Hair Dye, Narcissism Sex, and Van Gogh

Relativity by M.C. Escher

“Relativity” by M.C. Escher

I just became a brunette.

Don’t we all get drunk at home by ourselves on a Wednesday night off of Orient Apple Absolut, and – then – mildly over headbanging to “November Rain” and “Paranoid Android” three times back to back (about 43 minutes) – decide to bike it to the local grocery store to stand somewhat upright in an aisle and see what shade of Clairol we could become?

Don’t we all invite our neighbors to come witness us in a bathrobe drunkenly pouring shit all over our heads going, “Look at me! Look at me!” whilst smelling like a mix of alcohol, bad choices, and lab-produced cat piss?

And then don’t we all burst into said neighbor’s house an hour later to have a conversation about what our head now resembles and somehow leave with a condom yelling, “Thanks!” – and then return home to call everyone we know and tell them that we are now, in a sense, brown and also have a condom?

We all do that.  Right?

So.  That was Wednesday.  And now I’m a brunette.

I think this is going to open up a whole new world of getting hit on for me.  This is going to be even bigger than the time I slept with a dude named Taylor just to see what it’d be like to say my own name in bed.  (“No, no – it wasn’t you.  I was just that good.  Bye, now!”)  Turns out that was a bad idea, as I couldn’t tell if we were engaging in foreplay or if he was deciding to sign language the word “umbrella” up my twat.  Seriously, bro.  Have you watched any porn, ever?  Is your hand having a fucking seizure?  Or are you just prepping me for your contorted M.C. Escher dick?  (Strangely enough, I think that’d be the preferable explanation.)  Ultimately, though, it only perpetuated my narcissism, as now, insofar as I know, I’m the only Taylor that’s actually good in bed.  Chah ching.

Anyway, brunette.  I often hear a number of guys comment on hair colors they like.  In fact, I know a few that are serial blonde- or brunette-daters.  In all fairness, I guess we all have our things.  My sister apparently only dates Jeffs, which, to her credit, makes it so much easier to remember the random dude at Easter’s name.  So why not hair-color based?  This, in turn, creates the question for me: whose thing did I just become?  Like, is there someone out there that this whole time has been mentally saying, “Damn, that Taylor chick is super hot.  If only she were brunette.”  It’s like a dye-your-own-ending Sherlock Holmes facebook adventure.  Personally, I’m just hoping I’ve Revloned my way straight out of The Dude with Sleeves and Dead Faces Tatted on His Chest.  If so, dear God, if so, I may just fucking love being brunette.  Even if it was a drunkcision.

I’m just going to stop right here for a moment, as I am apparently thirteen:

Since typing “M.C. Escher dick” up above I have found myself thoroughly unable to stop thinking about painter dicks.  Not the dicks of the painters themselves, but what, exactly, say, a Dali dick (alliteration!) would look like.  Van Gogh dick.  Cubist dick.  Ewwww – Pollock dick.

…Please feel free to stop reading this, reflect on that for a moment, start a dialogue with your friends and co-workers about it, and see what artist/painter/period you believe would be the most markedly distinctive dick in application.  I.  Must.  Know.

Oh, oh, oh!

Rorschach dick:

(You ready?)

It is what you make of it.

…This entry is not going to get any better after that.

I’m done.  I’m going to go Google famous works of art now and determine what their phallic equivalents constitute.  You see, it’s stuff like this that makes being single amazing.  I can keep a Word document constantly pulled up with artistic dick descriptions and not delete my browser history when I go on a Pornhub binge, and no one gives a shit.  (“Yeah.  That’s my list of dick and art.  Fucking deal with it.   [Said Jesse-style:] Biiiitch!”)

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Crazy Roommates, Seeing Other People, and Trust

I’m tempted to use the main individual in this story’s actual name (it’s not slander if it’s true), principally due to the fact that this was quite possibly the Gold Cup of dating what-the-fuckdom.  However, given that it would really be neither here nor there in achieving any real feat, I’ll give up my petulant tendencies and call him Dave.

[But, for what it’s worth, his real name’s Brandon.]

I met Dave online.  He was funny, financially successful, thirty, divorced once (is it weird that I like that?), and shared my inherent sense of self-deprecation and hatred of all things hiking.  (“Yes.  I get it.  That’s a tree, and that’s a lizard.  Can we go home now?”)  We had a few marathon dates, which basically consisted of getting along fantastically and going on drunk adventures that may or may not have included crashing barbecues and getting kicked out of a concert.  Although he had a few characteristics that I could do without, he was supremely into me, which happens to be my most favorite quality in anyone.

