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I’m not a very romantic gal; I want a courthouse wedding and my idea of the perfect proposal would be, “Hey babe, want to get hitched?” So when it comes time for a birthday or an anniversary and girlfriend duties are required I’m not always sure exactly how to handle the situation.

Next week is Mr. Unexpected’s birthday. When it came time to make a decision about what I should get him I had all kinds of ideas but nothing really seemed right: it all felt like too much or not enough. I didn’t want to look like I was trying too hard, I didn’t want a gift that felt forced and I didn’t want a gift that would make him feel uncomfortable. I love birthdays and I love gifts but buying for a boy you love is full of pressure that I had forgot existed; and finding a gift that says I love you but not more than you love me and not in a weird “I want to get married tomorrow” kind of way is just as difficult as it sounds.

I settled on a sweater that I know he loves but thinks is too expensive to buy for himself and a movie that we saw together a couple of months ago. It’s a little bit of an inside joke because he thinks I wear his sweaters more than he does, as he lives in a basement apartment and I get cold easily, while Wreck-It Ralph is the perfect combination of video games and candy-coated animation and it suits us perfectly.

The gifts were difficult enough, but his party is tomorrow night and I’m really nervous to meet more of his friends. I really want them to like me and I know that most people either really like me or really don’t, such is the curse of the loud slightly inappropriate girl. So I worry what they will think of me, but worrying what people will think of you never really adds up to a good first impression, which means I’m spending a lot of time thinking about how to stay calm and cool.

I hope that in the end they’ll like me as much as he does, slightly less actually because awkward, but I hope that his friends are like him: fun and easy to get along with. I don’t have problems meeting new people, but the Big Ex never let me meet his friends and I can’t help but wonder, secretly and never out loud, if maybe there was a reason that he didn’t want to show me off.

So tomorrow I’ll put on my best girlfriend look and try to be as effortlessly charming as I possibly can; I imagine this will look something like a Zooey Deschanel movie. I am most likely wrong, but if I wear red lipstick and put on a wig with much longer hair I look a little like her… kinda.

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