Or cherchez le homme. The past two weeks have been a merry-go-round with an ultimately unsuitable garçon that, shall we say, felt a bit more strongly for me than I did-- or perhaps ever could or would-- for him. Roses and playlists, texts and emails, calls and "XXOO," all the things that I'm supposed to want. Especially when being reminded-- repeatedly-- in the background that I'm getting older, I'm too picky, etcetera, etcetera. But when you cannot for the life of you figure out what, precisely, it is that is attracting this individual to you, that's when things become uncomfortable. I could go with my associate's blanket statement that of course he's attracted to me because I'm awesome. Whilst flattering in the extreme, I'm not an egoist. Or at least, not egoist enough to assume that my sheer strength of character is a compelling enough reason to compose multiple daily missives and a lengthy iTunes playlist from songs gleaned from the scant knowledge he possessed of my tastes for a first date. Then came some further weirdness, some quite troubling statements, and ultimately more concern over his bruised ego (that I didn't go in for his passive aggressive act) than my actual potential harm (as two individuals attempted to mug/ assault/ whatever me when I got home alone from the party he had abruptly left). Charming fellow, no? I was accused of being uncaring, even mean-- while my own actual physical danger and dealings with the police were of no concern. And then the bizarre coda that he wanted to hold off on meeting any more friends and family for a while. Excuse me? I'm a horrible person, and you still want to date me? You assume I still want to date you after being told that my generalized anxiety and going to the cops was not sufficient grounds for not worrying about his poor little "feelings" after behaving in a beastly manner (and getting an accidental but well-earned punch from my associate)?
Live and learn, right? I acknowledge that I'm a difficult package. Look, I am downright WEIRD. And I'm a NERD. I posses just enough knowledge in enough fields to be dangerous. I have disarmingly domestic and esoteric interests. Seriously, how many serious football fans raise orchids? How many Fiestaware collectors also read policy briefs and have a Merck Index on their bookshelves? I'm an overeducated underachiever. And a massive animal lover. And I have a strong personality, and I whip through serious and slapstick moods and conversation topics faster than a kid with ADHD hopped up on mountain dew and pixie sticks changes the channel. In fact, I'm not sure why you'd be interested in me at all. I know I'm not any kind of beauty, just a fat white chick that happens to be really tall. I may have nice eyes (green like mine is supposed to be one of the rarest colors), but let's face it-- nobody is into eyes THAT much. But I'm not horrible (I hope). And yet I'm so awful at meeting good people. Guys who use me to cheat on the girlfriend they swore was out of the picture. Controlling guys. Guys who yell at me on a first (and last) date. Guys who accuse me of lying about my height (WHY would I lie about being 6' is beyond me). Guys who denigrate my field. Guys who accuse me of being a sellout because I accept wearing a suit as a condition of employment. Guys who seem to be afraid of me. Guys who ask questions and give me a whopping ten word head start before they interrupt. Guys who are well aware of my personal and political beliefs and want to inform me, in excruciating detail why I'm wrong (my favorite was the one who was okay with me being pro-choice, but believing women should be priests was going too far). Guys who think I have the potential for a great career but am desperate enough to date anyone, so they find themselves a sugar mama. Guys who feel the need to test my intelligence (yes, I'm "smart enough" to join Mensa if I really wanted but no, I don't need to prove that to anyone). Guys who feel uncomfortable dating a woman smarter than themselves and try to knock me down to their level. Guys who may be on the same intellectual level but look down on my background and/or interests. And so on.
I wish those were exaggerations, but they're all. true. All I'd like is someone with about the same intelligence who reads and enjoys fine cocktails and football. Must love cats and dogs, get along with the family, and be conversant with current events. Bonus points for height and familiarity with foreign languages. Extra bonus points for empathizing with my desire to live both in the country and the city but not the suburbs. Someone who's neither so distant that they need to be reminded I exist nor so involved and controlling that they feel threatened by longtime friends. Someone who has their own interests and career, but not so separate that there's no room for me. Flowers and manners are nice, but sincerity and honesty are better. Is that really so much? Apparently so.