Shortly thereafter, he went to Hawaii with his family for a week.  What began with incessant texting quickly transformed into nightly phone calls.  What was unusual, though, was the extent to which he would mention hypotheticals: “If we ever get the chance, we should totally go to Hawaii.” …Wha?  Wow.  That’s really all about me.  Needless to say, he was emphatic about us getting together immediately after he left the airport and had the whole day planned out, including me staying the night without his bitch roommate there (we’ll get to that).

Eh, fuck it.  Let’s do bitch roommate now.

He lived with a twenty-four-year-old girl, and – from what I saw – their relationship was proverbial in that she had a boyfriend that lived out of state, so Dave was her safety-net go-to guy the rest of the time.  You know, the fake boyfriend that you don’t actually bang but that successfully distracts you from the daunting responsibility of filling your own emotional voids.  As such, she threw an actual temper tantrum one day when she wanted to watch some (I’m sure shitty) TV show, and Dave and I were in his bedroom instead.  I had the great, awkward pleasure of getting to hear her slam doors and bitch him out when he went into the kitchen post-coitus, and I wondered how Dave had ever successfully dated anyone with the Sex Ref sharing his 1200 sq. ft. apartment.  (I later found out there was a back door.)

Another thing that had struck me about my temporary long-distance pseudo-relationship with Dave was that one evening, when we were getting off the phone, he said, “So, I’ll call you tomorrow around this time?”

“I have plans,” I had responded.

A moment of silence or two went by, and he asked, “You’re going on a date, aren’t you?”

It was true.  I hadn’t planned on saying anything out of courtesy.  However, when asked pointe blank, I answered honestly.  “Yeah,” I said.  “I am.”

“I am so jealous right now,” he said.  I thought it was cute.  (My ex was never jealous.  It perturbed me to no end that he apparently had felt so secure that I would never leave him that certain standards need not apply.  “That guy’s hitting on you?  Go for it!”  Fuck me.) “I just don’t like the idea of you seeing other guys,” Dave explained.

[For what it was worth, the date was a total wash.  The guy used the word “epic” as a substitute for nearly every adjective imaginable (“This IPA is epic.” “That concert was epic.” “I did my laundry this morning – it was epic.“), and – despite presenting himself to me as Mr. God Damn Colorado (off-roading, camping, something or other involving glaciers) – he didn’t know how to drive a stick shift.  Thanks, brah.  It’s been fun.]

Dave, relieved it had gone poorly, became all the more persistent about our plans when he got back in town.

So, Airport Day:

We met at a bar, and during the second drink he told me he’d actually have to take off pretty soon: his sister had put him up to watching her dogs for the evening.  “Because that’s the first thing I want to do after ten hours of flying,” he commented.  “However, I can’t back out of it, and I need to leave at 6:45.”  It was 5:45.  So, naturally, there was nothing left to do but tab and head straight to his apartment.

And, of course, because she was supposed to be out of town, [Not-Girlfriend] came home mid-, er, activity.   Ensue temper tantrum (“I haven’t seen you in a week, and I come in the apartment and see your door’s shut! I can’t believe I haven’t seen you in a week, and you’re fucking some chick!”), first-time back door exit, and a rushed drop-off at my car.  Leaning in his open window right before leaving, I said, “You know, I feel like a hooker.”

“Me too,” he said and drove away.

I suppose dog-sitting obligations happen to the best of us.  Regardless, though, hanging out at home an hour later, I opted to call a good guy friend from college to ask his advice on having slept with Dave in this particular instance.  Should I have?  It was a far cry from our original plan for the evening, and I felt a little slutty, and, oh, that chick-ish.

“Eh, fuck it,” he said.  “Do you, boo-boo.”  I loved him.

Around 9:30 my phone rang: Dave.

“Yeah, screw my sister,” he said, “They came back early.  So where were we?”  Flooded with validation, I met back up with him half an hour later.  I (quietly) spent the night at his place, and everything was back to going as originally planned.  Phew.

The next time we spoke he was anxiety-plagued.  His boss at his job had quit, and he was up for a pretty serious promotion.  The promotion, however, was in Portland or Seattle, involved a pretty hefty hours-per-week increase, and was basically one of those huge life crossroads that just inexplicably and suddenly hits.  While my vote obviously would have been that he stay in Denver, I kept my mouth shut (unbelievable, I know) and empathized. Strangely enough, during this conversation, he inquired as to whether or not I had been seeing anyone else, and he again expressed jealousy and dislike at the thought.  I mentally noted it, and – although that we were just shy of a month hanging out –  I couldn’t help but wonder if my presence actually might be bearing any weight on the whole ordeal, given his zealous approach to us dating.

