I recently stopped dating someone that I actually liked. There was no big dramatic break-up but rather a dying out of something that I thought might work. It bums me out, and as is the case with every disappointment, it also gives me time to reflect on "what I want." I do all the things that people suggest - I make my lists of what I want in a partner, I read books like Be Honest: You're Not That Into Him Either (Ian Kerner), I spend time learning to "be okay with being alone" and really, all it does is piss me off. Seriously. It also makes me a little impatient and, as a result, a little snippy. Once, someone said "damn, why are you so bitter?"
That's what happens to women, right? We complain, we demand, we stop putting up with crap and all of a sudden...we're bitter. Old maids, crones, haters, or worse, bitches. Here's a clue. It isn't too much to ask to expect respect, in all its forms, and a little decency. Stop calling and saying "hey, come right now and meet me for a drink" or the very clever 10:30 p.m. "hey, whatcha doin? Wanna come over?" ploy.
We know what you want. You're not as smooth as you believe you are.
Sometimes, yeah, a 10:30 call is just the ticket, the scratch for the itch, but it's getting old... if my girlfriends can make plans with me a few days in advance, why am I letting my future break-ups call me at the last minute? Have men really lost the ability to date? Did they ever have it in the first place? Do I watch too many movies? Listen to too many love songs? I don't think I'm asking too much to be called a few days in advance to make plans. Seriously, that's kind of all I want right now.
My friend says that my generation is the Microwave Generation. We want everything instantly. We are the epitome of instant gratification gone wrong. Cell phones, super-fast internet, streaming movies, fast food, fast lives... there is no such thing as patience, no waiting, no anticipation. The mantra: I want it, and I want it now. Is it any wonder that no one dates anymore?
I know I have some responsibility in all of this... I mean, I am the one agreeing to drop my plans, meet up, go with the flow. I don't want to seem demanding, I don't want to be "that girl." You know, the girl who expects too much. I don't want someone to decide I'm not worth the trouble. I've done everything "right" in hopes of making something work... Re-assuring him I don't want a relationship either (how would either of us know so early on?), holding my tongue when I am stood up or he's late or he cancels on me last minute; do kind of whatever he feels like doing without a plan... funny thing is, the "right" thing always feels foreign and wrong... because it is.
I'm a planner. I like to know days in advance what I'm going to be doing with other people. I like interesting dates, like going to museums or going for walks or even just browsing around shops in Nob Hill, and if a man is interested in me, I want to know. I want him to call and text regularly and I don't want to guess. In wanting to be the cool, laid back, no pressure kind of girl, however, I've completely given every man I date permission to be, well, lazy.
That said, I'm formally announcing that I am on strike.
At first it was a sex strike. No hooking up, no booty calls, no "come over and watch a movie" dates. Last night, I decided I have to take it a step further. The strike is in full effect. No dates, no meeting up for drinks or lunch or even coffee until I feel like there is some effort being put in (on his part) and some standards being upheld (on my part). I know some of you are reading this and thinking "yeah, how many times have we heard this one?" but it's true... My friend B. calls it a "Man-Fast." She likes to say, however, that my definition of a Man-Fast is: "bring me a man, fast!" This may be true; I am a serial dater, but this time, I think it's gonna stick, hence this blog. You, dear reader, get the benefit of some laughs as we look back at some of my more memorable dates.
I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty details of the bad relationships; that's the kind of writing I save for my journal, for me. No, I'm here to tell you about the doozies, the dates that are so unbelievably bad that my friends sometimes don't believe they really happened.
There was the guy who kept me waiting for an hour while he was trying to get a hold of a friend who works at Chili's and owed him a hook-up on a free meal. There was the guy who asked me to lend him twenty dollars so he could take me out for a drink. "But, wouldn't that mean I'm taking you out for a drink?" I asked. He couldn't see it that way, I hung up the phone and re-named him "DO NOT ANSWER" in my phone book. Those are just the tip of the iceberg, friends. As we begin this journey together, I hope you get the giggles and I hope that I gain some insight...
Next time: The Case of the Man With the Crazy Mother