Day Thirteen   /   lettering by Henry Hargreaves

Jessica Walsh

Did you see Timothy today?
Yes. Almost naked, too.

What did y’all do together?
We went to Aire Spa in Tribeca. I’ve been several times with friends, and I love the hot baths and steam rooms. Tim bought me tickets to the Knicks game last week, his happy place, so I thought I’d treat him to one of mine. I got us the two hour pass that includes a one hour massage.

Aire

Did anything interesting happen?
While we were in the steam room, Tim discussed why he didn’t think a romantic relationship between us would ever work. This meant 10 minutes of listening to him point out all my quirks and weaknesses. If I didn’t know him so well, I would have either written him off or gotten offended. I’ve known Tim for years, though, and I know this is his normal routine when he likes a girl.

As soon as he starts seeing a girl, especially a girl he really likes, he’ll focus on bizarre things about her that bother him. These things are meaningless in terms of a relationship, but he claims they are deal breakers. A few months ago he dated a great girl who seemed to have it all, but he decided he should end things because he didn’t like her shoes. Seriously. The next girl he said he liked hooked up with him too soon. The next girl he dated was amazing but she didn’t like her career as much as he likes his. All of them are either too thin, too curvy, too quiet, too loud, not creative enough, not smart enough, has daddy issues, etc. The lists of these reasons go on and on.

screwperfection

There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. People aren’t perfect. No one likes perfection anyways, it’s boring. Tim knows this. I think he uses these excuses to protect himself from getting too attached to a girl. I think he fears that if he gets too close he’ll lose control of the situation and get hurt.

Did you learn anything new about Timothy?
In the steam room I noticed he has a big tattoo sleeve on his upper arm. I don’t know how I missed this before. We talked about the meanings behind his tattoos and when he got them. He told me that one of his ex-girlfriends got a tattoo of his name. She wanted him to have her name tattooed on him as well, but they broke up before he went through with it.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
In middle school and early on in high school, I had serious struggles with perfectionism. I was terrified of breaking rules, I never had the guts to stand up for myself, and I had a massive fear of failure. I became shy and withdrawn, as I feared I might say something wrong. I hated my appearance, and I pushed myself too far at times.

Many years and many hours in therapy later, I’ve come to realize that the more I tried to reach perfection, the further I would get from it. I happily learned to embrace my quirks and weaknesses, and focus my energy on my strong suits. I am far from perfect and I want to continue to learn and grow. However, I also want to be with someone who can accentuate my positives, not focus on my negatives.

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
I have now admitted to Tim on a few occasions that I like him and I am curious to see if something more could develop between us. We still have to see each other every day for the next twenty-seven days, so if there was ever a time to try this out, why not now? Needless to say, he’s still confused, and continues to send me mixed signals.

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
I suppose I should listen to our therapist, who said I should be careful of how close I let myself get to Tim. He seems to be unable to admit to the idea that he likes me, so will he ever be ready for something more? Perhaps it is better we just stay friends.

Additional comments?
My insomnia is now full-blown because of the headaches. I’ve been trying out various medications, and while they help me sleep, they make me extremely tired and foggy during the day. Thankfully my doctor’s appointment is tomorrow.

Day Thirteen   /   lettering by Alice Cho

Timothy Goodman

Did you see Jessica today?
Yep.

What did y’all do together?
Jessie got us spa time and massages at Aire Ancient Baths. It was “payback” for the Knicks game. I couldn’t imagine a better payback!

Did anything interesting happen?
While we were half-naked and sweating in saunas together, I brought up what happened Saturday night. She basically gave me an ultimatum: we either need to be just friends, or I have to tell her that I want more. Yes, I am interested in more, but it just feels too risky.

Did you learn anything new about Jessica?
She looked all cute in her blue pants, beige sweater, and glasses. I feel like she wears black everyday, so I was diggin’ the change-up. Secondly, I saw her with no shoes in the spa (she’s usually wearing heels) and I noticed that she walks pigeon-toed, which is super cute. Lastly, I like that Jessie can joke around about all this. I sent her an April Fool’s email this morning.

Email_Tim

Email_Jessie

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
Today I was chatting with one of Jessie’s close friends. She wants me to stop the project because of Jessie’s recent health issues. She said that Jessie “needs friends, not experiments.” It made me feel badly, because I want what’s best for Jessie, too! Jessie is a big girl, and if she wants out, then she’ll quit.

She then asked me why I’m doing this project, what’s in it for me. I told her that I really believe it’s testing my capacity for intimacy. I haven’t emotionally let a woman in my life for a while, so opening up to Jessie and not having some kind of motive, feels really nice.

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
I’m concerned about our talk in the spa. What happens if we “go there” and then I don’t want anything else after the 40 days? Won’t Jessie feel used? I’m not trying to “hit it and quit it.” I think a relationship with an expiration date is actually worse.

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
Jessie was mildly talking about quitting the project or making it shorter. After the spa, I sent her a “BIG-ASS MESSAGE“, but she didn’t respond back. I was just trying to be funny about the situation.

dontquitjessie2

Additional comments?
Everyone was teasing me Saturday night after Jessie left the dinner party. They said that I’m getting all the bad parts of a relationship without any of the good parts. Dammit.