I was grumpily hefting my 2000 lb. bag of dirty clothes down the sidewalk to do my least favorite chore ever, with all the grace and graciousness of a rhinocerous with a bone to pick when he popped into my field of vision: “Baby, if I was your man…you wouldn’t have to do laundry.” He wasn’t one of the street regulars – I didn’t recognize him – and he delivered his line while he was disappearing, as though it were reflex, practice.
Ten years later, I’m in a different city, and deeply, thoroughly smitten with someone who is basically THE last word in wonderful…and yet…today, hatefully lugging a different 2000 lb. bag of dirty clothes down the sidewalk to a different laundromat, I couldn’t help but try to remember…was he ugly? Maybe we could have worked something out.
Girl 1: He broke his hand.
Girls 2 & 3: How?
Girl 1: How do men usually break their hands?
Girl 2: Sex!
Girl 3: Masturbation!
Girl 1: …He punched a wall.
On improbable relationships: “When I met my partner, she was married and I had a boyfriend. You just have to see what happens, and let the shattered lives fall where they may.”
On marriage: “You have to start out balls-to-the-wall, because it only goes downhill.”
I was trying to walk her to her car but we couldn’t stop kissing – on the sidewalk outside my house, in the street, across the street, next to someone else’s car, finally at hers. I grabbed her waist, her hair, her ass; she grabbed me back just as hard. We made out like that for who knows how long, until the footsteps. Running. Right up on us. A beefy shirtless guy in tiny shorts, tweakerish and homeless looking. I braced myself for trouble – two girly girls in skirts, one sweaty addict: What kind of leering come-ons (or worse) was he going to spit our way?
Here it comes, I thought.
“Hey, ladies, you got five dollars?”
We stood there frozen in confusion, my hand up her shirt.
And before either of us could say, “…What?” he noticed what we were doing, apologized for bothering us – “Sorry, sorry,” and ran along his merry way.
Thank you, tiny shorts hobo man, for doing your part to maintain a pleasant evening.
there was a weird moment at the party
where she said, “i’m kind of drunk and i feel like giving a backrub!”
[awkward silence as i realized i wasn’t quite…ready for that]
and this guy friend of the host’s stepped in and said, “i’ll take a rub!”
[awkward silence as i tried to figure out if he knew we were on a date, and if she still felt like we were on a date]
and she asked me if i minded
and the only non-jerky thing to do was to say go ahead
so i did
and then i sat there jealous feeling like a jerk anyway
After I broke up with the fellow I was seeing last fall, he texted me a few times to tell me “if [I] ever want to talk, that would be great.” I didn’t respond to the first text. Or the second. Or the third. Apparently he took my silence on the subject as an invitation to ramp up his game, so on the fourth try he proposed that we get together in our underwear.
Insult to injury: While we were involved, this fellow never bothered to try to make me come, even after I’d given him the manual (so to speak) on How To Make What The Pork’s Personal Areas Happy. Several times! He’d just kind of sigh, “Someday…I’ll figure it out…” YOU DON’T HAVE TO “FIGURE IT OUT” IF I JUST TOLD YOU, DUDE.
A girl pal once told me about her guy friend – whom she’s never thought of as anything but platonic – texting her after she’d dropped him off one night: She should turn around and come over, because he wanted to have fun with her right then. All casual-like.
Had she given him any vibes? I asked. No. Nothing. Her personal areas have always been stone cold dead for him, so there’s no way she could have been sending out even subconscious “proposition me” messages.
A few years ago I was actually ON a date with another girl, driving through Griffith Park while the Greek was setting up for a show. Somehow we ended up trapped in a maze of orange cones (okay, I know how, it’s because I wasn’t paying attention, I was driving along going hmmmm…cones…wonder who’s playing tonight…) and this not unattractive male stranger moved a cone so I could maneuver my distracted self and my lady out. I thanked him; he responded: “So how about your phone number?”
I’ve heard some people (thus far, only men) say they see dating as a numbers game. Like if it takes 10 Nos to get to that Yes, then they want to get all the No-ing out of the way as quickly as possible in order to attain that beautiful, coveted Yes.
