Dark and Stormy: The Type, not the Drink

A friend recently told me that someone I was kind-of-sort-of-maybe interested in was “too serious, too much of a dark storm cloud and not fun” for me. I will submit that there is a “serious” streak in this person, but for me to lay such an adjective on someone as a negative would be the pot calling the kettle black. I’ve been called “serious” many times before, and though it is never delivered as an insult, it isn’t a compliment either. In this modern day it seems like being “serious” is a flaw but I don’t ascribe to that.

I think seriousness is often what people mislabel persistent thoughtfulness about people / events / feelings / ideas.  Yeah, I spend a lot of time cogitating. Yeah, I am something of a skeptic – in fact I’ve described myself as “fundamentally skeptical” a couple of times this month – once professionally and once personally – but I am not a cynic. And my skepticism is not the world.

When Natalie Portman says to Ashton Kutcher at the Michigan State frat party scene in No Strings Attached:  “Sometimes my neck gets sore… because my brain’s so big,” no one thought: “ugh, what a storm cloud.” They thought, “I’d have sex with that pioneer.”


I’m just a girl in a thermal onesie at an underwear themed frat party, people! I still want to drink beer and make terrible decisions that I will regret Sunday morning, evinced by texts sent from my bed / floor:

  • “I left my underwear under your sink. I hope your roommate doesn’t find it. Can I get it from you Saturday?”
  • “I am going to die. Please bring me yellow Gatorade and a breakfast burrito.”
  • “I’ve been mauled – [Insert photo of horrifically bruised neck]. Please delete this after reading.”
  • “I lost my phone last night but someone found it. Can you drive me to Virginia? I’ll buy you breakfast.”

I am drawn to people who have a bit of the “dark and stormy” in them. I like people with big brains, who think a lot, who are sensitive to the world, who are capable of having big feelings and aren’t afraid to express them when the opportunity emerges. I don’t necessarily want someone who is battling an ocean – I’ve been there and done that and you just end up stranded in the middle of the Atlantic. I really feel Sharon Van Etten when she says:

Take on yourself / it’s the only way I will breathe.

I mean, that lyric sums up basically every relationship – with others and with yourself, doesn’t it?

To quote Beth Ditto quoting RuPaul: “How are you going love someone else if you don’t love yourself?”

So in conclusion: Serious is not a bad thing. And when I meet someone who is serious but has “taken on themself,” it fucks my shit up something beautiful. I can breathe.