I was at the bar, because that’s usually where I am, and I was on a date when I realized, oh, look, isn’t the person standing next to me that guy I went on a date with last year? You know, the one who showed up wasted, then got more wasted, and as I was nursing my first drink, he told me he loved me and we should be together forever, but he was still too wasted to even…make out. Yeah. That guy. He’s standing right next to me. He probably knows I’m here. He’s probably standing right there for a fucking reason. Because he knows I’ll see him standing there, eventually, and what he wants to know is: will I stop talking to my date to say hi to him? I don’t. But my date goes to the bathroom, so you know what time it is. Time for this guy to sit down in my date’s chair (how fucking brazen) and act like he hadn’t seen me sitting right there. Cool move, dude. So we chop it up. I’m cordial. It’s a bar. NBD. My date comes back. This guy makes a big deal about, “Oh, sorry, I’m in your seat” and then he chats it up with my date, too, which is, like, whatever, okay, you’re really trying to cool guy my date right now, so I shoo him away after what feels like a polite amount of time so I can continue my date with a man who is not so drunk that I’m uncomfortable to be seen with him in public. Y’know. Unlike that other guy. Eventually, it’s time to go, so I go to the bathroom and my date waits for me outside. As I go to the bathroom, I see some other random guy I went on a date with last year (same time, different guy), wave hi and dash to the bathroom because I have to pee, okay. When I go outside, that guy is talking to my date and another person I’ve never seen before. I’m ready to go, but that guy blocks my date, turns to me, and proceeds to tell me that he’d been thinking about me, and he’d been thinking about calling me. “But you didn’t,” I respond matter of factly. To which that guy responds, “Oh, I can see you’re on a date now, I should have called you.” Like I make my dating decisions on a first come, first serve basis. I don’t. “So, like, what would happen if I called you?” he asks, to which I respond, “TBD” which in retrospect probably wasn’t what I should have said. I should have just laughed in his face but I didn’t feel like putting that much energy into the conversation so instead I said, “We’re leaving,” and abruptly booked it down the block until my date catches up because what kind of brazen bull shit was that? Like, dude, hello, we’re in our 30s, that whole ‘Imma steal your date’ thing is pretty fucking tacky, and that’s coming from a woman who mastered that art ten years ago. I know from doing that time and time again exactly how tacky that is. I know exactly the type of person who can get stolen off their date: a disloyal one. I don’t wanna be around disloyal people. I don’t want to be a disloyal person. I have too much self respect to be like that (nowadays). So I hoof it over to Ruby Room, where I lose very badly at pool while also having a good time, et cetera, et cetera, and the next day I wake up to a text message from that random guy who was DJing that reads something like ‘Good to see you last night. I can tell you don’t really like me.’ Like, what the fuck is this shit? Did God run out of self respect when he was making 90% of the men out there? I didn’t even fuck either of those dudes. Could you imagine what would have happened if I did? Oh, the fuckery that would have ensured. Thank god I’m a better judge of character these days than I was when I was in my 20s. Cuz, Jesus Christ, guys, calm the fuck down. If I didn’t fuck you then, I’m not going to fuck you now, and it’s not a judgment of your personality and your worth as a human being, it’s just that I wasn’t into it, and that’s it. Sucks for you that you missed my slutty phase, although, nah, that’s probably for the best because I was dealing with some really misandrist attitudes back then that resulted in me experimenting with cruelty in my romantic relationships, and you know already a lot of people got their feelings hurt. Things are much better this way. I’ve learned how to be an adult about this whole dating thing. So can you please stop punishing me for that?
This is fantastic. I haven’t fallen in love in years. I thought that maybe I had lost my touch. That I had spent all my ‘fall in love free’ chips at the lottery of love already. That there was a limited amount of falling in love I could do before the batteries wore out.
It’s been a long time since I had a crush. Sure, I have crushes all the time, but I mean one that I’ve actually acted on. I thought that maybe I had found every attractive person in Oakland already. That I had worn out my desires. That my loving days had came and went.
Oh, I was wrong.
I’m going to do this. Even though it scares the shit out of me. I’m just going to see where this takes me. Because I’ve been here before, but the vast far away seems so enticing. I have never been there before. I would like to see what kind of strange creatures live out there. In this new land of falling in love with someone new.
