(Hobo bait.)

Let me tell you straight: there is a thin line between being a romantic and being certifiably insane. Really there may not even be a line. I have high suspicion the two are one in the same.

Now if you are a normal person, and to you being a romantic means you like receiving flowers and having dinner by candlelight, you’re probably safe from the asylum. But if you are me (and we know what that entails), let me introduce the patent-pending  “what the fuck am I doing?” test, a small protection against the straitjacket. This test is unfortunately usually administered in the throes of romantic insanity. A preemptive strike would be ideal, but if you ever find yourself mid-romantic-pursuit asking, “what the fuck am I doing?” it’s a sure sign you’ve failed the test and should cease and desist immediately. I shall give you some examples:

Example #1) Life in the Trees

That spring of the clumsy gargoyle conundrum {http://alilake.com/the-time-i-tried-to-impress-a-boy-and-fell-off-my-roof/}, I apparently developed a prediliction for doing normal things at abnormal elevations in the name of being romantic and original and some sort of self-perceived extraordinary girl. I spent a few occasions in the various trees of my front yard and nearby park reading books and writing in my diary. If the “what the fuck am I doing?” test had been created at this point, it would have been duly administered, and such irrational behavior would have stopped. Unfortunately if hadn’t, so I stayed ignorant of the absurdity of my actions and somehow imagined that the love of my life would walk by one day, see me up in my tree, and realize that a squirrel-girl mutant was what he’d been searching for all along. This event did not occur. But I did eventually realize that life in a tree was uncomfortable and a real hassle if I dropped my pen. So fortunately this particular shenanigan petered out of its own accord.

Example #2) Walking at Night, Barefoot in a White Dress

This really was insane. And 1000% failed the test. I think the inspiration for this lunacy came from that iconic scene in Pride and Prejudice where Elizabeth Bennet goes walking in the heath and runs into Mr. Darcy. He proposes and they live happily ever. (As a rule, we romantics love Pride and Prejudice). Well this all turned out well and good for Lizzy, but she’s a fictional character after all, and I’m pretty sure that in this scene she did in fact have the sense to be wearing shoes. The problem with applying this scenario to real life is that suburbia does not contain much heath. So after wandering around the sidewalk a bit, I wound my way to the park. I really don’t know why the lack of shoes seemed necessary- I think I just dislike hearing every step I take (this has gotten me into trouble before. See http://alilake.com/the-time-i-was-a-stalker/). But park gravel is painful on the bare tootsies. Also, you know who’s in the park at night? It ain’t Mr. Darcy. Nope, I’d say hobos and rapists mostly. This realization is when the “what the fuck am I doing?” test kicked in, and I abandoned my nighttime outing. Lesson learned: unless hobo/rapist is your type, or you are one of those creepy little-girl ghosts out of a scary movie, you really have no business walking through the park barefoot and in a white dress at night.

In conclusion, being a romantic is largely incurable, as it probably should be. I can’t help having hope that one of my romantic follies will pay off and I’ll live that happily ever after. But in the meanwhile, I highly suggest from time to time asking yourself, “what the fuck are you doing?”. I imagine the chances of meeting the love of your life are severely diminished when you’re confined to a white padded cell.

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