Well, I’ve been dumped. In truly record time. Again. Karma, though: I totally deserve it considering how often I do the same thing. I feel that if there’s anything the internet-facilitated hyper speed of our communications these days is good for, it’s dumping someone super quick. And deciding they needed to be dumped in the first place. I’ve gone on record recently stating my preference for the time-honored fade-away (I think there are 2 or three girls using this method on me RIGHT NOW, and God love ’em), and this recent experience affirms it. For oh so many reasons. Today I’d like to dwell on them in an amusing, if pointless manner. But first the details of my lightning-quick romantic failure. I hope you know by now that it starts as a colossal success.
It All Went Down After Turkey Day
Friday after Thanksgiving, I went to a movie with Miscommunication Girl, and I won’t get into super details, but I ruined it for her. At the end, I asked her if she’d like to grab a quick drink and catch up and she said she couldn’t because she was scoping out her booth placement at this nighttime craft fair. Yes, folks. You have a rare opportunity to see one of the girls who has tortured me for a long time IN PERSON. I absolutely will not tell you who she is, other than to say she’s selling something at a local art fair that happens after the sun goes down. And she hates me.
So, as I was going to check it out in any case, and was feeling extra down, and I FINALLY refinanced my apartment (HOLY SHIT YESSSSSSS!!!), I went out there on Saturday to see if it would be worth another visit (once she’s there), and to catch the music act French Horn Rebellion. Call it “lonely celebration me time.”
So. The Brooklyn Night Bazaar. What can I say? It’s a huge couple of warehouses joined together and filled with a flea market craft fair, but with more emphasis on eating and dancing. There’s DJ’d music, live music, a dance space, ping pong tables, indoor soccer, tons and tons of women, and fair-priced beers. All that plus free admission makes it a safe choice for a solo night of feeling sorry for myself/trying to celebrate (both of which translated in the real world to drinking whiskey from a flask).
And then the band goes on, and there’s a pretty girl next to me and I’m making eye contact very obviously. She’s smiling. She’s a very average hipster, which is to say she was in conservative hipster casual, minus cat-eye glasses? Cardigan and shapeless jumpery thing? Shortish brunette-ish hair and smirk in her eyes? I have a thing for the quietly attractive Plain Jane.
And then some other girls who are clearly uncool interlopers (ie, regular people) pile in on the other side of me. I look over and realize they are a pair that I had accidentally made overly weighty eye contact with earlier, and they’re trying to get up the nerve to say something to me. You know, pushing each other a little toward me, giggling-whispering-looking-giggling, etc… but I’ve already decided to go for Stock Hipster Audience Member (and yes she ends up being a librarian) No. 1. So I turn a cold shoulder to the enthusiastic and fun ACTUAL Plain Janes and focus my courage on meeting the girl dressed as a Jane Doe from 1953. Or 1923. Or whatever. Only as I turn to finally introduce myself, she leaves. Balls. I decided to cut my losses and bail as well.
Side note: On the train ride home I met a cute chubby girl from Florida and we made out a little, so the night was a success in the end, I guess [and then a few days later, after I got dumped, we had secks].
But Losers Sometimes Get Second Chances
The next day I click over to the craigslist missed connections section, as I tend to do after a night of frequent and intentional eye contact smiles. Just to see. And guess who has left me one? The hipster chick. At least it could be.
I answer her and confirm that yes, we are looking for each other. So, Monday after that, I email her and suggest we go out like, tonight, because why wait? She agrees, but I have to pick the bar. (Tangentially, this is test #1 for most NY chicks and the fact it’s a test bugs me.) I do, we meet. This was at 8, so I’ve been kicking around the city for 2 hours and she’s gone home for food and a shower. Living in Siberia is so unfair.
I picked the Big Bar, and later we moved on to Black and White, both in East Village. Both of which I recommend for first dates. Because I was early, I also stopped to bathroom and drink at Klimat, and struck up a very pleasant conversation with the bartender and patrons there. It’s more datey and quiet, and doesn’t say “hip” to your potential hipst-ette mate, so only go if looking cool is of secondary concern for you. Otherwise, it’s fantastic as a quiet place to get drinks in a soothing atmosphere. And the bartenders at the other places were also awesome. Monday seems to be a good night to meet your bartender.
She Shows Up
I will summarize our date thusly: tons of easy conversation, tons of belly laughs, she’s cute and smart(ish), but she’s a vegetarian with a gluten intolerance. This I take in stride, as well as paying for all drinks. Turns out she’s a librarian at a very cool very sought-after place, but is ultimately dissatisfied with her day-to-day work. She assumes that even though I have the same situation, I must be doing some rewarding creative shit outside of work. They always do, don’t they?
