backswimmers -- that I have somehow locked lips with (or not) over the past 18 months. (Yes, I will continue to analogize men as undesirable slop.)
I have been out with more than five guys over the previous year and a half, but the majority of them land somewhere among the following five classifications of filth. Therefore, I believe nearly all men can be sequestered into one (or more) of these categories.
Here are the five types of guys I've been on dates with. You probably have, too. Mix and match at your leisure.
1) The Overt Racist
I agreed to go out with this one jackass because good judgment is not a thing I possess. He showed up to our date -- which took place in a metropolitan city whose streets run rampant with rat droppings, human waste, mutated cockroach carcasses, discarded drug paraphernalia, raw meats, tainted fountain water, asbestos, shards of broken glass, airborne diseases, deadly toxins and more -- wearing flip flops on a cool October afternoon. We were not at the beach; he was not a lifeguard. It was not okay. Truly, it was my fault for not feigning food poisoning upon first sight of his unclipped toenails. But at least he wasn't wearing these, I guess.
We sat down at a "restaurant" that was really just a glorified diner with those laminated menus that have inaccurate pictures of food alongside the names in case you don't know what french fries look like. He ordered a shot of tequila and a drink. It was 3pm and he was ready to get white-girl wasted. I had work in two hours.
My date was every part the classic white, male comedian he thought he wasn't: loud, grating, pale, annoying, ghost, terrible, garbage, three-year-old sewer water that somehow finds its way kicked up inside your shoe. He was that rogue potato chip corner that maneuvers itself into a synchronized knife-formation as it stabs at your gums until they bleed. If anything, I am being too kind.
As soon as he found out I'm half-Puerto Rican/half-Ukrainian, he said, "Aren't both of those cultures known for their really beautiful women?" I rolled my eyes so far back into my head I could see brain tissue. He misinterpreted this as amusement and continued, "Puerto Rican girls are really beautiful. Which causes them to get pregnant at sixteen. Heyyyyyyy-oh."
The way in which I actually handled it: A mortified "...did you really just say that to me?"
But wait -- I'm a glutton for punishment so, naturally, there's more. We somehow got on the topic of Neopets, because every man who exists within this godforsaken realm is forever pre-pubescent. I mentioned something about being banned from the site when I was 12 for scamming people out of their neopoints, to which he promptly dropped the n-word, as though that's a casual, acceptable thing to sneak into conversation.
Ways in which I wish I had dealt with this: a swift kick in the dick, eighty times, followed by a public smear campaign against his character.
Actual way in which I dealt with this: A look of incredulity and disgust followed by, "...you do realize you're white, right?"
He responded to my arched brows and dropped jaw with, "Oh, I'm a comedian, it's okay. Words don't have power unless you give them power. I'm not racist." Okay, this isn't Harry Potter, we aren't summoning Voldemort. I told him I had to leave. He texted me the next day, believing our date had gone well.
The silver lining? I may have wasted 45 minutes on that guy, but at least it wasn't 45 years.
2) The Subtle Racist
|when you identify so strongly with a stereotype|
One guy -- who I regretfully went out with way too many times -- referred to me as Shakira on our first date. It makes sense, because Puerto Rico is actually Colombia, I just forgot about their interchangeability. I let that one go because Shakira is hot and I am an idiot. Over the next few weeks he let his racist flag fly sky-high, which ultimately culminated in the declaration that minorities are lazy people who get everything handed to them from the government. This makes so much sense coming from someone born into a white, upper-middle-class, suburban family who got his job via nepotism. When I reminded him that I was Puerto Rican (something someone recently told me I bring up constantly, sorry everyone) he said, "Yeah, but you aren't really."
Translation? "You're not dirty, gross and uncivilized like the others. I can touch you. Remember that I am still better than you, though."
This guy looked like Paul Blart: Mall Cop, by the way.
He texted me One Direction lyrics the next day, but they weren't even the right lyrics. And that's such a simple thing to Google, you know?
