A handbook for twenty-somethings. Abandon all hope ye who enter here.
Maverick got sick and has been almost silent on the subject of his adventures, and I’m just waiting for Iceman to type his bananas life up, so I guess I’ll make an appearance again.
Dating too many men again. Or still.
There’s one I like, but I’m wary of, and I’m not sure he’s sold on the product. I think we’re being maybe-just-for-now-but-who-knows-friends? Sure. So that’s not very exciting.
Edit: We totally made out after I wrote this.
I’ve achieved a new high score in dating: nine years older! Also probably a whole new tax bracket and set of expectations for what to do on a date. It’s like a magical wonderland of being scary because you’re twenty-six and moderately attractive. It lands you one hell of a (free) dinner and a bunch of stammering in the car when you’re getting dropped off and the goodnight kiss is under discussion. The goodnight kiss was awarded. Why the hell not?
I’m also dating someone with zero long-term potential, though we’ve had some very successful make-out sessions. Hot? Sure! Smart? Reasonably so. Interesting? Kinda… I fully intend to take advantage of his willingness to keep myself from getting attached to the one I like. That’s healthy, right?
Oh, and there are more dates in there. These are just the most interesting/the ones I’ve seen more than once in the past two weeks.
What’s the refrain? “Anything for a good story”? “This can only end well”?
This summer, right after I narrowed the field to only two guys that I was juggling (before settling on the Indeterminacy for a time), I made a joke about someone I knew running three different men at a bar once. I made the joke to the other guy—the one who didn’t make the final cut. He asked me, joking-but-not, if I were running three different guys. I told him no, I was not. That was true. Two is not three.
I hope like hell no one asks me right now how many guys there are.
How many days back in the ring? Not many. Certainly not enough for four dates (with different men) in five days. Not enough to go from drinks with someone who could be your ex’s twin to making out at midnight in the middle of the street downtown with someone who has the best smile and the weirdest prejudices to a long walk/drinks/dinner event with someone whose masculinity seems bound up in his ability to be awed but not over-awed by you. And not making plans for next week with someone you almost certainly went to high school with and some other guy you made laugh out loud by being yourself. Or that guy who’s ten years older than you are. Oh, god damn it, stop looking at the picture in which he’s topless. Okay, fine: look. (“Look, touch, but do not keep” could be the mantra for this blog.)
On these dates, I sometimes hear a complaint that women aren’t taking dating seriously, that they cast too many nets. “Look,” I want to say. “A relationship sounds great. I mean, really. But they take a lot of work, and that’s only after there’s enough there to make the work worthwhile. You have to actually be interested in making it happen with the person. I don’t know if I want that with someone after a handful of messages and a date. How can you know that?”
When I’m active with OkCupid (which is almost certainly a tool created by Satan), I’m usually not looking for a relationship. Let’s be honest, here. I’m looking for distractions, interactions outside my day-to-day, and stories. Occasionally a pseudo-relationship springs up (though it rarely gets from “dating” to “Dating”), and that’s nice until it’s not, and then I’m back out, collecting stories and horrifying all my happily monogamous friends.
So I guess what I’m offering is an apology in advance to the kinda nice, cute, intelligent, nerdy(ish) men in Madison who get all wound up because some kinda cute girl will admit to owning polyhedral dice. Let’s have fun, all right? First drink’s on you.
And then he says he was an English major.
After just over a week of nothing from the Indeterminacy, I decided to move on. Much as I may like him, and much as I may wish something could work out between us, I’m not going to come within ninety feet of forcing the issue if I can help it. And now I’m not even sure what I’d do if he got in touch with me. Time to cut and run.
So, naturally, I reactivated my OkCupid account.
Reactivating your OkCupid account is like instant validation that feels kind of oily and smells just a little overripe. I had I don’t know how many messages almost instantly, and I have been staring at my inbox with confusion ever since. The only extended conversation I’m in is with Maverick’s friend and roommate, and our topics have been the trials of dating and the fabulous entertainment provided by being friends with Maverick. (Hopefully he’ll be joining our team here at Romantic Tragicomedy Central. He has the chops!)
So validation, yes, but we’re talking a group dominated by nice-sounding guys who come across a little desperate and so overwhelmed with joy by the geeky shit in my profile that I feel like I’m being attacked by a bunch of slightly funny-looking golden retriever puppies. They’re the kind of guys you might fall for after being friends with them for a while, but I’m not going to set up a date with ‘em.
Then you get the offers of casual sex, the weird guys from Alaska who want to tell you you’re a beautiful creature and oh if only they lived closer, the people who have contacted you before and have evidently not taken the hint, and the endless litany of “hey gurl” messages that mostly prompt this:
So… that’s happening.
But what’s the cherry on all this? THE BEST.
Maverick’s roommate and I finally met after hearing about one another via Maverick for ages, and we enjoyed our bourbons and scotches while swapping stories. When I got home around 2am (nothing like being slightly hungover in a training meeting on a Tuesday morning), I saw tweets from the soldier with whom I had a fabulous, brief affair last December. The public timeline tweets were themselves totally inexplicable. No idea why he tagged me. And then he followed up with a DM.
Soldier: I really am sorry. If there was any justice in the world, you’d already be with… hell. Jon Stewart? The actor from Sherlock?
…What? I mean, I wouldn’t mind a younger Jon Stewart or a Benedict Cumberbatch, but first, what? He liked something random on my FB profile, so I guess he was stalking me last night and… felt regret that we didn’t keep things up even though it would have been impossible (and that was sort of the point)? I laughed. I’m still laughing. This is absurd. But keep in touch, Soldier. I’d be open to making our 48 hours of whirlwind romance an even 60.