Wednesday, September 9, 2015

& then there was Rebecca.

Chasing Amy
written by Kevin Smith

Holden: Can I ask you a question?
Alyssa: Don't even tell me you want to do it again.
Holden: Why me? Why now?
Alyssa: (teasing) 'Cause you were giving me that look and I got all wet...
Holden: You know what I mean.
Alyssa: Why not you?
Holden: Well, I'm a guy. And you're attracted to girls.
Alyssa: I see you've been taking notes. Historically, yes, it's true.
Holden: Then why this?
Alyssa: Well, I've given that a lot of thought, y'know. Now that I'm being ostracized by my friends, I've had plenty of time to think about it. And what I've come up with is really simple. I came to this on my own terms. Y'know, I didn't just heed what I was taught: men, women should be together; it's the "natural" way--that kinda thing. I'm not with you because of what family, society, life tried to instill in me from Day One. The way the world is--how seldom it is that you meet that one person who just gets you. It's so rare. My parents didn't really have it. There's no examples set for me in the realm of male/female relationships. And to cut oneself off from finding that immediately half your options by eliminating the possibility of finding that one person within your own gender-that just seems stupid to me. So I didn't. But then you came along You, the One Least Likely. I mean, you were a guy.
Holden: I still am.
Alyssa: And while I was falling for you, I put a ceiling on that because you were a guy. Until I remembered why I opened the door to women in the first place. To not limit the likelihood of finding that one person who could compliment me so completely. So here we are. I was thorough when I looked for you. And I feel justified lying in your arms. 'Cause I got here on my own terms and I have no question about some place I didn't look. And for me that makes all the difference.
Nate is someone who's always kind of been there.
Like a dress that isn't the best number in your closet, but doesn't look bad--
it's always appropriate! it's snug in all the right places! it's flattering!--
you see it hanging in your closet and wonder why you haven't actually worn it;
I guess I regarded Nate with a kind of contempt.
& by that I mean I was fucking contemptuous of Nate.

My therapist told me I have a predisposition for dating people whose behaviors fall along the spectrum of narcissism. Which brought me to the thought that maybe the issue is that I value things that should go without merit when selecting a partner.

What am I looking for in a dress?
That it falls in the right length of my legs;
that it accentuates my waist to hip ratios;
side boob?
Oh there you are, dull dress in the back of my closet!

What am I looking for in a partner?
That he is well educated;
That he cares about social justice;
mutual attraction?
Oh hello, Nate! Welcome to the party!

My personal policy has always been not to go out a second time with anyone I had lukewarm feelings for. Yet there I was, on second and third, fourth dates with Nate.
Because he was a good guy.
Because I'm trying to better myself and break out of some shitty habits.

Because I was bored and lonely.

& then came the day when Nate's girlfriend tagged a photo of him on facebook.
It was their one year anniversary.
We'd been going on sporadic dates for nearly two months.
That same day, he messaged me--I suspect to ascertain whether I saw the post before he untagged himself.
& I really didn't want to confront the thing about his girlfriend so I told him, "I need to work on myself right now."
& it's the truth.
"Is there someone else? You're too fine to be alone."
Besides your girlfriend? "No, I just really want to focus on me."
"Nah, your standards are just set too high."
That couldn't be further from the truth. 

As she walked to the bar to buy our second round, every man in the room took notice of her.
I can't put my finger on what it is about her, she's undoubtedly beautiful but it's something else. Sometimes I think I can just make out a halo around her and I wonder if that's what everyone else sees when they stare at her--she's beautiful down to her goddamn bones. She's beautiful in her soul.

She comes back with our drinks and sits down in front of me.
What were you saying before I went for our refills? About girls? Have you always liked girls?

No--actually, the opposite. I've historically only dated men. You're the first girl I've been out with. And I'm testing this theory--that either I have shitty, and I mean the shittiest taste in men, or maybe I assign value to the wrong things. And if it's the latter, maybe one of these things I'm arbitrarily assigning value to is gender. I'm cutting my options in half and it's gotten me nowhere. It's done me no good. So that's why I'm here, with you. You seem lovely through and through and I don't want to discount people like that anymore. 

Well, whatever it is, I'm glad you're here with me now. And don't worry, you don't have the shittiest taste in men. We're at least tied. 

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