A Penis in Paris – My Misadventures with Kate, Ep. 1

Dear members of my family: Read this at your own risk; I would suggest you didn’t. But just know I did not interact with said penis.

 

Kate and I reconnected in Paris when I moved here, about a month and a half ago when I started my life as an au pair in Paris. Kate is the best friend to have when you want to have a crazy adventure. I have never made a full night out with Kate because she parties hard and takes the night bus, while I am always super paranoid about missing the last metro (because there’s no night bus near me).

Saturday I decided to take Kate to a theatre show at a British theatre festival in Paris. I knew it would be very strange and avant garde – aka super strange and hopefully hilarious, and, if nothing else, at least in English. I booked the tickets the night before and Kate came over the next afternoon.

We chatted about stupid boys and I ate pan au chocolat while she sipped a strange beer I bought for her (I don’t know how to buy beer). She joked that the only thing she wanted for her birthday was a nice night with a naked man. We tried to leave on time, but I hated my outfit and changed 20 times while simultaneously doing my makeup. I had the metro directions – 2 transfers, 3 trains, a loooooong commute to a small theatre on the edge of Paris.

After getting on the train we realized I didn’t have directions from the metro station to the theatre…or the name of the theatre. We knew we would be late but gosh darn I was going to get my 10 euros’ worth of weird theatre. We walked out of the metro and realized our commute was a 15 minute walk, cementing our lateness. What we did not know was that we would have to climb hills and staircases that made us sweat our eyeliner off.

After finally finding the theatre we had to print our tickets (because they couldn’t just let us in, the only 2 girls in the lobby). Then we went outside to get a man to open the (unlocked) theatre door and walk us to the stage -because the seating was on the stage.

At this point we had missed the first 20 minutes of a supposedly hour long but really 45 minute play. We snuck to separated seats and watched unpaid actors dance on dirt that was strewn on the stage. We had read the brief summary of the play beforehand and knew vaguely about the plot, but I’m pretty sure those first 20 minutes were imperative.

We proceed to watch a girl in overalls sing a song about death, a guy we assumed was Jesus walk around the stage, and a guy in a hospital gown look very angry and confused. The entire time I was just praying there was no audience participation, as the actors were getting up close and personal with us. Towards the end hospital gown guy is killed and then brought back to life. And then he begins to peels his “skin” off – some sort of latex covering. First he was sitting and took off the top of his hospital gown.

“Oh no,” I think. “He’s not going to do it, is he?” Oh yes, he did. He took the whole gown off. Underneath he was wearing his birthday suit, and pretty confident about it. As he continued to stand naked in a pile of dirt peeling his skin, two actors swept the dirt around him. Then, after peeling all of the coating on his body, the play was over.

And that’s how I gave Kate exactly what she wanted for her birthday – a night with a naked man.

Stick around for more of my misadventures with Kate!

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30 Rad Things To Do This Summer

I’m graduating in just 15 days (ahhh!), and I know you guys are counting down to summer too, so I thought I’d share a rad list of fun things to do in Summer 2K16!

 

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  1. Throw an Outdoor Party

 

Spruce up your garden and throw an outdoor party this summer. Hang lanterns and streamersg from the trees. Light candles. Break out the BBQ or set up a buffet table. Invite your BFFs, family and neighbours and have fun. Dance until dawn in the moonlight!

 

  1. Surprise Your BFF

 

Surprise your best friend with unique and unusual gifts for no reason at all. Wrap them in something fun (newspaper, paper bags, etc)  and send them through the post. She’ll dig it, I promise.. And if you feel so inclined, totally feel free to send me anything from this site – because you know I’m cuckoo!

 

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  1. Blow Some Bubbles

 

It’s good to do childish things now and again (or all the time). And did you know that there are several health benefits associated with blowing bubbles? Pursing your lips and blowing focuses your breathing and is great for relaxation. It’s also good, squeaky clean fun.

 

  1. Go Camping

 

Throw your tent in the trunk, grab some friends and go camping. What’s better than sleeping under the stars? Light a campfire and make s’mores. And then tell me about your adventures!

 

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  1. Go to a Festival

 

Everyone should go to a festival at least once in their life. If not several times. Find the perfect event for you and immerse yourself in the whole experience, including Instagramming and Snapchatting the whole thing so that I can live vicariously through you. 

