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<editorsnote> Hi, I'm Jen Friel, and we here at TNTML examine the lives of nerds outside of the basements and into the social media, and dating world.  We have over 75 peeps that write about their life in real time. (Real nerds, real time, real deal.) Sit back, relax, and enjoy some of the stories!! </editorsnote>



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#Question: WTF is wrong with me? I just messaged my first love on Facebook - PT. 4

AH! Thank you guys so so so much for all the tweets, facebook comments, and emails regarding this series of posts. It's almost done, and its incredibly humbling reading them all. UGHHH!! I am so not a morning person but this morning I couldn't help but just lay in bed and watch this video over and over and over.

I'm not a huge fan of the song, but this video is first off - very well done, and secondly, pretty accurate on our chance meeting ... how we kissed ... and how we touched ... it was nuts. I think to feel that once in your life is pretty rad, so for that, I am grateful.

You guys have to understand one thing about me, I am NOT pre-disposed to want to have intimate relationships with people. From growing up estranged from both sides of my extended family, to being a complete loaner in school and then subsequently finally getting a best friend in high school and having them turn around and stalk you ... being close to someone isn't on my highest list of priorities. Hence why I worked so hard in school because it was where I got validated. If I threw myself at work, and if I worked really hard, I would get a return. If I didn't focus on people, or social settings that much I didn't have to worry. Fuck, the only reason why I am socially competent in any capacity is purely survival. I'm a loner, and it's rad because I own it. I genuinely adore being a butterfly and being such a free spirit. I truly truly truly am my happiest with a hoodie and headphones on watching people - hence why I ADDDOOORREEEEEEEE social media. I can be a fly on the wall without people knowing.

This is the story of the first guy that I wanted to get close to. This is the story of my first love.

Oh and if you're not caught up, here's part 1 ... part 2 ... and part 3 ...


When Romeo first told me he was leaving LA, I was shocked. He was my constant in this city. I moved out here at 19 knowing not a single soul, just driving for 3 days with $300 to my name and with a new lease on a room to share in Culver City. I had met him my first week in LA, and next to my roomies I knew him the longest. I couldn't believe that after only 2 years he was going to leave this city ... and leave ... me.

It hit me that it was never going to work out between us. Romeo had lived in LA for 5 years at that point and was totally burned out - he swore up, down, left, and right that he was gone from LA for good.

I hate goodbyes. Like hate hate HATE them, but this was one that I had to do. I made a promise to Romeo with my heart, and I had to see it through.

I barely remember saying good bye to him. I remember that it was night, and I remember the pick up truck he traded in his car for ... but other than that, it's all blank. I sobbed when he left. I had told myself I had moved on, I had even dated other boys - but it wasn't the same. Nothing was serious, and no one was like Romeo.

We hugged good bye, and I drove away.

Yeah - super super super duper sad time.

<tangent> I don't think he ever knew how much he meant to me. I was kinda weird at expressing my emotions (hahaha still am),  but this was my first love. He may have shot me down twice, but I don't give up ... ever. In the back of my mind somewhere I always imagined a perfect storybook ending to our storybook beginning and middle. If he was my Prince Charming he was now physically putting a whole lotta miles between us. No bueno. </tangent>

OMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGG I cried for days. Days and days and days. Not that same sense of loss like I had initially when he first told me we weren't going to be together, but this overwhelming sense of sadness and a sudden realization that life isn't like Hallmark and Disney movies dictate. Things in life don't always work out. And dudes, my parentals have been together their ENTIRE life!!! THEY had the storybook romance, but they were the exception not the rule. Really really really heavy life lesson to have hit you at 22. 

A couple of months go by, and I had a total life overhaul. I moved from the little shared apartment in Culver City to a spanking new townhouse furnished with furniture from Mr. Bob Barker, courtesy of winning a whole bunch on the Price is Right. That summer I also left my gig in movie marketing choosing to take a non 9-5 working as a B2B financial rep for Verizon indirect sales.

<tangent> It was funny, I was brought into that job to prove that chicks couldn't sell cellular activations; it was a sink or swim situation 100%. Dudes, when I left that job I was literally the top rep in the nation, out of over a hundred, and also one of the youngest. mwahahaha! I love love love technology, and if an account wants to give me more numbers if I promise to come by more often and smile sweetly, I will happily oblige. Sex sells man, but customers are only satisfied if they are educated on the products that they are selling. I made sure ALL of my accounts and their staff knew Verizon phones, and what the best upsells were. UGHHHH!! Loved that job! </tangent> 

In 2006, I made a conscious decision to reinvent myself. I had been in LA for 2 years, it was time to get real. Romeo was fun, and I kept him safely tucked away in my heart - but he was gone and I had to move on with my life. 

