Six Seasons with Reasons Why One Ain't So Bad a Number to Do
Traditionally, Season Finales of television shows include a wrap up of what has happened during a period of time and hint towards what will happen during the next season, with some sort of a cliff-hanger to keep you watching.
Turns out the reality series, “Emmy Em Tries Her Hand at Dating Again”, plays out much like the shows we watch to entertain ourselves. The recurring themes obvious and, generally, we all know what to expect and how the end result will present itself, but there are subtle nuances from show to show. One other tendency of Season Finales is that they rarely repeat themselves. Each at least a little unique, another parallel to the endings of relationships (or lackthereof).
So without further ado, the CW (unfortunately, my life is much more of a CW production than PBS) presents a round up of the past year and a half of “Emmy Em Tries her Hand at Dating Again”.
**Names have been changed not to protect the innocent but because they all get nicknames after it’s over. It’s a tradition.
Season One: The Professor. After a solid three months of being officially single after a 2.5 year relationship (whose Season Finale was so awful words can’t come close to describing), I decided that I needed a date.
I wanted someone to take me out & check out my ass & all of those things that you do on a date. It’d been a long time since I’d met anyone and from a friend’s suggestion I visited Nerve.com.
Almost immediately a decent-looking Ethics professor and I began talking and made plans to meet at the Museum of Fine Art (art is hot). We went out a couple times (at this point I began to feel confident about this & told a couple friends that I’d met someone) and things were rolling along when on the fifthish meeting we went to a concert, wherein we got incredibly inebriated off of drinks that I’d never heard of. Warning Sign.
The next meeting included him making me a drink at Poker Night that was more gin than tonic. Strike Two.
By this point, about 3 weeks in, I teetered on feeling bored. Strike Three.
So I began avoiding telephone calls & communication, naturally they’d begun to peter off, when all of a sudden I received an email telling me that he’d met “a real swell girl and hopes that we can still be friends”. I soon found out that he’d scheduled dates with 17 different women within the course of a month. The Professor was serious about one thing. He wanted to find a wife, and fast. This Season Finale took place over an email, though usually inappropriate, fit fine and solidified what we both felt: that we weren’t that into each other.
Season Two: Mono. Sitting at Upstairs one night doing the crossword (how I wish that I sat there & did crosswords rather than school readings now…so much more free time), a cute boy with glasses asked me if I needed help with it. I replied with “just about to finish but thanks” and he responded by asking where I was from, as I don’t have a Boston accent. We got to talking. We went out a few times. It kind of bugged me that he had an awful laugh & was balding (not a good bald), but you can overlook these things, right?
By the time four weeks was up, irritation had set in (and I’d already met Season 3: 25YO) and it was kind of grasping for straws. After returning from a work trip to D.C. in the afternoon, followed by a 2 hour class in the evening, he insisted that we meet for dinner. And despite exhaustion (the 2008 election had taken place the night before and succinctly said, old coworkers from U of Chicago and I had been up quite late the night before celebrating), I agreed, since he would be away on business for the next few days. I picked at the food sitting in front of me, longing for a hot bath and bed. When he said it.
“So what do you think about us?”.
Me: Do you mean the collective us or the us, you and me,us?
Mono: The us, you and me.
Me: Well, we both just got out of serious relationships and I’m not looking for anything serious but we tend to have fun. (Note: this is the most bullshit line of all bullshit lines…you have a talk and that is the response? run.)
Him: Oh good. Because I wanted to make sure we’re on the same page. You know, having fun but that I don’t want anything serious. Because, you know, I really enjoy spending time with you and doing those things we do *wink*wink* (he literally winked) so I wanted to make sure that you knew that it’d be okay for us to see other people but we have to be monogamous. Because of diseases.
Me: Uh, yeah. I’m really tired, could we go home?
He drove me home that night and I hopped out of the car and shut the door to a balding A.I. PhD student saying “wait, you don’t want me to come in?” & that was the end of Mono.
