There's an amazing Counting Crows song that you might know, in which Adam Duritz makes the poignant complaint: Don't it always seem to go/that you don't know what you got til it's gone?
I think about that lyric a lot, usually when I'm in the store wishing that Lean Cuisine still made a pesto French bread pizza, or when I see somebody who I had once had feelings for and never said anything.
More and more of our exes are marrying, having kids, getting cool jobs in Tokyo or disappearing after figuring out how to make six figures WHILE working from home. Many of us seem to have a lot of regrets about giving up a shot at happiness. Many of us also have trouble expressing our feelings without the benefit of some kind of global doomsday situation in which we know we have but days to live, and are also mega drunk and close to our goal weights.
I've had the experience of not being able to tell someone I cared before it was "too late." Too often, I wait until somebody is completely unavailable before I let him know how I really feel. A lot of times I don't even LIKE him until I realize I can't have him. Ha ha, how weird is that? Super weird.
Whether it's a friend you wish was more, or an ex you can't forget, or that guy who's on "GRIMM" who you've never met but think is kind of dreamy, you may have had this very problem.
So, as a relationship expert and Executive Vice President of Huge Pussy Industries, I figured I'd come up with a few ways for us to get that special someone to see you as more than a friend, or an insane, crazed "GRIMM" fan.
You know, without actually being forthright. What are we, in middle school?
1) Start out by doing little things that demonstrate an exceptional depth of feeling, like remembering a bit of trivia like his favorite book or film. Bring it up when you guys are hanging out, you know, if an opportunity to do so comes up.
2) Consider going out with somebody who looks eerily similar. If your friends remark uncomfortably on the uncanny resemblance, try to make sure he is within earshot. If not, try to get them to repeat themselves, when he is in earshot.
3) Buy him a copy of "Remains of the Day." DON'T give it to him! Don't be insane. Just buy a copy of "Remains of the Day" and hope for the best. I think this has something to do with the Law of Attraction.
4) Wait until it's his birthday and make a really nice, elaborate cake. Serve the cake to some of your friends with strong entrepreneurial skills and business contacts. Go into the cake business and sell at the zenith of its profitability. Give the proceeds to his favorite charity in his name, courtesy of "an anonymous donor who is sweet on him."
5) Compose a song for him in which you list all of his good qualities. But to avoid being taken TOO SERIOUSLY, intersperse old timey compliments and infantilized Vaudeville nonsense slang, like, "You're the skin on my cream-based soup," or, "You're the wiggle jiggle in my chicken aspic."
6) Find out if he likes anybody and help him get a date with her. Chauffeur the two of them around on the date while dressed as some kind of lesbian soldier. He'll probably give her some jewelry or something but don't worry, he is definitely going to realize that whoa, he likes you.
7) Are you O-negative by any chance? That's the universal donor, you know.
8) Make a website that strongly infers that someone who might be you likes him. Use white-hat search engine optimization to direct him to that website should he Google himself.
9) Have you considered a cryptic Facebook status or tweet? What about a link to a sonnet? I like 106. What's your favorite?
10) Remember Carl Tanzler, that crazy German doctor who kidnapped the dead body of his unrequited love object and covered it in papier mache and lived with it for years and years until they took it away from him? I don't know why I'm bringing that up, but in general, yes, I think developing a hobby is a great way to get somebody to notice you.
11) Find out what his favorite food is. Hit up a bookstore and find a cookbook that shows you how to make it at home. Do still more research on the food until you are able to write a beautiful, microinformative Susan-Orlean-style book of literary journalism on the food. Guess who wants to come to your book party?
12) Go to the website of Dentyne International. Send customer service an email asking why it is now so difficult to find their product, Dentyne FIRE, in stores. They will probably write something back about how production of the gum has been temporarily discontinued due to lack of customer demand. Write back that this is insane, and that you love sugar-free cinnamon gum even if everybody else is too blind to. Screenshot the whole thing and email it to him with the subject line: "Metaphor."
13) If you're going to drink a whole jug of wine, don't watch that movie about Keats dying. (This in no way helps you tell somebody you have feelings for him. It's just solid advice.)
14) Date somebody famous, like Prince. Who's interested in whom now?
15) You know, not ALL witchcraft involves using dark forces to deprive others of their free will for your own purposes. Visit your local new age shop and ask the proprietress about white magyck. While you're there, pick up one of those pewter statues of a dragon dressed as a wizard, curled around a prism. Guys love those.
16) Become exceedingly wealthy and throw a couple of ragers. If things go south, you can always die in a pool.
17) Twenty-five years from now, bury a throwaway line about your feelings in your memoir and hope that he is too ravaged by age to reject you. Who cares though? You look great now and yes, these are real pearls.
18) Die first. Leave one of those elaborate treasure map wills. Hidden deep within the cave on the tropical island is a cryptex. On the scroll is writing in a dying language that becomes visible when sprayed with lemon juice and held up to the sun. "I liked you," says the Navajo wind talker he's hired as a translator, using the money from your grand estate. "I really liked you."