Best Served Cold?: A Dating Saga

I.  At First Glance / I Love Meshuggah
Reading Meg’s blog, particularly her most recent post, The Brunette Bombshell blog (for short–love the alliteration), is exciting for me.  She has a strong feminine voice, and she expresses herself incredibly well.  Her style is of her own, and having to read enjoy such a blog isn’t a hard thing for me to admit.  I’ve been all about the strong-minded male character, especially the characters Hemingway creates.  This is not to incorporate fact-with-fiction or story-with-blog, but there has to be some rationale to explain this basis. 
Why do you think these progressive heavy metal bands–not the white trash metal bands you hear on the radio or MTV (they are not metal even though the members may think they are)–jazz?  Yes, look at Swedish band, Meshuggah.  Their progressiveness incorporates a significant amount of jazz rhythms and chromatics.  The band may be heavy for you, but you should still listen; block out the vocals and listen to the instrumentation.
Thanks to my friends Brian, Matt, and John–back in the ol’ middle school through high school days–they kept me on the metal track.  This genre was definitely not my favorite, but I loved it.  The guys helped me sift through the shit played on the radio, because it was not up to the appropriate caliber. 
These metal-head musicians listen to classical music and jazz, because they like it, and they consider it part of their jobs.  They use their experiences and studies and incorporate it with what they play.  That’s a significant part in not wanting to sell out, because they don’t want to play the white trash cookie-cutter chords and riffs just to make a buck.  They have their fan bases, and those individuals may and may not surprise you.  Metal bands should not be stereotyped unless they bring it upon themselves.  The musicians are more intelligent than you perceive them to be.
I digress.
Meg’s blog is jazz to my metal.  Her words and prose and poetry are beautiful when compared to my masculine simplicity and stubbornness and coarseness.  She is short and to the point; I am long winded, but break the posts up in parts, so you can read a section and return at a later time. 
As a writer, I think I speak for my colleagues when I say that we need drastically different genres to help calibrate our minds in order to write.
I read many artsy, home design blogs, including:  bedsidedesign, Mish Mash Maria, and Simple Dwellings.  These local bloggers help take my mind off focusing on the trying to produce something.  They are fun, easy-to-read blogs which help relax my mind, which yields productivity.
II.  At Second Glance / Starting Out
I have been on the market for a little over a year, if you consider the actual date to the present, but the time which has passed does not bother me.  I have gone on numerous dates, which have obviously not worked, and most of those were generated through eHarmony.  As I have learned, online dating isn’t for everyone.  I didn’t learn from my mistake of joining Plenty of Fish years ago, but my friends found success through there, and they are still together, married, and have an adorable six-month-old.
With the luck I have, I think my joining eHarmony probably generated a glitch.  All of the matches looked great on paper, and when it came time to meeting these individuals whatever we had an online extensive conversation or not… it all fell flat.  The articulate were very quiet and reserved, borderline boring. this I had experienced in person.  The less than articulate individuals I never met in person.  The best-matched individuals–in my opinion–lived more than an hour away, let alone in another state, and some lived in Canada. 
They all turned out to be pen pals.  I gave my number to one downstater, a mistake, and she turned out to be bat-shit crazy.
Come September, the realization of still not being over my last relationship came into play.  October and November passed with the same perspective.  I still went on dates, but there were variety of reasons for my not being committed:  there was nothing or they were boring, they came on too strong and freaked me out, my self-doubt, they were not confident enough, and more personal self-doubt.  The perspective to start dating again came back in December, but there were bursts of putting on the break when holidays rolled around.  It’s been  over a year now, and I am in the mid-90’s.  You cannot turn off feelings.  It’s also strange not seeing someone out and about in this small area, in person. 
It’s now apparent to me that everyone seems to know everybody.  Syracuse/Central New York should not feel like a high school equivalent.  It’s not as incestual as it is just plain, flat-out strange.
My friends have been supportive.  They offer objective responses to my droning.  My friends also give great advice, countering my self doubt.  My friends also try to respectfully intervene, introducing me to others.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  I just need to accept the set-up, and put forth an effort to follow through with meeting the friend of a friend.
Mind you, I have had amazing dates, and most of them last at least three hours.  The epic five-hour dates have been with very captivating individuals, yielding two or three more dates.  Then there is nothing.  Poof!  The relationship suddenly vanishes, and it’s back to square one.  Trying to figure out what happened and what when wrong is numbing and confusing.  It also results in my being even more picky.
III.  At Third Glance / Here Comes Mr. Cynical
I haven’t seen, or met, or come across anyone to pursue a relationship with in the past couple months.
It’s to my understanding that I am coming across doubtful or cold.  Coming across doubtful or cold yields an arrogant/cocky persona.  I am confident; however this aura is easily misconstrued with coming across as an asshole.  This is my fault; I understand this.
There has been a series of questions that my mind blows through: 
1)  Looks
          a)  Is she cute?  Okay.
          b)  Is she not cute?  Buh-bye.
2)  Style
          a)  Individual / Comfortable?  Okay
          b)  Fake / Hot mess?  Buh-bye
          c)  Too much makeup?  Buh-bye
          d)  Naturally beautiful?  Okay.
3)  What is their personality?
          a)  Is the personality too little? That’s boring.
          b)  Is the personality too much?  That’s annoying.
          c)  Comfortable middle?  No such thing.
4)  Fitness
          a)  All about it?  Okay
          b)  Apathetic?  Buh-bye
5)  Arts, Cultured, Environment friendly / Outdoors type
          (You either are or you aren’t to varying degrees)
   
