I decided to drink instead of to eat, which was the best decision I made all day. Things had just fallen apart with a Marxist I’d been dating. And “why?” I wondered, scrolling through my old photos, texts, and sneakily-captured snaps, face lit blue in the black of the dive bar I had rolled up to in #dark #real #pain. Maybe his rejection of the concept of individual property reflected some more profound rejection of the individual, which he perceived as less important than any given, even-theoretical collective, ergo the feelings of other human beings were really not that important to him.
Or maybe he was just an asshole.
But it occurred to me that I had acquired valuable knowledge through this experience, and that it was my duty to share it with the world. For how many among us have met a Marxist and wondered, with no real sense of how to approach this very important question, ‘should I date this Marxist?’
So hear me: before eloping with that adorable, Das Kapital-toting scruffball, you need to keep in mind the following.
1. Your friends won’t get it.
“What does that even mean?” will ask your sassy New Yorker.
“What do you mean, ‘what does it mean?’” you will ask. “He’s a Marxist. Reads Karl Marx. Believes in the global revolution and dialectical materialism and eradicating the bourgeois. That’s a thing. That’s a normal thing that some people are, that some people like. Right?”
You will gaze at your friend above your liquor with dark, brooding eyes. Because you will like the Marxist. He will have an excellent smile. He will be open and thoughtful and you will talk, date one, about the nature of reality for two hours. You will disagree (completely), but his jeans will tug at him in all of the right places, and he will be a very good kisser.
“I guess for me,” your sassy New Yorker will say, “this feels like when a guy tells me that he’s Wiccan. I’m not against it, per se. But, like, why?”
You will not have an answer to this question.
2. You will pay for EVERYTHING.
The first time you meet, it will be for ice cream, and you will offer to pay. It was your idea, after all, and you really want to pay! He will accept, easily and graciously, and you will be refreshed. ‘Wow,’ you will think, ‘it should always be this easy.’
But then it will never stop being that easy. You will go to the bar and buy drinks. You will wake up the next morning and buy coffee. You will buy the next dinner, the next movie, the next cover, the next cab. You will pay for the gas on the road trip you will take, and for the room where you will stay. You will pay for every single meal there, including the very last meal that he will offer to pay for (because the restaurant will be cash only, which he will know in advance, but he will not take out any cash before you leave).
He will actually justify the fact of his never paying for anything. Having never told him your salary, or hinted at it, he will say: “You probably earn four times what I earn, so it makes sense for you to cover this.” Really, these words will come out of his mouth. It will be your first date.
Your Marxist will stand beside you silently with drinks on the counter while a bartender stares at you both, confused. ‘It is his turn,’ you will think, ‘I learned the ways of turn-based drinks buying from a British person and they are always right about drinking things.’ But, you will decide, ‘whatever.’ You will be happy to pay.
And it is good that you will be happy to pay. Because you will literally pay for everything the entire five weeks you date but: one two dollar beer, a bag of lettuce, a small container of cherry tomatoes, and an avocado.
3. You will meet a very large Russian Man.
The only thing your Marxist will like more than his Russian friend is talking about the fact that he has a Russian friend who speaks Russian. From Russia.
Much like your common racist will too often cite the existence of his best friend who is black, your Marxist’s relationship with the Russian will be more a statement than a friendship. You will hear all about the conversations your Marxist has with his real life Russian friend from Russia before you ever meet the man. Conversations about eradicating things and rebuilding things and equalizing things. The oft-cited existence of this man who was born in a country that was, for a brief part of his life, Communist, will make less obvious the fact that your Marxist is in fact American and has rich parents and would likely be murdered in the Marxist revolution he dreams of. Do not resist the phony nature of this relationship. You will also benefit from it. Everyone looks cooler in the company of a Russian.
When you finally do meet the friend/prop over RISK, your Marxist’s favorite game (because duh, global domination), he will not say anything scary. He will just be a nice man from Russia. He will bring beer. You will ask him about working out and he will have some good tips. His girlfriend will have excellent bangs and a strange, attractive sense of humor.
Your Marxist will destroy everyone in the game of RISK.
4. The sex will be fantastic.
Ugh. You will hate to admit this if you ever break up, but your Marxist will be excellent at sex things.
For just as your Marxist will not value the individual, your Marxist will see little value in an individual’s body. To your Marxist, the body is simply a cog in the great machine that is ‘society.’ It is the glistening or spent carcass of a worker bee. But, ever expendable. It is just, you know, whatever. A body. It does things. You should do the things it does. ‘Let’s get naked,’ he will say.
Free of most of the inhibitions and fears typically associated with the act of bodies on bodies in contemporary American society, he will be relaxed. He will be honest and engaged.
He will rock your world.
5. You will NEVER get your stuff back.
But the thing about people who don’t believe in the concept of private property is… they don’t believe in the concept of private property. If you should break up:
“Let’s trade stuff,” you will text, to silence.
“Hey, I have your stuff,” you will text, to silence.
“Give me back my fucking X-Men comics,” you will finally text, to silence.
You will walk to your Marxist’s house and leave his things on his front porch. But you will never see your X-Men comics again. ‘Were they ever your X-Men comics to begin with?’ your Marxist would wonder, if you were still with him. You will consider this for a long time. But they were your comics, you will decide. You will say out loud. You will howl to the Super Moon!
And next time you will date an anarchist.