Sexless and the City: The Egomaniac

Photo Credit: carleyjayne photography

“Can’t kick me down life, I’mma kick you down, while wearing fabulous f*cking shoes, thanks!  BYEEE.” -Me to Jo

One thing that I discovered as a positive to millennial dating circa 2016, was the presidential election.  It was easy to get to the bottom line since the political climate was gaining some intense momentum that October as we approached the general election.  When I finally met Seattle Chad*, the second big debate was projected on a big screen in the bar I chose to seek a much-needed after work drink on a Wednesday (I think…give me a break.  It’s already 2018 and even though it’s February 2nd, June is tomorrow and I need a drink).

He beat me there…if you know me,  this doesn’t shock you; I’m notoriously late (fashionably so) and if you stick around, you’ll realize this is a pattern (strategic and otherwise).  He was nursing a beer and I needed an Old Fashioned, like yesterday because I had just circled the area six times and finally bent over to pay $14 for parking…frantically messaging in my group text that I better get at least two drinks and a decent conversation out of this guy to make my lot tab worth it.  I’m a freaking nanny and just came off a summer of FUNemployment in Portlandia, don’t judge me.  First things I noticed: Hillary Clinton’s pantsuit was on point, she had earned a few new fine lines and wrinkles #campaigning, Donald Trump still had tiny ass orange hands and I still hated the sound of his voice, Seattle Chad* had great hair and a nice smile.

With my taste buds happily hydrated by bitters and bourbon, I settled into this first date with ease.  Seattle Chad* was smart, engaging, funny, flirty, confident (cocky?), and when he asked me questions, he actually listened and didn’t just stare at my mouth.  He asked me about nods to my Match.com profile in a smooth way, you know, like in a human conversation way.  We talked about my time in Australia, my love of photography, my essential oils business, and as we talked he turned my forearms over…studying my tattoos, telling me to keep talking, “don’t mind me, I’m just looking.”  “Okay,” (awkward giggle, what the hell was I talking about?  Are those butterflies?  Nah.  I’m just thirsty).

We were two drinks down, it was a school night, we decided to call it.  The ending escalated quickly, leaving me a little like, “what the f*ck just happened?!” but also a little giddy like, “So that didn’t kill me…I think I have a crush on him maybe.  What $14?”  As I drove home, I let my mind wander.  I wondered, “Will I hear from him again?  That seemed to go well, but ended sort of abruptly.”  When I got home, I let my group text know I made it safe and that if I never heard from him again, I was just grateful for good drinks, good talks, some laughs, those butterfly things again, and that my parking seemed to be a write off.  I told Jo in a private message that if I never saw Seattle Chad* again, I was just damn proud that I put myself out there, connected with a new human and survived.  I was striving for progress here, not perfection, people.  Dating is a vortex, I’m still unconvinced people actually make it out alive, but I encourage you to keep reading while we explore this and other things together.

When that Apple iPhone default text tone came through, about 20 minutes after I arrived safely home, it read, “Well, I had a great time with you tonight.  I’m up for round two if you are.”  {Insert embarrassing IDGAF happy dance in my underwear here}.  “I had fun as well.  I’m in.  Goodnight, Chad*.”  The following Tuesday, my choice of place again, lower Queen Anne, another place I’d been before on a blind-ish date back in 2013 pre-Australia.  Seattle Chad* was seated up at the bar, waiting for me (strategically rolling in 6 minutes late), and got up to give me a warm hug and ugh…that smile.  It took about 14:36 minutes for us to get served in a bar that had about four other patrons so we skipped drink two and decided to venture down the street for a bite to eat.  As we walked down Queen Anne Ave, his arm around me, I felt like dating wasn’t so bad, at least not on a Tuesday…relief set in a bit.  We walked in, told the hostess a table for two, and leading me, he reached back for my hand…cute.  We had a great meal, share plates from the prix fix menu, comfortable and easy, hand on my knee under the table, engaging conversation, he really likes to talk about himself, but listens to me, we laughed, more about him, whatever, there’s whisky…I was in for another date if he was.  He walked me to my car, hugged me goodbye, almost seemed to consider going in for the kill, but opted out.  We said, “Talk soon!” or something else very Seattle dating scene and non-committal, and I drove myself home.

