For every bad date I have been on, I am sure the girl has her own version where I skeeved her out. I once took a girl to an arcade and we faced off in one of those Formula 1 racing games. Leading by a hair on the last lap, I peeked at her screen and saw her car gaining on me. Waiting for the right moment, I slammed my car into hers to ensure victory. “Why would you do that?” She said, either disappointed in me or sad about losing the race. “I don't know. I get really competitive I guess.” “Are you like that about everything?” “It was just a video game.” “So... Yes then?” “It appears so,” I said. She went home.
My early, invented stories became a precursor to gauging my self-value by how many girls I had sex with, not by how many of their names I could remember.
“We shouldn’t have done that,” she explained. “Sorry.” It was my first time, so I didn’t know if she felt bad because of the quality of sex or if that was just the way girls felt after sleeping with a guy on a first date. I didn’t realize until later in life that girls actually liked having sex. “Do you want an aspirin? Or some birth control? Does that help?” I said.
I never thought that losing my virginity meant that afterwards I would have to check for the girl’s pulse. And yet, as I lay on my back and closed my eyes, I couldn’t help but think about how much I wanted to do that again.
One of the best dates I ever had lasted about thirty minutes at an East Village bar after meeting at a party. We ordered drinks and determined immediately that we hated each other. I had no interest in making money, working hard or being successful. She had no interest in letting that description be her boyfriend.
Which is worse: Going on a date with someone who opposes your political stance and having that go nowhere, or not mentioning it, then finding out after sex that you’ve just added a political adversary to your list?
I had been dating Tracy for a little over a month at that point, which is the worst time for it to be New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving, birthday or any other time when you feel obligated to pretend you’ve been dating longer than you actually have.
I have found that most of my problems with girlfriends, dates and relationships stem exactly from the fact that I do, in fact, attempt to make my own decisions. I would make a much more successful boyfriend if I simply stopped trying to decide things. I see those shells of men all the time. Hollowed out. They go where their wives yank them. Yes, they have lost their soul. But at least they can’t make any more wrong decisions.