“I feel so comfortable around you. I love the way you make me laugh, and I always look forward to seeing you.”
He’s gazing lovingly into my eyes, holding my hand, and comes in for a kiss. I kiss him back, but as I’m sitting there, at the bar, lip locking with some man, all I can really think about is how much I’d rather have that martini, which is at the moment within arms reach, pressed to my lips. Ugh.
This is the second date I’ve gone on with this guy, and, sure, we knew each other in passing on professional terms before this, but I can’t help but think: isn’t this a little much? The fawning, the doting, the asking to take me home. Or am I just cynical. I hate this. My friends have already approved of this guy, and I always feel very beholden to my friends’ opinions of the men I see because (in case you haven’t been following my writing for a while) I tend to go for total scum bags that my friends tell me I “can do better than.” So as I’m sitting there being disinterested and affectionate with this man, I try to force myself to see the good in him. I try to connive a connection because according to everyone else I’m supposed to be attracted to him because he’s good for me or something. The fact that I’m not feeling it makes me feel broken, and hence all the second guessing.
Because what I’m really thinking is: I have absolutely no interest or connection with this person. And I don’t even know if I want to. Sure, I could see where this goes. I could give him a chance. He’s a “nice guy” and I know how much “nice guys” insist that they deserve the chance to sleep with me. I am also keenly aware during this, the week in which my father died, that despite all the feminist trappings I dress myself in, I was still raised as a woman who was trained to kowtow towards the will of men who claim to love me, and somehow that translates into a second date situation. I hate this.
He’s kissing me, and he’s telling me he’s so into me, but all I can think is: he doesn’t know the first thing about me. Nor has he asked. Which is part of where the frustration comes in – I’m fairly honest about who I am as a person, and I have no problem about talking about various aspects of who I am or what I do, be it the sex blogging, the activism, the penchant for high fashion, an interest in cultural violence, my twisted family history, my blood lust and ambition, my hopes and dreams, or whatever. But, curiously, none of that has come up in conversation. And it’s not because I haven’t been talking or asking questions – it’s because he’s been talking and not asking questions. In fact, he’s been talking a lot about things that I already know everything about, which is boring to me, and then every time I start to expound on some topic of conversation of which I have a modicum of insight, he cuts me off and tells me, “You’re so interesting!” Buddy, you don’t know the half of it, and you probably never will if you keep cutting me off.
I’m halfway through the second date, and I’ve given up on the idea that he might be interested in who I really am. Which makes me mad, because what the fuck is he so attracted to? Having had plenty of sex worker friends, I know how to play the, “I’ll be anything you want me to be” game, so it disappoints me when the anything he wants me to be is a dumbed down version of a fraction of myself. Like, really? How boring is that! Of course, I’m still sitting here, letting him tell me about things I already know more about than he does, and it hits me, yet again, during this, the week of my father’s death, that, oh, yeah. Having been raised by a misogynist, I still on some level believe that men are smarter or better than me, which is why I haven’t left yet, and why I’m still entertaining this guy, and why I’m probably still going to sleep with him because I am *not* too good for this man because by the very nature of being a woman I will never be better than any man and in fact will always be not good enough for every man. Goddammit. I hate this.