Texting ensued that night or the next morning, I can’t really remember, but things went sporadic (anyone else think of Clueless whenever they use this word?  Just me? Cool).  I wasn’t really talking to other guys, mostly using my precious time to delete the influx of messages from sorry excuses for “men” on Match.com who didn’t seem to understand common sense, basic manners, or the concept of reality.  My strategy here was to ignore and delete anything from anyone I wasn’t actually intending to try to date.  Who has time to thank strangers you never want to see in real-time for the nice thing they said regarding the details of your lengthy profile?  I didn’t even choose to respond to the guy who decided to tell me that the way I carry balloons is, “HOTT!” referencing my 30th birthday photo with the “3-0” bigger than Shaq.  Really, guy?  That’s your move here?  I had words, but I have a life too.

Seattle Chad* and I “tried” to make plans for about two weeks and it just didn’t happen.  Nothing and nobody else was taking off for me via Match so I just you know…kept on living my damn life.  Not so out of nowhere, but still unexpectedly, Seattle Chad* came in hot with an ask for a Saturday night date.  So far, I had reserved week nights as my available date nights.  I am a very busy and important person who does dope things on the weekends and wasn’t ready to give those magic days off to newbs, but I made an exception because I wanted to know if it was actually going somewhere or if the initial butterflies turned into decaying moths…it’s happened before, I was in touch with this emotion.  We met on the Hill, at a place I’d been meaning to check out for a while.  Earlier in the day, I was venting to my dad on the phone that I was annoyed AF with Seattle Chad* because he sort of went MIA these past two weeks and I just don’t even know if I want to go meet up with him because I have wine at home and sweatpants and Outlander to read.  I ain’t too proud to admit I went off a bit…to the point that my dad was like, “Jesus Hal, men don’t stand a f*cking chance, do they?”  “Oh, sorry Dad, did I need to tone down the part where I feel like dating totally sucks and I want to feel like a priority?”  To his wise point though, he was right.  I needed to chill the f*ck out…clearly some past baggage was rearing its ugly head and it was necessary to breathe, stay neutral, get myself ready, and drink a vodka drink (and take a mini shot), waiting for my Lyft to arrive.

I arrived on time.  Not by choice, sometimes Petty is my middle name, I’m human, you’ll get over it.  Although I had a bad residual taste in my mouth about the MIA weeks, it was good to see him, we had drinks and some share plates, generally enjoyed each others’ company.  We decided to wander to Charlie’s, his old stomping grounds from college nights out.  Epic people watching, good beer, flat-ish conversation.  Eventually, we decided to call it.  We were flirting and it was all fine, but I think there was some underlying shit floating around.  We took it to the streets.  We requested our respective rides home at 10 something pm and while we waited, Seattle Chad* had some things to say apparently.  He looked at me and asked me, “So, do you like me or what?”  I gave him my best surprised look, with a dash of sassy and retorted, “What do you mean?  I’m here.  Obviously I like you.”  Then he leaned in a bit closer and said, “Let’s just try this and find out…”  And then Seattle Chad* and I were kissing on Broadway, next to a trash can that smelled faintly of urine and weed (#Washington).  The butterflies were there.  Heart sparkles.  All that shit.  As he pulled away, he said, “Okay, wow, yeah.  Got it.”  “Did you really not get that I like you?  I’m here.  I keep in touch.  Although I feel like I’ve had to remind you I actually exist in the last couple weeks, but I’m here.  I like you.  I’m interested.”  He softened towards me a bit and sighed, “I guess maybe it’s that you have this tough exterior or it’s my own insecurities talking, but I just really didn’t know.”  I smiled, “Well, I think we got that covered for today.”  As we exchanged awkward glances and silence, my Lyft rolled up.  The exit escalated quickly…a bit of a pattern with Seattle Chad*…but I approached my front door with a text, “Hallie, I like you.  And I’d really like to see you again soon.  I will be better about communicating.  I hope you sleep well.”  I told him I liked him too and I was looking forward to seeing him again soon.

