End Up Tales: April/May 2012
You and I were three dates in after meeting on OKCupid â€”an 86 percent match â€” and three drinks deep at Muu-Muuâ€™s that Saturday night. â€œMaybe this is the beer talking,â€ I ask boldly, the beer definitely talking, â€œbut I like you a lot. Can we be boyfriends?â€ You fall silent. â€œHereâ€™s the thing,â€ you say, â€œIâ€™m just looking for a fun thing â€¦â€ â€œHold it,â€ I interrupt you, â€œwhat the fuck does that actually mean?â€ â€œI just want to date casually right now.â€ You avert your eyes, look down at the table. â€œThatâ€™s what Iâ€™m asking â€” what does â€˜dating casuallyâ€™ mean to you?â€ Your face is as blank as a test pattern. â€œI just want to have fun?â€ I down a gulp of my beer. â€œSeriously! What the hell do you mean when you say you just want a â€˜fun casual thing?â€ Silence. You frown slightly, still looking down at the table. I go on. â€œDoes it mean you just want sex? Because thereâ€™s plenty of sex out there, plenty of ways to find just sex. There are bars and bathhouses and apps for your phone and websites, all full of guys who just want to fuck. Does it mean you just want to go out and have fun with people? Because other people have friends for that, and coworkers, and family, and the random drunks at the dive bar who would love to tell you their life story over a few beers.â€ â€œThatâ€™s not what I mean â€¦,â€ you say weakly. I donâ€™t let you continue. â€œDo you mean you just want to play house?â€ I go on, feeling my face flush hot. â€œYou want to go home and watch movies and cuddle on your bed and sleep in each otherâ€™s arms tonight, but not have to call me tomorrow? You want someone whoâ€™ll call you if he has good pot to share, but wonâ€™t bother you if heâ€™s sick or sad or scared or any of the other normal human things?â€ â€œAre you just going to attack me?â€ you say, a cold glint in your eyes. â€œThis isnâ€™t a fucking attack, man. This is calling you out. Iâ€™m telling you that thereâ€™s no such goddamned thing as casual dating. Thereâ€™s dating or thereâ€™s not dating. Thereâ€™s being into someone or not being into someone. Thereâ€™s leading someone on or not leading someone on.â€ â€œIâ€™ve totally dated guys who are just into a casual thing before,â€ you say coldly. â€œWell, yeah,â€ I almost shout, â€œIâ€™ve also totally dated guys even though they arenâ€™t actually the guys I wanted, too! At the very least theyâ€™ve been warm, and present, and distracted me from the loneliness for a little while. But thatâ€™s not the fucking point!â€ â€œAnd what do you think the point is?â€ you bark, grabbing your coat and telephone. â€œNot asking some guy to be the filler of a void that belongs only to you!â€ I shout. â€œNot being willingly half-alive, half-present, half-assed with someone else just to avoid the hard stuff! Having fun, yes, and being casually yourself, yes, but also being a fucking human being, and letting someone else be a human being. Not saying that the only things you want are the fun, casual parts, because thatâ€™s only a fraction of all this dating shit! The point is not to waste your time and everyone elseâ€™s time going on dates like a fucking adult if you arenâ€™t actually interested in an adult relationship!â€ â€œIâ€™m out of here,â€ you say, standing up, â€œand you need to cool the fuck down.â€ I grab my beer glass, splash the last of my porter onto your white shirt. â€œNo, dude. You cool the fuck down â€” and donâ€™t pull this shit on anyone else. Donâ€™t go on dates if you donâ€™t want to date!â€ And that, kids, is how I got 86â€™d from Muu-Muuâ€™s over an 86 percent.
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