And now I’m feeling angry about the whole thing, mostly because I also feel very guilty about not wanting to be here. I thought that by this point in my life I would be good at filtering out this kind of bullshit, but I’m not. Instead, I’m still wasting my time with men who buy me things but who for some reason have no understanding of reciprocity or fundamental people skills or how to carry a conversation and build a relationship. Who did this? Whose fault is this? He’s sitting here, professing some state of love to me, and I’m totally indifferent – who allowed this to happen? And why is it my problem because he has no sense of what’s appropriate on a second date with someone you don’t know very well. I know, I know – I’m going to be the asshole here. I’m going to ghost this guy. I can already tell. And then he’ll go online and look at memes that validate his sense of being wronged by a woman who is too callous to say, “This isn’t working.” But the reason I don’t want to say, “This isn’t working” is because I’m already so emotionally drained from having to sit through this date that I don’t feel like I owe him that. Instead, I feel like I owe myself the time alone that I’d rather have right now. I also know that if I say, “This isn’t working,” he’ll ask, “Why?” And I really don’t give enough of a fuck answer that question and explain, “You don’t know me,” because then I’ll have to hear the whole, “But I want to know you!” And isn’t this just way too soon for relationship problems. I’m sure he’d love to learn from this experience, but can’t this just be convenient for me. (Of course, I guess it’s ironic that I don’t want to tell him why it’s not working out but here I am going through the struggle of writing an entire blog post about why it’s not working.) On the other hand, as a woman, it’s kinda easier for me to ghost a guy because, I’ll admit it: in my heart of hearts, I am still deathly afraid of men, and if I reject him that might be a whole world of pain for me, and I don’t know him well enough to put myself at that kind of risk. Although, it’s not like ghosting minimizes that risk, it just delays it in a weird way.
On the other hand, if I don’t ghost him, and I keep playing along with this, I know what will happen. Because it’s happened before. I buy into the idea that this is the type of person that I want to be: I want to be the type of person who is happy being in a relationship with a man like this, who is kind and warm and simple and gainfully employed. I find a way to enjoy it, to really believe it, to make it work. And he’s happy with me, but then eventually I get frustrated because, actually, I am not that type of person, nor will I ever be, no matter how hard I try, and I revert to being my true self, which is pretty scummy and a bit duplicitous and given to unhealthy behavior such as drinking too much and sleeping around and being an all around asshole. He’ll see that side of me, tell me I’ve changed, try to change me back into the person I’m not, make me feel bad about who I am as a person, and get angry at me for being who I am. Then we’ll both be miserable, because by that point I’ll feel even more beholden to him and like I owe him me being someone other than myself but still in a nice, warm, fuckable body, and it will be a total mess. He’ll learn to hate me for not being the person that we both want me to be, and then I’ll hate myself, too, for being who I actually am. I really don’t want to do that again, because after the last time I allowed that shit to happen again, I told myself: Never Again! And I try to keep my promises.
So I deal with this situation the same way any sane woman would deal with this situation. I pull away, pat him on the leg and tell him, “I’m having a great time, but I have work tomorrow so I should probably go home.” (I don’t have work. My dad died two days ago, and I’m on bereavement leave. I didn’t even tell this dude that my dad had died because the idea of having him talk to me about my dad dying seemed super tedious.) My date, of course, jumps up and offers to walk me to the cab stand, but I deflect his offer because I lied about, that, too. I’m not walking to the cab stand – I’m walking five blocks to some other dude’s house so we can get high and drunk and watch tv and fuck all night. My date for sure cannot walk me to the cab stand because there’s no way I’m paying $7 to cab it five blocks to fuck some other dude who would never make me feel any of the things that I’ve already enumerated in this blog post, and also I kinda wanna shake off this bad date before I show up at this other dude’s house. So I find a way to slither away, and I show up radiant and drunk on his dime and ready to fuck at someone else.
Because, omigod, you guys, there’s something about my dad dying that has made me super horny. Which is why I went on that date in the first place – my need for male sexual attention this week has absolutely shot through the roof, and while, yeah, I had a lot to complain about on that date, I already know I’m probably going to go on a lot of bad dates in the next couple weeks because my dad died, okay, and we all mourn differently, and maybe I just need to go on bad date after bad date after bad date so that I can use the internet as a way to emasculate men and the entire concept of masculinity because clearly your girl got some issues. On the bright side, this is definitely less self harmful than what I thought would happen, which was some mixture of getting back with any of my exes who totally hate me and then making them engage in some hardcore BDSM fantasies, which this week turned out to be a combination of golden showers and bloody play. Yes, I’ll admit it, I did text Gangsta Boo and ask him if he would stab me during sex and drink my blood. He said yes, but I’m doing the harm reduction thing and not texting him again until whatever the fuck this is gets out of my system.
Stay tuned for more bereavement shenanigans!