Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Why I'm Not Dating (At the Moment)

One can only bang one's head against a wall so many times before the headache gets to be too much to bear. It's taken me longer than I care to admit to learn that lesson, but I finally have. The following is highly confessional and doesn't always paint me in the best light, but I think there's some humor there, too. And some damned important lessons.

So, a list of my ex-girlfriends, and a wall of text explaining why I'm not currently putting much effort in to dating.

First was D--. My first real date, my first girlfriend, my first kiss (which was pretty embarrassing itself, but is a story for another time). I "went out" with her for several months, before I really knew what "going out" meant. Then we broke up, went to the following year's homecoming as neither one of us could find a better date, and fell out of touch. Didn't really seem like a big deal, even to a sophomore in high school, and EVERYTHING'S a big deal then. Then she started dating one of my friends, and a miscommunication between him and myself lead her to tell me "I always knew you where an asshole when we were dating, but this just proves it." Funny, she never said anything to me about it before then. (Aside: the friend dated her all through high school, then sometime in college I heard he dumped her and came out of the closet.)

About this time I discovered Magic: The Gathering, which was a lot like cocaine...it took all my money out of the bank and I stopped caring about anything else for roughly a year. Then I met L-- I can't say with 100% certainty that I remember her name, but really have blocked a lot of things about her from my memory.

L-- was the first of the "psycho hose beasts, " and I'm ashamed of how long it took me to realize that. In my own defense, I was still pretty new to dating in general, and being in the throes of puberty, I didn't always think clearly. Nevertheless, the note reading "I hope are [sic] kids look like us and they're [sic] names resemble are [sic, again] names!" was the last straw. Notice that the last straw wasn't the note telling me she'd get the condoms at prom if I got the motel room and the champagne (and even as hormone-addled as I was I thought that was a pretty lousy deal), it was the one talking about having kids. Also, she liked making out, and chewing cinnamon gum, and trying to put her gum in my mouth while we were making out. Ever wondered why the smell of cinnamon gum makes me wretch? There's your answer.

So I bolted. Into the arms of a co-worker, A--. I'll be honest, I wasn't really interested in A-- as a person, I only asked her out because she'd tell me stories about getting caught in compromising positions with her boyfriend, and I thought, "here's a sure thing." Not proud of it, but I was a horny kid still trying to figure things out. So I feigned interest for a while, then hit her up with "if things were different, if you weren't dating him, would you go out with me?" She dumped him the next day. We went on our first date several days later, and that's when the cracks started to show. During dinner she kept talking about her ex, except when she was telling me she was in therapy due to being sexually abused by her father.

Now look, I don't condone his actions in any way, and at least she was getting help, but even at 16 I knew this wasn't the kind of thing you bring up on a first date. Fourth date maybe, if things are going well (and I mean REALLY well, Jim-and-Pam well), but not the first.

But being a believer in second chances, and really wanting to try compromising positions with her, I hung in there. Then she started to hang out across the street from my house, just watching. And when we went out for my birthday, she offered to go down on me in the theater (to this day, I shudder when I hear that song, and not just because it's an awful song). I would have been fine in more private circumstances, but it was a sold out showing of Braveheart. Allow me to repeat with greater emphasis: IT WAS A SOLD OUT SHOWING OF BRAVEHEART. Then she started wanting to fool around in her driveway, with her mother inside the house, or while we were in the park. And hanging out across from my house more. And getting in my car during school and moving things around.

Finally, after a particularly hellish weekend (involving a hillbilly cousin's wedding and a flood at my hermit grandmother's house, which would also make a great story some other time) she called wanting to go out, but I was too tired, and told her so. She then quite literally told her mommy, who then called my parents (who were already in bed having borne the brunt of cleaning the flood) to ask why I didn't seem to want to go out with her daughter when she called. I decided to break up with her at that time, and had planned to do it face-to-face (even then I knew to do it any other way was weak at best) but when she called the next day asking again to go out, I lost it, and dumped her on the phone.

I though that was the end, but I didn't consider that we still worked together.

So we got in a fight after closing time one night at work. I was sick of it all at this point, and pissed too, so I told her to go away, I was too mad to even look at her. She then took the makeup mirror out of her purse, broke it, and proceeded to cut herself. So the manager of the restaurant had to do paperwork, which I felt bad about, and A-- disappeared while that was going on, so I got to call her mom and tell her what was up. To this day, that's the one call I hated making the most, and that includes both times I had to tell my parents about not graduating from college.

Last I'd heard of A--, she had gotten pregnant in high school and dropped out to marry the babydaddy.

Then I met C--. C-- was a great girl, but she had a little bit of a rough time with her stepmother, and ended up living in a group home. None of which was her fault, and in fact I feel guilty about the way I treated her, because she didn't deserve it. I'm finally mature enough to see that, and to wish I could apologize to her.

