On a date, I am reminded that everyone has issues. I have warts, too.
by Jane D.
OK, this is the 12th date, with the really quiet, seemingly nice and normal guy (AKA the jerk-jock) and probably the last one. At first, he looked reserved, pleasant, preppie—a blend between insurance and banker—but it turns out he is totally weird. He's a control freak. When I say I can't talk now, but I can talk later, he just says, "I'll call you tomorrow."
The warts have increasingly been coming out, as bright as the sun at high noon. He packs everything in tin foil, empty containers, saved jars—all three meals. It's very OCD. He even brings milk in a jar for the cereal in the morning. He packs his lunch, his dinner, and he packs it not just for himself, but for me. The first two times, it was cool having surprise picnics, with a few homegrown flowers to add spice to the romance, but by number three and four, I felt like I was having a picnic shoved down my throat. I would never assume someone would want to eat what I packed every time. The other day he said he had a surprise for me. What? I asked. And then I teased him. Is it a homegrown vegetable or fresh milk in the jar? He laughed, not realizing I was being facetious.
And then there's the parking issue. He circles round and round and round and round for what seems like forever to find free parking in the city, and refuses to shelve out any cash for parking even if we're in a rush. Then once he complained about how he'd found a space, but the car had gotten some bird poop on it. My snarky, wicked sense of humor emerged again. "I hear it's going to rain, so you should have slathered some soap on the car, and then you would have gotten a free car wash," I said. He laughed. He loves my evil sense of humor.
I wonder if he has attention deficit, too. He forgets a lot of things at my place—the umbrella, towel, his shoes—but because he's cute and appears well-organized and "banker like," I forgive him, but for what? Then there was the flower fiasco. We were walking one evening, and I spotted a man peddling roses and glanced over, secretly hoping he would buy one for me. He said, "Let's walk over and take a look." I smiled and walked over, and then he grabbed my hand and says, "Very nice, let's go now." I felt like I had been slapped, and found myself shaking my hand, smiling my cat-swallowed-a-canary-grin, and said, "Not very nice."
I wonder why I am so attracted to asses. What is it about the jerk-jock that I am attracted to? Despite his quirks, I am reminded that everyone has issues. I have a lot of warts, too. I am perennially late for all dates. There is real-time, and then there is Jane-time. At times I can be moody, happiness shifting into sadness and anger in a split second, with an unexplainable force setting it off. I can be snarky and enjoy verbal sparring at times. I need the kettle to boil. Is this ADD or is this me? How much of it is a personality flaw versus a chemical imbalance? What do these men love about me? They love the color and the spark. The jerk-jock loves my humor, sharp as a knife; he loves my laughter.
I asked him what he liked about me and he said all those things, "and who doesn't like going out and having a good time?" "I don't," I said, matter of fact. He winked. "That's what I liked about you," he smiled. It felt good to be liked for my quirky goofball self.