Whiplash (Or, Making Responsible Decisions™)

BY CHELSEA RICCHIO

A month and a half after ending this relationship, in no way did I feel like I was ready to start dating again. All I wanted to do was hang out with my friends and recuperate. But all of my friends were either happily coupled up or active on the dating scene, and I was starting to feel left out.

So I re-downloaded some dating apps I’d used in the past – they’d never worked for me, but I figured that there was no harm in talking to a few people online for a little while to boost my confidence.

And then I had my first match.  “_ says, ‘I walked into a cactus once.’ Message him and ask him about it!”

Obviously I did, because that is literally the best icebreaker ever. Continue reading

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Until It’s Too Late

By CHelsea ricchio

Originally posted on tumblr here on October 14, 2014. Warning: mention of suicide.

On Thanksgiving Day my brother found out that his best friend died, and in a way it was fitting because nothing reminds you of what to be thankful for more than loss.

We don’t know how he died – it could have been suicide, but maybe not. I’m not here to talk about that. What I am here to talk about is paying attention to your life, and to the lives of the people around you.

My brother’s friend died a week before the police broke down the door of his bedroom and found his body. He lives with roommates, who I guess didn’t think to check on him. I can only imagine how they must feel now, knowing that he was there, dead, this entire time as they went about their daily lives mere feet away.

As someone who has contemplated suicide many times, a thought I always had was that if I made that choice, no one would notice for a very long time. I didn’t have a lot of friends and the ones that I did have were pretty absent (and still are for the most part if we’re honest), and I don’t talk to my parents regularly enough for them to worry about me. I attributed all of this to the fact that my life was just awful so that was probably even more reason to do it. That was the depression talking, of course, but I still think about that every now and again, and I still felt like there was no way that that would ever happen to most other people, who are swimming in friends and family and so on.

But it does, doesn’t it? More than we like to admit. Our culture is so hands-off. We feel like we’re bothering people and being pushy or nosy if we ask questions. We think that they’ll come to us if they need something. We don’t say things that we should say because we assume that they already know. I do it too. Sometimes for those reasons but more because I assume that they don’t care about me, and since they don’t get involved in my life they certainly won’t want me getting involved in theirs.

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The Fear

By CHelsea ricchio

Originally posted on tumblr here on February 20, 2015.

When I was 13, in the eighth grade, my best friend got a boyfriend. Out of all of us, she was probably the last one you would have expected to start dating first. She was ‘too smart’ for that and kept to herself.

I was super invested in their relationship because this was basically the most exciting thing that had ever happened to me (I know). After this, I became even more obsessed with getting a boyfriend. Now that she had one, it was only a matter of time.

But according to her boyfriend, it wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be.

He said that in a way, once you get a boyfriend or girlfriend, it’s kind of all downhill from there, because from then on you’ll be gripped by the fear of losing them. So basically, being single is better because then you don’t have a care in the world.

And at the time I was kind of like, “Yo, check your privilege,” or whatever the 13-year-old version of that is, because he had no idea what it was like (even though they had literally just started dating). I was dying alone and he thought he had problems?

But of course, he was totally right. Anyone who’s ever been in a committed relationship will probably tell you that. Until you’ve passed every single milestone you possibly can, you worry if you’re going to make it to the next one. Or maybe that’s just me. Maybe some people feel a lot more secure than that much faster and are so confident that things will work out that they have very few doubts. 

Lately, a thought that crosses my mind way more frequently than it should is, “What if this is the last time?”

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