Yes, I am a cynical jackass.  I have come to terms with it.  Don’t glare at me; everyone has their particulars.  Oh, a sense of humor is important as well; a laugh can also make or break the possibility.  This girl had a laugh which sounded like a horse’s neigh…
…opposed to a cow’s moo.  Have you ever heard a moo laugh?
Either or:  I’m out.
IV.  A Fourth Glance / Here’s the Catch
Everyone probably goes through that evaluation I just listed, but to varying degrees.  There is more criteria, but there are way too many stipulations.
The problem is this: 
I look at opportunities to date and say maybe.  Most of the time the maybe is vetoed with a no.  This change of mind takes a few dates to process. 
It is said that if someone tries, dating won’t happen.  I’m not trying to even contemplate trying.  I would like to start another relationship–sooner than later mind you–but it’s been so comfortable saying no.  In the back of my mind, the set-up and meeting has to be this super haphazard semi-romantic/cliche confrontation:  meet at a winery, over discussion in a grocery store, a book inquiry, a writing inquiry…
Hell, why not a simple smile from a distance?  That smile would reel the two people together.
However, that makes me nervous and jerky, and failing miserably is expected.  It’s as if you read the last chapter of a book; you cannot wait to see how this fail unfolds:  Does he trip?  Spill his wine on her?  Chicken out at the last moment?  Was she was smiling at someone else this whole time?

Probably.

V.  Intermission / Dammit!
Gets up, throws hands in the air.
He actually trips.
VI.  At Fifth Glance / The Terms
One of the reasons I do not enjoy dating is poor communication skills.  I have them.  You have them.  We all are guilty.  One of the pet peeves, which I am guilty of, that grind my gears is texting.  If you want to talk to someone, just call.
Meg touches upon this. 
However, calling someone nowadays has taken the Number One spot at the list of communication being annoying.  Everyone texts.  What’s wrong with texting?  Actually calling, that whole process, is inconvenient it seems. Texting is easier, but it is–in my opinion–a communication faux pas.
One has to press more buttons to text, but it’s somehow easier.  The amount of time it takes to generate a text conversation, individuals could have completed it, verbally, in less than a third of the time.
How many times have you heard, or used, phrases along the lines of:  Why can’t they just explain themselves thoroughly?  It’s a yes or no answer!  Why aren’t they responding to the text?
Just. Friggin’. Call.
If it’s not important, you don’t have to leave a message.  If it is, leave one.  No matter what, the receiver will get a notification.  With texting, the mindless and simplistic unimportance of a message somehow becomes the most important thing in the world, reaching to red alert or emergency status.
“Should I get the pumps or the wedges?” 
“Dude, my dog just shit on the carpet.”
“[Person] is in the hospital.”
“Are we grabbing a pint later?”
“I farted.  It smells awful.”
One of these messages is more important than the rest; it’s the only one which should get an immediate response.  It’s also the only message that is an appropriate text, in my opinion. 
VII.  The Sixth or “Creeper Status” Glare / Still Texting
One cannot converse through text messages.  Somehow texting has infiltrated our society as a parasite.  It’s an invasive species in the societal environment for intellectual communicative prowess. We rely a lot on texting to the point where it’s, in fact, a crutch.  Texting is awkward and nothing gets nothing substantial accomplished, except getting someone’s attention.  Texting yields social awkwardness.  How can you make efficient eye contact with others when you’re used to focusing on the screen of your phone. 
People laugh at Skype.  There’s nothing wrong with Skyping; you’re looking at the person as you are making conversation.  Who cares if you live on the other side of town?  It’s an interactive medium.
Many times I thank myself for not having an iPhone or a Smart Phone; I don’t pay attention to it.  Recently, through many interactions with people, they haven’t succumbed to their phone.  Which is great.  There is hope for society.
Is there?
VIII.  Seriously.
Seriously.
Ladies and gentlemen:  put down your Goddamn phones and pay attention to the the person across from you.  If there was a contradictory reason, you would not be facing her at this moment.  You are there, you are in this situation, and you are here for a reason.  Guys, pay the attention and give her that feeling of gratification.  Make her feel respected.  Make her feel wanted.  Make her feel alive.
Touch her face gently; that finger against her face does the trick. 
Give her the slightest kiss.
She is a part of your present.  She is tangible.  She is understood, despite your wanting her not to be. Despite your wanting to feel right.   
There is hope.
Yes, there is.
Get off your high horse and bring yourself down a notch to be understood.  Treat her romantically, make her feel like this situation is too good to be true.  Touch her as you have always touched her:  her eyes, her mind.  Make her feel this cannot be reciprocated. 
However, the kids these days…
You’re better than them.
IX.  Must I…
Must I reiterate?
You’re your own person.
You’re better than them.
The rest.
You’re your own person.
Look at yourself in the mirror. 
Stare.
Understand.
X.  Fin
Guys, just tell her she is beautiful, because you mean it and not just because she wants to hear it. She’ll pick up on it.

5 thoughts on “Best Served Cold?: A Dating Saga

  1. Haha. I love that my comments were deleted. Definitely an asshole. And just in case you're wondering I never dated Chris. Im just an observer…and oh boy isnt it entertaining.

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