I Want A Guy

August 14, 2012
As I pause just long enough from cramming leftover Valentine’s Day Starburst and once low calorie popcorn (it’s only low calorie if eaten in moderation, and I passed moderation 4.5 servings ago) into my mouth to drag the sopping laundry the agonous foot to the dryer, I wonder who ever said just be yourself and a guy will like you. Probably some beautiful model with perfect makeup, polished nails, an acne-free complexion, size triple zero skinny jeans, and effortlessly flawless hair that she still spends hours on just for the hell of it. And when she said a guy would like her for being herself, even though the Botox and hair dye is anything but, she was talking about her gorgeous, muscular, professional football playing husband.

And here I am single, four-eyed, at least 120 pounds, wearing size 9 flare jeans, and eating candy from six months ago. The closest I’ve even had to a boyfriend was my brother’s friend who asked me out to two dances. We were awkward, but I suppose we deserved each other; we were both uncomfortable, acne covered, weird, and too stubborn to admit we were our own special breeds of nerds. I’m not saying I want the gorgeous, mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, especially because just mentioning him makes me self-conscious, but I just want a guy who understands me.

I want a guy who understands that my nails aren’t painted because my dad vehemently hates the stench of nail polish and isn’t afraid to tell me so, even though he’s speaking to no one in particular. I want him to understand that even if I had the money to go to a salon to get them painted (probably pink because it’s my favorite color), although since I’m unemployed I don’t really have the money, it would be a waste since my nails are shorter than my brother’s. Even though my brother’s nails can grow disturbingly long, mine aren’t only short in comparison. They’re short so that I can play viola.

I want a guy who understands that I play viola obsessively not so I can be the best or be admired but because it’s my voice. It makes me feel free. On top of that, the three violas (one a beautiful 15 inch, another a crappy 15.5 inch used, and the last a 16 inch electric) resting in their cases by my sister’s guitars are the only things that are mine. Those and my lyrics and my words, most of which are empty. My hands with short nails and callused fingers belong to my father, who calls, “Sweetie, I hate to bother your again, but you can get me some Ginger Ale? Daddy’s not feeling so good.” I don’t bother to point out that the proper English is well and that my brother is sitting right there on the couch beside the pull-out bed and can easily get it for him because he’s not busy like I am cleaning the kitchen. I haven’t been feeling so well now that my father’s had a concussion for the past two weeks in my last month of summer, asking me to get him every little thing since he’s in too much soreness from his fall and in too much strain from his obesity to get it himself. My voice and ears belong to my grandma during our weekly Sunday phone call. She asks if I can sing one more song like my apparently more talented seemingly perfect sister even though I haven’t taken chorus since fifth grade because I take orchestra, even though I rarely show up to Church choir because I’m too busy with extra curricular activities to go to practice and because my father dislikes Church music too much to attend the choir mass, and even though I have a sore throat but can’t tell her because she worries too much. When I finally relent, she stalls by lecturing me on religion, my weight or “figure” (is possibly at risk of obesity with a bit of my parents’ stomach a figure?), and my boyfriend, or lack thereof. Definitely lack thereof.My rather ugly feet belong to my mother; we go mall walking at least twice a week in the summer. We walk around the mall because her knees don’t like the turning involved with our local YMCA’s dinky indoor track. For one day two years ago they belonged to my freshmen biology class when I swabbed them for our bacteria assignment and discovered that they’re more bacteria-ated (very Dr. Seussical) than the bottom of my shoe. My room, closet, clothing, and even socks belong to my twin sister. Oh, I forgot to add that my face pretty much belongs to her, too, since we’re identical. That’s why we dread fifth through eleventh period of our junior year. Those will be the periods we’re together, the six in which our already confused teachers and classmates will fairly have the basis to call us the wrong names. Even my family confuses us; how are one-time classmates who couldn’t care less about dorks like us keep our names straight? I guess you could add my name to the list of things that belong to my sister, since she’s called it just as much as she’s called her own. My glasses will soon belong to the Lion’s Club; I’m donating them when I get the new pair I needed last week. And when I do get new ones, they’ll belong to the saleswoman who picks them out. I’m not enough of a fashionista to choose the right ones for myself. My unsymmetrical, chemically straightened, short brunette hair belongs to my aunt, who yearly pays for it to be cut and straightened. She also paid for a new straightening iron, not that it does overly much to stop the frizz from turning my hair into a fro. My brain, or at least the part in charge of doing homework, belongs to my brother (did I mention I’m a triplet?) because he’s the only reason I passed Honors Biology and Honors Chemistry.
And so I want a guy who understands that you need chemistry to work, not just a billion people who tell you that you and your brother’s friend make a cute couple. We obviously weren’t cute enough, because we’re back to being two individuals, thank the lord. And on my own, I’ve never been called cute. How could I with my unmanicured hands, nasty feet, crazy hair, and crooked glasses that slip down my freckled, zit and pimple covered nose?
I want a guy who knows what it’s like to be crowded in a too small house with four overly loud people but still feels alone. Maybe because the only thing he really owns is those three violas by his sister’s three guitars. The messy room he sleeps in is filled with six dolls and random keepsakes that belong in the attic that no one can reach since the ladder is broken and his father’s office is too cluttered to allow stairs to be put in. In fact, everywhere in his house is cluttered; he’s living in a real time episode of Hoarders. Once he goes off to college, sometimes he hopes far away, his parents will probably sell his bed. Whether it’s so they can get the extra money, so he can’t move back in, or so his parents can use his/his sister’s former room for storage he’ll never know. Okay, I hope he really doesn’t know, just that he empathizes. It would be totally creepy if he has American Girl dolls and sleeps in the same room as his sister.
I just want a guy who understands, unlike every other one I’ve ever met. I want a guy who accepts me as God made me and as I am: frizzy hair, glasses, acne, weight, independence, thoughts and all. I want a guy who understands that he will be one of the only things—although he’s not only a thing; he’s not to be objectified just like I’m not to be, either—that will be mine. Finally, I want a guy to understand that my heart belongs to him.

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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

saintmikey This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 18, 2012 at 10:18 am
by the way: I love this. :) 
saintmikey This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 18, 2012 at 10:17 am
Hi! I was reading your proflie, I'm apart of the Junior Classical League also. I posted Why Am I the One Always Packing Up My Stuff Part 2, it's pending approval. Since you enjoyed part one I thought I should let you know. :) 
EricaPersoluta replied...
Sept. 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm
Thanks! It's especially great to know that someone else in the world actually knows what Junior Classical League is! Of course, I'm glad you liked my writing, too :) I can't wait to read part two of your story!
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