Eleven years ago, there was a person who believed in love more than anything else in the world. More than anything. Love mattered more than anything, and this person was willing to do anything to fight for it, earn it, hold it, nurture it and protect it.
Eleven years ago a fantastically silly movie arrived in theaters, and it was like it was tailor-made for this person. Because it put love on a pedestal and for 127 minutes the audience got to fall in love with love, and adore love, and worship love, and just fucking love love. Above all things, love.
Eleven years ago, this person—let’s call this person “Whiskeypants” for the sake of brevity and clarity—knew what love was. Whiskeypants knew all the facts about love. And how it worked. And how it was supposed to go. The more impatient among you may be tempted to suggest that Whiskeypants was an idiot, and that would be fair, but the more generous and tolerant may be thinking that maaaaybe this Whiskeypants person just had a lot to learn. A lot. A LOT to learn. Maybe. (Hint: YES. OMFG. A LOT.)
And as time passed, Whiskeypants did, in fact, learn. A lot. Fucked up. A lot. Loved a lot. Lost a lot. Lost more.
But never once lost faith in love. Until.
There’s always an “until” in these stories.
I watched Moulin Rouge last night for the first time in…I don’t know. I don’t know how long it has been. And I found myself mourning that person with the enduring, unshakable faith in love and all it had to offer. And I don’t mean any kind of gentle, “awww, what the hell happened to my younger idealistic idiot self” mourning. I mean tears-running-down-my-face-wtf-happened-to-that-essential-core-belief-in-love kind of mourning.
In the last few years I let that Whiskeypants slip away, and I never went looking.
Tonight I pinpointed that moment when I let it happen. That moment when love—my faith in it, my belief in it—stopped being a factor. The moment when that part of me just…separated and went its own way.
And I…I just let it happen.
Eleven years ago I stepped out of a movie theater, blinked my eyes against the sunlight and a world that seemed bleached of color. I felt stunned, I felt vindicated. I was pretty sure that getting on my bicycle and riding home was just going to be fucking impossible, so I went into the pub across the street, closed my eyes, nursed a beer, and loved love.
Eleven years ago I had a lot of necessary and painful lessons and experiences ahead of me. But losing that essential part of me, that love of love, should never have been one of them.
I never went looking.
I’m looking, now.
So, not too long ago, I posted this status on Facebook: “In a weird turn of events, I might be about to start dating somebody who actually likes me.”
While to my delight this post received a surprisingly high number of “likes”, there was also some concern (both on Facebook and off) that if somebody were busy making me happy, this blog would become, as my friend Mike put it, “all fluffy bunnies and hearts.”
Gentle Readers, don’t worry.
This fantastic, amazing girl may be making me pretty stupidly happy thus far, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a million things to be angry or frustrated about in the world. Privilege and privilege deniers still abound. Wall Street is still fucked up. The Republicans are still waging war against women, minorities, and the poor. The queer community in general is still comprised of second-class citizens in some way or another. Black kids are being murdered by racist fucks, who seem to be getting away with it. I remain constantly teetering on the edge of being unable to support myself. I still suck at guitar. I still work at two clubs. I still ride public transportation. I am still surrounded by other human beings because the stupid zombie apocalypse is late.
I could go on. But you get the point: This blog will never, ever be all fluffy bunnies and hearts. Or fluffy bunny hearts, because I want to keep the five or six readers I have.
I promise: if I have accidentally found actual romantic happiness, almost nothing will change here. The irritable snark is alive and well at terminallysnarky.com. And while I would find it extremely disappointing, this girl could always decide to dump me in some horrible way that includes kicking me in the shins and laughing while I’m down. It seems unlikely, but for those of you who are still worried about the potential for this blog’s descent into cheerful bliss, you can always hope for the worst.
I am robbing the cradle.
There is no question about it. No leeway. There is no math that turns it into a socially acceptable age difference (she’s old enough to drink, I swear I am not a pedophile). I have a hard time even saying it out loud, sometimes, but that’s mostly because of the reactions I get.
Turns out it’s annoying as hell to tell people about your dating life only to feel judged and receive completely unnecessary lectures.
Turns out, it’s annoying as hell that people forget that you are a ridiculously intelligent and mature adult the moment you explain that the person you are all twitterpated about is some absurd number of years younger than you are.
And while a handful of my friends are quietly letting me make my own mistakes or even being supportive (thank you, either way), a larger number of people have taken it upon themselves to inform me of all the bad things that come with dating younger people. Within this group there are:
- The people who continue lecturing me about it even after I’ve made it clear that I am aware of the potential issues (because apparently the fact that I don’t jump up to dump her when their wisdom has been shared is a sure sign that I am blind to the danger no matter what I say).
- The people who are passively suggesting I preemptively dump her.
- The people who are actively suggesting that I preemptively dump her.
- The people who feel the need to tell me, “she’s going to break your heart.”
Many of these people haven’t even met her, yet. Many of these people forget that my last girlfriend was nearly twice her age (and had half the maturity and discipline of the woman I am dating now, no joke). All of these people have forgotten that the odds of my getting hurt or fucked over by somebody closer to my own age aren’t lower. As it happens, people will fuck you over at any age.