Over the next week, he remained a bit of a wreck about the employment conundrum.  I drove to his apartment after an hour-long, panicked phone conversation to find him out front chain-smoking and pounding Franzia.  Buddy, I thought, I have sooooo been there.  We hashed out pros and cons with his head on my lap on a bench outside his apartment complex, and it crossed my mind that this occasion had a different weight than our other get-togethers: he was talking about stuff that mattered, and mattered deeply, to him, and he was wanting my opinion on it.  It was not exactly the usual “debating pros and cons of nacho cooking methods at a bar” sentiment that had originally marked our dates.  In fact, the last few weeks had moved steadily away from that casualness.

That night, in bed, I popped the question:

“So, I know there’s been a lot going on with you,” I began. “But, for what it’s currently worth, how would you feel about me not seeing other people?”

Despite the weird and potentially moot timing, I had asked because I had gone out a few times with someone in whom I was interested, but I held a firm belief in playing fair.  Dave had repeatedly, expressly implied that it mattered to him, and – if that were the case – I felt we’d crossed at least some sort of threshold of ethical accountability in which he came first.  As such, I deemed it important to clarify the structure of the ordeal, even if that structure were, well, structureless.

His reply was not what I expected.

“I don’t know,” he said.  Silence.

“I’m not saying I want to be your girlfriend,” I replied.  “It just seems to have mattered to you, so I thought I would ask what you were thinking.”

“No, no – it’s a fair question,” he insisted. “I just don’t know.  I’d have to think about it.”

While I understood the potential meaninglessness of my inquiry given the fact that he might be leaving the state, I found him neglecting to mention that in his response more than mildly disquieting.  If the move were the issue, his answer seemed fair enough.  However, what was with the frequent mentioning of jealousy then?  Did he like being jealous?

Immediately wishing I hadn’t said anything, I rolled over and went to sleep.

Over the next week, he was iffy about plans.  Granted, he was doing a number of interviews, working ten-hour days, and had a variety of objectively occupying things going on.  Given the ambiguity of our last conversation, though, it didn’t feel great.  Deciding to knife through the ether of my own paranoia, I sent him a message one day that basically said, “Hey – I know you’re super busy right now.  However, if you don’t want to see me again, I’m a big girl and can handle it.  Just let me know, so I don’t keep trying.”  There.  That was that.

Somehow, though, my attempt at directness only densified (yes, it’s a word now) the ether cloud even more.

“No, it’s not you at all,” he responded. “There’s just a lot happening.  However, I may in all reality be moving, and I’m not sure it’s a good idea for me to start dating someone right now.  I’m not sure where that leaves us.”

Followed immediately by:

“Want to grab a beer tomorrow?”

…Sure?  Let’s face it: I hadn’t been this confused since one of my best friends gave Love in the Time of Cholera three stars on Goodreads.  (I mean, really?  It’s Marquez, Liz.  Gabriel Fucking Garcia Marquez. What more do you want!?  TOLSTOY?  I know, I know – it wasn’t Dubliners … which is why it should have at least gotten three-and-a-half.)

We met up at a beer tasting.  About thirty minutes in, he looked at his phone, groaned, and stepped away to take a call.

“Uh oh?” I inquired when he returned.

“It’s [Not-Girlfriend],” he said.  “She thinks she got roofied at the bar and wants me to come get her.”

(…For real, bitch?  Last I checked, that was the whole point of getting roofied: you don’t know you’re getting roofied.  Speaking from personal experience, I have been drugged once, and shit would have gone down a whole lot differently if I’d very cognizantly called my roommate and been like, “Hey, you got a minute?  I think something that blanks out all of my senses of balance, time, presence, and memory was slipped in my drink, but I’m right up the street on Classen and 42nd and would like to politely tab out and then wait outside for you, while I coherently contemplate which polo-wearing dude at the bar is the would-be rapist.  See you in ten?  Love you!”)

“Uh, can she not call a cab?” I asked.

“That’s what I said,” he responded.  “I really don’t want to go get her, but she won’t call one.”

I was ready to shoot this chick in the face.

“I’ll tell you what,” he said, “She’s not too far away, so I’m gonna go grab her and swing her by the apartment.  I should be back by the time you finish your drink.  Okay?”

“Want me to just come with you?”

