“Sometimes you need sex like you need to scratch an itch,” my date told me. “I told that to my 15-year-old son. He believes that you need to be love to have sex, and that just isn’t true.”
I choked on my wine. “I’ll take awkward conversations for $1,000, Alex,” I said, pretending that I was on a game show. This wasn’t a conversation that I wanted to have on a second date.
“This is awkward? How is this awkward?” he asked. “Oh!”
The San Diego Gulls missed making a goal. Or, rather, the goalie for Oakland was too good to let the puck through.
My date wouldn’t let the subject drop. “It’s like scratching an itch, right?”
I took a deep breath. I really liked this guy, up to this point. I could agree with him, just to keep the peace. But…I’m not a passivist; I believe in speaking my mind and he was asking for my opinion. So I gave it to him.
“I believe that women in general, myself included, form emotional attachments easily. I can’t do casual sex. I tried; it’s just not for me,” I said.
There, how’s that for side-stepping the issue?
But still, he wouldn’t let it go. “You don’t think that there are just times when you need sex?”
Wow. He REALLY was seeking buy-in here; I just couldn’t give it to him. “I believe that we should teach our kids to be better than us. I would tell my kids—and have—to wait to have sex after they find someone special.”
What really bothered me about this conversation was the implications of his statement. Consider that if I have a muscle cramp, I’ll go to a massage therapist. If I had back aches, I might go to chiropractor. If one considers sex to be an itch, then one might also pay a professional for a fix. I wonder if he has frequented prostitutes; he mentioned frequent trips to Las Vegas earlier. It’s a cheap, 45-minute plane ride from San Diego, he had said. Of course, the two conversations may have been unrelated; but maybe not.
But, may be.
Another, more logical, thought process it to consider FWBs (friends with benefits) to be normal. Hey, if you have one, that’s great; enjoy yourself. (Cough, NADIA!) As I told my date, that arrangement never worked out for me; I always grew attached.
Was he gaging my reaction, to see if he could introduce me to his FWB in the future? Wondering if I’d be cool?
“He wanted to sleep with you,” a guy friend told me. “It’s a little sick that he used his kid to bring up the topic, but he was feeling you out to see if you’d be open to the arrangement.”
For the record, this particular guy friend is in another state and happily married, so he is not trying to get into my pants. Or, at least, I trust his assessment as much as I trust anyone’s.
Or was my date trying to justify an affair? He mentioned only vague reasons for his marriage ending. Maybe when he said, “my marriage was over, so I walked away,” he meant, “We weren’t sleeping together anymore, so I found someone to scratch that itch.”
Supposition aside, it really bothered me that he’d teach his kid that.
“He’s teaching the kid the way the world works,” my friend Allie Apple said, “but, wow, some things, kids need to find out on their own. Parents don’t need to tell kids that. Is he trying to teach the kid how to be a player?”
I’m not sure of all his reasoning. I only know that I disagree. I’ll scratch your back if you ask nicely, but I have to a bit more involved with you before I scratch other things.
On the way to the grocery store yesterday, I met a guy. I live downtown now, so I walk to the store with my empty backpack and canvas bags. I love that I don’t have to drive on the weekends. (Although I did drive earlier yesterday to hike in Torrey Pines State Park.)
A nice man said hello to me at the corner near the grocery store. Turns out that he was going there, too, with his empty backpack. As we chatted, we discovered how much we had in common: both engineers, both in the same industry, both writers, both interested in science fiction. He bought me a gluten free chocolate chip muffin and we exchanged numbers.
That night, he showed me around our little corner of downtown. He introduced me to a fabulous restaurant (Seasons 52), then showed me where Top Gun was filmed.
Y’all, I had a glass of wine in the bar where Tom Cruise sang, “You lost that lovin’ feelin’!!”
The place is a small dive bar, nothing fancy, called Kansas City BBQ. The way that my date explained it, the owner sampled different BBQ sauces in Kansas City and made his version based on the best. I’ll have to judge another day; I was full from dinner.
As my date sat there and talked about his plans to move to LA or Canada, he’s not sure which, I soaked in the atmosphere. Bras hung from a ceiling fan. Ball caps from various sections of the Navy were tacked to the ceiling. And, oh yes, there was movie memorabilia everywhere.
And, yes, my date is probably moving back to Canada. So don’t expect a long-term romance. I don’t like to date guys who live more than 30 minutes away; a different country would definitely be a deal breaker.
Still, it’s a fun story, right?! He may be a famous Hollywood writer one day and pitch my book to some television execs as a mini-series. He mentioned it, so it may happen. I dream big.
The best part of the night was when Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places” came on, over the speakers. I shouted out, “Everybody, I’m from Texas, and we sing along to this song!”
“Go for it!” several people told me.
“Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots, and ruined your black-tie affair!” I sang. And then I sang along with the rest of the song. Heck, this may be the alcohol talking, but I did a damn fine job! The bar patrons applauded after every verse. All that karaoke finally paid off!
Later, when I recapped the evening to my friend Allie, she said with a laugh, “You Texas-up California!”
“Huh?” I asked, eloquently.
“A bunch of Californians moved to Texas, and are making it more like California,” she explained. “They’re California-ing-up Texas. So you are in California, bring some Texas to them, and Texas-up California.”
Took a minute for that to sink in. “You’re saying that there are so many California transplants in Texas that it’s starting to feel like California, so I should make San Diego feel like Texas?” I asked.
“Yes!” she said.
“I can do that!” I said with a laugh.
And I will.
But don’t expect me to go around scratching itches. I sing at the top of my lungs in little dive bars when Garth comes on, I’ll cuss like a sailor when the moment calls for it, but I’m still a lady, damn it.
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