Bad Date

Bad Date

She looked good so I asked her on a date.

She accepted.

She looked good. That was the initial thing. The secondary and tertiary things would be if she had a personality or any intelligence. And if the latter weren’t there, then the former didn’t matter much. Her good looks on top of everything else would have been the icing on the cake. But to deny the icing isn’t what attracts us to a cake is utter bullshit, as a cake that looks like shit from the outside we generally leave alone unless there’s no more confections to choose from.

She accepted my invitation for a date so I offered to take her out to a movie and out to dinner or to the amusement park. I asked her if there was anything else she’d prefer to do. She said those were archaic forms of courtship, so she didn’t need any of that. She used the word “trope” and snidely talked about jewelry and boxes of candy.

She said she was an easy date. She said we could spend the date hanging out at her place. She said there was no need for me to waste money on any of the traditional frivolities of dating. I sensed she was disappointed in my lack of creativity by falling back on the same old tropes.

I showed up at her house. She looked good. We sat and she talked for hours about each other, sharing the relevant details like where and how we grew up and our cultural likes and dislikes. I wasn’t necessarily trying to impress. I was only looking to be myself, so I didn’t have a whole lot to say. I didn’t say a lot since I didn’t need to polish my history or likes and dislikes. I’d come to learn they’re not that terribly important. So I sat there listening to her for hours, wondering and hoping it might at least lead to sex.

The date ended. She still looked good, but there was no sex. She said she had a great time and I believed it.

I said, “Maybe we’ll do this again.” I was still thinking about the sex. By then I’d starting to forget about the personality and any of the other stuff. With all her talking, I figured she was thinking I had to suffer a bit in order to earn the reward of her affection. I thought maybe she needed me to labor and suffer a bit to prove I was worthy of the reward of her affections.

So we met a few more times and it was all the same – me sitting and listening to her going on and on about herself.

By the third date she was covering much of the same ground as before, detailing her likes and dislikes and retelling the same stories and details of her life. I was keenly aware of the relapse, but she wasn’t. She seemed to be in some sort of transcendent flow state. I began to imagine she was intoxicated with the control of the narrative of herself and to finally have an audience to tell it to.

Finally, on the fifth date, we had sex and it was good.

I left in the morning, saying I’d be giving her a call.

We got together a few more times in which she talked for hours and then we had sex. But the sex finally became what it always becomes….sex.

So finally I asked, “How about we go see a movie or something. Just to switch things up.”

She said she wasn’t interested in movies. She said once you’ve seen a few, you’ve practically seen them all. Then she added how seeing a movie would cost me money, and she didn’t want me wasting my money on a movie neither of us probably wanted to see.

I think she believed her insight into movies, combined with all her other trivial insights, are what made her more entertaining to herself than any movie or amusement park would be.

So we went through our routine of talking and sex for a while longer. Then I broke it off.

She asked why. She pleaded that I was getting some good sex and our dates weren’t costing me anything. She said she hadn’t cheated on me or done anything else wrong. She said, from her perspective, I had a pretty good deal going. She reminded me of what an easy date she was since she never wanted to go anywhere or do anything but sit and talk and save me the money that other women would have me frivolously spend. She said I was turning down a rare thing in our no-cost relationship.

It was funny to me how she figured there was no cost to the whole of our relationship being about her. Of course, there was the carrot of the sex dangled in front of the mule. But the sex was only the carrot and I was the mule, making her the one sitting in the wagon’s seat – making the whole damned scenario far more about her than anything else.

Early on she’d talked about tropes. She said she didn’t like herself being reduced to clichés or stereotypes. To make her point, she rhetorically asked how I, as a man, like being defined by dick. She said the thing about the little head leading the bigger head.

I lied and said I wouldn’t like it. I lied, not that it would make me angry….I lied because, as dumb and bad as it makes me feel, I know some of it is true. It’s a stupid reality I don’t want to deny just because it makes me feel better to deny it. I figure without knowing what you are, you can’t improve. In other words, you can’t build yourself into a better engine if what you really are is a transmission. And even then, there’s no reason to improve upon yourself with any urgency if you’re under the delusion you’re already close enough to the best it can get.

So I broke it off. I guess we just weren’t compatible since I understood there was a cost to being the mule. And I broke it off since I’d come to understand there was no more to her than herself.

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