Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Punny Geologist

The story of the Punny Geologist is one of mixed reactions. The PG himself was a lovely gentleman. He was sweet, but maybe a little naive and very cute. That's why it was so torturous to have to sit through such a terribly awkward date. He tried so hard to be entertaining and I guess in the end he succeeded, just not in the way he'd hoped to.

I met the PG at a coffee shop near me. We politely shook hands, purchased beverages, and took our seats next to a window. He was very typically cute with strong features tempered by a boyish smile. He spoke softly and eagerly and seemed genuinely pleased to be conversing with me. We quickly got on to the topic of hobbies because I was aware that he had a specific one. That's hardly common where I live. People are far too aloof to have hobbies, especially hobbies that didn't positively contribute to a perceived "cool factor".

Rock collecting was PG's passion. He hiked every weekend and was planning a big trip up North to go scavenging some mountains for un-precious and some semi-precious rocks. He delighted in telling stories of finding rocks on accident or finding gems and interesting patterns inside rocks he'd collected. In the spirit of show-and-tell, PG had brought one such rock. He pulled it out from his pocket and placed it in front of me.

Looking at the outside of the rock, which was shaped like an oval cut in half length-wise it was rough and egg-shell white. Upon turning it over I could see he'd polished the rock to exhibit the intriguing interior. I immediately recognized the shape. It was a slimmer oval shape down the middle with a little nob at the top. It was, unmistakably a vagina. I stared at the rock for a minute trying to gather my thoughts. I looked up at PG searching for clues in his expression. Did he know what this was? Was this some kind of innuendo? He couldn't know. His face gave no hint of guilt or intention. He was completely innocent. So now came the question, should I bring it up? Should I point out the provocative nature of this geode? I chose to not. Instead, I would periodically glance at the stone and try not to giggle.

Naturally, an unintentionally inappropriate mineral is not enough to drive me away from a fella. A complete lack of chemistry and the pain of listening terrible jokes is enough. And PG had plenty of terrible jokes. He would make these puns, these very silly and sophomoric jokes to which I just could not laugh. He would then follow them up by saying something like "I was just joking" to which I could only reply "I know" while trying my hardest to turn my cringe into a smile.

While describing the nature of his job working in a geologically related department for the city, he revealed that he would spend a lot of time underground or crawling around in pipes. I commented that he must get very grimey. He responded "as long as I don't get Leanne Grimes-ey" looking very pleased with himself. I smiled and took a sip of my drink--a technique I'd developed to excuse myself from not laughing. He followed up with "I was just being funny" and it took every ounce of will-power to not say "no you weren't".

Even PG's terrible jokes may have been tolerable, but his intrusion on my personal space was unforgivable. At some point during the date, probably towards the middle PG must have noticed me fiddling with my hair--something I absent-mindedly do throughout the day. He decided this would be the ideal time to inform me about his hair fetish. I promptly got out a hair tie and put my hair up and out of the way in a pony tail. That is far more information than I need when the conversation has remained platonic and very G-rated. There was no flirtation that may indicate I would be open to hearing about his sexual fetishes. Even after that I could have left and still thought fondly of this fella. However, upon saying goodbye he requested a hug and with a twinkle in his eye PG proceeded to run his fingers through my hair. Whoa! Knowing what effect this may have on him (because of his own admission) I felt incredibly uncomfortable and slightly violated.

In the end PG may have been kind of awkward, but it was our lack of compatibility that helped me decide not to pursue anything further with him. He may have been cute and sweet but I don't think I could listen to anymore of those jokes or find out what other kinds of rocks he had stashed away. Also, feeding his fetish without my permission was too far over the line.

XO Jane

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Hairy Situation

This afternoon I experienced what could easily be described as the most awkward situations I have ever endured in my life. It all started weeks ago when I received a message from a gentleman on a dating website. He started with a message he probably considered clever and presented his instant messenger screenname (presumably so I could contact him in that venue). Upon inspection of the messenger's profile I found essays that suggested he wouldn't be my type (You should message me if: You are loving, rich, and gorgeous... a close paraphrase) and pictures of a man in which you could never see his face but you could see his extensive facial hair. It was a rather long beard. You could tell he had been growing it for some time and he frequently expressed pride in it. My response prompted about two weeks of emails, IMs, and phone calls about life, love, and everything else.

The Hairy Situation seemed like a nice person but overly concerned with "our" relationship and the fact that I was not currently head over heels for him. Excepting the occasional rant about how I was not truly happy and how being with him would change that he was a source of decent conversation. Because of that I didn't rule out the idea of friendship. However, his stance on intimacy (radical advocate) as well as his penchant for calling me "babe" drastically turned me off to him romantically.