I guess in hindsight I can see signs she wasn’t feeling it, the biggest one being her need to get home by like 10 (which I and a taco truck managed to push to 10:30). No kiss. Giant fake fur jacket. Claims the Mex food in NY is super authentic. I’m justifying now after the fact.
And that fact is, while I had a really nice time and had moved Librarian into the category of “maybe this one, she’s great!”, she felt differently. Against my very sensible gut instincts, I emailed her the next day how much I had enjoyed hanging with her and that I couldn’t wait to do something again soon. I wasn’t pushy or needy, but I was definitely unguardedly enthusiastic. And many many many people have found that being very openly enthusiastic about liking someone to that someone has the disastrous effect of causing the opposite reaction in them. I’m not saying that’s what happened. There were signs she wasn’t into it. But those signs were indistinguishable from first date awkwardness and mixed in with genuine enjoyment. And this happens every time I write that follow-up email.
It’s a mini-phenomenon I won’t get into other than to say that my very first serious girlfriend ever dumped me after a similar exchange.
Me: “I am having an amazing time with you these couple months. Are you?”
Her: “Now that you bring it up, no. Goodbye. Get out of my red sports car.”
But I digress. I came here to ponder on the necessity of the immediate and irrevocable breakup post initial meeting. Let me see if I can find her email (I deleted it, and her contact info, and all our correspondence immediately. I recommend this course of action very highly.)
As you can see, she was the lady equivalent of the perfect gentleman in this email. From my perspective I kinda knew it was coming when she didn’t respond to my email in the first 3 hours after I wrote it. I have several issues with this email and those like them.
First issue: after one date, if it isn’t working, why insult someone by telling them you couldn’t even be bothered to give it another try to see how it’ll be? There’s an answer to this, and I’ll try to flesh it out some day. I always try again if it is at all tolerable, so I’m not sure.
Second issue, a sub-part of the first: Why are we polling ourselves so soon to see if it’s going to go the long haul? That’s what chicks mean by “chemistry,” right? That chemical charge necessary to maintain interest and excitement through the ups and downs of a hypothetical and at the moment unborn relationship? Or was it that she didn’t want to fuck immediately? If so I can answer that: She only had two drinks and it was Monday. Hate to imply that alcohol influences sexual decision-making, but yeah. Do we think we need to know immediately because the right person is out there getting snapped up while we are wasting our time?
Third issue, part of #2: When did “chemistry” become the inoffensive brush-off term of choice for women? I’m not the only man to write about this, as I found on a quick search one afternoon. And I think most guys are in touch with themselves note enough to understand that the reasons they aren’t “feeling it” with a new potential love interest are identifiable and rooted in concrete things which are sometimes shallow but generally are non-negotiable regardless of how unsavory. Chemistry is bunk and offensive when used as a “reason” to dump someone.
In my most recent short term break-up, I told a girl in person on our 4th date, that I felt like we were at odds too often, she was nervous around me, and our immediately amazing sex was covering up a lack of emotional-intellectual compatibility that made us fight more often than laugh together. These were fears I had immediately, but which I knew could have been due to a million things so I tried a few more dates to feel it out.
Fourth issue: Why do we need to disguise our reasons for cutting relationships short at all? Hurting feelings? Aren’t the feelings more hurt by the break itself? Man, I don’t know. Nobody wants to hurt someone’s feelings, and we are all so insecure that we’ll search for ways to be offended by almost every style of ending things. Case in point, I ignored the compliment parts of that email. I personally think the compliment sandwich is the most vile form of communication, but it works for tons of people (most notably slimy producers and editors). And hilariously instructive drag queens:
Blah blah blah. I can say that getting laid by a cute girl the night after getting faux dumped really helped get over the fact that Librarian really really didn’t want to see me again ever again.
FWIW, the last one of these dumpings I got (about 2 weeks prior) closed with a “but lets be neighborhood buddies sometime” line. It also followed an enthusiastic email. More French Horn Rebellion, please:
Being aloof and withdrawn are essential to tricking a girl (or guy) into giving you enough of a chance to see if you really actually do like that person. Yes, tricking them. It just has to be done. There are no “if they really like you you won’t have to play games” scenarios anymore. If they really like you, they’re idiots.
note By this I mean the average guy who hasn’t white-washed their baser natures in an attempt to be blandly palatable to a broad range of mild mannered post-feminist types to such an extent that they have no idea they don’t like a girl because she’s too fat or her ass is too flat