So friends (Romans, country…folk)? I get that you are trying to be loving and protective, but seriously: Stop it. Just. Fucking. Stop it.
If you can’t be happy or supportive about the fact that I’ve found somebody I get to be excited about, even if it ends tomorrow (which it won’t, because I promised her BBQ on Sunday), then at the very least, keep this negative bullshit to yourselves. She may very well break my heart. So could anybody I decide to date. I don’t fucking need you to tell me it could happen when I am trying to share something good with you. Something I am guardedly happy about. Something I am enjoying. I was well aware of the danger when I asked her out, and I didn’t stop being aware when I realized I was more serious about her than initially intended.
But I also know that if I don’t give it a try, I’ll never know what might have been. I know that everything I have seen of her thus far is worth the risk. I’ve never been about playing it safe when it comes to relationships, and I am not going to start, now. And if I get hurt, y’all can say “I told you, so,” but hopefully you will be more concerned with the fact that I am hurt than with the fact that you were right. I guess we will see.
Here endeth the rant.
Some girls get roses.
Others get cactuses, and cactosaurs that have been, after extensive thought and consideration, named “Francois.” (Francois was just barely chosen over a sturdy, loyal-looking buffalo who was obviously named Ted, but it turns out buffalo don’t like to frolic among cactuses like cactosaurs do.)
I’ve been informed that they are both quite comfortable in her new apartment.
Nice! Simple, uncomplicated, not in the least bit stressful. But that never lasts, does it?
However, lately things are looking like this:
For Science: The first part of the post was written after margaritas, a pint of Jameson and ginger, and some number of old fashioned—what the hell is the plural for “old fashioned”? “Old Fashioneds”? I mean, when you are sober. When you are drunk, the plural is something like, “Ol’fashenz”.
Okay, Whiskeypants, let’s reel it back in. For science:
Almost nothing in the title is relevant to this post. But that’s the title I came up with on my midnight walk home from BART, and I’m stickin’ to it. Mostly because I have had too much whiskey not to.
Wait, that’s not true. The crush part is relevant. And the separation part. And the Part III part. But not the church and state thing, ‘cept maybe metaphorically. And the crush bit is not 100% relevant, since this post is mostly about desire—but crushes apply, too.
On the plus side, I just found a glass of cranberry juice I left here Monday morning. It tastes fine. So here’s to hydration.
One of the social skills I have repeatedly refined over the years is the ability to be 100% cool with being friends with women I desire. It’s a more or less invisible social skill that, in my drunker moments, I think is totally underappreciated. I think it is a skill more people ought to develop, honestly. It brings perspective in to the relationships I cultivate because I want, allowing me to realize that I can cultivate them much better because what I want is merely a facet of somebody much more interesting and complex.
That does not, of course, make it easier to deal with actively and determinedly being friends with women I’d like to throw against the wall and kiss until one or both of us just can’t breathe anymore (especially if I already have and can remember what it feels like to do so). It just makes it possible and, in most cases, preferable. When you take a look at the hotness of the women around me [From here on, writing sober:] (and it’s really rather remarkable), the need to separate desire from friendship and to box that desire up becomes apparent. So does the difficulty of doing so. But I don’t think I could be friends with these women if I couldn’t do it. Not and be a real friend.
Which is, I suppose, the long way ’round of saying: I don’t think it’s possible to be a true friend to somebody you also happen to want to fuck if you lead with your dick (real or metaphorical) and not your head and your heart.
So then it becomes a matter of priorities—are you hanging around because you hope he or she will eventually open up to you, or are you sticking around because you hope he or she will eventually ,,open up,, to you? And how honest are you being with yourself about that? And how honest with her or him?
And now the real question:
Have you ever stood in front of some unbelievably gorgeous and compelling work of art and wanted to just stare at it, try to take it in, try to absorb it? To try to make your brain comprehend what you are seeing and what you are feeling when you see it?
I will do that in museums, when I am struck by the vision and talent of an artist, when I feel that there is nothing I can do but just appreciate the hell out of a piece of art. Sometimes, I do the same thing with women.
I don’t know about you, but I love a good stare.
Say you think some individual is totally hot. Like, devastatingly hot. The kind of hot where your eyes want to follow him or her everywhere. The kind of hot where, even if he or she is no longer in the room, if you picture him or her, you still have to brace yourself against something until your blood pressure returns to something resembling normal. And, given the absence of ability to touch him or her (which may be total or may be temporary), you wanna look at that person—as much and as often as possible. You want to take in every detail, every angle, appreciate everything you can. Because regardless of what flaws that individual may or may not have, he or she is fucking stunning.
And if you do get to (and he or she doesn’t call the cops on you for being a creepy stalker, and good luck with that), it’s a bit like being a kid in a candy store. Or even an adult in a candy store. You ever been to Powell’s Sweet Shoppe? You don’t have to be a kid to appreciate it. But that’s beside the point. I think. Mmmmm. Candy.
Sugar is good for you, right?
