You can bask in my glow.

Two days of binging, because obviously. Show closed yesterday afternoon. Somehow I made it through without crying. Not so lucky with the ED behaviors, but, you know.

Saturday night, “that boy” came and saw the show. I bought him a ticket (though he didn’t really know that, and I just told him to give me $20 or a bottle of wine sometime), but he came. I’ve given him comps for every show before this, and yet he decides to drive all the way out to New Jersey to see this show?! I can’t explain it.

So he drove out. And I saw him out in the audience pre-show, in his flannel in the fourth row, far to house left, looking uncomfortable. And I rocked it. It was a great show. I mean, it always is, but it was great. And I came out after with my hair down, with the assurance of my fellow actors that “he’d be stupid not to want to get into your short shorts.”

I saw him, but meandered into the lobby on my own time, knowing he saw me, letting the “I’m talented and awesome” roll over him. I greeted my other friend who’d trekked out with her aunt, and introduced the two of them (she knows this story, but pretended she didn’t, until the end of the conversation when she says, “I’ve heard so much about you!”). I let him chat me up, but I held the reins of the conversation.

That night was the “cast party” held by the artistic directors at their house. We meandered towards the door and I said bluntly, “Wanna come?” He said sure, and I led the way, chatting with my fellow actors, basically just being WAY too cool for school. He was MY date, I was in charge of what was happening, I was the popular one. “So, we can follow you guys? You know where you’re going?” I called out, before he even offered to drive me. I got in the car without so much as a “so… should I ride with you?” We drove off.

We pulled up at their house, and I led the way in. He was the hanger-on, I was the popular girl. That’s a new dynamic for me. He stuck alongside me through the party. I introduced him to a few people, and I enjoyed the rush of being congratulated and complimented profusely in front of him. It made me feel even more like the star, with a hot boy just tagging along. I also thoroughly enjoyed introducing him to my director, who is a bit of a lech. It made me feel like a grown up to introduce my “date,” total eye-candy, to this guy. It made me feel way too cool for school.

We all decided to head home (last show the next day). We meandered towards the cars, and I stopped at his, saying, “Thank you so much for coming– we’ve got a show tomorrow, so I’ll see you later!” Totally took the “you’re not coming home with me” initiative without even giving him a chance. He reached into his backseat and pulled out 20 bucks and his new CD (he’s a musician for kids) and handed me both. I took the CD but said I didn’t want the 20. He tried to insist, but I grabbed the CD and pulled him into a hug, at which moment I felt his hands on my butt and was really confused but then realized that he was putting the 20 in my back pocket.

I pulled away from the hug a bit flustered and he said, “I wasn’t grabbing your butt…” and I interrupted with a self-satisfied grin, “Uh, well, you were, but okay, sure,” as M screamed out of the car “You SHOULD try to grab her butt!!” Then we had a chaste farewell hug and I got into M’s car.

She was convinced he liked me, based on the way he was looking at me when I was talking, the fact that he came all the way out, etc. But.

He didn’t gush over me. I want to be gushed over.

He didn’t make a point of making me feel like the most important part of the evening. Which I was.

He told two very self-centered stories about himself. And had not much to say to me.

He talked about my ex-boyfriend. AGAIN. This is his running theme.

I’m not gonna do it. I acted like a self-assured, self-possessed, self-confident woman Saturday night. I let myself be the star, and let him exist in the glow of my light. I deserve that sometimes. And I deserve someone who wants to make me even brighter. He’s not ready to do that. He likely won’t ever be. So that’s that. And I don’t feel sad at all.

“It is easier to live through someone else than to complete yourself. The freedom to lead and plan your own life is frightening if you have never faced it before. It is frightening when a woman finally realizes that there is no answer to the question ‘who am I’ except the voice inside herself.” ― Betty Friedan


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