Thursday, November 30, 2006

Love Thursday: The Space Between Edition

You know when someone invites you to dinner, and you're not sure if it's a date or not, but you don't want it to be a date, so you unilaterally decide it's a non-date? I do that a lot. I've always been a pretty solid non-dater, but I find myself non-dating a lot more out here. I know I have a tendency to exaggerate sometimes, but it is not hyperbole when I say that the only guys I know work in my industry or are gay. Seriously. (Ok, a couple of boys at BR are not gay, but they're like 20 or something, and me dating a 20-year old is actually more inconceivable than me dating a gay man.) The beauty of the non-date is that, typically, after a non-date or two, the would-be dater figures out that this is not what he/she wants, and the relationship, as it were, fizzles.

I, however, am much more talented than that. For the past eighteen months I've been going on non-dates with this guy. A couple of guys. Ok, I've been juggling a freaking handful of them. Sheesh! You're so particular with your fancy "math" and all. I've maintained a firm non-date stance, by laying out for them, in no uncertain terms, on non-date #1 that we will not be dating, ever, due to my job vis-à-vis their job and the extent to which I NEVER WANT TO HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH MY BOSS ABOUT WHOSE BED I MAY OR MAY NOT BE SLEEPING IN, AND HOW SUCH INFORMATION MIGHT AFFECT MY WORKLOAD. (Mental note: Do not run for public office. Or, get used to having that conversation. On camera.) Also, I cover half the check. That should kill any romantic intentions being harbored by my non-date, right?

The other night I was out on one of these little non-dates, everything was fine, nothing out of the ordinary, in fact, things were less date-y than some previous non-dates we shared. We fought over the check, as always. He walked me to my car, as always. We exchanged goodnight pleasantries, as always. Life was good.

Then I kissed him.

Which, I know. I KNOW! Not necessarily the best idea in the world, but, god, a year and a half and I just HAD TO KNOW.

And thus followed the year's most awkward conversation. I didn't have a transcriptionist handy at the time, but I think you'll get the idea.

Me: [Pulling away] I'm going to go now.
Him: Good.
Me: ... [Good? GOOD? I was prepared for "ok" or "no, don't" or "come back to my place," but "good?" WTF?]

I walk around my car to get in, deliberately not making eye contact. This also means I don't realize he's followed me from the sidewalk around to my car door. Whoops. I get in the car, barely noticing him, which he naturally interprets as me ignoring him. Before I close the door...

Him: Are you ok?
Me: Just fine, thanks! [I said, perhaps a bit more brusquely than I needed to but, DUDE, ARE YOU SOME KIND OF GIRL? Do we really need to TALK about this??? I don't WANT to discuss this. I'm following my patented rule for handling slightly awkward male-female situations, and that is WWGD? -- What Would a Guy Do? And the answer generally is, IGNORE THE EVERLOVING HELL OUT OF IT. IT'S NOTHING. NOTHING HAPPENED. MOVE ALONG. Then I shut the door.]
Him: [clearly unhappy with my response] Don't do that.
Me: Don't do what? [rolling down my window, since we're apparently going to have an f-ing conversation]
Him: I mean, isn't it better? This is...[indiscernible]... better ... either/or. Right?
Me: [having no earthly idea what was just said] Huh?
Him: [more words strung together that don't sound like they form complete sentences, let alone paragraphs] ...and it's better than not knowing, you know, where things stand, being in-between somewhere.
Me: You mean, like things have been for the last eighteen months? [On purpose! They were this way FOR A REASON! No, NO, NO! No reason to change anything!!!]
Him: Right! And I've wondered what was going on, and nearly read you the riot act on several occasions... [Me thinking, which I totally deserved, but was more than happy to avoid.] ...and yes, I would like to see you, romantically, but I'm conflicted. And I know you're even more conflicted.
Me: Yes, I am. [I've realized at this point that my left elbow is leaning on the edge of the rolled-down window, with my hand pretty much covering my mouth, and damn if my body language doesn't tell you everything you need to know right now.]
Him: So, it's good. Now everything is out on the table.
Me: Okay. [No, everything is NOT out on the table. Primarily, we are missing that part regarding HOW I FEEL, but I will not be sharing that any time soon, so we need to wrap this up here.]

Somehow the conversation ended, on good terms, despite the fact that there was exactly zero resolution to anything.

The thing is, I can envision what a relationship would be like, with plenty of doting attentiveness and fancy dinners and champagne brunches and snowy weekends away in Tahoe and, yeah, a girl could get used to that lifestyle in a hurry. But I have to say no. And OH DEAR GOD, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?????

The aforementioned career concerns (and those are some pretty hefty concerns for someone whose self-worth is comprised of approximately 98% career, 2% other) pretty much dictate that I won't be dabbling in anything. If you're the man of my dreams, I MIGHT be able to overcome those concerns. But anything short of that? Not so much.
Which is why I had to kiss him in the first place. Because I had to know. And it's a tricky thing, because, by kissing someone, of course, they start to think they have more of a chance than they did last week, whereas actually I'm using it as something of a litmus test to determine if they have a chance, period, which pretty much serves to make me a bad person. But, you know, if one could take all of the love and lust and angst that exists among the entire cast of Grey's Anatomy and somehow translate it into something you can feel, physically, well, then you will have created what a kiss is supposed to feel like. And until I get that, I'll continue to have a social calendar full of non-dates.

Read other Love Thursday entries here.


At Fri Dec 01, 09:48:00 AM PST, Blogger soundedfury said...

Jeeeebus. You seriously need to get laid.

At Fri Dec 01, 03:10:00 PM PST, Anonymous Clueless said...

Keep writing, this has the makings of a good romantic comedy. I'm taking notes. . .

At Fri Dec 01, 03:27:00 PM PST, Anonymous Kathy said...

Wow...I think that we need to have a chat soon. Did you book your ticket yet to come home for the holidays?

At Fri Dec 01, 08:54:00 PM PST, Anonymous Dave said...

In the 2% of your time not spent on work related tasks you're able to non-date a "handful" of men?! I either a) work way more than you do or b) must be a bigger loser than I had imagined. I refuse to believe any of my co-workers are correct, so I'm going with a.

I've never seen "Grey's Anatomy" so I can only guess as to what you're looking for in a kiss. After a kiss I'm usually looking for the valve in the back of the neck so I can finish inflating the rest of her. Seems like you put a lot of stock in one kiss.

I'll be out west next May. Maybe we can non-date? You can pay your own way, no argument there. At the end of the evening, after exchanging pleasantries, you can do your judgy litmus test thingy on me. I promise we won't have to talk about it afterwards. Although, I can't promise my fingers won't explore your neck out of habit.

At Fri Dec 01, 09:07:00 PM PST, Anonymous Dave said...

Ugh. You didn't say you spent 98% of your time on your career. You said 98% of your self-worth was based on your career. Two different things. I was never very good at reading comprehension. Figured it best to correct my own mistake before you fry me.

At Fri Dec 01, 09:35:00 PM PST, Anonymous Horrible Warning said...

Holy frijoles woman! You DO think like a man.

So no resolution, huh?

In other words, you have no idea if he is the man of your dreams or not...I'm telling you, one kiss does not a dream man make.

You have to sleep with him, repeatedly, to know for sure.

Hey, consider it. In my scenario, you get, as soundedfury so delicately put it, laid.

At Sat Dec 02, 12:08:00 AM PST, Blogger Daily Tragedies said...

Haaaaaaaaaaaa! Y'all are hilarious. Really, you slay me. But Horrible Warning, I think you win first prize today. Be proud.


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