Overthinking 101

crystal dingsI am one of those unusual girls that are sometimes called alpha females. That should be a good thing, except that it’s not usually said like that. See, the thing with alpha females is that boys don’t really know what to do with us. They are turned on by the strength, the independence, and the fact that they don’t have to pay all the bills, but they’re also a little scared of being made redundant.

So let me tell you about Jaimie. Jaimie is my best friend. He was the little boy who chased me all over the place tugging my pussy-cat hairdo and name-calling any boy who got on my nerves. It took me a while to realize that Jaimie liked me, but even when I did, it made no difference, because Jaimie was … well … Jaimie.

That was then, this is now. Jaimie has done quite some growing up. For one thing, he dropped the ‘Jaimie’ in favour of James, and tries to convince me of this every time we meet,. Nothing doing. ‘jaimie’ just sounds cuter, and I like cute.

He gained a few inches … 71 of them, to be precise. Grew some facial hair that I keep wishing he’d shave, broadened at the chest, deepened at the vocal chords … the boy is, quite literally, candy. This is a good thing, yes? No. Because just when I started noticing him, he stopped noticing me. Ouch.

Jaimie is still my best buddy, so he’s always there for me when I need to whine about – well – boys. I was watching him a few days back over coffee, thinking how delicious he looked nibbling on that teensy slice of black forest cake, and wondering…

“Jaimie, what would you do if I asked you out?”

The poor boy almost choked on his own teeth.

“What. I’m smart, I’m attractive, I’m a lot of fun. Is it so crazy to think of dating me?”

Jaimie blushed solid red. I have only seen him do that once, and it wasn’t because I said he had beautiful eyes. They are beautiful though. Green. I like green eyes.

He mumbled for a few minutes and I have absolutely no idea what he was saying. Then he excused himself and left the table. I was a bit worried he had made a run for it. Disappointed too, I’ve never known him to have feathers. But then, people can surprise you.

I didn’t hear from Jaimie for a few days after that. I tried calling and mailing him, but he wasn’t responding, so after a few days of sulking, I figured if he wanted to talk to me, he knew where to find me. It hurt though, it hurt a lot. Pride. And other things too.

Two weeks later I got a text at about 4.00 a.m. on a Tuesday. I wouldn’t have bothered, except it was Jaimie’s text tone. Yes, he has his own text tone. I am so lame.

I opened the text in a half-waking state. It was brief and factual.

“A lion likes to hunt. You don’t see gazelles parading in front of lions, do you? If they did that, the lion wouldn’t eat them.”

Interesting. I tried calling him back, but his phone was off. He knows me pretty well.

I thought about the text for a while. At first I was flattered. He called me a gazelle. Gazelles are pretty. Swift and graceful. And they have horns, for strength. He thinks I’m beautiful and strong. Yay!! Plus he was thinking of me at 4.00 a.m.

Then I thought about it some more. I don’t want to get eaten. Getting eaten means I’d have to die first. So the whole lion parading gazelle thing … since my aim is not to be devoured, what I am doing does not count as parading, yes? So then the metaphor does not apply to me. Which means he is talking about himself, no?

Unless he’s implying that I’m a rabid gazelle and that the lion in him is afraid to ‘eat’ this parading gazelle. I mean surely there must be something wrong with the gazelle for it to advertise itself like that. Perhaps it’s really a buffalo dressed like a gazelle? Is he the lion? Does he want to hunt me and is asking me to run a little? Or has he been put off by my rabidity?

Or is it me that’s the lion and he’s the gazelle? Is he playing hard to get, asking me to chase him a little? Goodness the possibilities are endless! Ordinarily, when a boy is this cryptic, I ask Jaimie to translate, who am I going to ask now?

And now that I think about, what was he doing texting me at 4.00 a.m.?

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Crystal Ading' is a professional author, editor, rock lover and mother. Her work is available through threeceebee.com.