Anyway, lately I find myself staring. Like, chin resting on my palm, all thoughts gone from my head, eyes like malfunctioning tractor beams, staring. And yes, for those of you keeping track at home, I am talking about the hotness ninja. I’ve been staring, trying to avoid loud, wistful sighs, and enjoying the hell out of the view.
It’s a simple pleasure, and one of which we should all take advantage whenever possible. Gentle reader, if the hottie(s) in your life are receptive, and you aren’t a creepy stalker (<–IMPORTANT) don’t forget to take some time and just stare at them. Watch them move, watch them work, watch them cook or do dishes or reorganize their bookshelves. Appreciate every angle, every movement. Every moment where they are thinking of something, singing, reading, or dancing.
It’s an entirely worthwhile way to pass the time.
I find myself in a difficult spot these days. I need a break from dating, from emotional attachments. But I don’t need—or want—a break from sex. So theoretically, I need to find somebody (or somebodies) I can sleep with without the emotional attachment.
Now here, I run into a problem. While I can sleep with somebody without falling for her, I cannot do it without caring. And when I care, I really care. My friends can tell you that if they need anything, I will do everything I can to make sure they get it—and if it is out of my power, I will check in until I know that somebody else provided for them.
My friends will also tell you that I check in with them regularly, that I want to make sure they know I love them, that I like them, that I care—and that I think they are awesome. I think about my friends on a daily basis—some of them, admittedly, more than others. And while I might do this less with somebody with whom I am merely having sex, I still do it. Because frankly, just because it’s just sex, it doesn’t mean that person is any less human or any less on my radar (in some ways, more—when I want somebody badly enough, she is always on my mind).
(And that, gentle reader, is before I even start making an effort. If I am actually dating a woman she gets treated very, very well. I don’t mess around, there.)
I have been told that I can’t do this if I am just sleeping with somebody, that it will be confusing to the woman or women with whom I am sleeping, that they won’t be able to take what I am offering at face value—regardless of the fact that I offer everything at face value, and I offer what I offer as a matter of course. And I offer what I offer because I can’t not. If it’s obvious to me that somebody should have something, or experience something, then not offering is like having an itch between my shoulders.
I have been told that they won’t appreciate it, that they will run from it. And I know that this is right. Every experience I have had bears this out.
So what do I do if I can’t not care and I don’t know how to not give? Does every gift I give, every text I send have to come with a disclaimer, now?
This gift/text comes carries no obligation or investment, emotional or otherwise, on the part of either conferrer or recipient. Conferrer accepts all responsibility for any choices made from conception of gift/text idea to delivery; recipient is not required to accept gift/text or use it respectfully or wisely. Unless otherwise and explicitly stated, conferrer does not expect recipient to take her clothes off upon or within six (6) months of receipt. However, conferrer would probably appreciate it, because recipient is wicked hot.
Or do I have to find that unicorn of a lover who understands that the sex doesn’t have to be meaningful, and the relationship doesn’t have to be meaningful, but I am still going to be caring, and kind, and appreciative?
Neither option seems feasible, or likely.
So maybe I’m S.O.L. Maybe I’m not gettin’ some any time soon. But that’s cool. As much trouble as it has been to me in the past, and as much trouble as it is now, I like the fact that I care.
One of the things I swore to myself upon coming out of an awful relationship (that capped almost a decade of serial dating/relationship experiences) was that I would remain single until at least the end of the year.
This is one of those things you swear, like when you decide you are gonna cut down on sugar, fatty foods, and whiskey, like when you decide you are gonna exercise more. Like when you decide to do anything you know you should do but are not 100% convinced you really want to do.
- Being unemployed doesn’t matter. Not being able to pay for dates or take a woman places doesn’t matter when you don’t have a woman to take out.
- I never have to clean my room.
- I have the opportunity to get my life together outside of the dating dynamic.
- I am not working my ass off to prove myself to somebody who doesn’t appreciate me anyway.
Wait, was that emotional baggage? Oops. Right, this isn’t about the women I have already been with.
- No girl to crawl into bed with. I am not just talking about sex. I am talking about that feeling when I walk into a room and know a woman I adore is in the bed I am about to fall into. I miss that feeling of wrapping myself around a sleepy girl, of enjoying the way she feels, the way she smells before I drift off to sleep.
- No sex. Just because it wasn’t necessarily an element of the above doesn’t mean it’s not an element. My mouth and my hands miss skin. My ears miss sounds. I am not going to tell you what my tongue misses, but you can guess.
- No license to stare. I don’t know about you, but I love looking at the women I am with. If I could I would just rest my chin on my hand and look. They put up with that better if they are sleeping with me.
- No license to tell her how hot I think she is. Generally, I don’t get to tell the devastatingly hot women around me how lovely I think they are (apart from those friends who think —tragically—that I am harmless). When I am dating I get to do that. Regularly.
- I miss having somebody I can wrap myself around, or grab by her belt loop and pull toward me. I miss finding dark corners for smooches and looking across the room to see that she is just as distracted as I am at the idea of those smooches. I miss that level of intimacy.
But where was I? Oh yeah, remaining single until the end of the year.
How am I supposed to do that when I find myself so totally enchanted? Some rules were made to be broken. Those rules include reducing: sugar, butter, bacon, whiskey, and women.