It's weird. Things get weird.
Just kidding. I'm not to that point yet. But I have been taking myself to dinner a lot lately. I'm a really good gentle-woman. I always open the door, and I always pick up the tab.
Ok seriously, a couple weeks ago I went on one of the most interesting dates of my Tinder experiences yet.
I had been talking to a guy that I had matched with on several sites. He had a beard and some pictures with trees in it, AND he passed the clearance of my male friend approval, so I felt pretty confident in my selection of this guy. He read my blog and openly admitted to Facebook and Instagram stalking me. I liked him already.
We met at a coffee shop. He was much taller and much cuter in person. Both a bonus. I had a zit between my eyes and I'm sure he was staring at it the whole time.
And then began this weird/awesome/unorthodox date where we went from being strangers to discussing our ex-marital issues, sexual endeavors, hobbies and interests, that one sibling we all seem to have, and
I usually sit through dates calculating how many drinks I need to make this shit interesting but still be able to play it off like I'm not a total lush. I had actually never been on a coffee date, or a sober date, for that matter. I was unusually comfortable sitting here, stone cold sober, discussing the innerworkings of my seriously fucked up brain, and discovering that he was as equally insane as I was. I was soaking up everything he was saying, and all the while these red lights kept going off in my brain. We call them red-flags. This guy was a blaring red flag. He was the light you didn't notice while your friend riding shotgun is screaming, "RED LIGHT!"
Only I didn't slam my brakes on. I didn't think to myself... well here's a guy who clearly has some issues and I should excuse myself and make a run for it. I sat there with this guy at the coffee shop for something like 5 or 6 more hours until we decided it was weird that we were still there and we moved next door to the bar. I watched him drink a couple beers while I drooled jealously with my water. He mentioned that his shock factor had no effect on me and he thought it was weird. I wasn't phased. The only thing that would have made me fidget was if he had told me he murdered someone. Even then, I would have stayed. I was planted in that seat waiting to uncover more fucked up mysteries.
A good friend of mine and I have been discussing red flags fairly frequently. Mostly about how we ignored them with our previous spouses, and how blatant they were. I vowed to never ignore red flags again and yet here I was, trying to keep track of all the red flags being thrown... completely unphased by them.
Every single red flag that went off in my brain, I quickly talked down because I realized I was on a hot date with myself.
Holy shit, I thought. I am a walking red flag.
Is this what it's like when I date people? Are these guys just sitting there like 'holy shit this girl is nuts. I need to get out of here.' How could I judge someone when I had behaved the same way? How could I think less of this person for being so open about their wrong-doings in life? I couldn't. I had been and sometimes still am the same lost person trying to figure it out.
All I could think about was my own behavior; how I felt when I was in his place, going through this phase in life, doing some of these things we were discussing. How much I disliked myself, how I had lost track of the person I had worked so hard to become, forgetting about any repercussions to my actions, my total disregard for anyone else's emotions or well being. I couldn't help but feel that I would be going backwards by continuing anything with this guy but there I sat, still unmoved. The kindred spirit connection was stronger than what little common sense I contain when it comes to the opposite gender.
“But the reality is we often become our kindest, most ethical selves only by seeing what it feels like to be a selfish jackass first.”
I have dated about 107 men since my split from my husband and I have only come across a few guys that are willing to open up on a first date in general- usually after a few beers, and even fewer (none, actually) to lay it all out there like that. Take it or leave it. I was picking it up. Being able to be this honest and raw was so attractive. My mind was so turned on. Ok, so was my body a little bit.
I like these people. We're like mind-ed. They're part of my tribe or something like that.
This kind of brutal honesty and open conversation was so hot to me. It says to me, I know I'm a seriously messed up human, I don't know what the f*ck I'm doing but here I am, trying to make sense of it. They're not afraid of themselves. I've never been attracted to the idea of perfection, or to people that don't ever get out and live. It took me 25ish years to figure out that I don't want to be surrounded by perfect people or people that pretend to be. I want to be surrounded by loving, genuine people. People who get out there and do what feels right in that moment are my favorite kind of people. Our intuition is not always right. Sometimes we just fuck up. F*cking up builds character. It makes you smarter as you learn through your mistakes. Unless, you're me... then it just gives you lots and lots of character.
I just finished reading Cheryl Strayed's, Wild and I couldnt help but love this part of her book:
“What if I forgave myself? I thought. What if I forgave myself even though I'd done something I shouldn't have? What if I was a liar and a cheat and there was no excuse for what I'd done other than because it was what I wanted and needed to do? What if I was sorry, but if I could go back in time I wouldn't do anything differently than I had done? What if I'd actually wanted to fuck every one of those men? What if heroin taught me something? What if yes was the right answer instead of no? What if what made me do all those things everyone thought I shouldn't have done was what also had got me here? What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?”
Life is full of lessons, if you're willing to learn. Mistakes are meant to be made. It's how my kids have learned that I am right about absolutely everything. You don't want to wear a coat in the pouring rain? Suit yourself.
So what did I do? I went home with him. He said he had bacon.
You know that feeling you get when you like someone? That's your common sense leaving your body.