That July 4th I got invited to a friend of a friend's BBQ. Here's an actual picture from that day ... 

<tangent> OMMMMGGGG cameo from the LG VX9800. HAHAHAA not even the enV, this was old school, bitches!!! Friggen loved that phone it was my first true QWERTY keyboard. I was only a T-9er through necessity. That thing changed my texting habits FOREVER! </tangent>

Actually, lemme take a few steps back. In June of 2006, I met this duderino and we kinda hit it off. He was fun, we had a lot of great dates, pretty hot nook nook, but he was SUPER intense. Like wooahhhhh. He was older- 30 something, and was ready to settle down and have the family. I was not in that space at that time ... at all ... and the more you push someone to be in that space, the farther they will run. 

Super nice guy though, but just wasn't going to happen. Yes, I was getting over the sting of Romeo leaving, but it was still too much for me to handle. One bite of the elephant at a time. 

So, that day, my friend Cindy invites me to her friend's BBQ  ... (see pic above for outfit worn) ... and I bring the super nice duderino ... but HOLLLYYY CRAP! The guy that owned the house = super. fucking. gorgeous. 

Like, I needed to get up on it. BAAAAAADD!!! 

Was it wrong for me to bring a date to a friend of a friend's BBQ and then flirt with another guy? Yes! That's why I waited 24 hours. =) 

I realized at that BBQ that things with me and the super nice dude weren't going to go anywhere, so I slowly disappeared from his radar screen by not answering any of his calls. However, immediately after the party, I got the lowdown on the BBQ dude from my friend. 

Me: What's his name?

Is he single? 

Duration and time of last relationship? 

... girl code usual ... 

Her: His name is (names have been changed) Noah. 

He is single. 

Not sure on the last relationship. 

I ask her for his number, and called him that week.

Me: SOOOOOOOOOOOOO, whatcha doin on Friday? I was getting a group of people together to go out, wanna come with? 

Him: Absolutely. 

We all went out that Friday to club Element in Hollywood, and Noah and I hit it off. Like totally, totally hit it off. We danced the entire night, and totally made out in like 10 different places inside the club. 

Flash forward 3 hours later and we're making out back at his house ...

Flash forward 5 hours later, I am waking up in his bed ...

HAHAHA he was a riot. I dunno, we just clicked on a physical level, and later that week after a few dates, we realized we were pretty compatible. 

We started to officially date about as quickly as we started to bone. Within weeks I was his girlfriend and less than two months later, we were living together. 

YEP! That happened! 

It was honestly a COMPLETE pain in the ass geographically speaking. I was living in Culver City at the time, and he was in Tarzana. He was a SOLID 45 minute drive on a good day, and my job required me to drive around and travel so much that when it came to my personal life, I was over it. 

I understand now that I committed two cardinal sins (sleeping together right away, and moving in so soon), but I didn't care. I was used to breaking molds, and I was 22, making good money, and doing incredibly well for myself - I would have liked to see anyone try and stop me. 

My relationship with Noah was as great as a first relationship with anyone could be. I was young, stupid, and after a while in love. I couldn't help it, he just made me so happy ... 


... being happy is reason enough to be with anyone in life. 

2006 was spent in a total state of bliss. I was happy with my new career choice, happy to be in a relationship, and happy that for the first time in a while I was happy! 

2007 however, was a horse of a different color. 

2007 was an interesting time in social media - a lot of things started to "pop." I got on Myspace back in 2005 to match my friends who were on this new thing called Facebook. Since I didn't have a college email address I couldn't get an invite. Lame sauce - but very honestly the only reason why I got on Myspace. 

My relationship with Myspace was fast, and immediate - I FUCKING LOVED IT!!!! 

I was still in movie marketing at the time, and to be able to sit there and people watch and still be at work ANNNDD still get paid?!?! What is going on here?!!?!

hahaha I literally remember the last week I was there one of my supervisors begging me not to get on Myspace that day that she needed my full attention. Fine fine fine ... pull me away ... hahaha I also got Myspace banned from the work computers when I was over at the Verizon indirect office. When our internet was acting janky at the house I would go into work a little early to access my account before hitting the road for the day. Drove the President of the company NUTS!!!