 

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  1. Go to a Fair

    Go to a fair with a group of friends. Not a great big theme park – a small county fair. Enjoy the rides, eat some cotton candy and win a prize. Help me relive my glory days of clogging at the state fair!

 

  1. Go the Beach

 

Even if you’re not going on a long summer vacation, visit the beach. Arrive early to choose the best umbrella spot. Pack a picnic lunch (or get pizza, pizza is always good) and a stack of books and stay all day. Play games, swim and build sandcastles – or just lay out and tan, or burn in my case. As the sun goes down set up a BBQ and roast some veggie burgers.

 

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  1. Pick Berries

 

Ride out to a farm and spend the day picking berries. Bring them home and make smoothies, pies and cakes. There’s nothing better than freshly picked fruit!

 

  1. Take a Nap in a Hammock

 

It’s not all about rushing around (although that can be fun too). Summer is a great time to relax and dream a little. Set up that Eno and force your cat into it with you.

 

  1. Stargaze

 

Drive out to the country away from the city lights – or just come visit my family’s house, there’s a cornfield on our street! Lie down on a blanket and stare at the stars. If you have a portable telescope, use it! Be amazed at the wonder of the universe. Try not to think about the possible children in the cornfield.

 

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  1. Take That Trip

 

Take that trip you’ve always been meaning to take. What’s holding you back? Just book it and go! Hopefully that trip involves you visiting me in Paris, because as of now I have 3 possible friends, one of which will be the child I’m nannying.  

 

  1. Go Paddle Boating or Canoeing

 

Take off your shoes and socks and roll up your pants. Paddle in a river or stream. Or dangle your feet off the edge of a boardwalk. Don’t forget to pack a towel and also sunscreen – don’t get stuck with the thigh sunburn I got last year.

 

  1. Go Sailing

 

Grab a bunch of friends and spend some time sailing. Drive out to a lake and spend the day there. Take a picnic lunch (or pizza) and a blanket and enjoy a lazy day. I’ve always wanted to sail in the Chesapeake Bay, please someone do this for me – take one for the team!

 

 

  1. Swim in a Lake

 

The pool is great but swimming in a lake is something else. Find a safe location and skip a near death experience like I had in a river a few years ago. Okay, I’m being a bit dramatic…but better safe than sorry!

 

  1. Cycle

 

Dust off your bicycle and go for a long ride. Get out of the city and into the countryside. Enjoy the country roads and fresh air. Apparently bikes are more popular in Europe, so I should probably learn how to turn while biking.

 

  1. Go for a Hike

 

Plan your route and go for a hike. Choose somewhere you’ve never been before. Walk through fields and woods and enjoy being outside in nature, knowing that Trump can’t get to you there.

 

  1. Take a Road Trip

 

Road trips are always fun, especially when you choose the right travelling companions. Plan where you want to go but don’t be too rigid. Part of the fun is following those road signs and seeing where they take you. Take lots of tunes to listen to along the way, I suggest Taylor Swift.  

 

  1. Walk Barefoot in the Park

 

Remember the film with Jane Fonda and Robert Redford that my Grandma keeps asking me to watch? Take off your shoes and socks and walk barefoot in the park. It’s freeing and exhilarating.

 

  1. Light Some Fireworks

 

Fireworks are not just for 4th July. Gather some friends and have a firework party. Light some sparklers and have fun.

 

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  1. Have a Film Night

 

Curl up on the couch and watch your favorite films. Make some popcorn and cry at the sad bits. A blanket and a tub of ice cream are useful and obligatory.

 

  1. Visit a New City

 

Visit a city you’ve never been to before. Drive or take the train and spend the day there. Enjoy the shops and restaurants. Eat lunch in a pavement cafe. I suggest NYC. Or Paris, definitely Paris.

 

  1. Go to a Museum

 

Check your local listings and visit a museum or art gallery. Keep a list of forthcoming exhibitions and events. Your local history museum could be more fun than you think – I got a great Instgram pic last time I visited mine.

 

  1. Play Some Sports

 

When was the last time you played some sports (my answer is seventh grade, fyi)? Choose something you like or something you would like to learn and go for it. Book a court etc. and have fun. Pick a friend who is less athletic than you and you’ll always look great playing any sport with them.

