I was recently asked to give a male perspective on something. Which I did. But, I disclaimered it by saying, “Yeah, but I am not a typical dude.”
And I didn’t mean because when I am watching “Pushing Daisies” it frequently stresses me out that Chuck and Ned are standing too close together and I want to push Emerson Cod in between them.
I meant it in a good way.
At least I try not to be a typical dude.
Of course, I still have my boy behaviours…
This all reminded me of a story.
And now I will tell it. Otherwise that would have been the shittiest intro ever.
Picture it… Nova Scotia, Peter’s high school days.
I was sixteen. I was dating a girl. She was a year older than me. She was nice. She was cute. And while I wasn’t crazy about her, she seemed to like me a lot. Which is something I admire in women.
I should say that it’s not that I disliked her. She just didn’t… excite me. And I don’t mean sexually. There was just nothing about her personality that really, well, excited me. You know how you meet someone and there is something they do, or don’t do, or think that knocks you on your ass and makes you want to follow them around as if they were the Grateful Dead? Yeah, I didn’t find that.
One day I was doing some volunteering for a political campaign. (Yes, I was rocking the vote long before P-Diddy. Of course, he narrowly beat me to the idea of taking entire pre-existing songs and rapping over them. Though I once did a little freestyle over “Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” that would BLOW. YOUR. MIND.) I was in the campaign office and the door opened. A couple of girls walked in. And then a third…
A recurring moment in my fiction writing is when a dude sees a woman for the first time and is completely bowled over.
Well, this was the first and only time this has really happened to me. A complete stranger walks in and I immediately think, “Hi. You are my next girlfriend.”
She was blond and gorgeous.
She smiled at me. I smiled back.
And then I knew that I was breaking up with my girlfriend.
I figured the best thing was to do it immediately. So, the next day I rocked the old classic, “We have to talk…”
She started crying immediately. But, I somehow managed to power through. I explained that it just didn’t feel right. That it was nothing she had done wrong. Etc. She asked if there was someone else. I tried to lie. I suck at lying.
And then she had her say on the issue.
I am not sure how much time passed, but I suspect it was a good half an hour. (Knowing me at sixteen, I was probably thinking two things: 1) “I wonder what new girl is doing.” 2) “I’d love some chicken fingers.”) She cried. She yelled. She swore. At one point I think she accused me of assassinating Archduke Franz Ferdinand. And then there was more swearing and yelling and crying.
Finally she finished. She wiped her nose. She stared at me silently for a few seconds before saying…
“I guess I probably should have gone down on you, huh?”
I just shrugged and managed not to say, “Well, that is a lovely addition to any repertoire, really.”
And that, my friends, was that. I was a free man.
But, because I believe STRONGLY in a post break-up waiting period, I didn’t do anything for a while.
Then I started hanging out with new girl. I adored the crap out of her. And after the proper waiting period was over… I waited another month before making my move. I’m incredibly slow and lame like that.
Of course, during that month, she and I were spending a lot of time together. And when we weren’t together, we talked constantly on the phone. For EIGHT HOURS one night. And, yes, I was still waiting for a sign that she liked me. (“And why aren’t you married, Peter?” they ask.)
I remember the night that I made my move with stalker-like detail. I remember the temperature outside. I remember what the moon looked like. I remember the sound of crickets. I remember what she was wearing. I remember the kiss. I remember her exhaling afterwards and giving me the “It’s about damn time!” look. I remember me shrugging and giving her the “I’m a goof. Part of my charm?” face.
A few weeks into our official dating, she ran into the ex in a restaurant bathroom. And the ex told her…
“Peter… he’s a typical guy.”
New girl told me that and I was outraged. It bothered me sooooo much.
The ex was also saying all kinds of other shitty stuff about me around town.
[As an aside that makes me sound like even more of an ass, I’ll tell you what happened to new girl. We dated for a year or so. But, then seventeen year old Peter started getting phone calls and attention from every sexually liberal woman in the county. His girlfriend was awesome, but Peter wanted to sow his wild oats. Peter broke up with her. Of course, he was still crazy about her. The very next night, one of these women approached Peter, lit a cigarette and exhaled smoke in his face and said, “We should get together tomorrow night.” Peter immediate realized, “I’ve made a huge mistake.” Which Peter compounded later when a Threes Companyesque series of events led to him asking out new girl’s friend. So, Peter spent months staying up at night, kicking himself in the ass, listening to depressing music and eating double-stuffed Oreos. “You know, Peter Cetera and the boys from Chicago were right. Being without you DOES take a lot of getting used to. *crunch crunch crunch*” I gained 15 pounds. I tried to tell people I was bulking up for basketball season because I was the shortest starting center (like 6’2″ at the time) in the history of basketball. They asked why I didn’t just lift a lot of weights. I replied, “I considered that. I did. But, if it’s all the same with you, I’m just gonna try to skate by with whatever God given talent I can muster up. Cool? Super.” This aside has really gotten away from me, eh?]
To this day, I won’t talk to that ex. I saw her a few years back in a lobby and turned my head and kept walking. DEAD TO ME.
To be completely honest, I really don’t remember a single one of the mean things she was saying about me.
But, I’ll never forget “he’s a typical guy.”