Three days passed…crickets.  I was a little bit annoyed again, but living my life.  I sent him a check in text and it turned out he had been hit by a car while riding his motorcycle into work that morning.  I cannot make this shit up people.  He was legit in the hospital, high AF on a morphine drip, working on his laptop in a hospital gown, a decent number of stitches down his arm and leg.  (Don’t worry, picture proof was provided).  So that explains it…sort of?  A couple of days later, he had this romantic vision of us going ice skating under the Space Needle, something he did solo every year and was stoked to have someone accompany him.  Not being super ready to dive into couple-y things, I made a joke about pumping the brakes and maybe creating a holiday massacre on the ice when he falls on his ass and busts open fresh stitches wasn’t the best idea.  He invited me to his place.  I’m frantic while driving over.  I haven’t been to a new guys place since I was a backpacker.  Turns out, he lives in the same building as the older sister of one of my college friends used to.  I told him.  He used his shot to say, “Pretty blonde like you, been here before?  I would have noticed you.”  You don’t own the building Chad*, pretty sure even if you had seen me, you wouldn’t have stopped me to start a witty conversation.  Pre-flight ego?  CHECK.  Nervous as hell, I’m in.  He gives me a little tour.  Custom made furniture he made with his dad, humble brag, candles lit, plants that are actually alive, not bad Chad*, not bad.  He got the rink times wrong, crisis averted…we decided to walk a couple blocks up to dinner.  Now, I didn’t make any issue of it at the time, but looking back now, I’m still a bit confused and irked by this…I am 99.9% certain that Seattle Chad* was packing as we walked up to Ten on Mercer…like a hand gun.  (Get your minds out of the gutter).  He had his arm around me while we walked up and I had mine around him, sort of under his coat and I felt something.  And it just doesn’t make sense to me…except…EGO.  Like why?  We’re walking three well-lit blocks from your apartment building.  And since this isn’t a post about gun control, we’re going to move on, but let’s just mark that in his chart as red flag number like four, for those keeping score at home.

Dinner was nice.  He even asked me how I feel about PDA and kissed me right there in the restaurant.  It felt nice to be wined and dined, respected, cared for, kissable in public.  He had thanked me for being flexible and always so understanding, that he really appreciated me.  Considering he was high on painkillers around this time in our courting, I took his texts of “babe” and “I miss you” earlier that week with a grain of salt, but this was a nice and softer side to Seattle Chad*, I was intrigued.  He shared with me that he was really starting to care about me and that he knows he’s a workaholic and sometimes unavailable…that he knows he needs to be careful or he’ll end up alone.  It was refreshing to hear him be somewhat vulnerable.  It felt like we were moving forward at a good pace, getting closer, figuring one another out.  We walked back to his place and I didn’t stay the night.  He respectfully walked (limped) me to my car, kissed me goodbye and away I went.  The next date was planned for Sunday.  I happened to wake up very hungover from Friendsgiving and although ice skating was on Seattle Chad’s* agenda still, it was not written in the stars for me.  He told me he “adulted” that day and bought things for dinner and we could just stay in, cook, and watch the Seahawks game.  Hungover, still blurry, I am thinking, I can do this, he gets me, I don’t have to ice skate and be graceful today, this is okay.  His cooking skills were impressive enough, I felt like a mess and had tried my best not to look like one.  Dinner was good, he had set the table and everything.  A dude hadn’t cooked a meal for me since college, this was living.  I wasn’t allowed to clean up after dinner.  We cuddled up on the couch to watch the game, making out during commercial breaks and enjoying each others’ company.  Kombucha saved me that night and I was finally starting to feel alive again.  Tryptophan and multiple shots of vodka at Friendsgiving going in the file of things NOT to do next year, I’m just not 26 anymore.