We’ll take a short pause in the programming to make a Public Service Announcement…Although communication plays an important role in relationships, I feel very strongly that anything short of three months warrants no talks other than those of the “I like you” variety. Period. Just don’t call again. No need to waste peoples’ time. Thank you for listening.
Season Three: The 25YO. One of my girlfriends from Chicago, Con, and I tend to go out and get into trouble. Very fun trouble. Still, trouble. She was in town visiting and we were gallivanting around Boston when I saw a ridiculously good-looking guy at Harper’s Ferry. She dragged him over to me and we proceeded to make out in a bar. Classy, right?
We started seeing each other regularly within two weeks and agreed that we both just wanted to have fun. (AHEM.) And I even went as so far as to say that there was no reason to talk about this any further. Period. Coming up on the fifthish week of knowing each other I had begun to distance myself, as this had projected itself as a big pile of nowhere, as planned.
Around 4-6ish weeks it’s normal to begin assimilating your life with someone else’s in small ways. Less, awkward “do you want to have dinner?” and more “what nights are you free this week?”.
On a Monday night he asked if I’d like to have dinner. At the time I was back-to-backing ballet classes for a total of 3 hours on Monday nights in the studio. Half of which was en pointe. I said that I was busy and needed to do laundry after two exhausting classes, so no. He insisted that we have dinner while I sort and fold. Too tired to fight I said “fine, whatever but I need to eat and get stuff done”. He showed up at my apartment to do nothing but look at me and say that he thought that he might be making the worst mistake of his life but that he can’t see me anymore. My response was less diplomatic and more along the lines of saying “you pulled me out of a bath after an incredibly intense dance session after work to say what I asked you never to mention? This could have been concluded in the more civilized matter of just not calling again. Please leave.” He emailed the next day to say that he really wanted to be friends & that I was very important to him. That is until he found his current girlfriend when all emails stopped.
Commercial Break: The only funny notable during another long period of non-dating was the guy I met from craigslist (shut up, don’t judge…desperation & two friends of mine did meet that way & are getting married next year so THERE) who told me the following: he prefers wearing women’s jeans, is a hemophiliac, needs to have teeth extracted but it’s a problem because of his hemophilia, told his mom that he would never get married, and doesn’t allow his dogs in the room while he’s making love. Pretty sure I barfed a little in my mouth when he used the words “making love”. That was an hour of painfully reserving myself until I (yes, I) jumped up and paid the check.
Season Four: Underware. Then a couple months later I decided that I would exhaust all possibilities by trying that last nail: pay-for-use internet dating. So on a hazy, hungover Sunday morning I signed up for 3 months of eHarmony (which I didn’t realize is a Christian dating thing and doesn’t allow homosexual dating…my B!). Part of the questionnaire asks you to rate your attractiveness. Which in these cases, I’ve learned, that modesty is not good. Honesty is the best policy, right? So I put myself down as a 7, which I think is accurate. And then it asks you how important attractiveness is to you, which I also answered honestly with “quite important”. Well, let me tell you that people think that they are a lot more attractive than they actually are. Either that or my personality fits well with ugly, fat men with children (also put on there that I did not want someone to have kids….I’m a stepkid & it sucked).
There was one guy, Adam, who seemed pretty nice, funny, enjoyed a lot of the same activities, also thinks that “Day-man” & “Night-man” are the most hilarious things ever. So we met for tea on a Thursday after ballet. Tea went so well that we moved on to Pinocchio’s for a slice of pizza. He gave me a hug at the end of the night & went on our separate ways. I walked home with hope & a smile.
My mom was in town for Mother’s Day so we said we’d talk next week. On Monday afternoon while lounging in Harvard Yard I received a text:
“Crazy idea but let me know if you’d be interested in drinking wine in our underware”.
Woah. Seriously? My response was “Going to ballet tonight”. What I should have said was “No, because we’ve only met, I’m not into date rape, & I can’t date someone who misspells underwear”.