“No, that’d be bad news.  She’s kind of a bitch about me dating people.”  Really?  I hadn’t noticed.

Forty minutes later, I called him.  No response.  Rather than leaving a voicemail, I texted, “You almost back?”

Text a few minutes later: “So, [Not-Girlfriend] and my friend are fucking liars.  She’s fine.  They lured to me to the bar for a preemptive promotion celebration.  I just took a shot of Fireball, so I’m not gonna make it back.”

Thanks, fucker.

And that was the last time I talked to Dave.

Three weeks later, I was on facebook. After the bar incident, I had had a moment’s pause about keeping Dave as a friend on the site.  However, I decided that deleting him wasn’t worth the five seconds of effort, and he could just float aimlessly among the other four hundred people with whom I never speak but who are also apparently, inexplicably still “friends.”

I’m sure you never saw this coming, but that was a bad decision.

He was online, and I noticed his main photo had changed.  Not quite able to discern what it was through the thumbnail, I went to his profile, wondering what had ended up happening to him in light of the job dilemma.  The photo was he and a girl, smiling on a beach.  Thinking he’d probably ended up moving northwest (you know, oceans, beach), I scrolled down his page.

Nope.

He was still in Denver.  With this girl.  Always.  Everywhere.  The petting zoo.  Some park.  Downtown.  In the car.

“But what about the beach? That doesn’t make sense in Colorado!” (Yes, that’s you.  You’re asking that.)

Well, it turns out that was from their week-long vacation to San Diego!

…I didn’t know what I felt.  I pondered and yet didn’t want to ponder.  I didn’t know if I was hurt, or angry, or relieved, or – Option D – all of the above.  Honestly, his prickishness had originally seemed mildly excusable, or at least human, given the context of him thinking he was moving.  But he hadn’t.  And, from the looks of things, wasn’t.  …Did it matter?  Of course it did.

As fast as I could, I unfriended him and deleted his number from my phone.  Goodbye, forever.

To top things off, a friend of mine – one who apparently has a knack for asking paranoia-inducing questions – immediately asked once I told her the story, “Do you think he was seeing her the whole time?”

All of a sudden, I saw the whole six weeks through a totally different lens.  “Fuuuuuuuuuck,” I groaned.  “Probably.  At least for part of it.”  The iffy plans, the suddenly leaving the bar, the “I don’t know” in response to my question about seeing other people.  Here I had been, trying to play fair, trying to be honest, and having absolutely no clue that the weekly forecast was “sunny with a 70% chance of fucking someone else.”  Fuck.  My.  Life.

…It took weeks to get over.  Weeks.  All of which resulted in a number of fleeting resolutions about what, exactly, I could do to never have this happen again. I resolved to never bring up ‘not seeing other people’ to anyone I dated, ever.  Let the guy do it (’cause fuck ’em, that’s why).  Then, resolving that that was a bad resolution (uh, hello, self-respect), I resolved to not pursue that route.  I then changed my mind again and resolved to not make any resolutions.  None of these efforts, though, changed the fact that my sense of trust had been slow-motion bulldozed.  Again and again in my mind I thought of different scenarios, different dates, different statements – what the hell had really been going on?

Ultimately, my primary dilemma was this: despite generally priding myself on a pretty well-tuned bullshit meter, I wondered whether I had been naive. Whether there were signs that I chose not to see simply because they weren’t congruent with what I wanted to see.  Whether my interest in this guy had been catalyzed by his interest in me.  And, being the responsibility-oriented individual that I am, I sought to isolate and identify my shortcomings in the overall scenario.  Rampant insecurity and the gaudy specter of personal failure were boxing self-worth, and they were about to TKO the fuck out of it at any moment.  Had I somehow subconsciously screwed the pooch on this ordeal?  Then, inexplicably and unexpectedly, in the eleventh hour of self-esteem, the puzzle fit together:

No. I hadn’t.

You see, I frequently find in life that those who are able to absolve themselves of any guilt or accountability are usually just overtly narcissistic in turbulent environments.  Most of the time there is something we could have said or done a little better.  However, this was one of those times where there wasn’t.  I mean, lesson learned: be a little careful on blindly trusting people.  But, ultimately, I didn’t put myself in any sort of situation that was illogical or ignorant.  I was fair.  I was forthright.  And I had the reasonable expectation that, just like in kindergarten playtime when everyone shares the pattern blocks, someone would treat me with that same sincerity – an expectation that I feel is all the more sane given the fact that it was a dating relationship.  …Isn’t that kind of what those things are about?  You know, that whole “finding someone you like and trust” bit?  This was one of the few, memorable times in my life when I could go, “I did everything just fine.  There was nothing I could have done.  I have complete absolution.”  Or, more colloquially, shit happens when you party naked.  Amen.

