I'm the Afterthought
And Papi, I'm sick of it
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I don't understand why it is, but no one seems to reach out to me first. Whether it’s hookups or friends, I’m the one who has to make the plans. Most of them seem happy to hear from me when I get lonely and shoot off a text, but if I don’t, my phone will sit dark and silent for months until I finally give in and kick things off.
If it was just one or two people, I would assume it was a 'them' thing and not a 'me' thing, but it's almost all of them. I've had maybe two or three relationships in my adult life where it felt equal in that way. I know rejection is par for the course on the various dating and hookup apps (good heavens, do I ever), but I'm talking about people with whom I have an established relationship with.
Am I that much of an afterthought? When I put myself on a plate in front of them like so much cold shrimp, they'll deign to have a nibble, but no one's putting cold shrimp on their grocery list unless they're trying to be insulting at a potluck.
Understudy for Life
Hey there, Understudy!
Well, first of all, cold shrimp is how you get hot shrimp. I’ve gone out to get cold shrimp before. It’s been on my grocery list. I feel like the shrimp in shrimp cocktails are cold. There’s a niche. Perhaps your answer on that front is a nice cocktail sauce and a martini glass.
I understand where you’re coming from. I think the pandemic and the rapid shrinking of social circles had a strong impact on my relationships. People had a good reason to be very selective with who they spent their time with and, simultaneously, there was an evergreen prompt to reach out and ask someone how they were faring.
Both of these felt a bit like litmus tests, and I fixated on who I was and wasn’t close to. Hierarchies became more apparent, and loneliness became more severe. I would often wonder: if I turned my phone off and disappeared, who would notice I was gone? How long would it take them to realize I’d vanished?