I hate the term ‘hopeless romantic.’ I understand it implies that there’s no hope left for the hopeless romantic. But it’s a misnomer because the very reason a romantic is deemed hopeless is because he or she possesses too much hope.
I know this firsthand.
I am a romantic, and therefore full of hope and hopeless.
I’ve never been very vocal about it because having too much hope in the romance department can sometimes be extremely embarrassing. Really. Embarrassing.
For example, there was once a time when I was deeply in love with a fellow improv student. Although he had never confirmed for me that he loved me too, my hope told me that he did. Oh yes, I was sure of it, as I had definitely seen some eye twitching in my direction which could have been winking. One day after class, we all talked about our holiday plans. He asked me about my flight home for Christmas, and I told him I had a very early flight out and had to leave my apartment at four am.
This toxic combination of schedule talk and sappy romanticism convinced me that said improv student would ABSOLUTELY be in my apartment lobby at four am, roses in hand and ready to profess his love to me before whisking me away to the airport.
I had so much hope that I didn’t even call a cab.
Then four am came. I walked into my lobby smiling, having practiced my surprised look and brushed my teeth extra hard for that surely breathtaking kiss just moments away.
And then four-fifteen came.
I called a cab.
But I STILL spent the entire way to the airport looking out the cab windows for my future lover to catch up to us, throw flowers out the window, and beg me to leap from the cab into his lap.
This is why I keep these things to myself. It’s gross. Just disgusting. Only a delusional narcissist could believe that something so grand could happen, but it my defense: this is how it happens in the movies! It’s society’s fault. Yes. Everyone is to blame besides me. I grew up watching Pretty Woman. Come on! If a hooker can get that ending, why can’t I get a surprise ride to the airport, dammit?
I realized during this vacation in Utila that I must put an end to this excess of hope because it’s VERY dangerous. Hopeful romanticism creates a filter through which regular language passes and morphs into harmful lies that can lead to random sex or worse: a horrible relationship.
I can no longer trust myself, and I’m afraid I must be caged.
The Honduran island of Utila is a trough of travelers from all over the globe. It’s overrun with Europeans, Americans, and Argentinians, most there to get some diving certification at one of the very many dive shops. Due to my romantic filter, my conversations with these people were slightly skewed. Here are some examples:
What the Argentinian man at Dive Center Said: Hello.
What He Meant: Hello.
What I Heard: I’ve been waiting for you all my life, and I will make a fabulous lover and father because of my sexy accent and the fact that I’m not wearing a shirt.
What Hippie with Beard Selling Bracelets Did: Smiled.
What He Meant: Please buy something so I can eat today because this hippie thing is actually harder than I thought.
What I Heard: Oh, hello! You look like an amazing bracelet-making companion. I want you to drop everything and spend the rest of your life traveling with me. Fuck money. All we need is each other.
What Local Restaurant Owner Said: Nice to see your smiling face here again.
What He Meant: Please fake marry me for papers and take me to your land, at which point I will kidnap you for ransom.
What I Heard: Move here! Stop everything you have and just move here. We’ll open a chain of restaurants together and love love love love each other until eternity.
What a Blue-Eyed Spaniard Said: Do you want to rent a kayak with me?
What He Meant: Maybe if this chick kayaks with me, she’ll give it up in the water like that last tourist did.
What I Heard: I am open-minded and adventurous. Of course I would love to move to Los Angeles just to be with you. I can’t wait to tell the story at our wedding about how we met here on this tiny island when you seduced me with your small breasts and dirty hair.
My heart is sewn from hope and rainbows, and my brain is filled with fairy tales. Sigh.
I either need to find someone who bores the guts out of me so that his very existence reminds me that these tales exist only for fairies and prostitutes. OR, I need to find someone just as disgustingly hope-filled and hopeless as I, so that we can spend our lives leaving each other walkways of petals and notes in secret hiding spots.
In the meantime, I’ll stick to the Spaniard. At least he likes to kayak.
Yes, I really went kayaking with a Spaniard. And it was one of the funnest days EVER. It’s weird though. Now I’m back in LA, and there’s no package or anything here. I thought for sure he’d have sent me a box filled with a million love notes by now. Or maybe a carving of my face in a driftwood. Or perhaps a ring or even himself. Yeah, he should have moved here by now. I wonder if he got stuck in customs. I better email him. Again.