Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Romance of the Panda, Part 3

In light of the single most overrated holiday, Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to open up to my blog readers. It’s time you see my romantic side, the softer side of Panda. This is the second part of a three part series.
Feel free to read the first two parts:

Part 1:  Here

Part 2:  Here

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A few months ago my coworker Antonio and I were working at the same table, getting to know each other a bit. The topic of girlfriends came up. After telling him that I did not, in fact, have a girlfriend, he looked at me, shocked, and said, “You don’t have a girlfriend? How come? I mean, I even have a girlfriend. Don’t you want someone?” Now, this was a somewhat strange moment for me, because Antonio is usually the guy that comes up to me on Sundays asking me in a thick Hispanic accent, “Hey John, how was your weekend? Did you get any hot, young poo-ssy?”  So the honest, sentimental side of him threw me for a pretty big loop. But like any question about my personal life that someone asks, I deflected the shit out of it, saying something like, “bitches can’t hold me down” (I figured this would shut him up about the subject, and it did).

Then, about a week ago, I started to think of what I should post for Valentine’s Day, and that conversation came to mind. Then I started to think about why I don’t have a girlfriend (which is never a fun thought process). Granted, some of you all, my devoted blog readers (particularly those who don’t personally know me), are probably saying, “You really need to think about that? Isn’t it obvious?”  Well, you only know me through my blog, and so I totally understand that I come off as just some asshole who spends his nights getting hammered in pursuit the most sapless woman with low enough self-esteem to sleep with me, cunnilinging her in hope of nothing more than potential fellatious retribution, and using my free time to come on the Internet to spit disturbing and hypocritical venom at all these haters. But deep down, there’s a softer side. At least I used to think so. But then I realized that, in reality, I don’t have a softer side, I’m just really fucking awkward, particularly around women.

In my defense, there seems to be a particularly fine line between being overly awkward and being not-an-asshole. Finding the correct level of not-asshole is incredibly difficult, particularly if you add any amount of alcohol to my system. Take this last weekend, for instance. I was at the bar with some friends of mine, and I see, across the bar, a lady that I realize later works with me. She sees me too. She smiles real big and starts waving at me. Now, here is what my thought process looked like: “Hey, look, there’s a lady. Ok we just made eye contact, be cool. LOOK AWAY TO NOT SEEM CREEPY. OK, done, look back at her to make sure she turned away too. No, she’s still looking at me and now she’s smiling. At who? Why is she looking at me? She can’t be smiling at me. Now she’s waving at me. She’s not waving at me. She can’t be waving at me. Women don’t wave and smile at me. Wait. She looks familiar. Is she that lady that I work with. Yup. PRETEND YOU DON’T SEE HER. PRETEND YOU DON’T SEE HER. STOP STARTING.”  And during this entire process, (which, in reality, probably only lasted six or seven seconds, but felt like three minutes), I was literally just standing there, staring directly at this lady I worked with with a completely blank expression on my face, not acknowledging any of the smiling or waving that she is sending my way. And if that’s not bad enough, she’s one of those ladies that you don’t want to do stupid stuff in front of or act like an asshole to. You know, the everything-you’d-want lady.  Real pretty, super nice, intelligent, AND she’s a Star Wars fan.

And I wish that that were the only kind of awkward that I am. I’m the kind of guy who, when I like a girl, I’ll try to play it cool.  I won’t put my feelings out there right away, but I’ll still flirt and do everything right, make her want to see me more, talk to me more, etc. But then I’ll start to play it too cool. Instead of waiting a reasonable amount of time to make my move, I’ll wait too many months. Then I’ll think to myself, “This is a good idea.” But I completely forget the fact that in reality, since I don’t want to be an asshole, I have all but stopped even talking to her. Then, I get myself pumped up to make a move, meet up with her somewhere, and THAT’S when I realize that I really haven’t seen or talked to this lady for a long time, and then I get nervous, which leads to me not talking, which leads to me thinking too much, which leads to me saying something really stupid or awkward.  Usually, at some point, the sentiment of, “you’re finally getting around to telling me you like me now?  Where the hell were you months ago?” is expressed by her.  So it’s really just kind of a giant circle of awkwardness for me.

With all this awkwardness, can it really be any surprise to you that I really dislike Valentine’s Day? I mean, I screw up even the most simple acts of kindness and sweetness, so of course I’ll mess up the holiday dedicated to love and couples. I’ve done it before, and I’m sure I’ll do it again. The fact that a relationship can be so affected by one stupid fucking day is reason enough alone to hate Valentine’s Day.  And I know some of you are thinking, “Well, you’re a guy, so you only hate it because you’re the one on the hot seat.” Yes. Damn right. I prefer being able to prove my love and care for someone else throughout the year. There’s less pressure that way. And beside, I’d hate it even if the roles were switched. I’d want my someone to do stuff throughout the year for me instead of one “big” thing. And I think that’s what we should all be looking for. I don’t view me cooking and cleaning for a woman as a special gift only to be given on one day, I view it as the exchange rate for her being the one who has to kill all the spiders that I see in my apartment and I am way too much of a wuss to kill myself.  Forget flowers, give your lady the first pick of the Doritos so she can eat all the ones that have the most flavor powder on it. Instead of giving road head on the way home from a special Valentine’s dinner, how about when I go in to the gas station to get us pints of ice cream to eat while watching Gilmore Girls, you go grab one of those complimentary squeegees and clean the outer edges of the windshield of all the salt that’s built up because the windshield wipers can’t reach that far; it’s a far sweeter and more ladylike thing to do.  Don’t wish that I’d bring you flowers, but try to understand that me coming home drunk at 3AM, waking you up and splitting a Jimmy John’s pickle with you while I tell you stories about the night is my way of saying that you’re really special to me.

