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So I’ve been going on all these dates. So many, I’ve lost count. Actually, that’s a lie. I have a calendar. I am sort of particular about recording things. I haven’t lost count at all.

In the last six months I have been on exactly fifty-five dates. Fifty-five. Not with fifty-five different people (obviously), but fifty-five still sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?

How did this happen?

I don’t really know. I guess it’s the result of my New Year’s Resolution combined with a general resolve to be more open, less cynical and more willing to accept invitations.

And it has been fun, to an extent. I mean, it’s been educational at the very least. I’ve met some nice people. But mostly I’ve just been amassing party stories.

Want to hear ‘em? You’re gonna!

First, there was The Spitter. We met in a blind-date type situation. He was… okay. I mean, sure… he had braces. But so what, right? I’m not shallow and a metal mouth at thirty isn’t really a big deal. But The Spitter, unfortunately, also had a pronounced lisp. That was okay too. Again, I endeavour to avoid unnecessary bitchiness whenever possible. A lisp might even have become adorable in time. Alas, The Spitter was… a spitter. (Duh.) That was the last straw. Over the course of a single dinner he managed to inadvertently spit at me eight times. EIGHT TIMES! And I’m not talking little flecks of saliva, either. I’m talking wet lettuce. Substantially sized bits of wet lettuce flew across the table at me eight times over the course of an hour and a half. I actually had to DODGE some of them.

Now, I don’t want to be unreasonable, but COME ON.

Then there was Captain Pompous. Captain Pompous was a pharmacist. Captain Pompous seemed promising at first. Educated, settled, seemed smart. Was initially charming. Mind you, over the course of our first proper drinks date, Captain Pompous said all of the following things (which I’ll try to quote, verbatim):
• “You know how it is – most girls can’t really handle the demanding fields. Science, math…etc. That’s why so many of them end up being teachers.”
• “It’s so pathetic how many adults – grown people, I mean – read those Harry Potter books. I see them on the subway and I always want to laugh.”
• “Dating gets harder and harder. A lot of girls are pretty desperate, you know. You’re, what? Twenty-eight? Uh-oh! Clock’s ticking!”

I wish I was making this up. Truly, I do.

And The Spitter and Captain Pompous were only the tip of the fifty-five date iceberg. My favourite story is about Construction Guy.

Construction Guy was dumb, but pretty. I went out with him a couple of times, in part because of the prettiness (so I suppose I have no one to blame but myself) and in part because he talked easily and comfortably and a lot, and I liked that. Sure, his eyes glazed over whenever I opened my mouth, but I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep that up for long, especially after he revealed (on our second date) that he had twice been arrested for shoplifting from … (wait for it) … Canadian Tire. He was also proud to tell me that he was a bit of a pot head. In fact, when he was in high school, he was such a stoner, he told me, his nickname was Dead Guy.

That’s what the other kids called him. DEAD GUY.

Be still my beating heart. I mean, what a catch, right? I could hardly contain myself.

So, at the end of the dinner, I opted to head home on the subway rather than returning to Construction Guy’s apartment to “watch a movie”. That decision caused him call me the next day to say that, sweet and lovely as I was, he didn’t think things were going to work out between us. The truth was, he said, he was “Really more interested in nineteen or twenty year old girls”. The best part was that when I agreed immediately that we weren’t really a good match, Construction Guy seemed pretty surprised. “Wow,” he said. “You’re taking this really well.” What was I supposed to say? ‘Dead Guy, it’s all I can do to keep it together. I’m just being stoic. Really, my heart is breaking.’

I wished him luck and hung up.

Sigh. You’ve got to admit, this stuff is pretty funny.

The aforementioned men are not, of course, the whole story. Obviously, The Spitter, Captain Pompous and Construction Guy are special cases. There’ve been others. Each defective in his own way, but not blatantly horrid.

I went out with one guy for a bit who seemed to have potential as he was sweet, employed, and smart (though lazy). Mind you, he was also nearly incapable of making eye contact, was often unconsciously selfish, and had disgusting bathroom and a blue, stinking lump of something that I can only assume was, at one time, bread, residing in his fridge for the entire time I knew him. I liked him because he was good at vegging out, and comforting to be around. (As anyone who only ever does exactly what they want to do and nothing more tends to be.) And he was a good guitar player. And he laughed at my jokes. He wasn’t the guy, but he wasn’t so bad.

Then there was a bartender fellow who was also sweet, and fun in an opposite way. The type of guy who goes out every night. Who is incapable of vegging. Who knows a million people. He smiled constantly. He was clearly dangerous and reckless, but intensely interesting to be around. He was obsessed with music. Into dancing. Frenetic and afflicted with ADD, but FUN. So much fun. There were downsides, of course. When insanely upbeat people crash, they crash hard. And the more you get to know someone, the more their fairly obvious substance abuse issues tend to worry you. I still liked him, but again… he was not the guy.

So what's the moral of all this? I have no idea. I rarely meet people I actually like. Craig thinks this strategy of going out with lots of people, regardless of if you find them particularly impressive, is a great one. He thinks I need to be a bit more like him – less picky. So I’m trying. (Mind you, he's been dating for about eight years and hasn't had even a single serious relationship within that time, so maybe I’ve chosen the wrong guru.)

In the end, my life is basically a non stop comedy show. I mean, if you like things that are sort of pathetic and ridiculous as opposed to properly funny. If you like that kind of thing then man oh man, I deliver.

I might take a break from dating for awhile. I rounded out the school year with a straight set of As and a number of bolstering comments in the marginalia, including, “You write with remarkable clarity and have a very compelling style”. I’m hosting a massive party this Saturday night, and I’m loving and playing lots of softball, which always makes me happy.

Dead Guy be damned, all’s well. ;)
xo,
Jen

*Image by Michal Zacharzewski from Stock Xchng.