I remembered Dave a few days ago, when a friend of mine told me a story that wasn’t too dissimilar from this one.  Only hers was shorter, more brutish, and exponentially more cruel.  And she, like myself, felt victimized after attempting to be an honest, candid person in the dating universe.

So, here’s the deal:

Dating is hard.  Everyone loves to say, “When you meet the right person, it will be easy.”  (To which I usually mentally respond, “No shit, Sherlock.  It’s that whole ‘meeting the right person’ bit that’s the difficult part.  No one’s bitching about being in mutual love here.”)  But, put simply, it sucks to get hurt.  It sucks to be blown off.  It sucks to be Girl or Guy #2.  Or three, or four, or have no earthly idea.  It sucks to wonder what someone liked about you, then – before you know it – wonder what they didn’t like about you that apparently outweighed the former.  It eats at you like you’re a buffet line, just waiting to be picked apart and judged (“the Kung Pao chicken was fantastic, but I think the egg rolls made me sick”).  And then it comes back for seconds, as if the first go-round weren’t masochistically satiating enough.  It can be a god-awful, self-doubt-inducing tribulation, and it fucking sucks.

But you know what sucks more?

Living life bogged with the ever-present expectation of being surrounded by turpitude.  Or being scared to ask honestly about something due to a fear of your inquiry affecting the outcome of the question.  Or wondering if you did something wrong in being sincere or, well, simply you.  (“Do you, boo-boo.”)  Even worse is having a relationship that’s a constant masquerade of self-filtration and censorship: “What if so-and-so doesn’t like me if I do this?”  I mean, at least Jesus eventually died on the cross.  He didn’t hang there and writhe for six months or a year or suffer through two years of impotent, lackluster engagement before succumbing to a lifetime of three-quarter personalities and obligatory Wednesday night dinners.  And that’s just it: sometimes, as ludicrous as it seems, when we get upset about something so intimate, so connected to our world view of who and how we should be, not working out, we crucify ourselves.  We drive the nails through our own palms, amplifying every neuron signal to the brain: this hurts.

But you know what we forget? That it’s not real.  It’s psychosomatic.  There are no nails.  Your hands are fine.  It’s not real, and they’re not there.  Get up, kid.  You can walk.  And you’re at bat.

…It took a while to really resolve, but, in the end, I’ve firmly decided that I refuse to live with an ubiquitous terror of psychological flesh wounds, and I believe fiercely in that resolution.  It can be hard to do when you’re so accustomed to fearing them.  And, yes, that opens me up to the possibility that something along these lines might happen again.  But, let’s face it, shitty stuff happens all the time.  And we live.  When all pits against all, I’ve decided it would be a greater defeat for me to allow something that was or could be potentially painful to influence my potential for happiness – because, as we all know, that’s how the terrorists win, bro.

And as for Dave?  I believe it was the great, actually epic  (you see, that’s how you use that word) Odysseus who originally said, upon returning home two decades later to his former comrades, only to find his dog mistreated and his woman pursued, “Fuck ’em.  Just – fuck ’em.”  And then he kicked ass and took names.

Single in Menver: A Tale in Three Parts

Being single: you can sit by streams and think about how you're not doing yoga.

Being single: you can sit by streams and think about how you’re not doing yoga.

Part One:

I’m trying to be better at being single.  Truth be told, I’m not very good at it.  I’m somewhat emotionally lazy and resist psychological gardening, opting instead for psychological, space-out X-Box time.  To give you an idea, I once did yoga – for fifteen minutes.  For some reason, the idea of actually putting work for me into my own life is damn near inexplicably repugnant.  Why would I learn to cook when there are restaurants everywhere?!  Why would I join a gym or learn knitting or read a book when there are hot guys watching sports at a bar – any bar?  It is, as they say, Menver.

However, a few weeks ago I bit the bullet and decided to take some time off from really looking to meet someone.  A date here and there was fine, but I resolved to put forth minimal effort in a sort of self-intervention that would leave me forced to stay in and play board games or bags with my roommates, forced to sleep in my own bed (by myself), and forced to – well, fuck it – do yoga.  Conquered by my own genius, I did just those things for about a week.  Until I ran into the one loose end I had left absent-mindedly untied: sex.

