In Retrospect: Just a few days ago, I had gone on a date dressed to the nines (the usual). The catch? The entire time we were together, I was the only one who thought it was a date. (And you can probably guess where the story goes from here). As I sat there, I grew more aware of how this night became a pity party for one. I sat through a conversation where we talked about his exes, his current flame, and how wonderful a friend I’ve been. I remember leaving the restaurant and walking to my car in tears over a night that progressed into a train-wreck effortlessly. As I headed to my car, I saw through the window of Paesanos, two of my wonderful Davis friends whom were in a long-term relationship, laughing uncontrollably at one another while chomping down on what looked to be really yummy pasta. I could feel the energy radiate towards me. It was warm. I let out a smile and when I got to my car, those tears turned into laughter. –
The X O |
I’m the worst when it comes to dating. You know that moment in Princess Diaries where Mia gets the “knee pop kiss?” In that scene, the slow lifting of her leg elicits a dazzling light show in the background, leaving viewer’s hearts fluttering in pixie dust once the film credits roll in. Unfortunately, my love life is instead, similar to that dream sequence where her knee attempts to pop (cue French music), but doesn’t manage to go up all the way because the stickiest gum known to man kept that moment from achieving full-fledged relationship goals.
The unfortunate part of this whole situation is that I’m a complete, hopeless romantic. In fact, my Netflix algorithm involves 90% of the following: Romantic Comedies, Romantic Drama, and all things Julia Roberts. (Lifetime movies, most definitely included). Is this my proudest moment? I’m not sure, but no shame in the love game according to my book.
See, I tend to envision dating a certain way, and I’m completely invested in the notion of it all going according to plan; no “sticky strings attached.” Of course, this is never really the case, right? I think I can speak for most of us who’ve had relationships or been on many train-wreck dates when I say we’ve all questioned this process at some point. Why are we doing this? Is this what it takes for a relationship? I call it “Bubblegum Love:” The kind of sticky dates gone wrong that are meant to serve as lessons. Now, Bubblegum Love is two things.
One: It’s not always ideal.
Embrace the sticky! Oftentimes when you look back those relationships or dates weren’t ideal, but why spend energy on allowing bitterness to sink in? See it as a different color combination that life threw at you for a reason. You may have learned more about what you like and don’t like in a relationship from that one bubblegum love you had to scrape off your desk.
Translation: The Neon Blue and Purple Flannel isn’t my ideal color combination. I’m going to be completely honest in saying that this flannel wasn’t something I’d ever see myself wear because the color palette was a bit too bright and outlandish for my taste. In fact, we were already in line and I grabbed it on a whim thinking “What a great sale,” if it didn’t manage to work out I could give it away. Little did I know that I would fall in love with how it looked on me in all its oversized, electric spunk glory.
Two: It’s Necessary.
Bubblegum love is the type of situation that you need to go through because it will only make you stronger. Just like a flannel and cap combo are necessary style staples, so is bubblegum love when it comes to life staples. Think about keeping what you’ve learned from what went wrong on a terrible date in your “life closet.” If another interaction leads you down a similar path, it’s time to whip that knowledge out of your closet and put it to good use. Apply what you learn.
Translation: The flannel and cap combination? A smashing combo for any closet. I firmly believe in having staples like flannels and caps because they are typically compatible with many different looks, allowing for a rotating option of recycled pieces that look novel every time. A flannel worn tied around your waist or layered over another top creates a completely new look on any given day. Note: wearing a flannel and baseball cap is quite trendy nowadays. You see it everywhere so if you’re looking to make it unique, make it personal.
- Put a pin of your favorite band or song on your cap and wear it backwards.
- Pin or sew on a different patch of fabric or denim to your flannel for character.
- Wear the flannel around your waist instead of wearing it as a button up (Men, you can do this too)
- Wear the ensemble with another pattern like stripes or polka dots for an eclectic combination.
I personally like that my flannel is a color combination that I don’t see at corporate brands like Urban Outfitters or H&M. In fact, I thrifted this from Thrifttown in Sacramento for 75 cents!
Bubblegum Love is like the neon blue and purple hues on my 75-cent flannel. It’s electric and most importantly, distinct enough to be memorable. There are choices I’ve faced where I had to look back and pull from a memory to convince myself, NO, not again. Scraping off that gum is painful and can seem routine for many of us, but have faith in knowing that with each attempt, you’re one less bubblegum love away from whatever happiness you are meant to find.
H E A D to T O E |
Baseball Style Cap. Gray with Tan Accent. ASOS.
Flannel. Neon blue and purple. Thrifttown.
High Waisted Denim. Cerulean. LEVIS.
Braided Belt. Navy. LEVIS
Almond Boots. Gray. ALDO
Miguel Raphael X O.
Photographer & Collaborator | Isabel Bagsik