La Belle et Le Dumb Ass

I’m so over, I need a new word for over.

I’ve decided to add, amongst other things, another mantra to my ever-expanding set of dating standards; one of my very close friends, lets call her “Mackenzie” came up with our first and very useful manta of “Wow me or else I haven’t much use for you” has proven very effective in my not-so-effective search for a good date. However I realize that manta number one, although broad and umbrella-like, does not expand to those men in my life who have managed to wow me but at the same time have left me hanging. I’m talking about those men who play these games of red-light ~ green-light with me until… well until I’m just about ready to turn around leave the playing field altogether. Maybe those in science, or those who have read and remembered Angels & Demons by Dan Brown will know exactly what I am talking about, but for those of you who do not, I introduce Carrie’s 2nd dating mantra for the Manolo-lite: “Substantiate or Suffocate”.

Substantiate or Suffocate, Publish or Perish, or more specifically in this situation, Prove it or Lose it. Like with any good research and in the end good dating involves a little bit of research in the field about a person(s) you are interested in, either you prove your theory or get out of the lab. This theory I speak of could be one of two things: either we are good together or we are not. Don’t get me wrong here; we could be good together as friends, but not on the dating scene. Either way once you’ve managed to extract the information you need to draw your conclusions, publish or share your thoughts and either move in or move on. The absolute worst thing you can do to a potential lover is keep them on the line by dragging out your “experiment” for any reason whatsoever. I don’t care if you are curious to see how intimate you can become without actually becoming intimate, or if you can get that guy or girl in bed without having to call them your boy/girl friend, or even call them at all. There are plenty of guys and girls out there who are looking for that, but for those of us who are legitimately looking for someone to love and be loved by, leave us the hell alone.

I mean, it is one thing to keep your distance at the beginning of a relationship, when at first you are unsure of the other persons motive, but that stage usually lasts oh … 3, 4 months? I mean, if you are sleeping with them or suggesting sleeping together then already you are way beyond the point of understandable distance. If you know what you want, or what you don’t want, then say something. Substantiate your need and share it with those implicated, otherwise you’ll end up suffocating not only yourself but the person you’ve involved in this twisted little game.

But the game can be hard to quit, especially when it is orchestrated by someone you want. Even intelligent women can fall into this trap of ambiguity, believing that something, no matter what it is, is better than nothing. Sure it sucks to be alone and life really is much better with someone you have “something” with, but when that “something” begins to stifle your confidence, your style, and your life? I find it hard to believe that something that is supposed to be an incredible experience can in the end leave you in a bind. Is this “something” really better than nothing? I guess I am about to find out.

I stopped talking to Paris. Well, not really, but we no longer speak the way we used to. I am very good at speaking from a soap box from behind my computer screen, spilling my idyllic opinions, but really my words don’t count for half as much as my actions. It is one thing for me to type out my beliefs, especially one as important as this, but it is another to act on it. So I’ve stopped speaking to Paris… and trust me, it is so hard.

It is not as simple as me not liking him anymore. Oh no. He is still the coolest of cats, the hippest of men in my life, and the embodiment of unrequited awareness to the point that if I continue down this path of ambivalence with him I think I actually might choke on the words that go unsaid. I may stumble over my words when I am tired, overworked and underplayed, but I can no longer allow something as natural as my emotions trip me up and distract me from my existence.

It seems to me, and I may be wrong that the modern man either wishes to dominate the person he is with or be dominated by them. I know plenty of girls, myself included, that inadvertently found themselves in a dominating relationship. These changes occur slowly, almost unnoticeable until it is too late. Some, like me, fight back while others allow it to eventually take over. If these women are happy this way then so be it; happiness is subjective. However, being dominated 100% of the time is simply not my bag, baby. Nor is being the dominant one in a relationship. I do not wish to control my significant other, what’s the point? I can hardly control myself, especially now that surprise sidewalk sales are popping up along these crowded streets. Nor do I find it empowering or liberating to be in command of all the aspects of a relationship, oh no. That is way too much work for anyone to take on, let alone a modern Manolo-lite such as myself. I have enough trouble being in command of my laundry.

However, and there is always a however, I can’t help but wish that there was a slightly more mature way of dealing with a toxic researcher. I understand completely that my not speaking to Paris is completely immature and juvenile, but what the hell else am I supposed to do? The hardest part is… well, Paris knows me too well and sensed that something was up or “off” about me the second the phrase “Substantiate or Suffocate” rang in my head. He knows that something is up and has even asked me about it… but I know that if I even hint at beginning a conversation it will not end the way I want it to. I know how that looks, like I want to control the situation and him instead of having it the other way around. Trust me, this is not the case. I simply want control back over myself, and that cannot be too much to ask. Except… I think he is on to me. He (after initiating a conversation and failing to get what was “up” with me out of me) no longer says good-bye or anything civil… he didn’t even end the conversation, he just let it fade away.

Why is it that when I finally catch on to the games people play and using this knowledge to impede its proceeding, does another game begin? It is so easy to say, and in a sense it is true, that this entire thing is his fault, but in the end, it’s still my problem. I’m sure he cares about me… but that’s not enough. I’m still suffocating and what I need right now he can’t give me: a breath of fresh air.

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~ by Carrie on July 29, 2006.

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