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Girls come and go. One has to make calculated moves when involved romantically with someone. How far do you want to take this? Am I doing this for the wrong reasons? Is the juice worth the squeeze?
What is the shelf life on an undefined relationship between two consenting adults? For a mid-twenties millennial, I’d say it’s right around four weeks. That’s roughly three or four dates, and by that time one usually knows if they want to have a conversation about exclusively dating. Giving it the old college try. Sober sex. Staying in on Friday night. The whole nine.
More often than not, I’d say you’re better off playing the field. Dating is a fickle bitch. You can assume that people are decent, that humans who aren’t your blood relatives will be good-natured, forthcoming, and trustworthy. That they wouldn’t, for instance, rifle through old text messages on your phone and create crazy assumptions bred from insecurity and past relationships. But you and I both know what happens with assumptions.
They make an ass of you, and me.
I don’t know which way is up or down at the moment. We’re smack dab in the middle of arguably the worst period of the year for anyone that gets snow. It’s fucking freezing, football is over, and unless you’ve got a warm body to lay next to consistently, you don’t have a whole lot to look forward to. Valentine’s Day is coming up, but that’s not for me. That’s for people with stable, normal relationships. There isn’t a single thing I can think of that I’m looking forward to in the month of February. We have St. Pat’s and March Madness starting on the same day, but having to wait a month for that is going to seem like a lifetime.
Allison and Maria. Brushing your teeth and drinking orange juice. Both fantastic separately. Not so much together.
I calmly explained to the girl-turned-banshee lying next to me that we had never discussed exclusivity, and that further more, I had not slept with Maria. I made a very nice chicken dish and I was in bed, alone, by 8:30, thank you very much. I thought my best move in the situation I found myself (naked, confused, and now in desperate need of a strong drink) was to shoot Allison straight. It turned out to be my undoing, as I was unceremoniously kicked out immediately following my quip about how well the Barefoot Cab Sauv had paired with my chicken roulades.
Friday night had gone from some very casual sex to a goddamn category 5 hurricane. I got one of those text messages from Allison a few minutes after I had left that we’ve all received before. You know the type of text message I’m talking about. The kind in paragraph form that are so long you have to scroll to keep reading. The kind that make my stomach churn. I’ve literally had panic attacks from text messages like this. They are terrifying. You get the paragraph style texts when A.) something has happened to a loved one or B.) someone (read: a girl) is angry with you.
So what did I do with this essay sitting in my messages? Well, since I have read receipts AND I was feeling petty, I read that shit and then let it fester. It was a half-assed apology about being in the wrong for going through my phone, but how I was more to blame than her for making her think that I was seeing other people. I didn’t dignify it with a response because I didn’t think it warranted one, and moreover, I just didn’t want to deal with it.
My only move following this fight, which was now closely resembling an episode of Dawson’s Creek, was of course to go get drunk. A friend of mine was having a party that night, a party that I had not planned on attending. I thought my night was going to be full of riotous sex and shitty TV with Allison, but I guess the powers that be had other plans for me. I stopped at a liquor store on my way to the party and picked up a bottle of halfway decent bourbon.
When I arrived, “I Just Don’t Give a Fuck” by Eminem was at high volume in the living room, and my mood went from dejected and confused to completely apathetic. I wasn’t in the right state of mind to hit on girls that night, so I took a seat at the kitchen table with my phone on Do Not Disturb mode for a large portion of the evening and played Euchre, a very popular card game in the Midwest.
I drank a lot of booze on Friday. At some point, I texted Maria some garbled nonsense about meeting up, but she pulled a Johnny D with the read receipts, read my text message and never got back to me. So I was now thrown out on my ass by one girl, and ghosted, as the kids call it, by the other one. What a time to be alive.
Frank Sinatra said “That’s life. I can’t deny it. I thought of quitting, baby, but my heart just ain’t gonna buy it.” Getting out of the dating game would be conceding defeat. I’m not a quitter. I was confident Maria would get back to me. Probably just busy, right? Right. Sure, John, whatever you’ve got to tell yourself.
I woke up Saturday morning emotionally spent, hungover, and in desperate need of something to do to take my mind off of the shitstorm that had become what I thought to be a stable dating life. By 11:00 a.m., I was at brunch with seven of my good buddies drinking bloody mary’s. Bro-ing out would be an understatement, but sometimes you just need that. The sense of comradery. The crude jokes. We of course parlayed the brunch into an all day marathon, wherein I smoked several cigarettes (I don’t smoke, terrible asthma) and tried to get three separate girls to leave bars with me to come back to my apartment. All of them rejected my advances callously and without remorse.
By 7:00 p.m., I was waning. I knew there was no way I’d be making it to any bar past 9:00 p.m. that night, and I had been checking my phone obsessively all day hoping Maria would text me. No dice. The crew had dwindled down to three at this point, and I got my phone out again. 8:15 p.m. and I was nowhere near my apartment. I went into my contacts and didn’t even have to scroll to get to the number. She picked up after two rings and I slurred into the receiver.
“Hi, Al. Can I come over? I’m a few blocks from you.” .
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