It’s hard trying to be an adult for the first time at age 34. I’m slowly teaching myself to cook, learning how to live alone… basically doing for the first time many things that most people learn in their 20s, and that make them secure, stable people in their 30s. As you all know, one of those things is dating. My interactions with guys are therefore in flux. So, here are three recent situations:
T has been clingy since we first started seeing each other. He described himself as 焼きもち, a jealous type. Unused to my weird sleeping habits (I don’t sleep well, so I tend to be in bed for many, many hours trying to feel rested), he told me my claims of having “just woken up” or “having gone to bed at 11 last night” were 怪しい (suspicious), when I finally got around to texting him in the mornings. If I’d been more secure, and more experienced with guys I’d have told him this was unacceptable and broken it off. But I didn’t.
One night I wrote him that I was exhausted and needed to turn in early, to sleep in my own bed where it was quiet. (Longer term readers of my blog will recall T’s epic snoring.) Well, he showed up at my place to see if I was really alone, fell asleep on my single bed, began snoring like a chain saw, and left me to curl up on the floor, sleepless. I vowed to break it off with him. But I didn’t.
He would freak out when I hung out with male friends and there was any kind of lapse in my texting, and just this Friday when I was out late and then conked out when I got home without texting, he became cranky, suspicious, and jealous.
None of this is good. If he and I were in the same country, we’d be having a talk and perhaps breaking up. But as it stands, in my current state o’ mental-health, I’m just ignoring the bad behavior and putting off dealing with it.
2. OkCupidWith my short hair and nerdy, vaguely dykey appearance, I imagine I’m not prone to receiving the same kinds of messages as most women. I tried using OkCupid for a bit in Tokyo, but it was almost all men who were in town on business and wanted to cheat on their wives. I still remember one OkCupid “date” that I didn’t realize was a date, wherein I said goodnight and began to walk home, while the guy stood behind me slack-jawed, clearly shocked. I only realized later after reevaluating our conversation that he assumed we were going to have a hookup that night. And he’d made it obvious. But I am that clueless about these things.
So, I’ve gotten some fun messages lately on OKC:
“Is it weird that I want a girl to pretend I’m Superman and weaken me with kryptonite and play a sexy seductive villain and lead me into a trap like use green glowsticks as the kryptonite rocks?”
Yes… yes that is weird. At least as an opener. And I’ve re-read some of my openers. I’m pretty weird too so, y’know, weird on.
And from a man who listed his age as 95:
“Like you, I am looking for chemistry and companionship as well, very insightful and have a high emotional intelligence; good at conversation and yes, I am older. Someone who, she and I will complementary each other. I have MONEY!!!!! One will lift the other and be a joy to be around. Looking more than just the out side. my cell phone is xxxxxxx. Text me give the best time to call back. I would like to meet for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine ASAP.”
I won’t write– because I think it might be horrible– what popped into my head when I read that “ASAP” bit. His profile claimed that he is looking for a Hugh Hefner type of situation. I… yeah. My boobs are NOT fake enough for that.
3. The co-worker
So a girl goes to a bar, with her entire department. Everyone sits around and drinks merrily. The girl (oh whatever, switching back to first-person)… I am trying the delicious but $9 house cocktails, while most everyone else is pounding $2 can of PBRs. (Because even though we’re all broke graduate students, I’m a yuppie. I’m also still living on J’s income so, there’s that.)
Around 12, most everyone decides that they’re tired, including me, and we rise en masse to head out. But one of the guys, a fellow whose bipolar disorder* has trended to the manic lately, and who is clearly completely wired at the moment, begs a few of us to stay. I acquiesced even though I tend to hate staying out late. “One more weak drink and I can still be home early.” I thought. And really, I was lonely. And I didn’t want to go home to my empty house.
Well, one more weak drink turned into a couple, but I wasn’t really drunk or even buzzed. Still fit to drive, in other words. The cocktails were tiny, in addition to expensive. But of the three of us that were hanging around, two were clearly feeling their booze. As I sat on the porch in the sultry Houston night air, watching the lightning flicker behind the trees, I talked to one of these guys about the loss of my marriage and how hard I am struggling these days to just exist.
I remember confiding how difficult a time I am having with the idea of dating, letting down my guard, etc.
All of a sudden he was on me, kissing me in a big wet slobbery way. I was shocked. I felt violated. I was shocked.
Clearly he regretted it the moment he was done; he retreated into his hooded sweatshirt and began apologizing. I didn’t know what to say, so I said it was okay. I sat back. I blinked.
Do you sense a trend here?
Is this what happens to single girls?
As an academic, he should know better. We talk about power and privilege and gender dynamics for a living. He should know better, but we’re all a bit mentally deranged in academia, so he still could ambush me like that.
There is another apology from him in my Facebook inbox that I haven’t replied to yet. I don’t know what to say. The next day I was actively traumatized, because I was already traumatized before that happened and I NEED to feel safe these days.
Thank god my mom is coming to visit tomorrow.
*Not making light of. Completely serious and trying to be accurate.