 

  1. Volunteer

 

Giving your time is always rewarding. Look for local community groups and projects that may need your help. Spend some time helping other people (or animals). If you want to go big, I suggest going to Asia and volunteering at a bear sanctuary.

 

  1. Learn a Language

 

Is there a language you’ve always wanted to learn? Enroll in a [French] course and make a start. Reward yourself with a visit to that country [France] once you have made good progress. It’s the best way to test your [French] skills. I am in no way biased towards France.

 

  1. Learn a New Skill

 

Learn something new. Enroll in an online course or book a place at your local community college. Learning new things broadens your horizons and allows you to meet new people.

 

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  1. Read Some Books

 

Make a list of those books you’ve always wanted to read and set time aside to read them. Bridget Jone’s Diary, Bossy Pants, and anything by Chelsea Handler are good places to start.

 

  1. Visit Your Library

 

Spend a couple of hours browsing your local library. Pick out some books and look at the information. There’s always something interesting to be found there. Who knows, you could purposefully run into a cute boy and fall in love in said library.

 

  1. Make Some Art

 

Forget any inhibitions and make some art. Take out your paints, glue and glitter and make something fun and creative! Don’t overthink it or try to make it perfect. Just go with your instincts. If your instincts say to draw a cat, your instincts are on the right track.

 

  1. Plan a Family Day

 

Plan a fun day for the whole family. Make some meals, plan some activities, or fire up the BBQ. Spend the day with the people closest to you. The next day you should plan on hiding in your room.

 

So those are some fun summer ideas for you all! Comment below and tell me what you’re doing this summer! Don’t forget to add me on Twitter and Instagram @CelinaTTolbert so we can keep in touch this summer!

The Thrill of The Chase

I’ve always liked contests. The rush you get from putting your name in a hat and waiting ever so impatiently for your name to be called. I remember one day when I was in middle school I cut out all the giveaway forms from my J-14 magazine and glued them to index cards for my mother to mail. I cut out tons of them and filled out each line. I remember getting excited when gimmicky fake car keys came in the mail, and I’d ask my parents if we could see if we won a new car.

I loved entering raffles and holding onto my ticket with great expectations. I remember in elementary school at our fall festival I played the moonwalk game (is that just a southern game?) and won a 2-liter of orange soda. I was pretty darn proud of that orange soda. Last summer my friend Julia found a dollar on the street so we bought a lottery ticket. We lost, but it was still fun to imagine our dollar turning into a million. Or just $2. Last summer I also entered all sorts of Broadway contests that I never won (but my friends did, so it all worked out).

I think I love contests so much not because of the prize, but because of the hope, the thrill. Waiting is not a chore with contests; it’s a gift. The time between entering a contest and when the announce the winners is a great time. The thing is, even if I win, I’m a bit disappointed that it’s all over. There’s no more guessing, there’s no more hoping. It’s like climbing to the top of a mountain – once you’re there, going back down seems pointless (to me anyways, obviously if you love hiking it’s probably still fun). I lose this hope not just in contests, but in other areas in my life. When I finally meet up with someone. When I finally get the job I wanted. When I finally finish that class.

I love the thrill of the chase, but I always yearn for the next opportunity, the next big thing. I’m a doer, a never sit still-er. I will never be happy with waiting around. I will constantly enter contests and play the moonwalk game. Okay, I won’t play the moonwalk game, because I not entirely certain if that’s a thing anymore. I also won’t gamble because my roommates all say that I’d go millions in debt, to which I concur. But maybe I wasn’t meant to be content. Maybe there’s so much more for me out there. There’s more than a 2-liter of orange soda and some free earrings from Instagram (although I appreciate both). So I’ll continue the chase and enjoy the thrill, because maybe some people aren’t meant to stop.

 

Mini Quirky Giveaway!

It’s time for Quirking It Out’s first giveaway – a mini giveaway for my quirky friends and readers! I recently won an Instagram contest and was inspired to start my own giveaway to share the love with you – my friends, whether IRL or virtual. I’m holding a “mini” giveaway because I’m a broke college student, but still want to show love to my readers. I also know that this giveaway might only have two entrants – my friend Courtney (shoutout to this boss friend) and my mom – and that’s okay! However, for every 20 people entered (if we get above 20), I’ll add another surprise to the giveaway, so share with your friends. Or don’t – live your life.

