AAAH#4: Mission Accomplished
It is with great pleasure that I announce the success of Freedom Twenty-Five’s Ask An Asshole Initiative.
You see, I’m not your garden-variety thoughtless dickhead. My goal in offering unsolicited dating advice to the internet’s womenfolk is not (just) the amusement of myself and my readers. I harass the blind, so that they might see.
Round One of AAAH pointed out the self-defeating nature of Date Me DC‘s angry, picky, cynical approach to sex and dating. Please read the post, as it’s a Freedom Twenty-Five classic, but the point was that the big three-oh-approaching Date Me DC author is doing herself no favours by endlessly getting her ticket punched on the big-city meat market merry-go-round, while her salad years slip away.
Soon after that post, she appeared to have suffered from a month of writer’s block. Date Me DC went quiet. I concluded that she was in speechless awe of me, and had bought cats to throw birthday parties for. But few days ago, this popped up in my RSS feed:
“It finally happened.
One man after another came into my life and ripped out a piece of me. And in their wake, I am irreparably damaged. Bruised, bleeding – the emotional equivalent of a once-formidable boxer knocked nearly unconscious and staring bleary eyed up at the ceiling from the center of the ring.
David got first choice. So I will never understand the amount of cold calculation it took for David to look me, a woman he once loved, directly in the eyes as he piled all of my belongings in the middle of our living room floor, kept $1,000 of my money as collateral and told me he wouldn’t give it back until I got out.
Mark took the next piece.
He was so debonair, with his long hair brushing the tips of his eyelashes. I’d never laughed harder on a date. He was the first man for whom I’d truly felt the rush of infatuation since I’d met and began dating David. And he owned his own real estate company – I can’t deny that I was beyond impressed with his credentials.
Two dates with him and my imagination exploded. I started mentally planning trips to Croatia, where he was born, and fantasizing about steamy nights spent in his fabulous Logan Circle loft.
Mark was only the fifth man I’d gone on a date with. He was also the one to teach me “He is not different; you are not special.”
We slept together and I never heard from him again.
Then Jack tore out another chunk.
I got one final text: “I’m sorry. Apparently I have my own emotional issues I need to work out.”
I didn’t have it in me to explain to my family why I couldn’t stop crying on Christmas Day 2009.
I didn’t think I’d meet Chris.
but I don’t even know how to describe what he meant to me.
Save to say that I loved him.
And it fucking kills me to lose him because I know I meant something to him, too. One night he described to me the unimaginable horrors of his childhood. Opening up to me like that shook him. I could see it. We both felt it.
But he’s even more skilled at compartmentalizing than David. After that night, he closed it down, tucked it away – and he was never quite the same with me.
I can’t begin to articulate how that makes me feel. I can’t find the words.
And worse, now I can’t find any words that fulfill me like they used to. Every day without him is a day that the sun doesn’t shine for me. That food tastes like sawdust. That I fail to see a reason why I should even bother getting out of bed. That I daydream about sinking into the Potomac, just sinking, looking up at the sunlight reflecting on the surface and not even trying to swim.
Chris violently, passionately ripped out the last bit of me.
Blogger Sassy Marmalade came to my apartment a few weeks ago and said something that totally stuck with me: “The song is wrong – the first cut is not the deepest. They build on each other.”
Mark built on David, Jack built on that, John added more and Chris finished the job.
They broke me.”
I ain’t no psychiatrist. But sounds to me like you’ve got yourself a case of Depression.
But hold on. The next day, she posted this:
“The truth is, I’ve been drowning in this. I need a life raft.
* * *
“So what did you learn when you Facebook-stalked me?”
“That you’re well-traveled. That you were probably a nerd throughout high school and most of college, and you’re only recently social.”
“Yeah… that’s true.”
“I couldn’t figure out who your ex-girlfriend is, though. Usually, that’s pretty easy to glean because you see the same person posing with you, just the two of you, over and over again in a bunch of pictures.”
“No, you’re right, there aren’t any. My ex-girlfriends didn’t really like posing for pictures.”
“That’s like, the complete opposite of me. Every time I see a camera, I take the opportunity to flip the deuces and make a duckface, or otherwise act like a total asshole.”
“I can promise you, I will mess up all your photos… cuz, you know, that’s basically what we are, right? Whether you want to admit it to yourself or not — we’re spending like three nights a week and whole weekends with each other, I’m not dating anybody else, you’re not dating anybody else — you’re basically my boyfriend.”
“Whether you want to admit it or not. You’re kinda my boyfriend.”
“And you’re kinda my girlfriend.”
“So, that’s like… it? We’re for real?”
The thing is, he knows everything. He came into my life right at the point I was clearly hitting rock bottom. I know he can see just how damaged I am, and he doesn’t shy away. He’s kind, and compassionate, and the best listener I have ever known (women in my life included).
I can’t even describe how much he means to me at this point.
He’s a good man.
He’s my life raft.”
So there you have it folks. Assholes may not be fun to listen to, but we can offer you better advice than the suck-up yes-men who cravenly reaffirm your crappy life choices as a means of seeking your approval. Katie finished off her mini-series yesterday, with the announcement that she’s going on blogging hiatus:
“After 56 first dates, 214 blog posts, and countless awkward moments, drunken nights, humiliations and heartbreaks, I have a boyfriend.
This used to be the place I could let it all hang out. Lately, it feels more like my noose. I’ve barely even wanted to write in weeks.
That said, I’ve spent so much of the last 18 months of my life seeking out dates, going on dates, thinking about dates, writing about dates, that I’m kind of at a loss for what other topic I could even cover.
So if you’ve enjoyed this blog in any way, this may not be “goodbye” — just “see you later.”
Which is kind of bittersweet, don’t ya think? Reminds me of the closing scene in Good Will Hunting when Ben Affleck goes to pick up Matt Damon for work, and he’s just not there.
Anyways. I have no idea what’s actually going through the mind of Katie, author of the two-year-plus running Date Me DC. I would be very, very surprised if she consciously ascribes her recent depression and re-alignment to my flippant, unsolicited half-mocking/half-advising posts. But our brains have an impressive ability to make decisions first and come up with rationalizations later, so I’m going to go ahead and take credit where credit’s due. Katie, I’d rather not have had to make you all mopey this past month, but remember: Depression is an evolved state we enter when we need to seriously re-examine the core assumptions in our life. For a person trapped in self-destructive habits, sometimes temporary depression is the only way out.
So Congrats Ms. Date Me DC, on taking a leap of faith. Go into this with humility, channel the femininity that nature gave you and society seeks to take away, and remember that your man will always prefer sweetness and smiles over sarcasm and sassiness. You know, I think I’ll just write you a post on how to be an awesome girlfriend. But for now, a cooler on the dock is calling my name.