4) The Perfect Guy Who Never Calls You BackThe guys I really like always drop off the face of the planet after a few dates. Here's what happens: We go out, we get along famously, he says he wants to see me again, I do some light social media stalking when I get home and start writing up our wedding invitations. Then he disappears. He never responds to my texts; he dies. See this post and then this one, for reference.
It wasn't until I started dating regularly that I came to realize just how cowardly human beings really are. Out of the 10+ guys I've gone out with over the past few months, only one has been upfront with me and told me he wouldn't be in touch with me again. That guy kicked me out of his apartment moments after I gave him head, so, you know, still an undeniable piece of shit but baby steps.
There's something to be said for honesty. Radio-silence makes you feel like shit, like you're not worth the ten seconds it takes to craft a text and hit 'send.' I now make way too many jokes about not being called back, and they're never funny. It just makes things weird and uncomfortable because there's a palpable level of hysteria and defensiveness attached to said jokes. I am not really joking. A guy asked for my number recently, and my immediate response was "Listen, if you're not going to text me that's cool, but don't bother taking my number if you're not going to follow through." Admittedly, I was drunk, but I didn't need to be -- abrasive is my default at this point. Not cute.
It's made me tragically insecure. If a guy doesn't text me for a few days, I'm ready to torch his house, his life, my life, the MTA, the cat cafe, those weird leashes people put their kids on, the moon, a row of ornately carved armoires, cellos, JFK's baggage claim, whatever.
5) The Next-Level WeirdoI like weird guys. They are my kryptonite. My mom keeps telling me to settle for a normal guy with a 9-5 job, probably in finance or sandwich making or trolley driving, so I can have the white picket fence and the two kids anddddddddddddddddzzssffffkddasklsks;ssssss;llll;aaaaaaoofap;faaa;;;;;;;;;;;ll oh, sorry, I fell asleep on my keyboard imagining my future with a suit-donning, number-crunching motherfucker who takes his coffee black, no sugar and doesn't believe in evolution. I can't help it. There's something about a guy whose thought process falls somewhere between the brilliant pay off of the Merman scene from 'Cabin in the Woods' and the beautiful sad tragic desperation of 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' that I'm just naturally drawn to. It's probably because I'm kind of a weird sack of shit, myself. What's that Robert Fulghum quote frequently misattributed to Dr. Seuss? "We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.” Whatever.
But the archetypal Weird Guy is an insanely frustrating one to date. You never have any fucking idea what he's actually thinking, how he really feels about you, if he has feelings, what solar system he's orbiting, if he believes in the sun, the stars, Jupiter. He sends you texts about Taye Diggs' extra fingers and weird alien emojis hours after your date, probably indicative of his actual home planet. He's evasive and flighty and can't make solid plans with you. He's exciting and usually hot because why else would you bother, but he's so fucking infuriating that you're never sure if he's worth it.
When you finally give him an ultimatum, he doesn't respond, so you throw your phone at the wall because you already surrendered your sanity, what's another 200 dollars you don't have? You manage to move on and he senses it like a shark entering bloody water, so he texts you. And in that moment, you would like nothing more than to sear the fleshy pads of his fingers off so he can never text another human being again.
I once went to dinner with my friend, Anna, after I'd been stood up by another guy earlier that day. (One Direction's 'Story of My Life' plays faintly in the background.) Our waiter was cute and weird, so I left my number on my receipt. He texted me a few days later, we had the weirdest conversations, I was stupidly intrigued. Topics of conversation included: the jarring, visible transformation of a landscape depending on its abundance or absence of foliage, eukaryotes, plastering walls, the word 'torque,' circular saws, fig trees, the Bronx. We eventually hung out, he was fifty shades of crazy and I was totally into it.
He led me on for weeks after, always refusing to agree to a particular day to hang out again. I finally texted him "If you're not interested just give me a heads up. I promise I won't burn your restaurant down," to which he promptly ignored. Fair enough, goodbye. Then, a full week later, he wrote, "I shall."
I finally drunk texted him from a Jesse McCartney show and ended things. Admittedly, there was nothing to end. Now I'm ending this.