The giveaway includes some heart lollipops, Victoria’s Secret Mints, some nice Katy Perry fake eyelashes (ooh lala, such beauty, much eyes), and a mini journal saying “LOVED” and a tiny Bible verse. Like I said, it’s a mini giveaway, but I hope it will make the winner smile!

This giveaway opens 2/22/16 at 12am and ends 2/29/16 at 12am. It is open to US residents over the age of 18 with a mailing address in the US. It is not affiliated with Instagram, Victoria’s Secret, Katy Perry, or Jesus. This is not sponsored. There will be one winner who I will announce on Twitter, Instagram, and here.

There are a few ways to enter:

  1. Follow me on Twitter @CelinaTTolbert and like the giveaway tweet
  2. Follow me on Instagram @CelinaTTolbert and like the giveaway image
  3. Follow me on WordPress (and comment below with your blog URL)
  4. Tweet about this giveaway and tag me @CelinaTTolbert
  5. Tag friends on my Instagram giveaway image (Please tag friends only once, and no celebrity/spam tags)

You can do one of these or all of them; the more you do, the more chances you have to win! A winner will be randomly picked after the giveaway is closed and will be announced within 24 hours.

Liebster Award Nomination

If you’re involved with the blogging world, you probably know that the Liebster Award is given out to new blogs. Basically the whole point is to discover new blogs and give each other a pat on the back. I was nominated by Jannika (and her two lovely cats!) over at Travel Without Ends, so thank you Jannika! Here are the questions she asked me, along with my nominations and my questions for my nominees!

 

  1. If I die tomorrow, where should I travel today (convince us!)? I have to say Paris! I am moving there for a year in June, so it would crazy for me to say anywhere else. I haven’t been there, but I feel the city of love calling to me, and I think it’s a place everyone should visit at some point. Also, if anyone reading this does visit Paris within the next year or so, reach out to me so we can meet up!
  2. Can you imagine to travel with a pet? I wish I could travel with my pet cat, Cheetah, as he is mischievous and would love the adventure, but taking him from America to Europe would be a bit difficult…also, I’m actually allergic to anything fluffy. However, this doesn’t stop me from wanting to adopt a cat in Paris!
  3. According to you what is the one thing we should do or keep in mind when travelling? Be open to trying crazy new things! Get off the beaten path and be spontaneous – don’t get stuck in a crazy strict itinerary.
  4. What do you always carry with you when travelling (apart from passport)? Some sort of lip product, usually a matte lipstick. I always try to look classy for my destination…although that doesn’t always happen.
  5. Did you ever regret to go on a journey or travel-related adventure? I haven’t regretted both the trips I have and haven’t taken; I think when a trip is meant to be, it’ll happen, and vice versa.
  6. Please give me one sentence that describes what travel means to you. Travel is the freedom to explore and discover new things not only about the world, but also about ourselves.
  7. What was the best food/ drink you tasted ever and where can I find it? The Shortberry Strawcake at Big Gay Ice Cream in NY, NY is delicious and holds lots of sweet memories for me, as I lived directly above the shop for 3 months. It’s a must do if you’re in the city!
  8. Your remedy for feeling lonely on a trip? Ask someone to coffee! If you have friends where you are, ask one of them; if you don’t, ask someone at your hostel or a fellow traveler you meet. Also, don’t stay in your room, go explore!
  9. If you had all the money in the world, how would it change the way you travel? I don’t think it would change that much. I’d probably travel a bit more, and maybe indulge in first class, but other than that, I wouldn’t want to change my traveling that much. Part of traveling is meeting new people and getting out of your comfort zone, which might be a bit hard if you lounge in a 5 star hotel all the time.
  10. Why do you blog? I blog to share my stories/memories/adventures/travels with others. I want to make people laugh and I am grateful that I can do so by doing something I love – writing.
  11. Can you show me your favourite inspirational quote or picture? One of my favorite quotes is from Coco Chanel, saying “The bravest thing you can do is to speak your mind.”

