24 November 2011

When Harry Meets Ess Bee

Tonight I have a first date with a guy I met last weekend—a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend I was introduced to at a bar in Atlantic City. First dates are fun and exciting, right? Full of possibilities. I’m really excited.

Yeah, except I’m not. My lack of enthusiasm doesn’t have anything to do with this particular guy. This Guy seems great: we’re in the same line of work, we made each other laugh a lot the night we met, and our conversations since then, although brief, have been rife with witty banter (my favorite kind of banter). So I have every reason to be excited, but instead I have a small pit of anxiety in my stomach and a desire to fast-forward to date #5. Why? Because I hate first dates. It’s a bold and unusual statement, I know, but it’s true.

The first few dates are the awkward in-between stage—the middle of the spectrum on which random makeout/hookup is one extreme and relationship is the other. I’m perfectly happy with both of those extremes. With hookups—regardless of how far up you wish to hook—there’s no pressure, no expectations. As long as you don’t find yourself with a dagger-tongue kisser who seems to be trying to spear your tonsils, or a guy who drinks so much whiskey he passes out before pants are even unbuttoned, or a dude who thinks his dick is a jackhammer (in a whiplash and concussion kind of way, not a rocking your world kind of way), then you’re probably having a good night even if you’re not going to see him again. Hookups don’t come with any of the anxiety that first dates do. You don’t have to worry about awkward silences, or whether you’re saying the right thing: you can just put your mouth somewhere that makes speaking nearly impossible. Moaning is accepted in lieu of coherent words. Everyone’s happy.

With relationships, on the other hand, you’re beyond all of that awkwardness. You know a lot about each other, so conversation never seems forced. There’s no wondering whether he’s into you or whether you’re going to get laid—he is, you are, end of story. (Unless he drinks so much whiskey he passes out before pants are even unbuttoned. That can still happen.) There’s a measure of comfort that I find so much more appealing than the uncertainty of first dates. I also just prefer watching movies on the sofa in pajama pants and Spongebob slippers instead of my first-date skirt and platforms.

In any case, I do enjoy a good date, but again one that is in its fourth or fifth stage of fruition. At that point one is well aware of their status: buddy, hook-up, or “book-up” – a calculated combination of both. Now, if I can only find a way to numb the pain of the first . . .

Point of the conversation: Wine works wonders.

- Ess Bee

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