You see, I have the sex drive of a fourteen-year-old boy.  Or a twenty-year-old one.  Or a forty-year-old one.  Shit.  I am just a dude when it comes to sex.  And jumping ship on one of my favorite pastimes was not going to happen, dating or not.  It was at that moment that I resolved to roll up my sleeves, curl my eyelashes, smile pretty, and bang someone.

…Let me stop right there for a second.  Just in case you were not aware, it’s pretty much up there with the law of gravity and the theory of plate tectonics that women can get laid whenever they want.  Men are always on the prowl for sex, and, therefore, it logically follows that if a woman even mildly reciprocates the opposite sex’s horny overtures, motherfuckers will start carving the bar-tab equivalent of the Venus de Milo, stat.   This, however, was not the situation I wanted, probably because of the complicated nature of having to go out, drag unwilling (most likely not-single) friends with me, ditch said unwilling friends, and get back to my car prior to my 9 a.m. appointment.  (I got tired just typing that.)  No.  I needed a certain kind of relationship – a sex-based, “I don’t care how your day went, should I bring beer or Chipotle?” relationship.

It took a few weeks to get everything squared away, yet I managed to pull it off.  We’ll call him John.  John and I had gone out a few times, hooked up once, and ultimately decided for different (but mutual) reasons that being together was simply not in our future.  John was also great in bed.  Finally, the cherry on top – he had virtually no free time and was moving to Chicago in a year.  Operation Get Laid, Phase One Complete.

It went well.  We’d have a drink or two, watch Futurama, have sex, and then I’d go home.  After the third time, I didn’t even have to use Google Maps to find his apartment.  I had all the free time in the world to get my ass kicked at board games and contemplate maybe one day doing yoga.  Perhaps the best part, we saw each other rarely enough that my somewhat embarrassingly low supply of sexy lingerie was more than enough.  (“Oh, these?  Yes.  I wear Victoria’s Secret hot-pink lacy thongs every day.”)  Stuff was going my way.  Operation Get Laid: Mission Accomplished.

And then it got sticky.  Ahem: metaphorically sticky.

I was there on a Tuesday due to having left some earrings from a prior visit.  We were shooting the shit and had decided to mix things up a little by watching Tosh.0.  That’s when he mentioned it.

“So, I went out with this girl the other day,” he said.  “It went really well.  She came by my work today, and we got coffee.  She’s totally my type.  She’s about 6’0″ – I like tall girls.  I think I’m excited about this one.  The only downside is that she’s twenty, but she acts surprisingly mature.”

My 5’4″, not-tall, 27-year-old stature froze.

“Well, cool.”  I said.  “I banged this other dude the other night, but it sucked.”  This was a complete and total, immature lie. So immature, apparently, that I wasn’t even clever enough to say my fake sex was good.  “Hey, thanks for the earrings back.  I’ve got to run.”  Thank you and good night, I thought. I’m going to drive home in a fog of utter weirdness now.

A few days later he casually texted me.  With my usual blatant disregard for ceremony, I ignored whatever he had said and just typed back, “Hey – in light of your new lady friend, should we be done hooking up?”

Him: “Probably.  I should be good.  I’m never good.”  Operation Get Laid: Fail.  Mission abort.  I repeat, mission abort.

Part Two:

Truth be told, I was happy for John and the twenty-year-old giant (we’ll call her “Twiant”).  Or rather, as happy as one can be for a situation that comes along and totally jackhammer-obliterates your sex life.  But good for him.  I couldn’t honestly say I wouldn’t do the same thing if the tables were turned, and, at the end of the day, I wasn’t about to (quite literally) fuck with someone trying to be good to a woman.  We had a good run, kid.  We had a good run.

So, naturally, that’s when he started texting me again.  Several texts later, I was back at his apartment, drinking a beer, wearing my cheetah-print thong and killing a burrito.  (I was determined to not look like I was trying too hard, so it was definitely cotton – the thong, not the burrito.)  He was seeing Twiant still, but it was apparently a very casual, non-exclusive thing – and she was out of town for the foreseeable future (like, five days).

Strangely enough, it turns out that something about thinking you’ll never get naked with someone again ups the quality ante when you find yourself actually, real-time getting naked with that person again, even if it is just a week or two later. Cruising into “motivate myself to get up and get home” mode, I was lying there in my lingerie when he checked his phone.

“Hmmmm,” he said, looking at it as I stood up.

“What?” I asked.

“Wouldn’t it be weird if I actually ended up, like, marrying this chick?” He asked rhetorically while texting back someone that was presumably Twiant.

“Uhhhhhhhhhh.”

