Thursday, July 2, 2009

Blind Date Break Down

Here it is:

Was it a waste of time? Absolutely not. The upside of this unfortunate meeting is that I know what I want, and it is not what I have had.

Do I like fiesty women who know what they want? Yes, absolutely. I require someone interesting.

Is there a difference between being fiesty and being an outright bitch? Yes.

I know, I know. Some women "own" the word bitch and it means something good to them. Frankly, if that meaning also means you care mostly about yourself then I want nothing to do with it.

She wasn't rude to the waiter. She was weirdly, silently insistent. All in the eyes. She let the conversation drop, and would stare, simply. She was stilted and asked few questions of me that were of any interest to either of us. Although maybe she wanted me to talk about my job at the same length she talked about hers. Or maybe she wanted me to try to impress her with my vast knowledge of something, like she did.

Largely I didn't like her. But I feel like that's because she was a gorgeous but horrible amalgamation of everything I don't want. Almost like Lauren -- my estranged (still) wife -- in a different body. I'm sure she was more complicated than I might make her out to be. I suggested at the end that she was complicated, which she seemed to find offensive. I also suggested she was strange -- and she is -- which I meant as a point of interest, but again... yeah, who would like being told they're strange? Me, I suppose.

I know what I am. I am strange. I bridge lots of odd polar opposites and cannot be easily defined.

Her ex transitioned from female to male while they were together, after the birth of their daughter. We had an awkward conversation about transgender issues, where she told me what all the words meant, like I haven't been alive for the last fifteen years. The gender bending didn't appeal to her, in fact she's fleeing from it. My own squishy self-definition made her really uncomfortable. What's the line between being butch and being trans? I'm not a transvestite, I contend, because I don't do it for fun. But I don't exactly identify as female, either. Mind you, I want to keep all my parts. That's not up for discussion. The body stays the way it is. The rest is in my mind, and how I define myself. It is just outer appearance? She says yes. I say, I don't think so... it's more important than that.

But you know what? The gender conversation was probably the most real part of the conversation. The rest was... yucky. Yucky attempts at being interesting. Yucky attempts at maintaining control of the conversation.

Yeah. I just didn't like her. When it comes down to it. But there was that fiesty part, the piercing eyes, that I still found attractive. But I know better. I see trouble coming a mile away from this one.

Why? Why am I attracted to this personality type that is just not good for me. Why do I go for women who want to tell me what to do, when I KNOW that's not what I want or need?

Other props to me include being really upfront with her. Ballsy. Not the person that I was before. When she showed up, all late and shit, she walked up as I sat outside texting on my phone. She says, "texting someone?" That's her opening line. Not "hello." Not "nice to meet you." Baby, don't try to be sly. So I said, "Facebooking, yes. Pleased to meet you." I extended my hand and, because I had decided way before that if she was cute, I would express it somehow, I did the pseudo kiss-on-the-cheek. Really more a meeting of cheeks, but still, brash, eh?! (Yes, so forward, Shel. You might as well have goosed her.) Still, she's cute. Fact.

Also a fact, she knows it. Wah wah wah. Total downer. Then! She talks about it! How cute she is, how high femme she is. Mind you her nails were dirtier than mine. At some point I thought, I shaved my chin for this? I shoulda left it stubbly. She probably wouldn't have even had lunch with me if she had seen that.

Yeah. No. Not even. Weird. Weird.

So I walk her to her car. I've got my fly hat on and I say, "So, what do you think? Will you call me again?" Really knowing, hoping she'll say no. She says, "Probably not. I've had my share of gender issues and..." "Yeah," I say, "I've had my share of dominate women, too." "Well that's gonna be a problem!" she suddenly exclaims. "Yep, yep, it is." "You should find someone submissive."

And sure, I'll take relationship advice from you. "Right," I say. The conversation stops and we look at each other for a long moment. I break the silence: "Good luck."

ICKY PEOPLE! Just fucking icky. The unspoken pushyness was really profound. And me, in my medicinal haze, being my usual open, playful, cute self just got ill. Emotionally ill, for a moment.

I told her about the wreck and the infection and the meds during lunch. It held her attention for a moment. I said, "I'd probably be funnier if I weren't on these meds." Now that I think about it, the giggle she gave there was probably as fake as the nervous laugh she made when I told her I had beard envy. Not penis envy, but beard envy. She started to ask me questions, to probe where I was on the gender curve, having been told I have no interest in surgery or hormones. "Would you want to grow facial hair?" "Well I already have it," I said, touching my chin where my mini-Shaggy-goatee was just an hour before. "Would you want to walk around with your shirt off?" "Hell yeah!" I said without thinking.

When I was three I refused to wear a top. This was around the time my mother first grilled me with the ever so open question "do you want to be a boy?!?" What the hell could I tell her at three? At seven? I knew enough at thirteen to lie. And at sixteen when she asked if I was gay.

Back to the blind date grilling. I said, laughingly, "So this is your transgender quiz? Keep going." Yeah. End on beard envy and then the question, "where's the bathroom?" Then, when she comes back, "Are you ready?" Over over over.

Ugly, people. If you've got a sweetie, hug 'em hard and be glad they'll put up with your shit. If they make you crazy, take a good look and ask yourself if it's a crazy you can live with... then hug 'em anyway.

Seriously. If this is what I bring to myself, then what the fuck am I doing? And if you're still reading, what the fuck are you doing? :-)


  1. "If you're still reading, what the fuck are you doing?"

    I'm loving who you are, as-is. That's what I'm doing.

    Hugging YOU hard, sweetie. Kindness and compassion and "natchally playful." It's out there, in a "Where is my Shelly?" package. She is seeking you, and she just endured a crap date herself, one with this lady's ex. You will laugh about it over margaritas and burritos and something-20 someday.


  2. This is a total learning experience for you! Good for you for still putting yourself out there ~~ And this person came into your life to show you that you do know what you want and you don't need to settle.

  3. I think the staw porkpie hat is acting as a bullshit antenna, giving you amplified insight and chutzpah! Hope it goes better next time.

  4. oh shel...I fucking HATE dating for this very reason. What Jenn says goes for me too. YOU learned so much here and it as great practice...

    Oh crap, I feel bad :( Are you retraumatized by my request to tell all here??

  5. @Deb, no hon, I'm not traumatized. I did have to process it, and this was at least the second time I put it into words, and the fifth time I thought about it carefully.

    Dating sucks. Searching for love also sucks. I should just stand here and be fabulous.

  6. That's right, go on with your bad self and BE FABULOUS!! I agree!! xoxox

  7. It's not easy to keep searching so kudos to you. You are fucking FINE in your hat (and otherwise) and the right person will see that.

    ...and thanks for the reminder to appreciate what I have. Those of us on the other side of dating need to remember that.