bell hop! take these bags, please. posthaste.

i’m about to offer a little insight into the female mind.  granted, i am not your typical typical girl, but that’s probably what allows me to observe and report on what’s going on in here.  i could offer theories and procolomations and diatribes on the differences between the sexes and the problems they bring to cross-gender communication, but bluhhhhh.  we’ve all heard it.  what makes this different, what makes this noteworthy, is that i believe that i’m finding myself in a very unique situation.

namely, i seem to be seeing a man who doesn’t have any weird hang-ups or baggage, or games.

wait!  don’t leave!  i’m serious.  he’s totally normal.  or, if you’re a relativist, he’s off the charts not normal.


where to begin?  ah, yes.  so, as many an urban female in my age box, i am on  i am not an avid user, but feel that need to get myself out there, at least somehow and occasionally run across a guy, or even man, that piques my interest.  about a month ago, give or take, i came across such a person and we began to exchange the inane, awkward emails that are the hallmark of the digital dating age. 

these were funnier than most and progressed to the phone level within a week or so.  i encounter a problem: the long adored northern irish accent.  i love it, but i’m out of practice.  this embarasses me on many levels, mostly because i don’t want to make anyone needlessly repeat themselves.  it’s frustrating.  to combat this, i kept phone calls brief (i’d do that anyway, internet, because i am not a phone person).  knowing the paralyzing effect his speech patterns have on most americans, the man (lets call him casey, for reasons i may reveal one day), played along. 

we made a date.  going through the nightmare that is batshit, i didn’t feel very attractive, eloquent, or even sane, so i canceled.  relatively late in the day, too.  he handled it with grace.  we rescheduled.  date number two follows the pattern of date number one.  again, he’s gracious and understanding.  we text.  he uses some abbreviations, but not an “lol” in sight.  i wonder if i’m about to fuck up some serious potential.  i suggest date number three and casey agrees to meet me at a local bar for a drink.*

i text him that i’ll be the nerd at the bar with the giant history book- the truth, but also a mini-test.  i’m a nerd, an earnest nerd as opposed to snarky, ironic nerd, which seems to be the cooler kind.  he doesn’t flinch.  he shows up on time.  he’s as cute as his picture, if a bit skinnier.  he’s polite.  i understand him in person.  time and six or so rounds fly by.  he mentions juan carlos and hugo chavez.  we both do a double take when we realize that the other is actively and interestedly participating in this conversation.  we smile.  good sign.  he asks if i live close by.  i say “don’t even think about it.”  direct quote.  he laughs, unoffended and says “no.  i ask because this has got to be my last drink and i’d like to walk you home.” me: “f.  i’m sorry.  these things just come out of my mouth. i’m a disaster at being a girl.”  casey, with the appropriate amount of fliration “you seem to be doing just fine to me.”

we finish our drinks and he walks me home.  we’re both drunk, but he’s not creepy, nor aloof.  he says he’s not good at this, but he thinks it went well and would like to see me again; what did i think?  i agreed.  he walks me to the front, gives me a kiss (yum) and waits until i’m inside to leave.  i text him thanks.  he calls me to say he had a wonderful time, was glad i was such a good kisser and that he can’t believe he just said that.  he’s sorry; he’s not good at this.

second date: meet at the movies.  see a great film.  he cuddles up to me towards the end.  we go for dinner.  good conversation.  he walks me home again.  a tamer kiss (no booze this time).  he apologizes again for not being good at this.  i tell him he’s doing great and that it’s always awkward.  he looks forward to it not being awkward, can we do a third date?

blah blah.  it’s now been four or five dates.  he works really hard and i seem to be busier than hell lately, so we don’t get to meet up too often.  he texts every day.  calls occasionally (we’re both not phone people).  he says nice things.  he doesn’t get jealous.  he listens to me.  he offers information.  he’s a gentleman, but not cold.  my mini birthday gift didn’t freak him out- he loved it and was genuinely touched.

i warned him that i’m blunt and up front and do nice things for people and it usually freaks men out.  he seems genuinely surprised and baffled at this.  i told him about beefy mcweirdo, he shook his head.  he says what he means.  he is nice.  he appears to be honest, even to his detriment.  he’s a man.  i don’t think i could whip him if i wanted to.  i can’t find ulterior motives.  i’m totally at a loss.  who is this guy?

finally, the payoff: 

my insight.  i’m TOTALLY paranoid.  completely.  think maybe he doesn’t really like me, he’s just got nothing better going on.  it’s ridiculous.  we both recognize that i’m the one with my guard up.  i can’t help it.  i’ve been fucked over so hard lately.  and i let myself be.  it’s a tough tightrope to walk- being strong, but not closed off.  i’m doing OK, but not great. 

anyway, we rescheduled our date from tonight until tomorrow because of the ice storms- it makes coordination tricky.  it’s one day, and i’m already thinking: he doesn’t really like me.  if he really liked me, he’d forget the weather.  i’ve forgotten our last two dates where he worked 12 plus hour days and still hurried to meet me on time.  forget the fact that i’m in so much pain from the weather that i feel awful and honeslty prefer to be in bed, watching 30 rock.  i’m not letting that little badger named panic totally free in my head, because i know i’m being ridiculous.  i know i could flat out explain all this to casey and he would listen, not get creeped out, shake his head and assure me “honey, we can totally go out tonight if you like.  what movie do you fancy seeing?”  and it would be even cuter because it would be in that lilting brogue. 

women are freaks! we’re nuts.  now, don’t gloat guys, you’re equally insane, in your way.  our problem is that we let our brains get ahead of us.  we have conversations, grand scenes, events, relationships, endings, fights, possibilities play out in our heads in the span of a minute.  we’re so connected to our thoughts we feel these things as if they’re real.  ever wonder why your girl is pissed at you when you didn’t do anything?  you did.  you just did it in her head.  and you were such an asshole about it.

here’s the thing.  we can easily help yourselves.  men, be more forthcoming with information.  males and females both neglect to state what’s obvious to them.  women are just six days, weeks, years ahead.  men are that far behind.  or are on auto-pilot.  don’t take for granted that your girl knows why or what you mean. just tell her.  even if it’s not pleasant, trust me when i tell you that what we’re thinking is a probably a hell of a lot worse, and definitely more convoluted.  i know you hate to use extra words, but it will save so much pain.

and ladies, take your man’s words at face value.  and trust your instincts.  your gut instincts, not that nefarious badger in the back of your mind.  if the guys a liar or an asshole, you’ll figure it out.  in the meantime, so many misunderstandings and absurdities will be avoided.  you don’t need to know everything at all times.  trust me, it’s usually not all that interesting. 

i guess i’m in a good position because i’m kind of on to myself.  i know i’m being a paranoid jerk.  and i won’t act hurt or aloof tomorrow because acts of god prevented a man from taking me out tonight.   i’ll just be happy to see him.

provided he doesn’t secretly hate me and is planning to string me along for sport…

kidding!  kidding.  right?

* incidental tip – first dates should always be a drink, you can always expand.  it’s easier to do that than to try and contract if you don’t hit it off)


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“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”


Upon common theatres, indeed, the applause of the audience is of more importance to the actors than their own approbation. But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value - john adams
December 2007
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from the man who taught me everything:

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”



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