As the night winded down, it was getting to that moment I was sort of nervously anticipating, the ask to stay the night moment.  It was a Sunday, I was still hungover AF, and forgive me, but I wanted to be 100% on my A game before the first sleepover.  So I opted to go home.  He was bummed.  He let me know it.  I booked him for Thursday that week and told him that night I’d stay over.  Limping me out to the street, he thanked me for coming over, kissed me goodbye, we said goodnight.  I was still feeling good, lips plumped from kissing, the corners of my mouth seemed to be stuck in an upright position as I journeyed home.  It snowed the next morning and I immediately texted him, thrilled that fluffy white stuff was falling from the sky.  The next couple days, felt like a halfway house for ghosting…he was really distant and not responsive.  The inconsistency of our entire story was starting to give me some feels; like I wasn’t even sure about this guy two weeks ago, I was pissed and borderline ready to walk, but then he kissed me and maybe I’ve just been in a December fog with Seattle Chad*.  Although we had set plans for Thursday and Friday that week, Wednesday morning rolled around and I still hadn’t heard from him so I checked in to see if we were still hanging out the following night.  He proceeded (a couple of hours later) to tell me that he just wasn’t feeling romantic about us and that if two people were meant to be together, it wouldn’t be this hard.  So even though the initial sting lingered and I was truly disappointed; I mean, I’d felt heart sparkly shit for this dude (mostly), what the hell was he talking about?  It hit me.  What Seattle Chad* really meant was that he wanted to sleep with me and when I didn’t stay the night Sunday, his ego took a hit, and instead of his dick being hard, he went to bed with blue balls.  He got pissed.  So, I got pissed.  I’ve seen you 5 times in my entire life, Chad*.  I’m playing for keeps, sorry not sorry I don’t want to see your penis yet.

I won’t lie, it felt defeating, annoying, disappointing, overwhelming, and I really didn’t feel motivated to continue this whole online dating thing because holy shit, I just spent two months talking to and dating a guy that turned out to mostly be an egomaniacal assbag who at 34, still couldn’t quite figure out feelings.  And thus, it was over.  The first guy I really dated in the city after nomadic adventures and being VERY single post Australia adventures.  I can confidently say, based off a feeling (you can interpret what that means for yourself), Seattle Chad’s* ego was likely the biggest thing he had going for him.  I’ve dated Leo’s before, I’ve done the research…just sayin’.

Things I learned from that experience…after some time passed and I was able to tell my own ego to take a back seat, gaining new perspective on things:  Seattle Chad*, although ego played a key role in our entire interaction, was right.  If two people are meant to be together, I wouldn’t have cared that I was hungover, I wouldn’t have cared that I maybe only shaved half a leg that day before I went to his place because when I showered I was still a little drunk from the night before; I would have just stayed the night.  Because the reality is, if it’s there and you know exactly what you want, you take it.  You get yours.  Life is short, you have to be bold sometimes and go for it when it’s safe and comfortable and consensual.  For me, the latter wasn’t there.  So I didn’t stay.  I knew what I wanted.  It wasn’t Seattle Chad*.  Although there were stomach flips and heart sprinkles or whatever, my gut knew that it wasn’t the place I was supposed to be.  This was one of the many pivotal moments in my early 30 something career, folks.  Learning that timing really is everything, change is inevitable, and when it’s just not right for the 489,320th time, you walk away.  The good news there is, you have friends, and a city that serves up stiff drinks when there’s nothing else stiff in your social life.  You are continuing to learn yourself and damn, you’re really starting to fall in love with the woman you’re becoming.  And with or without big gold balloons, that’s HOTT.

woods-44

Photo Credit: carleyjayne photography

*Name has been changed to protect identity of former date

4 thoughts on “Sexless and the City: The Egomaniac

  1. Pingback: Sexless and the City: The Director | // Little Talks

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  4. Pingback: Sexless and the City: The Self-Deprecator | // Little Talks

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