I don’t date very often (which might explain why I’m still writing this series of posts). Cause, well…
I don’t have a lot of free time away from work which means I am very stingy with the time that I do have. Additionally, I rarely find someone (male-wise) that I’d like to waste such valuable time on. Seriously, I think the last date (like where you go out together, at the same time, to some mutually agreed place –no sneak attacks dates! –just the two of you –(also not a group date)) I went on was in 2012 with the Time Traveler.
Well, lately there’s this guy ….(hmmm)
We’ll call him, “The Mayor” and we won’t use the word “dating” (cause he might break out in hives – or stop talking to me *shrug*— if he reads this).
The Mayor and I have been hanging out? talking more to each other than other people? I-don’t-know-exactly-what lately. And it is exasperating. And yet, oddly-so-pleasant.
You see, we’re playing a game! Except there don’t appear to be actual rules. Well, there are rules, but no one can agree to what they are. It’s a lot like playing spades with a group of people from different regions of the country. Do you guys play with jokers? Why are you using the two of diamonds?? Is the big joker the guaranteed one or the one without writing??? And then you always have those random people who keep playing Euchre and swearing up and down: it’s the same thing as spades (um…it’s not).
The game seems to revolve around figuring out if you like me as much as I like you without my showing (in any way) how much I like you — if I like you, I mean. Confused yet? Nonchalance. Studied indifference is the name of the game. Maybe it’s more like Clue where you’re trying to figure out the other person’s motive and endgame. What do you see in me? What are you thinking?
Let’s not even get started with the minutiae of dating, the day-to-day operations type stuff: Should I call you, if you only text me? Who pays for coffee? When should they ask to see you again or should you be asking? What is the correct interval for returning a text? If you respond too fast then you’re too eager and showing your hand. Too slow and maybe you aren’t (or are) sufficiently conveying your interest. Still confused?
It’s a chess game and I’m two steps ahead of you or maybe, you have me in check already. Only one of has Uno and certain topics are Taboo. Like: What would happen if I wasn’t going on a deployment in 4 weeks? Would this be different? Are you freaking out right now cause I’m writing a blog post about it (or does that just mean you’re winning the game)? All compounded by the fact that there have been other players and checkmates in the past. Our Monopoly board is literally sitting on the carnage of broken relationships. Yikes.
The Mayor and I are clever gamers though. His strategy seems to be of the wait-and-see-what-she-does variety and I (with all the skill of a soap opera actress) am driven to the Scarlett Ohara let’s throw caution to the wind part. Except playing the game before has taught us to be cautious people, prone to deliberation and over-analyzation. And so we neatly stack our liking for each other, balancing non-commitance and expectation with all the skill required of building a tall Jenga tower so that nothing tips over. Sometimes one of us goes off script though and flips over the Monopoly board or oversets the tower, changing the direction of the game.
Last weekend, for example, one of us had a meltdown and the other broke into a rash at the thought of hanging out together three days in a row. The meltdown and rash were for completely different reasons, but who knew there were limits to the amount of time you could spend with someone?!? Well, in this game there are (and apparently it’s 72 hours). This naturally led to an argument and dramatic exit stage left (look out Susan Lucci) followed by an hour or so of over-communication to try to get the game back into play, or maybe that’s into bounds. Into some manageable realm where neither person felt like they were losing. Because that’s ultimately what the argument was about…losing. Face, or interest or the Game.
The Game part of Dating is messy. And weird. And kind of fun all at once. I completely get why I don’t do it more frequently ( I can’t even imagine how exhausting serial dating must be *shudder*). It’s actually amazes me that people stick it out past the Game phase to couple up or pair off at all.Seriously. The Game phase is the ultimate, super hard Sudoku puzzle that you only attempt on transatlantic flights where you’re stuck in the middle of the middle row and there’s a crying baby next to you. You spend an unbelievable amount of time trying to rearrange all of the various pieces of yourselves (his neuroses and your craziness, the square root of attraction, his smile, your eyes, the never-ending talking, etc ) into those little squares so that it adds up to… something. Something real perhaps. Something noteworthy. Maybe something worthy of keeping. It’s very complicated.You could lose your heart in a game like that. Or an eye. Just sayin’