My nominations:

The Au Pair Blog

Ultimate Au Pair

Kallia’s Everyday Talks

The Travel Journal

The Soigne Soul

Gem Hunt

Realweegiemidget

Juggling Mother

Salwakisswani

Sarah’s Musings

eat.love.wear

 

My 11 questions for you:

  1. What inspires you?
  2. If you could visit me in Paris, what is one thing we’d have to do?
  3. What is your biggest goal with your blog?
  4. What is your biggest fear?
  5. Would you rather be wealthy stuck in one place or poor but able to go anywhere?
  6. Donuts or coffee?
  7. Most embarrassing moment?
  8. How do you start your day?
  9. What do you do when you don’t feel like writing?
  10. What’s the absolute best thing to watch on Netflix?
  11. Which of your dreams/goals scares you?

And with that, the Liebster is done! Be sure to tag me in your post so that I can read your answers!

A German on The Jersey Turnpike

In 2014 I spent the summer working at a camp in New York with staff from all over the world. The camp was about two hours from NYC and was structured so that all staff got a week off in the middle of the summer. Basically they forced us off camp for a week with nowhere to go, so we made the best of it and chose to live it up during our week without evil children. I had made a few really great friends, so a few of us made random last minute plans for the week, starting with a few days in NYC. I planned the week trip with my best friend from Germany, let’s call her Elsa. Our other friend, let’s call her Candy, planned to be with us for the first half of the trip.

So Candy drove us from camp to the city where we had booked a hotel on the edge of Brooklyn (with free parking!) just a few hours ago. We’re great planners. Anyways, we had fun being tourists in the city and hanging on our roof at night looking at Manhattan. We left after two nights for Philadelphia, with our friend Oliver joining this leg of the trip. We were going to drive Candy’s car to the house of someone I connected with on Couchsurfing. However, Candy was a bit under the weather and really needed to sleep in the car. I didn’t have a license, and Oliver only had a NY limited permit. That left Elsa, who had a German license but had never driven in America before. Elsa was very hesitant, as she had only been in the US for a month and was a bit frazzled from being with demon children during that time. But after a bit of convincing, Elsa agreed because Candy was already falling asleep.

So Candy took a nap in the front seat while Oliver and I squeezed into the back among all of the luggage, promising Elsa we’d help her navigate. She was nervous but we promised she’d only have to drive on this one road – The Jersey Turnpike. I mean, we were a bit nervous as well, but we knew the worst outcome would end with us not returning to camp, and in our hearts we accepted that and left it up to fate. Somewhere in Jersey the GPS voice lulled me to sleep, and I was only vaguely conscious when we stopped at a toll. I woke up and Candy soon followed. However, we had unknowingly lied to Elsa, as we made her navigate the way into Philly so we could eat lunch. The lunch was meh. Candy took over driving in Philly and to DC later on. Elsa may or may not have been permanently scarred by this event.

We all lived through this experience and “Elsa” and I are planning to meet up this summer. But no worries, she’ll be taking the train, not driving.

All or Nothing


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With me, it’s all or nothing. Oklahoma anyone? But truly, I’m an all or nothing kind of gal. If I do something, I go all in. I’m pretty sure that if I accidentally stole an orange I’d turn into a full on kleptomaniac. Joking aside, my all or nothing attitude has been both a blessing and a curse (okay, curse is a little dramatic).

In my relationships, I either want to hang out with you all the time, or never. If I don’t see or hear from you for a long time, I’ll forget about you. I don’t say this because I’m callous, but because I’m honestly forgetful; at the same time, I want to give more to the relationships that I can give to. Basically I’d rather hang out with someone who can hang with me everyday over someone who can only hang once every two weeks.

This makes it difficult for me to date, because if I feel “meh” about you on the first date I’ll probably just forget you exist. On the other hand, if I really like you I might come across as clingy…or maybe even a tiny bit creepy. I don’t mean it, I just like to show the people I like that I like them…a lot.

With school, this means I’ll either spend one hour or one week on a project; there’s no in between. I either hate a class or love it. Every professor is my favorite or my least favorite. I’ll either read the whole textbook or none of it.

If I decide I want to do something, I’ll do it or go crazy trying to do so. I’ve wasted hours and hours on study abroad programs, scholarships, schools to transfer into, trips to take, jobs to apply for, projects to audition for, and many more things that never happened. I become obsessed with my next big thing, whether it be a birthday trip to NYC (didn’t happen) or studying abroad in London (also didn’t happen).

