Since my mom drove me to my first date in December of 1998, I’ve been on a few of them. Dating can be a lot of fun, to be sure, and so can serious romantic relationships. Both often include tongue kissing, which has been one of my favorite things to do since sixth grade, and somehow continues to be even though I now have a device at my disposal that is capable of recording live television without the use of a VHS tape.
But, just like I am at many things that can be fun-filled, I am bad at dating, and even worse at romantic relationships. Like how I’m bad at horseshoes, cornhole, sleeping, interior decorating, or parkouring.
When I was in high school, I took a girl I’d been pining over for years to Ponderosa on Valentine’s Day. A couple of weeks later, she was back with her ex-boyfriend, who probably knew reservations were usually necessary for nice places on Valentine’s Day. My most recent date was like eight months ago or something, with a Korean girl who I took to a Thai restaurant. I’d never had Thai food before, but didn’t want to seem like a fucking idiot, so I just pretended I knew what the different entrees were. She figured it out. A couple weeks later, she was back with her ex-boyfriend, who probably knew very well what Pad Thai was and didn’t think she was joking when she first told him she was going to order Drunken Noodles. (This one I don’t really regret, because if not for this woman I may still not know how great Thai food is – THEY PUT NUTS IN THEIR PASTA!)
I’d rather not get into the serious relationships, if that’s okay (which apparently has been the theme for most of my life, but right now I mean talking about them). I seem to get into a really good thing where I have a great chance of success, and then bail because I’m convinced it’ll eventually not work out or that there’s something else out there I should be doing instead. And I have a phobia of commitment. I’m like the LeBron James of serious, long-term romantic relationships. If you know any of my ex-girlfriends, you can just ask them and they’ll regale you with stories about how bad I am at them. I guess that makes them Cleveland Cavaliers fans, if we’re going to run with that simile.
With the exception of the Thai restaurant debacle, I haven’t been on a date since the last relationship I scurried away from. I just really haven’t been out there on the scene, due to two things I can discern: The first is some weird sort of apathy that has set in recently that I’m at a loss to explain, really. Maybe I just dig sleeping alone; there’s something to be said about sprawling out all over a queen-size bed when you’re taller than six feet. Also, access to online pornography may play a significant role. The second is, I think, a lack of confidence that has really kept me from immersing myself in trying to snag tail all the time. I survey dishes, but I don’t do anything about it. It’s akin to the shooting slumps I used to have when I played basketball. I’d have a few bad games/experiences, and then mope around like a floppy cock until a decent outing threw itself at me and boosted my self esteem to a level respectable enough to allow me to function again in a public setting.
I suspect this is no way to go about life. By my standards, I’m still young, but I guess not that young. I have lots of friends who are in serious relationships, and they’re very happy about it. I have other friends who are married and have been for years. I don’t feel a sense of urgency yet – I don’t hear my biological clock ticking – but I also can’t make the excuse that I’m too young to at least give dating and relationships a shot.
A little while ago I had a conversation with a friend about these thoughts.
“Well, why should someone want to date you?” she asked. I told her I was sure there were reasons, and then I started thinking incessantly about what these reasons may be. I figured if I arrogantly listed them, it may help boost my own self-confidence. Can’t hurt, right?
So here they are:
- I have impeccable phone manners.
- I can find my way around any bar with expertise. This includes a salad bar. Like I said, I used to frequent Ponderosa.
- I have a freakishly small bladder, and so I urinate frequently. This means arguments will not last long. I’ll just concede your point, excuse myself and sprint to the restroom.
- I won’t send you pictures of my dick while in the restroom or otherwise, even if a photograph supposedly adds 10 pounds. Unless you ask for them, then I may acquiesce, but only after we work past my trust issues. I would just never do so unsolicited, because I’m going to assume you’re not a porn star and don’t really like staring at dicks much more than I like staring at vaginas.
- I will apologize to you often for not having a second, better-looking body part or series of body parts to send you pictures of. These apologies will be genuine, even if it’s when I’m trying to coerce you into sending me pictures of your tits. I acknowledge that there is no real male equivalent for boobs, except for maybe those pelvic/hip muscles, which I do not have.
