**Editors' Note: Today's guest post came in from G.G, a brave lad for his honest retelling of his first foray into post-college dating. Keep it real G!**
After college I decided to jump head first into the adult dating scene. I still don’t even know what that means. All I knew was that adults couldn’t possibly be as arrogant, ignorant, drunk and horny as I was in college, so something had to change.
I spent the first few weeks in my parents’ basement being celibate emotionally and physically. I didn’t let any of my collegiate slop drag into my adult life. I wanted a fresh start, so I purified my situation, analyzed myself and re-entered the dating scene. My first interaction with a female was as follows:
Under the star speckled summer sky on a hot night in the California central plains, the soft ballads of a Northern guitarist crescendoed through the crowd and the guests drank their colorful champagnes and stepped rhythmically through tangles of family, friends, acquaintances and strangers. I smiled and allowed myself to follow the gusts of laughter and the brushes of discomfort as we all bit our tongues about the inevitable failure of the commitment we all celebrated so wistfully. The conversations were as pleasant as one could imagine:
You must be ….
Are you from …?
One time Brady and I …
I wish you could have seen him when …
You really shouldn’t have.
And so it went until I was introduced to the only three women at the wedding with potential for love interest. The first was a small bowling-ball type of lady with cursive eyebrows and broad, drooping jowls. Her name escapes me, but through the evening she was referred to as, “The sort of (hand gestures circumferencing waist) one, ya know?”
The second woman was beautiful, blonde, artsy and angry. In the earliest moments of conversation she mentioned her boyfriend who could not attend. The third was Jessie, tall, soft, beautiful, innocent; she smiled and asked curious questions about everyone she met. Her and I shook hands formally and I knew that things had only just begun.
During dinner I glanced towards the ladies’ table. First I was met with a fierce glare from the (hand-motion; furrowed eyebrow) one, then the girl with a boyfriend made a point of looking and looking sharply away towards nothing in particular. Finally, Jessie and I met eyes. Once quickly at first. Then again with smiles. Finally, we graduated into quick, mischievous glances every few minutes.
Eating turned into walking around aimlessly; walking around aimlessly turned into drinking more; drinking more turned into odd conversations; live music, odd conversations and aimless wandering turned into dancing. The scene developed typically and it was clear that everybody in the crowd had watched numerous wedding scenes in movies. We all knew what to do.
The young and the old. The fat and the skinny. The drunk, unhealthy-looking ex-frat guy and my little sister. All borders were crossed and everybody acted like they were having more fun than they actually were. I joined in and pretended to enjoy dancing to acoustic guitar hard rock and Jessie did the same.
Slowly, our hands eased from our sides into the air and we acted like we were in a music video. Our dancing surpassed the rhythm of the music and she said, “Why don’t you loosen up a little bit?” I took offense and danced even stranger. I moved my feet faster, pursed my lips, started with the thrillingly awkward eye contact, but no matter what I did I couldn’t fake her out. She knew I was faking it.
We gave up on dancing and walked over to the wedding cake, each took a piece and a fork and acted casual with each other. We close-talked by the cake station for a while drinking vodka out of plastic cups and acting more sober than I would at a church. The formalities broke into blank, drunken stares and empty nods, affirmations and occasionally reckless giggles. We exchanged numbers and then re-entered the crowd pretending that nothing had happened.
My family loaded into a limousine with Jessie’s two friends and we left for the hotel. Jessie stayed. Who with? I do not know. My mind whirled in suspicion and I became irritable. Her friends, drunk and angry, told tales of Jessie dancing with other guys, having lots of fun. I didn’t buy it for a second. I sent Jessie a text message asking if she would call when she gets back to the hotel. She agreed.
When she arrived, both of us got dressed casually and walked through the small town of Grass Valley in the middle of the night sharing our tales of life. She was 28, hardworking, established in a nice apartment with a good job in the heart of Portland. My situation was very different: unemployed, parents’ basement, no prospects, loser friends, drinking problem, soft-working, aimless. However, being a refreshed person in this adult dating scene I spun it something like this: transitional, learning some new lessons in the real world, nobody understands me, too smart for my own good, saving money in parents’ basement to ensure future well-being.
I explained recent epiphanies that came to me in a Portland strip club one afternoon with a close friend. We weren’t in the strip club for the nudity, I explained, we were there for the culture shock. She liked what we heard and we kissed quietly on the side of the road, laughing innocently at each other for reasons still unknown.
Back in Portland we made a date to date and I had to back up everything I told her that night in California. I met her downtown and she toured me through her apartment, which was only so-so.
“What are we going to do tonight?” she asked me excitedly. I told her my plan, which was fairly fool-proof in the winning of a heart. The plan unraveled like a song in a Disney movie.
“A dinner at the restaurant! Why? These fresh turnips here will do just fine? Wine? Of course! I brought some of my own. A movie later? Why, miss, you have been living in a movie of your own. How about we watch the movie of life, walk through the city and explore this town of ours!” I told her. She ate it up. I was being as honest as I could while maintaining the façade that I as mature.
Everything went to plan and we laughed at each others’ jokes. Nothing special happened. She tried to get me to sing her a karaoke song and I wouldn’t, but I really respected her for trying so diligently. We played some video games at an arcade and threw coins into a fountain. It all would have looked very romantic in a highlight reel.
Back at her place we sat on the couch and kissed. I didn’t know what she wanted me to do and reacted nervously by taking her shirt off. She responded strangely by doing the same. We went to her bedroom and everything became naked and she gave me the best blowjob I have ever had. I lay there for a few moments, lifeless, until I get a phone call.
It was my best friend due to be back from Alaska in just a few hours. My heart began to race with excitement. Jessie asked me what was going on. I told her, nakedly, about my friend’s arrival. It had been almost two months, which was about one month longer than our longest separation in 16 years. I got quiet, stood up, put my pants on.
“I know this is weird, but I can’t sit still. I need to go. I am really excited about seeing my friend. I had a great time and I will talk to you soon,” I told her. She looked at me confused and agreed to my leaving. She asked again if we would talk soon. I told her: Of course.
I went to my friends apartment downtown to kill the next few hours and proceeded to drink beer, smoke cigarettes, get high and fall asleep underneath somebody’s winter coat on a carpet in the spare room. The next day I woke up and went to meet my friend around 11 a.m. I never called Jessie and she never called me. Nothing.
Two months later I got a text message that read, “Want to come out to Nemo’s next Saturday night for my birthday?” I had never heard of Nemo’s, and since I had just gotten a new phone, I assumed that the unknown number and unknown location must have meant that the text was from the girl who I met the night before downtown at a bar, who was a 19-year-old stripper. The second girl I kissed in the three month period.
I wasn’t interested in her at all and responded with “I stopped by your work today. Didn’t see you there.” Jokingly.
“What? Did you see my car there or something?” she responded.
“Oh. Nevermind.” I said.
“Who do you think this is?”
“I thought it was this stripper I met lastnight. This is a new phone. Who is this?”
“It must get pretty old, Griff. I hope it’s worth it.”
“It’s not. Who is this?”
“I forgot about your thing with strip clubs. Huh.”
“Oh. I think I know who this is. Sorry.”
My go at adult romance turned into the most deceptive one-night-stand of my life, the façade crumbled and I was left with the Truth. I’m just a guy living in his parents’ basement, still unemployed, still drowning in commitment issues, who, if he had his choice of women at the bar would choose the most emotionally vacant screwball girl possible, only made possible by fake identification and lots of liquor. Immaturity prevailed, again.