Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Decent Proposal: The Second First Date Experiment

He's upping his game, big time...And I'm now tuned in and watching the game.

By way of an intro: When you leave a lover (or job, or friend, or any kind of relationship) behind, for any reason, you always do it with the assumption that you know them--or enough about them in one area or another--to have made that decision wisely.

Example A:
"I am going to stop banging you because I know from personal, agonizing, chaffing experience that you couldn't find my clitoris even if it lit up and played the Mets game in HiDef."

Example B:
"I am going to end our relationship because you cheated on me with that girl from Applebees...and know that no matter how much you apologize, if you could do it again, you would. Also, I'll never be able to enjoy the boneless wings there again, and I'm really upset about that."

Example C:
"After dating you for half a decade, I know everything there is to know about you. I have a Masters' Degree in Studies of You. During my intense study of You, I've collected enough data to conclude you'll never be able to give the style of romance/attention/perfection I want, because if you could, you would have by now. As a result, I must terminate our mutually loving and respectful relationship because we'll never make each other entirely happy due to this unfortunate incompatibility."

After many years of life experiences, obstacles, disagreements and domestic randomness with our mate, most of us monogamers start to take for granted that we know everything about them. "I know you'll order corned beef and hash with two pieces of American cheese as your hangover breakfast, because you ALWAYS do."

Alex and myself, pre-Hitch List, were no different. And aside from the big, "I gotta go be my own woman" moment of insanity that sparked the move and List movement, a contributing factor to my leaving was knowing that this sweet, sexy, loving guy, despite all the good, just wasn't all that romantic and was a passive partner...which was something that didn't always make me happy and that I didn't want to comprise on.

I've heard of instances when the person you thought you knew blows the cover off your Masters Study in Them thesis paper, presents new evidence which disproves your entire body of research and then wipes their ass with your bibliography page (and I'm talking about good instances of proving you wrong, not the more standard ones where your upstanding husband is discovered having an affair in Argentina with a 20-year-old and has taken to sobbing in public).

SO: Alex blew the cover off my thesis, and I'm totally intruigued by the new research that may unfold.

After some time apart, living seperate lives and doing the individual Hitch List thing, he showed up and gave me one of the most film-worthy monologues since the Jerry Maguire "You Complete Me" speech, something that went sort of like this:

"I'm here because I love and miss you. I understand you have to be independent--I want you to do that, with or without me. However, I think one of the reasons you left is because I never had to win you and I didn't work hard enough to keep you. I never courted you, and you deserved that, and I'm sorry. I know you're dating other people, and that you can't just come home. But I'd like to throw my hat into the ring and at least be in the running for the title of Guy Who Wins You.

I want to start from scratch and take you on a first date, knowing there's no guarantee you'll call me after, knowing you probably won't sleep with me because it's the first date and knowing that it is, regardless of our history, a first date and nothing more. If I start over and win you back over several dates or the next several years, I'll know I finally did it the right way. If someone else makes you happier, at least I know I tried this time. You have no obligation to say yes, but I'm still going to ask: Will you go out with me?"

I tried to play it very, very cool...which sounded something like this:


(Okay, not just like that, but it was inarticulate and embarassing and entirely in character for me. The speech itself was entirely OUT of character for Alex.)

I'm always skeptical about couples who break up and "start over." Won't they just fall into the same pattern of bullshit as always? And can anyone with a history "start over?" America can't very well stroll over to all 1200 remaining Native Americans left and say, "Hey, guys. Wanna start from scratch?"

However, Alex's was and is a VERY DECENT PROPOSAL.

I've granted other people first it seems wrong to discriminate against Alex just because I think I know him.

So, in the name of my thesis only, I will grant the first date....A TRUE FIRST DATE WITH ALL THE REGULAR RULES IN PLACE...

....for research purposes, of course.


Chef Green said...

Wow...good luck with that! I can't wait to read the dirty details. Get to datin' and postin'!

Hitch said...

good for you!!! just remember your first date rules :)

Erin said...

Good luck!
I have a hard time believing that people with a history can "start over" as well, but I'm interested to see how it goes for you.

Lauren Modery said...

shit, i wish a guy would do that for me.

inflammatory writ said...

The romantic in me wants you to run back into his arms Notebook-style, and the realist in me knows that starting over with history is tricky.

My mom gave me the best piece of advice ever before I married my husband, which is "the problems you have now are the same problems you'll have in 20 years". 4 years of marriage later, I can tell you that it's true. But, at the end of the day, you liked most other things about him, and maybe this is more an effort issue than a permanent personality glitch. Who knows? You won't know if you don't find out. Best of luck. :)