*All names have been changed to protect the innocent.
I think it was November when one of my roommates sent me a text that said, “Hey, I ran into that guy you like. I think his name’s Brandon*?”
“Ethan*,” I replied. “Brandon was the guy from last semester.”
Because I am always looking for the best in people, I perpetually have crushes. I’m never looking to have feelings for anyone, but it just sort of happens. They range from surface-level, middle school-style crushes to deep friendships that I can see transitioning to something more.
Thanks to my friends, I’ve also realized that I have a type. The guys I’ve liked all seem like nice guys. They love their moms. They’re endearingly nerdy. Maybe not in the typical nerd fashion, but akin to a guy who is super passionate about a specific subject. A few of them have even looked alike, explaining my roommate’s initial confusion.
Even the ones who don’t look alike definitely dress alike. After being in deep thought about my type, I’ve realized that (at least since coming to college) each guy I’ve been interested in owns a variation of this shirt:
Or this shirt:
Or this shirt:
You get the idea.
I’ve had a tumultuous relationship with my tendency to crush. I almost never act on my small fascinations, and when I do, the other party never reacts the way I’d like. I’ve gone through phases of being angry at myself for being “weak” and letting myself like people, and I’ve gone through phases of thinking I’m not good enough to get a boyfriend or have a healthy relationship. Overall, I’ve gotten sick of letting these pink-shirted boys dictate my self-perception. So, I did what anyone would do.
I bought myself a men’s pink button-up shirt.
When I see the shirt hanging in my closet, I’m reminded that I can love myself without relying on other people to like me. I’m reminded that there isn’t anything wrong with having crushes, and there also isn’t anything wrong with focusing on liking myself for a while. I’m reminded that although I can get emotional about heartbreak in its many forms, I can also look back on it and laugh at myself and the situation.
I bought the shirt to prove that at this moment in time, I’m infatuated with myself.
Maybe it isn’t anything but a physical manifestation of an attempt at personal growth. Maybe it isn’t accomplishing anything at all. In any case, I’m glad I bought the shirt. Here are some more pictures from a photo shoot I made my friend help me with.
Happy Valentine’s Day!