Friday, July 4, 2008

Back in the game...kicking and screaming

I decided a couple months ago that since Mr. Damn has had a year to realize that I’m the perfect woman and has yet to show up at my door on a white steed with a rock the size of a grapefruit begging me to be his forever (ok, that’s extreme – I’d really just like my previous position as ‘girlfriend’ and maybe flowers now and then) then it was time to start getting back into the game and start dating again.

It seemed simple enough except for one small hiccup (assuming we’re overlooking the fact that my heart is still all tangled up around Mr. Damn): I HATE “the game.”

I am a good sport though and so I put myself out there. I have to figure out where exactly I harbor the freaks and weirdos magnet and have that surgically removed but I did meet one guy that had some potential. He was able to carry on intelligent conversation. He was good looking. He was employed. He was well groomed and neatly dressed. He did not appear to have his head stuck up his ass. I had a friend verify that he did not appear gay (I was born without gay-dar). So, we chatted and he asked for my contact info and he asked me to lunch. Maybe I’m not as bad at “the game” as I thought I was!

I later tried to analyze what it was that attracted him to me so I could do it again. Maybe it was my witty banter. Maybe it was my intelligent conversation. Maybe it was my new dress. Maybe it was my smile. It was most likely that he was intrigued at the idea that an engineer (read: dork) could effortlessly walk in five inch heels. Note to self: shop for more five inch heels.

The thing is that he emailed me to ask me to lunch. Email? Is that fear of vocal rejection? Or is that trying to keep a certain level of impersonal going on so as to ensure that this is “hanging out” and not a date? And when does “hanging out” become a date? But the most important question that I have is: when do you offer to pay your half and when do you assume he’s paying? I’ve heard guys say that they’re offended when a girl assumes he’s paying for her. I’ve also heard guys say they’re offended when a girl tries to pay for her half. So, I can’t win. I go by the wording of the invite. If he uses the phrases, “I’d like to take you out,” I let him pay. If he uses phrases like, “Let’s meet for…” or “We should have lunch/dinner/coffee,” or says “get together,” instead of “go out,” I pull out my wallet to pay and give him the chance to say that he’s got it. If he doesn’t stop me, I pay my half. I really don’t know how else to handle it. See now why I hate the game?

Anyway, I meet the guy for lunch and he kicks off the conversation okay but when he asks about my family vacation and then tells me that the location my parents picked is "a step above white trash", I almost pointed out that he was a "step above asshole." Dude, it's my entire family including cousins, we're not going to jet off to an exotic island, we get a beach house - it's not "a step above white trash" it's what families that like each other do - location mandated by geography and gas prices. Not everyone in my family has a job as lucrative as mine - and I've already been to Dubai, Puerto Rico, Vegas and Mexico this year so I can handle a week at a "trashy east coast beach" (as he so elequently put it) with the family. But I thought, "maybe he wasn't trying to offend, maybe he's trying to be funny, even if I'm not amused." So, the conversation moves to the weekend plans. I told him I was planning on going to see the fireworks with a friend and her kids. He acted like I was voluntarily exposing myself to the boubonic plague. When I asked if he didn't like kids, he said, "not other people's." I'm going to take that as a "no" since you don't actually have kids then. Strike two. I mean, I don't expect you to want to go play with the kids, but these two I'm pretty attached to so don't act like I'm sending myself to the gallows because I like them. He also let me pay for my half - I really don't care at this point. And we put the final nail in the coffin with a firm handshake goodbye. Yeah, I’m classifying this as: Not a date.

I’ve also met some other pretty amusing guys in my “getting back out there” attempt (ok, half-hearted attempt). There was the lovely guy that watched the oversized TV behind me through dinner. That was nice because at least it gave me time to check out all the other men in the restaurant, make a grocery list in my head, and think about some ways to address those code violations for my big project in Dubai. Then there was the guy that complained to the waitress about the temperature and asked that it be adjusted; asked that they turn down the music because it was too loud; asked that they bring him a different bread plate that didn’t have water spots and a new knife that didn’t have “whatever this gunk is”; complained that his chicken was too dry and his vegetables were too salty; and finished it off by telling me he thought the waitress looked sloppy – you just convinced me that I will probably never make you happy either. There will be a movie about the woman stupid enough to marry you. Julia Roberts will star in it and she will shoot you at the end. Oh wait – they already made that movie.

So, it’s a weekend and Mr. Damn isn’t around (to the best of my knowledge anyway) and so I really should go put on those five inch heels or something and get out there and make some new friends but I have to admit – I HATE THE GAME. And my heart isn’t into it. My heart wants Mr. Damn to call me and tell me that he’s thinking about me too this morning. My heart wants Mr. Damn to realize that I’m worth the effort of a relationship so I don’t have to play the game. My heart knows he’s running out of time – I’ve felt neglected and unloved for so long that its just a matter of time before someone else comes along to fill the void and then…it’ll be too late.

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