bed while he’s sleeping, and grab the shoes I kicked off and sweatshirt I had discarded while Mr. Cheery the roommate gives me a thumbs up with his over enthusiastic smile. It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out what he thinks has gone on, but I rather make a speedy exit than try to convince him otherwise. When I return to my own room, I collapse in my bed wondering if he really did kiss my shoulder, of if I had dreamed it while I dozed in and out of sleep. Too tired to consider it further, I finally pass out from exhaustion.

I’ve barely slept when I’m awoken by a knock at the door. It’s the one that caught my eye, and he’s bundled to the nines telling me we’re going sledding with his friends. Sledding on no sleep…in the cold…without any time to process what just happened. I try to convince him I’ll go sledding another time, but his eyes are sparkling and his crooked smile is spread wide across his face so I go. We would later call it our first date. Later that day I tell him I have feelings for him and he kisses me in one of those moments that they play fireworks behind in a movie.

We decide not to tell any of our friends we’re dating at first, and it’s nice having the privacy as we’re just starting out, until things become slightly uncomfortable as both Jolene and another girl decide that he’s “boyfriend material” and start flirting with him mercilessly at group gatherings. Eventually we have to say something and everyone is shocked by the revelation, but by then we’re just glad to have it out in the open.

I fall madly, deeply in love with him. I truly believe, even to this day, that he did the same. For a long time things were good. Really good. We were that couple among friends that other people wanted to be like. Happy and secure, and looking like we would be together forever. But even good relationships take work, and over time we both got lazy. And as we did, doubts crept in for me about whether or not he was still the same boy who caught my eye and acted like he was the proudest man in the world when he first introduced me to his friends back home as his girlfriend. I was no innocent in the situation; the less appreciated I felt, the more difficult I became to deal with, and the more I looked for appreciation elsewhere. I began to spend more and more of my time with a friend of a friend who was more like the stereotype the one who caught my eye had first accused me of being attracted to: A handsome, rich, preppy type, with relationship issues of his own all too eager to spend his time with me.

Right before the end of my final extra semester at college, when I would be leaving for good, and everyone else would be returning in the spring, things became more strained than ever and when we had a fight where he slammed a door in my face and said he didn’t want to speak to me again. I took it as the absolute end. Even that night as I laid in bed crying, I knew that although he was wrong to say it, he hadn’t really meant “ever again” and it wasn’t a break up in his mind. But it was in mine. I had reached a point where I no longer felt loved by him…and was beginning to feel cared for by someone else. It led to the most miserable birthday week in the history of birthday weeks, including missing my own birthday party, and a reckless remaining few weeks at school that I would seriously come to regret. I began to date the friend of a friend who by then had ended his own messed up relationship, because I suck at love and always make the wrong choices. I pretended like my heart didn’t still belong to the one who caught my eye and he acted like I was his absolute dream girl. Acted, the most important word in the sentence, because he would later become known as the Sociopath. But that’s another story…

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY – PART ONE PLAYLIST

Kelly Clarkson – Heartbeat Song
The Postal Service – Such Great Heights
The National – About Today
Dashboard Confessional – The Brilliant Dance

 


How I Figured Out I Suck at Love

As Rebecca Wells so brilliantly put it, “There is the truth of history, and there is the truth of what a person remembers.” I’ll try to bridge that gap as I tell you the story of how I eventually figured out I suck at love. Come back weekly for new installments.

Check out more from How I Figured Out I Suck at Love on TDQ…


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How I Figured Out I Suck at Love: Indecision – Part One

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I didn’t even realize I sucked at love until I was sitting alone by a fountain in a foreign country trying to get my hopelessly useless international mobile to work. In that moment, I wanted nothing more than to hear a familiar voice, or even better yet be back across the ocean where I could try to make things right, but neither was about to happen, so I settled for a good ugly cry instead. While locals looked on with a lack of interest that seemed to suggest I was not the first American girl to pick this spot for a breakdown, I reflected on how I wound up there, feeling so very alone, a stranger in a strange place. And that’s when it hit me. I sucked at love. Not so much at falling in love – that came way too easily to me and way too often – rather at the act of maintaining it. But I’m getting ahead of myself. You see, I didn’t just wind up by a beautiful sixteenth century fountain having major life epiphanies overnight. No, it was a long series of events, right turns instead of left, makeups and breakups, what if’s and second tries that brought me to that moment. So let’s start at the most logical place… somewhere in the middle. Continue reading

Taylor Swift (Image Credit: ABC)

1,989 Roses and other over the top celebrity romantic gestures!