Suddenly, I felt worse than awful.  I felt slutty, I felt invisible, and I felt, well, beyond worthless.  It was the moment in poker where you proudly show your flush only to find out you got your ass kicked by a full house.  But was feeling that way fair?  I mean, I didn’t want to date him, per se, but, at the same time, the idea that there was a chick out there with whom this non-committal bachelor actually verbally contemplated potential for marriage shook the foundation of my understanding of men.  Moreover, it punch-you-in-the-face pointed out that I was not that woman.  Pulling my tank top over my bra, I started heading toward the front door.

“Well, uh, catch ya later,” I said.  He leaned in to kiss me goodnight, which I thought was very, very weird.

Part Three:

In all fairness to John, I suppose I never expected the quaint and jovial chivalry of yesteryear from our relationship.  I harbored no secret desires for foreverdom; I had no urges to relocate to Girlfriendville; and our conversations rarely extended beyond the emotional equivalent of two strangers sitting next to each other on the daily 12:45 LAX to O’Hare.  Regardless, not particularly plussed by the sensation of feeling like a total sex vagrant, I resolved to fuck off for a few days and get back to sucking at Cards Against Humanity.  He seemed to have fucked off as well, and I could only assume that everyone was perfectly content with the general firmament of fucking offness that seemed to have draped itself over my sex life.

So of course it only lasted four days.

“Find a fish?” He texted me one afternoon.  Assuming he was referring to the dating website and not inquiring as to whether I was seeking out trout or snapper at 2 p.m. on a Saturday, I promptly remembered how horrible I was at lying and responded honestly.

“Ugh, no.  That site was a nightmare.  How’s your weekend?”

The weekend query had seemed a normal thing, as I had momentary text amnesia and had forgotten how awkward he had made me feel whilst naked. (I hold very strongly that, while someone making you feel awkward is a rather unpleasant experience in general, someone making you feel awkward when you don’t even have the basic creature comfort of clothing is up there with explaining-to-your-young-child-why-the-zoo-gorilla-is-stroking-his-dick awkward.)  I took a minor jab:

“Obviously it’s not that exciting if you’re asking me about my dating life on a Saturday afternoon.”  Schwwwwwwing!  Up-down, up-down, left-right, A, B, A, motherfucker.

I suppose I should have foreseen a counter-jab heading my way, but I certainly didn’t expect the counter-jab I got:

“Actually, I had a great date with a lovely bisexual woman last night.”

Faaaaaaaaaantasic, I thought.  Please remind me to buy an umbrella, do a little congratulatory song-and-dance, Singing-in-the-Rain bit for you, and then promptly shove it up my own ass.

Enough was enough.

“Why do you TELL me this shit?” I responded.  And I meant it.  I mean, if the date was so great, why were they not still at his apartment shredding through condoms like goddamn factory line workers? (THAT’S a great date.) And – I mentally paused – what would Twiant think about all this?  Poor, tall, twenty-year-old Twiant.  She most likely didn’t have a clue her would-be future husband was pitting her against the sexual prowess of “a lovely bisexual.”  Moreover, did he want me to be proud of him?  Jealous?  What was the motive here?  Was I some sort of Oedipal/Freudian, Girl-Scout-sex-badge-wielding sounding board? Next up on our show: shit you’d tell your mom – if you were also banging her!  Just – what?

Him: “Do you not want me to tell you that stuff?”

Resisting the urge to go Old-Yeller-with-rabies batshit and text the equivalent of “duh” on meth, I instead opted to very maturely message back that he had made a comment or two along those lines that had irritated me the last time I had come over, and that I didn’t particularly love hearing about the other women in his life.

“What comment?” He asked.  I repeated it back to him.  “Aw, shit!  I had no clue. I’m sorry,” he said.  Not entirely sure if I should comment on the insult double-entendre – namely, that him being totally oblivious to the fact that his comments might be interpreted as insulting being as big an insult as his comments themselves – I sat there and pondered what, exactly, the fuck was wrong with this person.  I mean, I bet every Who down in Whoville could figure out not to say that shit, and I’m pretty sure they don’t even have sex in Seuss universes (most likely because, if they did, The Grinch would totally be a rapist, and that story would be very, very different).  I digress.

A few sad-face emoticons ensued, and I obligingly said that, because we were technically friends, I supposed I’d live and that I certainly hadn’t lost any sleep over it (mostly true).  A few hours went by, and I heard my iPhone go off across the room.  It was a text from John:

“So – you wanna try to tag team this girl with me?”

