Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Hard to Keep Up the Lie"

"It's hard to keep up the lie. 'Cause you can't get nobody being you. You got to lie to get somebody. You can't get nobody looking like you look, acting like you act...sounding like you sound. When you meet somebody for the first time, you're not meeting them. You're meeting their representative. That's right. Look at you, all of you. You! You're a liar! You're all liars. You got on heels, you ain't that tall. You got on makeup, your face don't look like that. You got a weave, your hair ain't that long. You got a Wonderbra on, your titties ain't that big."
--Chris Rock

Pictured is the edge of a first date I eavesdropped on this afternoon.

After lunch with one of my girlfriends today, we stopped for coffee and inadvertently ended up ringside to a young couple's first (and I suspect, last) date. Whenever she went outside to smoke, I stayed inside and eavesdropped. It was clearly a first date because it went more like a job interview where they both presented their resumes, credentials, and qualifications. Plus they each talked about their favorite movie quotes. Nobody does that on a second date. They both talked about their five year plans. His involved school. Hers involved selling cosmetics. He asked about her plans for the evening, which was phrased as, 'so what are you gettin' into later?' Her response indicated that her plans wouldn't be including him, but was phrased somewhat ambiguously: 'I'll probably, you know, hang out. Lay low.' Pressed a little further as to whether those plans might be modified to include him and perhaps a more adult beverage than coffee, the answer was a clearer No, phrased as, 'I can't be hung over tomorrow.'

I remember thinking it was a little unusual to see kids that young on what was so clearly "a date" -- I thought everyone that age just "hung out" or "hooked up" or was "in a relationship" (a relationship that resulted from probably either hanging out or hooking up). I think of dating -- or more specifically, going on first dates -- as more of a 30-something, 40-something proposition.

I have one coming up and it isn't something I'm looking forward to because I really only enjoy dating in the spring and summer. I hate Fall, and I loathe Winter. I don't like my clothes. I don't like my hair. I don't like the food. I miss cooking straight out of my garden. And I live in fear of an ice storm from about November thru March. It all makes me unpleasant.

Which is is a problem, because I always try to be as close to Me as I possibly can on dates (just dressed nicer), the exact same way I always did in job interviews -- and my rationale is the same -- if I represented that I could or would do something in that initial contact, someone in a subsequent contact might fairly expect me to follow through on it as part of my duties and responsibilities.

I ask a lotta questions on dates the same way I always used to at job interviews, because I really want to know the answers. As much as they might be evaluating me, in the back of my mind, I'm always thinking: do I really wanna work here?

Consequently, I've never been one of those girls who feigns interest in a band or a sport I wouldn't like to impress a boy, anymore than I would try to convince a prospective employer that I was good at math. My first job was working for engineers. If I'd tried to convince them I could do things I couldn't, somewhere, a bridge might've collapsed. What if I pretended to be outdoorsy and a boy then wanted me to haul my ass out to the woods (yeah, where no one could hear me scream is the way I see THAT)?

So, the Me that shows up on a date in October is not the same Me that would show up on a date in April. I probably shouldn't even go on this date. I should probably hibernate til Spring and start over.

But, if it doesn't go that well, I guess I can always just put my dress back on and go home.

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