Meet Rhonda. I adopted her for Thanksgiving. Bart [pictured spread eagle below] is still my main man, but she adds a lovely dimension to my fledgling donation animal farm. And if I’m going to grow up to be a celebrity, I’m going to need a cause. JK.
Monthly Archives: November 2009
Why is it that boys I used to date, who didn’t want to date me before are now coming out of the woodwork to check in with me? Texts, emails…I’ve never been so popular! But, seriously, what’s up with that? What do these dudes want?
Not All Washed Up
First of all, we need to get you a new acronym. NAWU sounds like a NYC neighborhood knock off. How about Young And Hot (YAH)? I like that. So anyway…YAH…I feel ya, though this strange phenomenon usually happens to me on or around Christmas. On one hand, it’s comforting to be noticed again by someone(s) who perhaps didn’t notice you enough the first time. But—and this is a serious but—I’m not so sure it’s worth exploring because, as you point out, what is it that these boys/dudes truly want? My immediate answer is, if you’re wondering, ask them. Seriously. I mean, don’t be all weird about it. Ease your way into a conversation to ask them what their intentions are. If they’re on the up and up, it shouldn’t be too hard for them to respond. And if they can’t, well, um, that sucks.
Since you haven’t asked them what they want (I love that there’s a them here. Good on you!) and asked me instead, I consulted my panel of males last night at this awesome new bar for their thoughts:
Married Male: He’s either realizing he made a mistake or he’s looking to fuck her. He’s probably looking to fuck her.
Young 20s Male (in a relationship): Who cares? But yeah, probably.
No, these words aren’t especially comforting. Insights into the male psyche can be rather disquieting because those insights are rarely laced with anything women truly want to hear. It always feels like Tough Love 101. There are no rose-colored glasses or soft edges.
But I have to agree with both of my males. One: He, or they in your case, are looking to get wit you. They may also be having second thoughts in general about not wanting to date you. The question is, are you? (Rule #1, always ask yourself what you want versus worrying so much about what they want, because sister, you might jump a cliff from all the wondering and analyzing of what someone else wants. Go with what you know.) Don’t get me wrong, I’ve re-dated plenty. But it always ends up being the same exact relationship as the first incarnation. That doesn’t mean it can’t work out and isn’t worth pursuing. That’s just been my experience.
The other thing, YAH: Are you comfortable being a Holiday Hook-Up? Yes is an appropriate answer here. Having someone(s) to spoon during the shortest days of the year is nothing to sneeze at. And sometimes it’s OK to assess close up what didn’t work out before forging into the new year with a new lease on dating. However, be careful not to slip into settling because there doesn’t seem to be anyone else around. In these cases, go home alone. It’s okay. Really.
I’d love to know your thoughts on if boys and girls can actually BE friends (a la “When Harry Met Sally”). My world was rocked this weekend when one of my best friends hooked up with this guy she’s been friends with for years. It’s always been there, we just never thought it would happen.
Here are my thoughts (worth about a penny):
Short answer: No
Longer answer: Yes, buuuut…
Short answer: Yes
Confused? Me, too.
Seriously. My answer is yes. Men and women can be friends. But their friendship will (usually) always have to negotiate the push and pull that sexual tension creates. And sometimes there will be sex hiccups. And those will have to be dealt with. Sometimes friendships will not weather the storm of hiccups. Sometimes they will. Sometimes friends who’ve had hiccups will need to take a break and regroup six to eight months later. And sometimes they will have another hiccup and keep having hiccups until one of them draws the boundary, dies or gets married. Or they get married to each other.
I have male friends who are dating or married to my girlfriends. Because of this, they may as well not have a penis or even be male. (No offense guys.) Then there are my close male friends who are either single or dating someone I don’t know. With a vast majority of these men (87%?), it hasn’t always been platonic, but we were able to forge something post dating, post awkward make out that is satisfying and mostly not weird. But the tension still exists. (I’m not sure there’s such a thing as “getting it out of your system.” That would be like getting sex out of your system and if that’s the case, the problem might be bigger than the issue of boys and girls being friends.)
I have one close male friend who I have never, ever made out with. Twenty five years ago, in junior high, I wanted to go with him. There was one mention of sex 13 years ago. It lasted 27 seconds and we both were like, naaaaah. It would have ruined it. Now, it’s a non-issue, unless a present-day girlfriend does the inevitable, “I can’t believe you’ve never dated. Never? Never had sex?” No girlfriend. We have never, ever dated or had sex. Because it would be like having sex with a sibling. And while I do dabble in 1 to 3 ill-advised dating practices, that is not one of them.
