This is My Brain on Men

There’s something you should know about writers, kittens. We’re fucking crazy.

It took me twenty-one years to realize I wanted to write books, but the signs were there all along. I had a preoccupation with movie plot holes, took unnaturally intense pride in my perfect AP English scores, and would cut a bitch over an Oxford comma. The true warning, however, was my predilection for creating fantastically detailed romantic scenarios in my head. When wee-Grace liked somebody, she would daydream precisely how the meet-cute would occur – down to outfits, settings, and extensive dialogue.

Wee-Grace: Oh, you dropped your pencil, cute boy!

Cute Boy: So I did. This pencil actually means a lot to me – it was a gift from my late dog. Thank you for returning it, Wee-Grace.

Wee-Grace (blushing fetchingly): No problem.

Cute Boy: You wouldn’t let me buy you a milkshake to say thanks, would you?

*Wee-Grace explodes into crush particles*

Embarrassingly, I still do this. And – you should know – it’s only because this blog is anonymous that I’m even admitting such a thing. Mature, worldly feminists are not supposed to indulge in trite fantasies best left to romantic comedy screenwriters. We’re meant to be cool and collected, not bowled over until a man recites Gertrude Stein and bakes us a cake. That’s all well and good, but tell that to my brain, when I’m in the throes of attraction. Take this weekend, for example…

Mae and I navigated the treacherous stretch of I-35 between Austin and San Marcos, in order to spend a weekend making merry for Captain Thoughtful’s birthday. We were going to float the river, watch Batman, and go to Greune Hall (the oldest “dance hall” in Texas). It would be fun, low key, and filled with good barbeque. What I didn’t know? CT’s super cute, super smart, super witty friend Professor McGregor* was going to be along, as well.

Try as I might to play it cool, my brain cataloged every shared glance and laughing exchange. By Saturday morning, I had a full-blown crush and two more days to get through. The Crazies can only be held at bay for so long. When it was decided to go to Gruene again that night, they broke through my mental fortress like Harry Potter into Gringott’s.

Talk of swing-dance lessons had me envisioning an elaborate dance routine, complete with twirls, lifts, and one of those only-in-movies deep dips/lingering looks. A too-tight concert had me imagining secretly grabbed hands and shouted flirtations. Y’all, I had it so bad I was even making up scenarios involving FIFA video games and decidedly close couch sitting.

Contain your surprise – none of this happened. I know, you’re shocked, right?’s the thing. Something actually did happen this weekend. Without daydreaming or hyping it up or any of the silly business I am all too lured by, my Sunday afternoon was one of long, impassioned conversation and – dare I say it? – connection.

Crap, y’all.

My day-dreaming adolescence and cave-like writing life didn’t prepare me for that. In a novel, I’d skip to the end and make sure it had a happy ending. In real life? I’m listening to Best Coast and writing blogs, instead of sleeping. What does a normal person do, when reality becomes better/scarier than fiction? I don’t think I’ve been this into a guy in forever. At least, not outside of my head…

– Grace, who is too discombobulated to post anything deep today

*Picture your funniest, most interesting professor in college. Now, mix in a dash of Ewan McGregor. And a beard. 


18 thoughts on “This is My Brain on Men

  1. I’ve always been just the same – with the same fears when it just might be different. Best of luck to a good new friendship and who knows, maybe more. My best advice (for what it’s worth!) Check, check and check again that you’re keeping the reality and the fantasy firmly in separate baskets. It’s working for me so far.

  2. I do this too- envisioning the meet-cute. I also religiously read the craigslist missed connections in the hope that one will be for me and we will fall madly in love…. good luck with the Professor!

  3. Like Frankie said above, enjoy the crush. Enjoy the feeling of possibility and a sense of not knowing what’s to come. I can’t remember the last time I crushed on any guy!

    I played out those stories in my head too. One day, reality will beat fantasy!

  4. I think that’s the problem for all if not most women. We are – through no fault of our own – predisposed to concocting all sorts of gushy fantasies and romances in our head, simply because we watch too many movies and we read too many romance novels. But I wouldn’t say that was a bad thing, because in a way it helps us to keep our standards up to a certain level and not let scumbags into our lives and our hearts in turn. It’s when we mix up the fantasies with reality – i.e. those standards and expectations becoming too high – that we are faced with nothing but the brick wall that is disappointment and let downs. As Mimi said, it is important to keep reality and fantasy in “separate baskets”. At least you know from this post and the comments that you’re not the only one who invents these scenarios in your mind. Perhaps not every woman would admit to it but I would say that most people do, if not all of them. But it’s alright, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, because although your blog is anonymous, there are other people just like you, a lot actually! And as Jaina said, one day reality will beat fantasy. So, perhaps this is the start of just that happening for you?

    Best of luck!

    I’ll apologise now for any grammatical errors etc, what I’ve written sounds correct in my head, but it probably isnt!

  5. This blog made me laugh out loud because it is so true. And just so you know, unfortunately, this wild imagination does not change after marriage. I still imagine crazy, romantic scenarios so out-of-character for my husband, that I should be put into a padded room. Thanks for the laugh today!

  6. What a reveal! You can google instructions on how to separate a yolk from the egg white, but keeping fantasy and reality in different pods….that’s a trilogy and a tome of directions. Good luck.

  7. I think a lot of us women have some type of fantasies circling round our heads, and crushes are fun and bring you all the happy hormones your body needs, Really enjoyed this post 🙂

  8. I do this ALL the time! As soon as I meet someone I’m even remotely interested in my mind runs rampant with our future “relationship”! And now that, like you, I have a full blown legitimate crush I’m doing everything I can not to let my imagination run wild with the possibility of and “us” in the very near future! I’m glad I’m not alone in this, though 😉

  9. Mature, worldly feminists can fantasize about whatever they want. We have to change the idea that feminists have to be serious and can’t be giddy or silly or in love, lust, or like. It’s an amazing gift to have this feeling about someone, whether it works out for the long haul or not. Beautiful! Enjoy it for what it is and let it happen. Fun post! Thanks for sharing!
    -Liza Wolff-Francis, Matrifocal Point

  10. Bless, my dear–I totally understand the running rom-com in your mind that is totally not real. I do it a lot, which would shock my friends who know that I own action comedies instead of chick flicks and protest loudly when they want to go see the newest relationship film. (And truly; I do find most of them syrupy, but that doesn’t stop me from wondering!) Good luck to you with this.

  11. Genuinely have spent the last few days exclusively listening to Best Coast and writing blogs, and even with a boyfriend (with facial hair to die for) THE CRAZY DOES NOT GO AWAY. Good to know that I’m not alone in this…

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