Friday, April 11, 2014

SS: The Black Cat

I feel that our lives are a Mobius strip of events, one leading into the next in an infinite road map of possibilities. One singular decision can make or break your future. I have always considered myself a cautious decision making person, I weigh the possibilities and examine the lengthy outcomes. Moving to LA changed that way of thinking though, I had to think quickly, on my feet; I had no choice but to decide. If you don’t say yes or no, the possibility of amazing will literally zoom past you without even a single glance back.

The sun streams through my window at a relentless tone, overly bright and evilly crude. I want to throw my pillow at the window like I would an annoying alarm clock, but that wouldn’t shut off the brightness. I would only succeed in losing my pillow. Not the best start to a horrible day. I made the decision yesterday to go on a date with a guy I wasn’t wholly interested in. It’s not like most would assume, I don’t go for the free dinners, and I don’t go because I am lonely. I go on these dates because I am looking for something, and I know for a fact that even if I don’t see it right away I might see it differently the second time around. Basically, if someone has the nerve to say hello to me and ask me on a date in a gentlemanly fashion I will say yes. (I don’t take too kindly to lines like: Hey baby, wanna get a drink over at my place? Then I will say no, no, and hell NO!!)

This particular guy asked me out last night via text message, he wasn’t too keen on talking over the phone. (There’s a clue if I have ever seen one; if he doesn’t like talking to you on the phone, you won’t really keep his interest all that long in person either) Typical to my dating life, I met this guy online. He seemed sweet in an awkward I am not wholly attractive but have a great personality sort of way. I am not keen on meeting people who are model attractive, I don’t really need to be around a man that sees himself as the canvas of art to gawk at, I don’t need to pay him compliments though that type of man always fishes for them. This guy, seemed different. He had a sharp wit, outgoing attitude, and at first I really didn’t care that physically he wasn’t my “type.” (Yes, I most definitely have a type, but no I don’t always follow it)

Work was typical, if anything it zoomed by and before I knew it I was on my way to a local-ish bar called the Black Cat. It is as hipster as it sounds, which tells you something about this mystery online date man, but to be honest it was also my kind of quiet but busy place to meet on a first date. I parked close enough to not make walking a big deal even though the two inch heels I wore dug into the back of my ankle ever so slightly. The things women deal with to look attractive on the first meet up. My hair was slightly curled (meaning I had to wake up a good 30 minutes early to achieve the carefully tousled locks) and my make-up was as perfect as it was going to get after a full 10 hour work day. I walked straight up to the door and felt my body slide into the intimacy of the bars lively surroundings. It was dark, but atmospheric, and I could smell the hint of orange and basil. They made great cocktails at this joint, I could tell already.

My eyes darted up and down the long bar as my date texted me that he would, “be sitting at the bar.” I walked casually past the patrons scoping out each single looking man and realized if the man I thought was my date, was indeed my date, he most definitely did not resemble his pictures. In the nicest way possible, he looked like he was wearing a sweater several sizes larger than what his pictures painted him to be. I am not a person that goes on looks alone however, I want to know the person for who they are. (Here is where you find another tiny WARNING sign. He lied about his appearance, and it wasn’t a tiny lie, it was at least a 60LBS lie. That doesn’t bode well for this person telling you the truth) I looked straight at the back of his head for about 15 seconds before I zoomed straight past him and headed for the restroom. I suddenly really needed to pee aka, think through my decision.

I texted him, “I’m here,” just in case the man at the bar wasn’t actually him and I mistook him for someone else. But no such luck, he responded with, “I am at the bar wearing a blue sweater.” I sighed resolutely, washed my hands with as much soap as possible counting down the seconds as slowly as I could, then I headed to the bar.

“Hello there,” I said easily. He turned and flashed me a brilliant smile. Perhaps he was a little over weight and not what I expected, but he had a kind face, really straight white teeth, and beautiful eyes. Surprisingly we had a huge amount in common and our conversation flowed easily for the next three hours. Usually I don’t stay on dates that long, but it was easy to accomplish. Our first date turned into two, then three, and before I knew it we were dating.

I need to reinforce the overview of this little story, that my decisions could lead me down a good road or a bad road, in a lot of aspects its completely up to me. I hesitated to go on this date, but then I started dating a really out going, fun, decently attractive (to me anyways) man….who also owned way too many sneakers in my mind, hated talking on the phone, didn’t like being around my friends, insisted that he drive everywhere even if he had had a little too much to drink, introduced me as his friend, never opened my door, always split the bill with me (even though he made way more than me), told me in private that he wanted me around all the time but professed in public that he would never settle down…..the list goes on. My problem at the time, I enjoyed the fun aspect of what he had to offer. I didn’t think of the consequences of my decisions because I was having too much fun.

Guys like him don’t want security, they want flimsy excitement, something easy to toss out with the weeks trash. I didn’t push hard to say I wanted more, but I slipped up and said one little sentence that completely ruined everything. He had invited me to spend a weekend with him and his friends in Palm Springs, and of course I was stoked! Me and him went up the night before and spent a night swimming in the Jacuzzi, listening to great music, making dinner and drinks. It was an experience I could get used to. The whole weekend was a blast, and for the most part it was one of the first times he brought me around his close friends, I felt ultimately privileged, but three hours before we left for home I made a terrible mistake. I invited him to my home town the following weekend.

“To San Diego, that sounds fun. Where would we be staying?” he asked as he packed up the last pair of sneakers he brought (to make a total of five sneakers for a three day trip….just saying).

“With my parents.” The three little words ruined absolutely everything, and I felt it the minute the words escaped my lips.

Fun and outgoing turned into dropped plans and massive lengths of silence. Two weeks after our fun trip in Palm Springs he told me via text, “I am just not looking for anything serious.”

I argued with myself over this situation for many months;

I made the mistakes, it was my fault

He made the mistakes, it was his fault!!

In truth, we both made mistakes and he didn’t want what I did, and I didn’t see the truth he was obviously telling me. Being single and dating teaches you many lessons, but I think the one I have learned the most is that my decisions ultimately change everything. I can make the choice, and I can choose to listen to the signs or I can ignore the signs and destroy my buoyancy of hope and excitement several weeks or months down the line. In truth, I started to really care for him and his short and brutal let down really got to me. I allowed him to have something that wasn’t his to own; my happiness. 

Now I know what you could say to this, “It wasn’t your fault that he was an ass hat.” “It wasn’t your fault that he treated you wrong.” “It wasn’t your fault that he wasn’t the guy for you, he’s a jerk!” But…to some degree it was my fault that I let him get that close. I think that is was dating is all about though, learning, understanding your strengths and weaknesses and learning how to say no, no matter how lonely or neglected you feel. He taught me a very valuable lesson that I carry with me strongly today. Don’t settle, don’t be afraid to do what you know you want, and don’t ever feel like you have to always say yes. It’s really hard being an independent woman looking for someone to share a life with, but it’s not impossible, and I won’t give up.