Between work and school I found it difficult to make time to meet HS until this afternoon. Usually, I prefer to get meetings over with before there is opportunity to grow attached via phone and/or email. Unfortunately, I could already tell HS was growing attached by the way he would frequently contact me. He had described himself multiple times early on in our conversations as someone who never called women; he let women chase him, not vice versa. Contrary to this self-description he contacted me first every day for the last week. That, his general disposition, and statements such as "relationships are hard but I'll make it comfortable for you" hinted that HS may have a crush on me.

Finally, we met. On a crowded street halfway between our respective towns we said hello in person. The pictures did not do his beard justice and the rest of his face seemed strangely familiar, though I was never able to place it. While chatting away under the shade of a large tree, HS would periodically point out female passersby that he apparently found attractive. Many of whom were in short-shorts (understandable in the heat) and seemed very young (17 to 25 years old). When I noticed his preference for younger ladies I decided to point it out and poke a little fun. "Go talk to her if you think she's cute, but make sure to check her ID," I quipped. He found this hilarious and we talked about the issues associated with hitting on younger women for longer than I would've liked to.

In attempt to escape the view of wandering jail-bait I suggested we take a walk down the street. It seemed safe enough as I knew he was parked a ways away and there were plenty of pedestrians walking up and down this street. As we walked he talked about pursuing more dates. I hemmed and hawed and sidestepped the issue, always redirecting to scenery or people I saw walking by. He pushed to establish that he thought we should keep spending time together and presumably get more intimate as he said things like, "next time at my place for sure," or "when school's over you're coming over." My reply was always a staunch "we'll see what happens," which has always been my polite way of saying "no thank you." It would appear that I need to develop a stronger, less polite refusal since this one gave him no indication that I was not interested. Or, if it did he paid no attention.

Growing less patient and more uncomfortable with his advances I suggested it was time to go. HS insisted on walking me to my car, which he propped himself against. He then grabbed my arm and pulled me towards him. With an astonished and confused look on my face I complied. He wrapped his arms around my waist pulling me very close to him. I grew more worried and less comfortable and must have looked very stressed.

"So," he said.
"So what??" I responded in a perturbed tone. He smiled in response.
"Why are you holding me? You're way too close to me," I declared.
"You don't like it?" How could he ask that?
"I'm incredibly uncomfortable right now, you're t00 close" I clarified. Like a dear caught in the headlights I couldn't run away. I pushed against him slightly to keep some distance but was so distracted by the thoughts running through my head--what is he doing? How can he think this is a good thing? I told him I'm uncomfortable, who wouldn't find that unappealing?
My worst fears came true as he held onto the back of my head and slowly pulled his face towards mine. He tried to kiss my tightly closed lips. As I pulled back, he moved forward until he let go. It had to be a full 20 seconds. That may not seem like much to you now but when someone's face is on yours and you don't want it there 20 seconds may as well be forever. He pulled away and looked very pleased with himself. He also looked as if he expected me to be pleased as well. I imagine I looked horrified because that's how I felt.

"I'd really like to see you again," he stated so matter-of-factly.
"I know. I can tell," was all that I could say.
"You're supposed to say you want to see me again too," he replied with feigned offense.
"I can't say that because it's not true."
"Why not?" Now he actually seemed confused.
"I didn't want you to kiss me. I don't like being this close to you. You're trying to push intimacy on me that I just don't feel." Now he really seemed offended. He spoke about how much we've talked and how close we actually are. I explained that we see our interaction differently and he can't convince me to feel intimacy that I don't. If I'm not comfortable he needs to respect that. He claimed to understand and for a moment I believed him. That was until he opened the car door for me, allowed me to sit in the seat, and sat himself next to me on the edge of the car. As he moved in for another kiss I tried to move back but the seat was in the way so I had to push him away with my hands. Again, he looked offended.

At this point, HS's intense sense of entitlement and arrogance became clear to me. He could not or would not comprehend that I did not want him to touch me. Still under the assumption that the interaction had gone well, he removed himself from my car doorway and told me to call him and once again suggested we should get together again very soon. I shut my door, started the car, and drove away quickly. I could not get away from this man fast enough.

On many occasions I've considered what I would do in a situation such as this one. Sadly, I did not live up to my own expectations. However, I can pat myself on the back knowing I will never speak to HS again. He is one of many men who only consider their own feelings, desires, and intentions. Of course it must be recognized he is not representative of all men. None of the men I write about are. The Hairy Situation was just an example of someone who perhaps couldn't see beyond his own beard.

XO Jane