What was I supposed to do? Blackberries didn't have optimized web page viewing at that time, and the teensy bit that they did have was so GOD AWFULLY slow. Dudes, I'm talking like dial up trying to watch a music vid circa 1999 type slow. UGHHHHH!!! By all means, move at a glacial pace, you know how much that thrills me! 

As time went on though, my relationship with social media became pretty front and center - Noah got concerned and a bit jealous. 

You're on that damn thing so much! Can't you ever detach? I only get to see the top of your head everyday. Where's the rest of you? 

I can detach, but why would I? Go do your thing! Lemme do mine! 

I told him how much I loved him, I showed him in as many ways as I could think of ... but it wasn't enough. I was also starting to get a lot of pressure to keep my numbers up at work ... and a lot just hit me at once. I felt INCREDIBLY overwhelmed and his nagging about my social media habits didn't help any. 

Then, the inevitable happened ... at 22, I had a nervous breakdown, literally. (See this post on the 48 hours I spent in a nuthouse

I got out of the hospital and the boyfriend that knew I was already a little loco was now completely confident that he was living with a crazy chick. 

Shit got weird between us, and a few months later we broke up. 

<tangent> DUDES! I am superly duperly proud though to say that I am not crazy, just super smart and super creative!!! Literally, I'm not insane ... I have the papers to prove it =) </tangent> 

2007 was really difficult for me. Not only did Noah and I break up, but the apartment I moved into turned out to be a total mess and COMPLETELY infested with cockroaches. I subsequently lost everything I owned in a massive cockroach infestation. Yep, that happened. (read more here ... don't worry, I don't show pictures)

Yet again I had to reinvent myself ... but this time, it was forced.

No relationship ... no home ... no stuff ... nada. New beginning. 


I had 1 box to move into my new apartment - that was it. Most of that came from my car, btw, or stuff that I had at my desk at work. 

1 box. 

That's it. 

I didn't talk to Romeo during that time. I hadn't really talked to him at all since he moved to San Fran. There was the occasional, hey! you doing okay? text ... but that was it. We were both doing our own things, and both moving on in our own ways. 

I always thought about him though, and social media only made those thoughts traceable. 

DUDES! I stalked that mofo on Myspace like no other. I remember he created his account in 2007, and the SECOND I saw it - I freaked!!! OMG OMG OMG OMG He's on here!!! Should I add him? What do I say? Is his page public or private? OMG can he see that I'm looking at his page??

It took me a solid month of daily viewing before I actually added him. I think I even threw in a message of, HEYYY!! Fancy seeing you here! hahahaha yes Jen, because Myspace TOTALLY suggested you friend him because of COURSE they were ahead of Facebook in adding that feature. Dudes, time machines exist!!! 

He added me, and we exchanged an email here and there. No comments though, and I definitely never ... ever ... commented on his page or on a photo. I played it cool ... for once in my life. 

In December of 2007 I got hired on to work for LiveVideo as a personality under the name PhotoJeNic, and life started to get pretty kosher again. I really really really really really genuinely enjoyed lifecasting, and although everyone in the world thought I was doing web cam porn, I saw it as an art form and a way to express myself and process all that I had just gone through. 

Cheapest. Therapy. Ever. 

I don't remember how we started talking again, (I can only imagine that alcohol was involved as fans of the show would remember I lovveeddd me some wine in a bag - not even the box!!! you can take it out of the box and it's in a bag!!!!), but Romeo and I started to build up a solid rapport as just friends. We started to shoot the shit, and he thought my experiences were absolutely bat shit crazy. I was scared to tell him that no, I'm in fact not crazy ... I have the papers to prove ... but you get the idea.

Then a couple months later, he calls me upset. 

I've known Romeo for 4 years at this point. Albeit on and off, we had both gone through our own things ... and while he would get sad about something, I had never actually heard him upset. 

Jen, my mom died. 


Hold the phone! No wait, I am on the phone!! Don't do that. 

What happened?

It was sudden. She was away on this trip, and I didn't even know she was on it, and now she's gone. (Stroke, I believe he said) 

It didn't even occur to me to think about it, but I FLEEWWWWW over to my computer and checked out flights from LAX to San Fran. 

I can be there in 3 days. Can I come up for the weekend and we can talk about it? I don't want to do this over the phone. 

I'd love it, thank you. 

3 days later I was on a flight to San Fran for the first time. 

ANNNNDDDD scene. Gimme a little bit, I'll have the rest of the story posted tonight. mwahahahaha!!! Thanks SOOOOO much for reading everyone! =) xoxooxxoxoxxoxoxoxxo

click here to read the next chapter



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