- I’ll do a lot of sit-ups and other exercise variations to try and acquire those pelvic/hip muscles. You ever hear of bridges? Those are supposed to work. I’ll even purchase one of those Men’s Health booklets that have the workout routines for Ryan Reynolds and Taylor Kitsch in them.
- I can figure out tips very quickly with my calculator watch.
- When I get drunk, I do not get all macho and try to fight, though I will step up and defend your honor if a man is throwing lewd comments your way. I suppose I would do this when sober, as well.
- When I get drunk, I love giving hugs. You girls like hugs, don’t you? And, after I defend your honor, make the dude apologize to you and, as they say, “squash that beef,” I will hug it out with the man who disrespected you. You girls like peaceful resolution, don’t you?
- I don’t really like wearing socks if I can avoid it, so you’ll never have to explain to your friends why the person you went on a date with the other night wears socks with his flip flops. Also, I don’t wear Crocs. Same principle applies. Also, this means I will not try and have sex with you when I have socks on. I think we can all agree that’s weird, right? But so is that moment when the guy stops to take his socks off pre-coitus, so we’ll avoid that, too.
- Once a month, for an amount of time that ranges from four days to a week, I get super nice and accommodating. During this time, I will take a very substantial amount of unwarranted shit and mistreatment from the people I like and care about the most. I will do all of this with a smile on my face. Also, during this period (see what I did there?) of time, I will for some inexplicable reason always have an electronic heating pad on my person.
- I’m not clingy. I like alone time. So that means you can watch all those shows about real housewives and dysfunctional pregnant teenagers without hearing a dude complaining on the couch the entire time. Because that shit is so annoying.
- I will end my alone time whenever you would like to watch a chick flick. I adore chick flicks, and if you think this is just some ploy you can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask me some trivia. I swear I will not use search engines or cheat in any way.
- I am absolutely terrible at folding laundry. So, if you ever have a bad day where you’re feeling a little inadequate or something, you can give me a call and I’ll come do a load of laundry with you. It is my theory that this will make you feel better, because there’s a really good chance you’ll outclass me by a long shot as far as folding goes. This in turn will lessen your feelings of inadequacy. We can talk shit on your boss and stuff while we do it, too. (I guess coming to the realization you’re dating someone who can’t even fold laundry correctly might bring those emotions of inadequacy right back to the forefront of your thoughts, but let’s not dwell on that.)
- I got a pedicure once and dammit, I will do it again if you want me to.
- I can cook, and will do so for you frequently. (This is contingent upon you allowing me to make sexist jokes through the entirety of the meal’s preparation about how you should really be the one spending your time in the kitchen, etc.)
- I spend very little time talking about my car or tractors, but can adequately operate both for their intended uses (read: banging in the back of, and drinking beer while sitting on, respectively). Also: if we ever move in together and have a big yard, some weekend I will make a crop circle-esque monument that expresses my love for you using only the tractor, an aerial image of our property and my unbridled passion.
- I can find anything on the Internet. Search engines were my number one bitch, until you came along, whoever you are. This means we will never have to argue about the lyrics to a song or how many romantic comedies John Cusack has been in, among other things.
- I think I’ve thoroughly burned every bridge imaginable as far as ex-girlfriends go. I understand your warning lights may be flashing right now, but look at it this way: You don’t have to worry about my sordid past bubbling up in the middle of our relationship.
- I look at things in a positive light, sometimes.
- I’m extremely apathetic about how I spend my time. So this means you can almost always pick what you want to do, as long as it’s financially within reason and alcohol is involved (which is kind of not mandatory, because I’ve found you can take a flask pretty much anywhere).
- If you ever decide to start a band or get a dog and need a name for one, the other or both, I can help. I’ve been keeping a list of potential names for those entities for the better part of the last decade.
- I’ve got perfect vision, so I can be helpful if you ever drop something small, like an earring. Or a contact. And I won’t rub it in that you have to wear contacts, either.
- My parents have a pool at their house.
- My feet have to be cold for me to fall asleep. So you can steal the covers in the middle of the night and that’ll be okay.
- I said please.