Taylor Swift (Image Credit: ABC)

Taylor Swift (Image Credit: ABC)

So rumor has it Harry Styles sent out 1,989 roses to Taylor Swift just after the release of her 1989 album. When both fandoms heard this, let’s just say no one handled the news well. BUT! We can thank our pal Ellen Degeneres for getting down to business and finally clearing the air. In the boy band’s latest appearance on the daytime talk show, Styles shot down those rumors saying, “I know about the rumors. I don’t know anything about the roses.” Phew. Everyone can calm down (Especially me. I’m sorry. I’m a huge Harry fan!). Continue reading

Ryan Gosling as Noah and Rachel McAdams as Allie in THE NOTEBOOK (Image Credit: New Line Cinema)

Why Do We Do This to Ourselves? 5 Romantic Tearjerkers

Ryan Gosling as Noah and Rachel McAdams as Allie in THE NOTEBOOK (Image Credit: New Line Cinema)

Ryan Gosling as Noah and Rachel McAdams as Allie in THE NOTEBOOK (Image Credit: New Line Cinema)

We like films that move us (oh, the feels). For some reason, we particularly like movies that move us to tears – and not glamorous tears, oh no. We like movies that leave us curled up on the couch, crying, with a mountain of tissues on the floor. We like these films so much that they’re usually the ones that we fondly return to year after year. Below, you’ll find some great films to add to your annual cry-fest.

Oh – and if you’re about 10 years behind on your romance movies, it bears mentioning that there are a few spoilers.

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Book Review: Naked by Betsy Franco

Naked by Betsy Franco (Image Credit: Tom Franco)

Naked by Betsy Franco (Image Credit: Tom Franco)

Betsy Franco’s latest novel, Naked, explores the elements of love and life that ignite our creativity and passion. Similarly, her first novel, Metamorphoses, also explores the artist’s journey: rising up against the misery, rejection and despair. The same is also true of love because in both art and love, you must be naked, utterly exposed. Artists offer up their innermost emotions, ones they spend their lives eluding, and subject themselves to criticism. They risk everything—being accepted, understood, but even so, artists insist on being artists, just like lovers can’t help but be in love. Continue reading

All Our Yesterdays (Image Credit: Cristin Terrill)

Book Review: ‘All Our Yesterdays’ by Cristin Terrill

All Our Yesterdays (Image Credit: Cristin Terrill)

All Our Yesterdays (Image Credit: Cristin Terrill)

Time travel is one of those topics that seems to really intrigue YA readers, but also presents an incredible challenge for the author. If it’s not handled carefully, a book quickly becomes incredibly confusing, hard to swallow, or just plain misses the mark. Cristin Terrill takes on that challenge in All Our Yesterdays, a book that is, technically, about time travel, but is also so much more. Continue reading

Is the ‘friend zone’ such a bad thing?

Freind Zone (Image Credit: Ryan Polei)

Freind Zone (Image Credit: Ryan Polei)

Ever hear the phrase, “Guys and Girls simply cannot be friends”? It is a constant debate within the dating world. For some reason, most people say individuals of the opposite sex cannot simply be “just friends.” Why is this? While there are, of course, many genuine friendships between men and women, it is very common for at least one if not both the individuals to have a desire to be more than friends at some point during the friendship. When one of the individuals is not on the same page as the other it can be a recipe for disaster. Continue reading

Crazy in Love: The Typecasting of Women in Rom-Coms

Sandra Bullock in THE PROPOSAL (Image Credit: Touchstone Pictures)

Sandra Bullock in THE PROPOSAL (Image Credit: Touchstone Pictures)

The thing is about romantic comedy movies is you can generally tell exactly where it’s going to end up and we’re okay with that because we’re really interested in the action between boy-meets-girl and boy-and-girl-get-together.  However, you can also be pretty certain how the female lead is going to act: ridiculous, overbearing, and hilariously inappropriate.  The way I look at it, the rom-com lady is, in nearly every single case, a flawed, and unruly individual who typically falls into one of three different types (with some overlap in certain cases): the snowlady, the restraining order, and the desperate.  There are, of course, more types that rom-com women can fulfill, but in my experience these are the overarching roles that these ladies play in this genre and what the character’s behavior is constructed around. Continue reading

20 Questions with ‘The Sea of Tranquility’ Author Katja Millay

Author Katja Millay & The Sea of Tranquility (Image Credit: Katja Milly)

Author Katja Millay & The Sea of Tranquility (Image Credit: Katja Milly)

The characters in Katja Millay’s debut novel The Sea of Tranquility are so multi-faceted that they’ll break your heart, give you hope, and make you laugh, sometimes all at once! Part of the reason they feel so complex (and therefore real) is Millay’s amazingly fleshed out characterization throughout the book. From the main players, to their quirky friends and relatives, we get to find out so many details about the characters’ personalities and interests in The Sea of Tranquility… so we thought it might be fun to ask Author Katja Millay twenty questions inspired by her characters (and a few just for fun) to find out a little more about the author too! 

Read on for 20 Questions with Author Katja Millay, and don’t forget to enter to win a signed copy of The Sea of Tranquility here on The Daily Quirk!

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Book Giveaway: Win an Signed copy of ‘The Sea of Tranquility’ by Katja Millay!

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility (Image Credit: Katja Millay)

The Sea of Tranquility was by far one of the best books I have read in the past year. The book tells the story of Nastya and Josh, two individuals who have been greatly affected by loss and are doing their best to cope with its aftermath. Both characters are content keeping everyone at arm’s length until they cross paths and find themselves drawn to each other in a way neither really understands. Together, they are able to work towards happiness in this moving story of loss, acceptance, and forgiveness (read the review).