Season Five: Surgeon turned Negligee. Around the end of June, a neighbor & I became acquainted with each other over taking out the trash on a Thursday night. As a surgeon, he’s busy & being me, well, I’m busy too so our paths very rarely crossed. Usually just to talk trash.
Nice guy. Sweet. We hung out one night over a bottle of wine & good music. Later that week I found some rare Ben Folds ceedees in my mailbox from him. The next week we went to the latest Woody Allen. A glimmer of hope and interest but it just kind of wasn’t there. You know? Still, a new friend never hurts.
He got me an enormous box of pastries and wine for my birthday, which ordinarily would make me absolutely swoon if I liked the person.
About a week later he called to see if I’d like to see another movie. Transformers? No. Some other action flick? No. I was not interested enough to compromise, which, for a guy I like I’ve been known to do willingly. He also mentioned that he had a present for me. I told him to please stop buying me gifts. And by this point, it was time to lay down the “Friend Card” to make it clear that I was definitely not interested in anything romantic.
We went to see 500 Days of Summer (fitting, huh?). By being clear that I was solely interested in friendship, I made sure to pay my own way. Afterwards we went to Grendel’s for dinner. Good conversation. Friend stuff. Laughing. Joking. This was a nice friend meeting.
He drove me home and I hopped out with a hug. About 94 seconds after getting in the door, I got a call.
Surgeon: You forgot your gift.
Me: Oh yeah! Whoops! (truth: i remembered to not remind him)
Surgeon: I’ll swing back around.
So I walked out into a downpour and stood outside the car on the driver’s side. He said “no, come sit down I want you to open this up”. So I did. (please take note that I’m fully aware of being an idiot)
There was a card, which said something like “party on your birthday but remember that it causes damage, just look at this poor guy”. Opening up the card, I found a mirror. Woah. That was weird & inappropriate. Reading the card, I found out some philosophical views I might not agree with. Namely that his advice to a 30-year-old was to realize that happiness is something you have to work hard at. I’m of the school of thought that happiness is like a butterfly.
Whatever. So I reached into the bag & pulled out a ballet skirt. This floored me. How incredibly thoughtful? I felt like I’d over-thought and rationalized way too much. This amazing guy isn’t just a surgeon, marathon-runner, yacht-racer, but listens to me & is thoughtful. Thoughtful. Wow.
So I leaned over and said “thank you for this! I’ve been meaning to buy another one” giving him a hug. He said “well, if it doesn’t fit, we could take it back for a new size”. Then I held up the skirt to see it more clearly. And rather than the ballet skirt I thought it was originally, found that it had a top with a skirt.
It’s a nightie.
Immediately, I said something like “whattheidon’tohmygottago” and skipped out of the car & to my apartment. By skip, I mean sprint.
The roses he sent that week stayed unacknowledged.
Season Six: The Tri-athlete. We met at a 4th of July bbq this year. Got to talking. He was quirky and funny. We went out a couple times with an overall rating of good. Not great, but not something to immediately dismiss. Then we went to a Red Sox game where he flicked me a couple times (something that if I would have really liked him, might have acted more playful & teasing about but was instead just annoyed) and wanted me to take pictures of him at the game staring off into space (much like many of his Facebook pictures). It was weird. A couple weeks later I was in Seattle visiting my brother, during which time I received two text messages about 4 days apart asking where I was, as he had stopped by my back porch to see if I was out there reading (creepy…these are the days of cell phones, call first…don’t just walk into my backyard looking for me). That was the deal-breaker on my end. Four or five unanswered texts later I got an email from him asking how I was, told me all about his life & stated he hadn’t heard from me. Seriously?! Get a clue.
So here we are, Six Seasons in. Lessons learned. Feelings hurt. Dinners paid for. As we embark on Season Seven, could this be the charm? No spoilers here…you’ll just have to watch and find out.