Staring at the phone, hoping he was most likely trying to be funny or amicable, I heard an airline stewardess’s voice loudspeaker in my mind.  Paging passenger Houston, Taylor; passenger Houston, Taylor.  This is the final boarding call for your self-esteem.  In a few minutes the cabin doors will be closing, and we will begin our departure.  Houston, Taylor.  Final boarding call.  Self-esteem.  As a courtesy, we’d like to remind you that we have in-flight board games and yoga instruction, and – as always – thank you for flying Confidence.


I put the phone down like it was spitting venom.

“Whelp,” I said to no one in particular.  “That was that.”  I suppose if there were a positive spin on the whole ordeal, he had at least inadvertently reminded me that there was a whole gender demographic I’d been missing out on – I have, in fact, always said I’d be a great lesbian.

Ultimately, though, it’s important to remember that it’s the little things in life that can really make your day – the silver lining jargon and what have you.  It’s a stranger paying for your coffee.  It’s getting out of work forty minutes early.  It’s finding the earring you’ve lost in your house for two months.  And sometimes – just sometimes – it’s the simple fact that porn doesn’t tell you who else it’s dating.

 

Tattoos, Tomatoes, and Dating

Smiling naively prior to knowing the hell my endeavors would create.

Smiling naively prior to knowing the hell my endeavors would create.

It’s becoming rapidly more apparent that I am in the ever-decreasing minority of the Denver population via not having any tattoos.  I’m on a dating site, and I get at least a message a day from someone whose face I shall never remember because I can’t stop looking at the copious ink etched into his skin.  When did these things get so huge – both trend-wise and literally?  I mean, last I checked, the economy was still in the shitter – where are all of these people employed (aside from Chipotle or Tokyo Joe’s) that their bosses turn a blind eye to the huge fucking dragon up and down someone’s arm?  Furthermore, don’t tattoos cost well into the hundreds?  To further add to my confusion, I frequently hear from my tatted-out friends, “If you get one, you’ll want another one.  It’s addicting.”  This leaves me beyond mystified, as I totally fail to grasp how injecting ink into one’s skin could ever be addicting.  Cigarettes?  I get it.  Cocaine?  Whisky?  Whores?  Understandable.  Permanent body alteration?  Not so much.

Don’t get me wrong.  To each his own.  Do whatever makes you happy, provided it’s not creating harm for anyone else.  However, when I think about tattoos and myself, I’m reminded of tomatoes.

I grew a fuckton of tomatoes this year.  Like, beastly, hydroponically-engineered, Little-Shop-of-Horrors-epic tomatoes.  The problem?  In the four months it has taken me to achieve this neon-green thumb status, I’ve grown completely sick of the fuckers.  Like, abhorrently so.  My visions of bruschetta, caprese salads, and home-made tomato sauce are all royally warped beyond recognition, as the thought of eating one more god damn tomato leaves me shivering with repulsion.  It’s that bad.  So, here I am, with like 75 tomatoes at a time just staring at me from my backyard, and I stare back at them, thinking, “Why couldn’t you be cucumbers?”  I loathe them.

“But, Taylor, what does this have to do with tattoos?” You ask.  I’ll divulge.  Any time I think about getting a tattoo (believe it or not, despite my prior criticism, I have entertained the notion), I’m completely reminded of how my love for tomatoes has transformed into a fierce hatred that’s usually only reserved for Neo-Cons and specific ex-boyfriends.  And then I imagine having that hatred for something permanently drawn onto my skin.   I mean, if I can go from lofty, endorphin-release dreams of having six thousand tomatoes to wishing I would never see one again in 120 days, nothing in life is sacred.  NOTHING.  (You may thank me later for that optimistic life lesson.)

So, back to dating:

I think I’m going to institute a “no-tattoo” policy.  I keep coming up with all these scenarios in which my life is inadvertently ruined by someone’s bicep Japanese characters.  For example, what if I meet a fantastic guy but absolutely loathe the fact that any time we have sex I have to stare at the date his dad died scrolled across his collar bone?  How do you get past that?  All the great-potential-father characteristics in the world can’t undo the fact that someone has a fucking tiger on his back.  A TIGER.  I could live in a house full of gaudy tiger paintings from ghetto flea markets for the rest of my life prior to having to look at someone’s chest with a lightning bolt on it while trying to make babies.  “Surprise!  I’m faking.  Strangely enough, I’m not turned on by the picture of a human face on your forearm.”

So there you have it.  Tattoos, tomatoes, and dating.  This week’s hat trick of failure.