Or is this a mirage, and will I be here forever, in the land of breaking up.
Eiw. Tinder. I’m back on here. The last time I went on a Tinder date was January 2018 (right after my abortion), and before that was January 2015 (with a handsome young gigolo). And before that one time I invited a Tinder date to a Japanther show at Sugar Mountain and had sex (perhaps with my Tinder date, perhaps with someone else? Don’t remember.) in the bathroom. Now, here I am, back on Tinder, and I’m actually trying this time as opposed to just broadening my sluttery. Weird.
I was driving over to the bar after work when it suddenly occurred to me: am I nervous? Should I be nervous? No, I’m not nervous, I don’t get nervous. I’m not that type of person. But I’m feeling…something. Am I scared? Yes, I’m definitely scared. What if this person roofies me and I get in my car and crash it? What if this goes horribly awry? Am I on game? I’m always on game, but what if I was a horrible judge of character on Tinder and something awful and violent happens? No, I’m not that bad of a judge of character. Not the best, but not the worst. In all honesty, worst case scenario is that this guy says something maga-esque and I have a temper tantrum. No, worst case scenario: I like this guy, we date, and he tries to beat me and then I have to kill him. Oh, god. What if he’s ugly? What if I get cat fished? That’s going to bother me. But, okay, here I am, parking my car, walking to the bar, doing it regardless because I try to remind myself that who knows! Maybe this is the next love of my life! I’ll also settle for fun hook up. I’m open to a wide range of options here.
We settle into conversation. Okay, not a magat. Not homophobic. Not whorephobic. He checks those boxes. I can tell that I’m being too effusive, that I’m talking too much. I’m dominating the conversation. I talk about the history of Emeryville for some stupid reason, probably because I love talking about all the old school casinos and Ken Bukowski, the gay mayor who used to own a black night club and then brought Bay Street to Emeryville while also possibly being a meth addict. Ugh, I’m talking too much. I always talk too much. I do that when I’m nervous, or I’m excited. I make eye contact. No! Too much eye contact! That was weird! I sip on my drink, but I remind myself: slowly, girl. Slowly. Don’t come off as a lush. That’s weird.
I inhale and let him talk about a few things. I do a quick analysis. Could I fuck this guy? Sure. Tonight? No, because I drove here and I have a two drink maximum for getting behind the wheel, so this is just a meet and greet. I can already feel out what some of his character flaws might be, although it occurs to me that I’m using my ex as the measuring stick for character flaws, which might be a horrible measuring stick. This guy is definitely not a narcissist. I can tell because he’s not shoving his personality down my throat and actually listening to my rambling in an attentive manner. So why is there some part of me that is waving the red flag? Why is not being a narcissist a problem? Oh, jeez. My ex got me, didn’t he? I’m now categorically attracted to narcissists because there’s something about unbounded and unrealistic confidence that I have acclimated my attraction to. Fuck. But, wait, maybe I shouldn’t be seeking out a narcissist because didn’t I just break up with a narcissist because that wasn’t any good for me? Why am I comparing this person I just met to the last person I broke up with? Am I looking for someone to replace my ex? If I wanted to do that, I could just pick up the phone and call him and beg him to take me back. Sure, it’d be a bit of a gamble, but if I really, really believed that was what I wanted, I would do it. But I haven’t done that. I haven’t texted him or called him or tried to run into him. Because I don’t want that. I want something different. Which is why I’m here.
This is new. This is different. This could work. I could make it work. Oh, no, why am I jumping fifteen steps ahead. I think I’m still in relationship mode, which is chill if I decide I want to jump immediately into a new relationship, but, Jesus, chill the fuck out. This is two drinks and nothing else. One step at a time. Perhaps I should pat myself on the back for having found someone who isn’t an overt meninist because after what my friends told me I was a bit wary that that might be the case.
Okay, I’m cool. I’m back in the dating world. I drive home, feeling weird about the whole situation. Is this how people do relationships nowadays? Are we supposed to…I mean, what comes after this? Do we fall in love? Fuck around? Stay in each others’ lives for the next five to ten years? Ghost each other? Become friends? Or fuck buddies? Let it peter out into nothingness? God. Starting a new human relationship is so fucking complicated and difficult. I should probably be sending pitches to agents. But I’m not. I’m doing this instead.
Wish me luck.