In a sea of paranormal, supernatural, and somewhat racy releases, all genres which I love and tend to skew towards, The Sea of Tranquility touched me with its real life genuineness. It’s one of those books that has an emotional impact on you as a reader. You find yourself wanting to re-read it, comparing other books to it, and wishing the love story (albeit troubled) was your own. I’m still swooning over Josh, I won’t even try to hide it.  

I read The Sea of Tranquility as an e-book in one unintentional marathon sitting, and I say unintentional not only because I had only meant to check out the first few pages and then couldn’t put it down till the end, but also because my eyes often can’t handle prolonged screen reading. Any of you fellow readers who get screen eye trauma (or just prefer to hold an actual book in your hands) are now in luck because The Sea of Tranquility has just become available as a paperback! You can now enjoy this must read book, whichever your preferred reading method may be, and you can even win a signed copy here on The Daily Quirk

The Daily Quirk is honored to be part of Katja Millay’s book tour celebrating The Sea of Tranquility’s print birthday and so excited to be able to give away a paperback copy of the book signed by Katja Millay! The giveaway is open to US Residents (one entry per individual) and entries will be accepted until 11:59pm EST on June 14th. To enter the giveaway, just fill out your name and email address in the form below. It’s that simple! Good luck and happy reading!

The Giveaway is Now Closed. Thank you for entering!

Can’t wait to get your hands on a copy of The Sea of Tranquility? Visit Simon & Schuster for info on where you can pick up a copy for yourself as well as more info on the book and the author!

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Book Review: ‘Things I Can’t Forget’ (Hundred Oaks #3) by Miranda Keneally

Things I Can't Forget

Things I Can’t Forget (Image Credit: Miranda Keneally)

Things I Can’t Forget is the third book in Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks series. Despite being part of a series, all of the Hundred Oaks books can stand alone – you don’t need to have read a previous book to appreciate or understand a later book. There are some crossover characters since all the books take place in the same town, but the main characters and plots are different for every book. I read and loved the first book in the series, Catching Jordan, then I read and liked book #2, Stealing Parker, but was slightly disappointed by it. Things I Can’t Forget fell somewhere in between. Continue reading

An Interview with Author Katja Millay

Author Katja Millay & The Sea of Tranquility

Author Katja Millay & The Sea of Tranquility (Image Credit: Katja Milly)

Katja Millay’s debut novel, The Sea of Tranquilityis a moving tale of loss, love, and second chances. It tells the story of Nastya, a teenage girl, looking to hide her tragic past, and Josh, a boy who has experienced tragedies of his own, both trying to cope with the hand life has dealt them. The relationship that develops between them is one of the most realistic feeling love stories I have experienced in a long time (read my review). The Sea of Tranquility left me anxious to ask the author all about the creation of this wonderful story and luckily Ms. Millay was kind enough to indulge my curoristy in an interview for The Daily Quirk.

Read on for the Interview!

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Book Review: ‘The Sea of Tranquility’ by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility (Image Credit: Katja Millay)

The Sea of Tranquility tells the story of Nastya and Josh, two individuals who have been greatly impacted by loss and are doing their best to cope with its aftermath. Nastya Kashnikov is a former pianist, who has experienced a trauma that has left her permanently injured and unable to play. She reinvents herself a someone no one would bother with, heavy makeup and dark provocative clothes,  in an attempt to get through her time at a new high school having to associate with as few people as possible. And if her new look doesn’t work, she has a back up plan. She just won’t talk. In fact, she hasn’t spoken since shortly after her accident and refuses to speak anyone, even her family. Josh Bennett first lost his mother and sister, and then his father in separate tragedies. He has recently lost his only remaining family, his grandfather, and has become accustom to being alone taking solace in his workshop. Everyone keeps their distance from him at school, unsure of what to say to a boy who has lost everyone he has ever loved- and Josh is fine with that. He is just as content keeping everyone at arm’s length as Nastya is until they cross paths. Together they are able to work towards happiness in this moving story of loss, acceptance, and forgiveness. Continue reading

NICHOLAS HOULT stars in WARM BODIES (Image Credit: Jan Thijs / © 2012 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved.)

Movie Preview: ‘Warm Bodies’

NICHOLAS HOULT stars in WARM BODIES (Image Credit: Jan Thijs / © 2012 Summit Entertainment, LLC.  All rights reserved.)

NICHOLAS HOULT stars in WARM BODIES (Image Credit: Jan Thijs / © 2012 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved.)

The film adaptation of the Isaac Marion “zombie romance” novel, Warm Bodies, releases in theaters February 1st, just in time for Valentine’s Day.  From the previews I’ve seen, it appears to be a witty tongue-in-cheek rom-com that fully acknowledges its absurd premise.  What’s the premise you ask?  Per the production notes provided by Summit Entertainment: Continue reading