So this Valentine’s Day, don’t fret about what you’re supposed to do. Doing what you think you’re supposed to do is a bad, bad, bad idea. There was one year where I thought that I was supposed to buy the girl a heart-shaped box of chocolates. And so I did.  That didn’t really work out.  Go out and continue doing what got you to this point in your relationship in the first place. Don’t think that you need to do something super special because it’s Abe Lincoln’s birthday plus 2.  Me?  I’ll probably end up at the bar again. Last year, as some of my other single friends and I were leaving said bar, they played Michael Jackson’s hit song, “Beat It.”  We all started to laugh, but only to hide the sadness.

Take it easy,

-Panda

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Romance of the Panda, Part 2

In light of the single most overrated holiday, Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to open up to my blog readers. It’s time you see my romantic side, the softer side of Panda. This is the second part of a three part series.
Feel free to read part 1 HERE.

This is another poem that I wrote for a class. It’s about loss, specifically the loss of a great thing in my life that I took for granted.

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Farewell

Tonight will be the first night
I don’t get to go to bed
with you as the last image in my head
and last echo in my ear.
Three years, you’ve been there to
hum me to sleep,
stay by my side when I was sick,
asking for nothing in return,
except to be taken care of.

I grew complacent.  I thought I could
keep you here forever, and so I neglected
your basic needs.  I couldn’t see the obvious signs
that something was wrong, until it was too late.

My sophomore year,
we met in the aisle of Walgreens.
I figured I’d keep you around for the summer,
give or take a month, it couldn’t hurt.
But we started off stronger than I could have hoped,
you spending every night at my place, and it began
to seem like this might turn into
something more than an end-of-summer fling.

The next two years, running on high,
we were both happy with our place in the world.
No worries about graduation, no wondering
what would come next or if I’d move away.
A full year was gone by
and nothing stood in our way, and it seemed like
this could last forever,
and for a while, it was timeless.

But two days ago, you were quieter than
usual, no spritely humming, no soothing songs
to relax me.  I thought nothing of it,
hoped for the best, stayed positive,
maybe just a bad day, not considering
that perhaps your heart had stopped spinning.

Yesterday, you sputtered around in my apartment hopelessly.
Clearly exhausted, I still felt no need
to bother, but this time because I didn’t want to face
the facts, that this was probably the end.
You’d hit the wall, finally exhausted, and I
guess I’ll someday understand.  You
tried and worked your hardest,
did anything for my comfort, efforts that
certainly weren’t well reciprocated from me.

I wish I could say that I was sad, but I knew that
this would happen one day.  College only
lasts so long before the real world calls us to
become real ourselves.  And when it does,
I knew I’d be at a crossroad, a chance to
be a better person, give another one
a better chance,
and that I’d only be able to hope the same for you.

Today, I walked in and you were silent for
the first time in three years and I know
that nothing more can be done.  I don’t argue
or try to fix what is beyond repair, I just walk you out
for the final goodbye, as I selfishly think to myself,
how will I get to sleep tonight?

In the end, it won’t be so bad.  Maybe one day
I won’t feel that I need you, just so I can fall asleep.
Maybe one day I can move on and find a better
version of you, better fit for me.  Maybe one day I’ll
take care of it, to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
I can’t pretend that this won’t upset me for a little while,
but one day I’ll forget about you, and live my life as it is.
Because after all, you were only a box fan.

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When we read our poems in the workshop, we would generally read our poems aloud, then have another person read it so we can all hear the poems from a different voice.  Normally, we hold all comments to the end of the second reading.  Normally, we start off with strengths, things we like, etc., then move on to constructive criticism.  As soon as I finished reading it the first time, one of the more reserved girls who sat across the room from me smacked her desk and shouted, “OH MY GOD, you jerk!  I was actually feeling sorry for you.  I thought you were finally opening up to us.”  Nope, just found another way for me to be an ass.  But in my defense, I had originally started it off as a sincere poem about a rather significant (for me at least. That bitch.) failed relationship, and THAT’S when my fan died, so I decided to just kind of switch it up a bit.

Besides, if you want to actually read me being sincere about love, you’ll just have to come back to read the forthcoming part 3 of my Romance of the Panda series (see what I did there?).

Take it easy,

-Panda


Romance of the Panda, Part 1

In light of the single most overrated holiday, Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to open up to my blog readers. It’s time you see my romantic side, the softer side of Panda. So this is the first part of a three part series on love.

When I was in school, I was in a poetry class my last semester of my senior year. And so when it came to the week of Valentine’s Day, he made us write love/Valentine’s themed poems. It was originally supposed to be a sonnet, but I couldn’t get it to work well enough with the strict parameters, so I told my professor it was a more “free-form” sonnet, with no real regard for metrical or rhythmical rules. Sucker bought it. But anyway, the following was the result and, unfortunately, is how far too many of my actual romantic pursuits turn out.

Almost Valentine’s Day

Hey, I was thinking that maybe,
Since I’ve got nothin’ else to do,
Instead of being all lonely
Maybe…I could hang out with you?
On, uh, Valentine’s Day
Since all of our friends have dates.
Oh. No, I haven’t met Ray
But yeah, I’m sure he’s great.
And very sweet too I bet
Yeah, that’s fine, that’s cool.
Wow, he bought you chocolate?
Yeah, he seems just perfect for you.
Well, in that case have a great time,
I’ve got to get going to find my Valentine.

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Be sure to be on the lookout the next few days for the second and third part of this series, and, as always, thanks for reading.

Take it easy,

-Panda