But my all or nothing attitude has also served me well. I got my first ever movie “role” (as an extra, not anything fancy guys) through really weird circumstances. I found an article in our paper about the movie filming nearby and decided that I, little freshman in high school Celina, was going to be in this movie. Long story short, I emailed the director and convinced my whole family to drive to the mountains and be extras in a random indie film.

My all or nothing attitude also got me my first paid writing gig, out of school for two weeks my senior year of high school to film, and living in Manhattan last summer. And now my all or nothing-ness has landed me a job right after graduation exactly where I wanted – Paris! So even though my all or nothing life is a bit crazy, crazy can be good. Crazy can be PARIS yall!

So follow your crazy! Feel free to comment below with what that is so we can cheer each other on…and make sure we aren’t too crazy 😉

Lunchtime Lyric Loser

At lunchtime one day in fourth grade (maybe third), I was asked/made to join a singing competition. The competitors were myself and a girl whom my mother approved of because the girl complimented her hair. The judge was my bully/friend, the girl who I sat with at lunch sometimes when my actual friends had a different lunchtime.

Anyways, the song that was decided upon was called Redneck Woman or something. I had never heard it, preferring Britney Spears and NSYNC.  Needless to say, I did not win. I did not have to country grit the judge was looking for. So I can’t put “Elementary Country Song Lunchtime Winner” on my resume. But I can still sing you 3 lines from the song.

This wasn’t my first brush with rejection, and it definitely wasn’t my last. Losing a singing competition to the girl who compliments your mother’s hair is a bit upsetting, but nonetheless, I shouldered on. I went on to audition for solo after solo, role after role, to end up with what could be considered disappointing results: one solo in all of middle school chorus, none  in high school, and one lead in a musical throughout my whole career.

Maybe this competition set the tone for my singing career. But I think that losing a redneck song competition helped me deal with rejection and continue to try. So thank you to the little 4th grade redhead who called me names and queened me the lunchtime lyric loser; you helped me lose with grace.

 

And anyways, she got engaged to a boy with ramen noodle hair, so who’s really the loser here?

This Room

I’m going to miss this room, this crazy, neurotic room. This room where we’ve eaten, slept, laughed, cried, sat, watched, played, lived. This room is my favorite room of all the rooms I’ve ever been in. This room is home.

I have made some of my favorite memories in this room. This room knows my secrets, and I trust it to keep and remember them all. This room has taken blows. This room has had its ups and downs.

This room has held our loneliness and fears. This room has laughed with us and watched us fill out application after application after application.

This room has helped me make decisions, good and bad. This room has seen us party and mourn. This room bears our scars and holds pieces of us.

But when we leave, this room will go on without us in it. This room will have different inhabitants, perhaps strangers who will become best friends. This room will live on, and so will we.

Can You Not?

Can you not joke about us being an us? Even if I don’t like him, thinking about me being an us is too much to get my hopes up for. To think that he and I could be a we is so good it hurts.

Can you not say we’d be cute together? I’ve already thought that. I don’t want to think about it anymore, it’s too painful. I’ve thought about us going to events together, how he could ask me with a rose, how he might get down on one knee. But he doesn’t.

Can you not say we both have flaws? You don’t understand. His flaws are earthly, the kind of flaw you can overlook with no problem. My flaws are crazy, intense, the type of flaw you can’t stop looking at. I could probably live with his, but he couldn’t live with mine.

Can you not tease us? It’s so hard to be in a room with someone who verbally says they don’t want to be with me when you suggest it. I laugh it off, because we probably wouldn’t be a good couple anyways, but it kind of sucks. I get it, he doesn’t like me, we’re not meant to be.

Can you not talk about our shared interests? Don’t you know I’ve already imagined us cuddling and watching our favorite movie? I’ve already thought of the possible inside jokes, the road trips with our soundtrack.

Can you not be you? The you that’s sometimes adorable and sometimes naive. Sometimes funny and sometimes overexcited. Sometimes rebellious and sometimes angelic.

Can you pick a side so that i can? Please pick the side that makes me like you less, the side that makes it easy to laugh when she pairs us together. The side that i can make fun of when you’re not there, the side that couldn’t keep up with me. Please stop doing mysterious things that interest me. Please stop liking things i like and being a great guy. Please go back to liking her and being innocent and gentle and young.