I wish my heart didn’t ache so much. I feel like my whole life is showing my soft underbelly to everybody. Which is great. Everyone loves how I smile and listen and help and compliment and support, but when you show that soft underbelly, there’s nothing protecting you, so everything hurts so much more.
It hurts being alone on the weekend and it hurts not having arms to fall into and it hurts to extend a hand of friendship only to get frostbit by someone’s cold indifference. It hurts not to have any eyes sparkling in your direction and it hurts not being anyone’s first choice.
Everyone eats strawberry ice cream, but it’s no one’s favorite flavor. Everyone listens to Uptown Girl, but it’s no one’s favorite song. Everyone celebrates New Year’s Day, but it’s no one’s favorite holiday. Oh yeah, they all make people happy and they are so sweet and enjoyable, but at the end of the day, people will scoop out rocky road and superman. They’ll change the radio station to their favorite song. They’ll leave New Year’s Day brunch and talk about Valentine’s Day plans or Halloween costume ideas or gifts they want for Christmas.
And then I’m left alone. Checking my phone on a Saturday night. Walking to my car to return home alone at the end of the night. Sending the “Oh, that’s okay! Just let me know when you’re free, I’d love to get together soon!” text. I climb into my bed with a bruised ego and aching heart. I’m left outside looking into a world of chocolate ice cream and sensible music and popular holidays.
But maybe, just maybe, there is someone out there whose favorite ice cream flavor is strawberry. Uptown Girl is an earworm that they’ll never be able to press skip on. And contrary to popular opinion, they like New Year’s Day the most. It represents optimism and purity and hope, they’ll say.
And maybe one day, I won’t be checking my phone every Saturday night. Maybe I won’t have to leave alone in my car at the end of the night. And maybe, instead of sending that “oh, that’s okay!” text, I’ll be sending a “Friday works great! I can’t wait to see you!” text.
Because I will be someone’s first choice. They’ll spend Labor Day weekend kayaking with me. They’ll call me to tell me about the giant deer that they narrowly missed with their car and how they spilled their coffee in the process. They’ll be the arms I fall into when life kicks me hard in the ass. They’ll send me this great new song they found from a band they had never heard of. They’ll nod along to my 300th recounting of “so there’s this one Saturday Night Live sketch…”
Because they’ll love me. And they’ll see me. And they’ll realize that I am worthy of a main role instead of a supporting one. They’ll love the character with the loud laugh and too-long stories and cartoon character optimism. They’ll love her despite her neurotic worrying and firm opinions and horrible Boston accent (paahk tha caah in tha haahvaahd yaahd). They’ll love her so much, they’ll just have to make her a main role. And it will fit. Because she will have been waiting for so long to finally be the main role in someone else’s story.