Because when C-- couldn't go to a dance, I took S--. This was on Saturday. On Monday, I dumped C-- and started dating S--.

I went out with S-- all through my senior year of high school and fell out of touch after graduation, which is what usually happens. Then a few years in to college, she contacted me, and we started dating again. She came to spend a couple of weekends with me once I moved off campus, and though we never did have sex we did fool around a little.

I'll be honest, I'm not sure I really loved her, but I convinced myself that I did, to the point where I began shopping for diamonds. Around this time, my parents had their 25th anniversary. I invited S--, because it was getting serious, and seemed like a good chance to see her. But she was strangely distant.

Then some mutual friends of ours started having marital problems, and S-- started going to him with little problems, needing things fixed, stuff like that. I got jealous, and suspicious, and after a long walk one night in the rain, I decided to call her and ask what was up. When she answered, she told me she was just leaving to go out. With him.

Then came The Email. The day after the rain-walk-call, I got a long email, telling me she was dumping me, I was a distraction, she had stomach problems and an eating disorder....and oh yeah, the reason she was distant at my parents' party? She thought she might be pregnant.

This was all news to me. Never mind that she was dumping me in an email, I wanted to discuss this other stuff, like why the hell didn't she tell me she thought she was pregnant (even though we never had sex, and what we did do...well, certain things have to happen for babies to occur, and they never happened for me). I'd told her time and again that she could talk to me about anything, any concerns she had about our relationship, but that didn't seem to mean anything, even though we were seriously discussing getting married.

Anyway, I tried to call her, but she wouldn't talk. I think the friend's husband may have been there, but I have no proof. I took that to mean she'd said it all in The Email, and didn't try again. I was still so mad that a couple of months later, when she started emailing (and she had to get a new account to do it, because I'd blocked all of the others she had) I told her not to bother, that if she didn't want to talk at the time, she didn't have anything to say that I was willing to hear later.

I framed The Email, and kept it for a number of years. Partly because it made for a good conversation piece, partly because she fucked me up so bad I didn't even try dating for something like eight years. When she got married, I considered wrapping up the email as a present and leaving it for them to open in front of the families...oh how I would have loved to hear her try to explain it to her mom, and her new husband. I didn't though, so there's one good choice I made. I did finally burn The Email in a symbolic act shortly after I went on a date with E--.

E-- is someone I knew a little in college, but when we coincidentally met again years later at our place of employment, we hit it off. We talked, flirted a little, then I called her. Sure, I was nervous, my brother sent me a really dirty text message during the conversation, and I said one exceedingly stupid thing ("Well, you need clean clothes.") but we went out and--I thought--had a pretty good time. I tried to call her again, but she didn't return my calls. I thought her schedule might be getting in the way, so one day I asked her to call me. She never did, and she quit talking to me at work. After some months of this, she was apparently out with a small group, which included one of my friends, who heard E-- making some kind of comment. Details are sketchy--the friend is either unable or unwilling to tell me exactly what was said, and I respect that she's in a sticky position--but the friend described her reaction as "defending [my] honor." Seems like it can't be any good.

So that's it. A bunch of crazy liars, one real regret, and no payoff that's anything close to the effort I've put forth. And this doesn't even count the times I've been told "I want to be friends" or "I think of you like a brother", or the women I've been interested in who have told me they're lesbians before I could work up the courage to ask them out (a surprising number of that last group, actually, but I don't feel like looking too much into that right now). I'm not going to pass up opportunities that come along, but I'm done bending all my will to finding "the one" right now. I'd rather work towards finally paying off my student loans. because there's no way that could end up breaking my heart.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

See, you're a better person, because you DIDN'T send the email. I would have sent the email, then sent it again at their one year anniversary, carved in wood.

Dating is something I've never really done, and hearing about it, something I never really want to have to do. Work on those loans, then buy a woman in china, or a man, whatever really.

See ya at work.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

I've got a girl out on parole I could hook you up with :)

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

some people are just plain liars they lie about everything in their lives even their sexuality. I know people who dont really date because they have no need too. Its much easier for them to just screw their friends.By the way its"bare" not "bear" thats a animal and the idiot who said just "buy" someone says alot about who they are.

5:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know a girl that would do you matt with no strings attached. She is pretty easy when she drinks kind of ugly and really over weight.She is not very pleasing to the eyes when she is naked everything hangs. She enjoys 3 somes too.The bonus side is she likes doing women.She's about 5'6 weighs well over 240 pounds just do yourself a favor dont have her bend over naked with the lights on and if she does dont look. I made that mistake and now I am blind in one eye with terrible nightmares.If you want she can be all yours buddy? I know what its like not getting laid in awhile any trash can will do and this girl is a trash can.She does Holidays too. Take her out for a chicken sandwich large fries and a vanilla shake at burger king and before the nights over she will ask you to come to her house watch a movie in her room on her bed.She is not shy so you want this thing or what buddy?

6:56 AM  

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