So I guess the question I’m more interested in isn’t so much whether or not men and women can be besties, but why people are willing to put friendship on the line in favor of sex (or activities that lead to sex) without a clear conversation before the sex is had and understanding of what will happen after the sex is done. a. Will we be together? b. Will this change our friendship?
(I know the answer to this question, of course. It’s easier to get drunk, make out and worry about it later.)
I have a feeling if one did the communicative thing, it would probably take one down the path of naaaah.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had this conversation but twice in my life. As I mentioned previously, once, it did lead to naaaaah. But the other was after a long night of Cinco de Mayo, which lead to, “But I thought you meant…” the next morning. [hic] It’s ok. We became friends again. Six to eight months later.
“American women don’t have anyone hunting for them—that’s their real problem.” That’s Rebecca Mead’s take. You have to read her full article to get the gist and not get your panties in a bundle if you find that statement even mildly offensive. But you know, even out of context, I agree on some abstract level. Mostly because it’s just nice to have someone do things for you. I place a premium on being able to take care of male-oriented things (like hunting) myself: I can change a tire in less than 10 minutes and I keep around a container of compound and a putty knife to fill in the holes I put in my walls because I can’t find a sturdy wall space to hang certain items. (To name a couple of examples of how fiercely independent I am.) But sometimes you just need a man to take care of shit.
2. An even better neighbor to lend emotional support and operate the shop vac when your apartment floods.
3. A gay man (or two) to tell you how fabulous and pretty you are. (Girlfriends count for this, too, though it is admittedly different.)
4. Any man (or woman – because hell I’m not picky when it comes to food) who can cook up a Sunday brunch.
I think there are a couple more who belong on this list, but it’s barely 8 a.m. and I’m only halfway through my homemade decaf eggnog latte. ($4 at Starbucks!)
My Homemade Eggnog recipe:
Steamed lite eggnog. (I just poured mine in a pot and set heat to med high. When it started steaming I took it off the burner.)
Pour eggnog in your mug first. Place in a whisk. Hold whisk between palms. (I learned this trick from my dear friend Nancy, who uses a manual egg beater with even better results.) Roll whisk briskly between hands until nog foams.
Pour in coffee.
Sprinkle with nutmeg.
Walk down to Starbucks and sit smugly in one of their cozy, crumb-filled chairs.
Someone had to say it. And she does it so well.
And girls: You too. You bring condoms, too.
It reminds me of the time I brought my first condoms. I was moving to an island for the summer to live in a tent and escape from the world as I knew it. So my mom took me to Target to get supplies so that the search to find myself might be made more comfortable with bug spray, suntan lotion and Gold Bond. (The list from the campground told me I needed it. I had no idea what Gold Bond was for or that it had anything to do with preventing male junk form chaffing until I got there and everyone made fun of me for having it.)
All of a sudden my mom was like, You need condoms. Do you want me to buy you condoms? I know what happens at these summer resort jobs. I want you to have condoms. Of course, I said OK because I thought the whole scenario was uncomfortable and funny and terribly out of character for my mom. And it would be novel to say that my mom bought me condoms once.
That summer, those Trojans saw the light of day three times. Once at the airport security check when my bag was frisked and a person in uniform whipped a row of squares from its hiding place for the men with the big guns standing nearby to see. Then two more times on the island when my friend needed them so she could have the sex. I didn’t use a one. And I’m glad because apparently there was a scorching case of herpes roaming around the communal campground. And even condoms don’t work so good when it comes to that type of STD. Is this a good time to say never look a gift horse in the mouth? Maybe that doesn’t quite work here.
…a good one nonetheless. It came in a couple days ago and is referring to the fact that it didn’t work out with one guy I went on some dates with:
Q: SS, Please don’t take this personally, but is it possible you turned him off in some sort?
A: Well, yes. It is quite possible that I turned him off. However, I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong per se. (Though having written a book on dating hasn’t exactly been stellar for the act of dating.) I think I, along with most people in the world, am just being myself. And if that is a turn off, well, I’ll just be hanging out and doing what I like and when I like to do it until someone comes along who thinks all my ridiculous quirks make me the bee’s knees. I mean, I’m not going to change my behavior as some books might have women (and men) do. That just becomes a mishagos of good intentions. Acting outside of yourself to land a date is never advisable. One day it will click like it’s supposed to. I mean, not every date can be “it.”
And then there’s 50% of the equation that is completely and utterly out of my control: the other person. You just never know what’s going on in someone else’s life and why they make the decisions that they do. Often, those decisions have nothing to do with you or me or any third party. I can’t control or change or take responsibility for that. And I shouldn’t. So I go about my merry way, being 5 minutes late to everything, baking pies, flipping a coin between yoga and the gym, scrambling to get through this week’s New Yorker before the next one comes, finishing the blasted book and dreaming of a bigger apartment. The usual.