We went out Tuesday night. And honestly? While I'd love to rehash every single moment, both good and horrifying, my conscience is telling me not to. I've already done that with my close friends anyway. Also? It's too surreal for words. The act of writing them just makes me cringe.
Dating? Sucks. Sucks hard. For those of you who haven't been single in a long time, let me remind you of the suckiness. The wading through potential partners, simultaneously wanting to be loved and also figuring our what you hate. Wanting to give someone a chance but also cautious because assholes abound. It sucks.
And it sucks more at 30. Every year in the dating world gets worse and worse as I get more and more exhausted, as my heart gets bruised more and more, as I meet asshole after asshole disguised as nice guys.
You guys ask why the nice guy never gets the girl? I'll tell you why: it's impossible sometimes to tell the difference. Not that all my exes are assholes. Some of them were nice guys, but just didn't love me. But the first dates get so endlessly exhausting. Weeding through the masses. Every douchewad making it harder and harder to put yourself out there again. But you do because every time you see a happy couple or you see a sweet baby being cuddled, you ache in your soul.
And as you get older, you recognize signs earlier. Red flags appear sooner. Things that didn't bother you at 21 fester in your gut and tell you to get out of there.
So it's in this position I found myself last night with a guy who I'd thought, I'd hoped at any rate, was a nice guy, kind, and most importantly, not shallow.
What can I say? It went well until it didn't. Until he felt the need to express his real needs.
I can't even recount what happened. I simply cannot do it. But as I found myself insulted on bases of aesthetics, I thought, Seriously? I am 30 fucking years old! I am too old for this shit. Shouldn't a good guy not give a shit about that? Shouldn't I not have to deal with this by now?
I guess not. Would it be too much to ask for a guy who doesn't tell me I'm gorgeous, but could you change this one little thing? And on a first date no less. The gall of it pisses me off every time I think about it. The stupidity of something so superficial being so crucial. He looked at me like he didn't want it to be the deal breaker...if I would just give in and change it. Then everything would be fine. It wasn't a big deal, right? If I would just give in.
Look, I'm sorry I'm being so cryptic, but it's the best I can do. Just know it was something aesthetic and superficial and something that maybe a lot of women wouldn't care about but insulted me deeply.
But at 30, I know who the hell I am. I'm cool with it. I like myself as-is. I know what primping I'm willing to do and I know what's not worth my damn time. And no one gets to tell me what to change. No one.
I'm not a 21 year old girl. I'm a 30 year old woman. I come with a belly. A few wrinkles. My boobs are small. I have a great ass. Some cellulite. And hair, which an adult woman should have and which is a bitch to remove and I don't mind having.
I wear a small amount of makeup most days to cover up the dark circles under my eyes. But that's about it. I generally don't spend that much time on my hair, unless it's a special occasion. Same with the makeup.
I like me. Aesthetic me and the brilliant, outspoken, quirky dork I am. The latter I consider so much more important. The aesthetic is nothing, so unimportant. So inconsequential. Not only is physical perfection boring, it scares me in its masochism. The amount of dedication and primping necessary to achieve the desirable body, face, hair, etc is astounding. It makes me sick to think about it.
So I suppose I'm grateful that I discovered the shallow nature of this guy so soon. But it still sucked.
Why? Because I was excited. Because I put myself out there once again and was disappointed yet again.
Is it too much to ask for a guy that feels that way too? For a guy who's smart, traveled, educated, liberal, kind, and who appreciates women as they are and not as some paradigm he expects them to live up to.
Oh and he must love Star Wars. And me. All of me. As-is.
Before you all call me a hypocrite and tell me that women demand that kind of aesthetic value too, let me just say that while many men feel the pressure to be fit and attractive, the amount of grooming expected of women is much more intense.
Also, I don't expect that of men. I mean, I expect cleanliness, brushing of teeth, etc. That's just gross not to. I know; I lived in France.
However, the things that most attract me to others are the imperfections, the quirks, the idiosyncrasies, the differences that make someone unique and intriguing. I am me and I am changeable and special. I wouldn't expect anything different in a partner.
So I leave you there to think about that. Maybe one of you will send such a guy to Portland.
Now listen to this song by India Arie, sent to me by my lovely friend LegallyErin last night to make me feel better. This is exactly how I feel.