In that vein, here are some equations for everyone out there playing this way:
0 orgasms + 0 post-breakup conversation = 0 booty calls
0 sexual interest + 0 flirting = 0 friends with benefits
0 context + 0 politeness = 0 digits
This is pretty basic math; if you’re interested in digging deeper I’d recommend courses in risk analysis and actuarial science.
Or if you’re more the literary type, skip all those numbers and make your dating advisor King Lear:
“Nothing will come from nothing.”
The moment I knew we were just going to be friends was when she asked me, “Why do you work so much?”
That was my friend’s reaction when I told her about the dude who tried a few times to get on me without a condom. “He said he ‘felt comfortable’ with me.”
“Seriously, he shouldn’t, he’s the third person I’ve slept with in the last six months. Granted, one of them was I was seeing monogamously, and the other one I’ve dated on and off for almost 10 years and I just had my annual and I’m totally healthy for now but STILL! Six months! I could be disease-riddled from head to toe!”
She laughed again: “You have to start advertising yourself as a bigger whore then, because the second guys perceive that, they bag that shit.”
As I absorbed her advice, I thoroughly regretted not having bought the thrift shop teeshirt I’d seen just hours prior – black, emblazoned in hot pink I’VE GOT THE NIPPLES, WHO’S GOT THE BUTTER? I sighed and hiked my knee-length skirt a little higher to compensate.
There is something about growing up in a war zone – particularly Israel – that makes one LIVE ONE’S LIFE IN ALL CAPS GET AWAY FROM THAT UNATTENDED SUITCASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!FIRE!!!!!!!!!!! I noticed when I was briefly living there in the mid-’90s that Sabras generally seemed rather…comfortable with being on edge all the time. Particularly the dudes. Several of my friends who recently returned from traveling the motherland have remarked on same. It seemed to me a terrible way to live, rough on the adrenals; I swore I’d never make aliyah and couldn’t understand why anyone would.
A recent date – first generation American, raised by Israelis – pulled some business I did not appreciate, and I let him have it – probably more forcefully than I would have normally, except he’d already pulled it on a prior hookup, and once attempted to get rubbed on without a condom, twice shy and all that. Well, twice not shy: Like I said, forceful. Loud. GETTING MY POINT ACROSS IN ALL CAPS, WHY WOULD YOU TRY TO DO THAT AGAIN WHEN I TOLD YOU I DIDN’T WANT YOU TO DO THAT LAST TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PS, nothing fuels the flames faster than someone soothingly telling me to “relax.” I GUARANTEE YOU TELLING ME TO “RELAX” IS NOT GOING TO MAKE ME RELAX LO B’SEDER UNATTENDED SUITCASE!!!!!!!!!!!FIRE!!!!!!!!!!
Once he started responding to all my “WHY!!!!!”s – which did in fact make me relax – he admitted that his usual boudoir MO involved a grab-and-go, get-it-while-you-can technique. That, I observed, is hallmark of a man who usually sleeps with girls uncomfortable discussing their sexual needs. He nodded. He told me about girls who never said yes until they said no, or who never said no but never said yes either, or who sometimes said no meaning yes and yes meaning no. I told him that I am comfortable talking about sex whether it’s yes or no – I had been saying yes and no all along, right? Right, he confirmed – and I told him: I will never make you wonder. And he promised me: I will never try that again. We talked for a long time after that about men and women and sex and love and boats and cats, my legs tucked next to his, his palm warm against my ankle.
Later that evening I made reference to our argument. Completely serious, he asked, “What argument?”
“You know. When I was screaming up in your face.”
“You were screaming?”
Was he joking?
And in that moment I realized: The all-caps Sabra experience provides first-rate training for encounters with super angry women. Someone else might have dismissed me as a raging, hot-faced poisonous she-devil of a c-word; to him, I merely had something to say.
I had to respect that. I slipped him a little diasporic tongue in celebration of conflict.
Brilliant? Stupid? Brilliant? Stupid? I’m beginning to think that the key to doing it to a relative stranger with whom you have a business relationship is to set your expectations for major worst-case scenarios. Then if things aren’t a complete loss, it feels like a complete win. I want to make some sort of pithy mechanic-related joke about, like, “salvage titles,” but I’m too tired since it’s 1:30am and I just got home from making more brilliant – or stupid – decisions.