Monday, November 22, 2010

From the Dating Files or Another Reason Why I Don’t LOVE Dating

All characters appearing in this work are real. And any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is not coincidental. 

A younger me wearing a Cosby sweater

After grad school and before I got a real job, I moved into a cul-de-sac lovingly called The Hood.  It was a little ghetto, and one of the duplexes may or may not have been selling weed.  I moved into a unit with a good friend—it was cheap and, well, it was just cheap.   

After some time we became acquainted with a group of guys who, like us, seemed a little misplaced in The Hood.  I’ll admit I was pleased to notice one of them flirting with me.  He was dark, handsome and muscular.  Now that I look back, he probably could have been a Jersey Shore contender; the boy had his GTL on.  Think The Situation minus a short-term memory.

Oh, did I fail to mention that this particular dark, handsome and muscular guy had no short-term memory?  That’s the best part.  And just so you know, everyone should date someone with short-term memory loss at least once in their lives.

Apparently he lost his short-term memory in a motorcycle accident in which he was thrown from his bike, cracked his helmet, lost liters and liters of blood and spent months in traction.  Amazingly, he had recovered to become The Hood’s most beautiful resident and a guy with whom I had a short and unmemorable (well, for him) fling.

The best thing about our relationship was the boy never tired of me.  Each time we met it was like he was seeing me for the first time.   This, by the way, quickly became the worst thing about our relationship.

We went on one official date to a Mexican restaurant.  I had to pick him up in case he forgot who I was and where I lived; but other than that it was great.  He was extremely complimentary and shared interesting stories from his past.  Of course, I heard the story about his accident yet again and had to answer the same questions he had asked me the first 5 or so times we had talked, but it was all in the name of love.  That is, until he told me I had good childbearing hips. Here’s a brief simulation of the conversation that followed:

Me:  W-w-what?  Excuse me?
Him:  It really is primal.  We’re attracted to those who can bear our offspring.  And I’m sure your pheromones are talking like crazy to my baser instincts.
Me: (*insert blank look here*)
Him:  I know.  It’s mind-boggling, right?  That our attraction could be so strong.

He may, at that point, have made a grand gesture with two fists and then growled at me, but I can’t say for certain.

The trouble with dating someone with severe short-term memory loss is that you can
never break up with them.  So until I moved from The Hood a few months later, I took great measures to avoid the guy. 

Until, that is, one day when I was sitting in a crowded auditorium, listening to a presentation.  He slid into the seat next to me.  Let me just say that not only was the guy missing his short-term memory, but he also didn’t have an inside voice.

Him:  Have I met you before?
Me:  (Should I lie, should I lie, should I lie?)  May-be…
Him:  Don’t take it personally if I don’t remember, see I lost my short-term memory in a motorcycle…
Me:  I know.
Him:  Then I’ve probably already told you that I find you extremely attractive and…
Me:  I know.

The couple in front of us turned around to glare.

Him:  And I think it’s because of your body type—you have phenomenal childbearing hips.
Me:  Please…
Him: My response to you is very primal.

The presentation lasted for another 45 minutes, during which time the glaring couple actually shushed us.  Luckily, it was the last time I ever saw short-term memory man who will never think twice on the experience.  Me?  I’m still trying to block it from my memory.  

That was 14 years ago; it's not working.


C said...

Oh! The stories you tell!
I would love it sometimes if my husband forgot that I didn't take a shower... for the third time this week. But child-bearing hips? Um, someone should write "Never talk to a woman about childbearing hips" on a postcard and tape it to his sleeve.

Brooks Briggs said...

Wow. I'd never heard this story before. Sooooo amazing. You should team up with Oliver Sacks and write a book about it. :)

shauna said...

C, I hadn't thought about it for years until a few weeks ago when my friend said something about child-bearing hips, and I was like "Oh, that's right..." She couldn't believe I hadn't told her the story--truth is, I didn't want to admit he liked me because I was hippy...

Brooks, this was post grad school and took place over a matter of weeks. It was one of those odd moments in life that you'd rather forget. Like the summer I worked for Arby's and had to escort a naked women into the break room before calling the police. But that's a post for later... Maybe I'll send Oliver a link to this post--see what he might want to do with it. Unfortunately, I don't think he'd be interested in me--maybe short-term memory guy... ;)

M said...

I am so glad to see you blogging! :-) And I love love love your stories. You really should write a book.

shauna said...

Ah M (wink wink), I love that you're reading my blog. I'd love to write a book one day. :) At least I know there'd be one buyer... (two, if you count me--100 if you count be buying 99 copies...)

steadie said...

I wouldn't say anything like a childbearing hip and all, but at the same time, I don't understand why it was so fatal in the relationship. It's not stylish and could sound rude, but still not that awful to me. Anyway, perhaps, it wasn't the strongest reason to go on without him.

My wife is kind of hippy too and maybe it can be called a childbearing hip, but honestly I don't actually like that part of her and ironically, we have no child. At least, a handsome guy liked it and you end up having the most beautiful children of own. He didn't have a short term memory, but had a future perspective.

Steadie said...

By the way, I believe the picture is a part of the picture of mine. If so, I am happy that you used it. Those were the happy moments of my life.

shauna said...

I love your feedback, Steadie, and I think the 'compliment' didn't do us in, but his exuberance about our primal attraction to one another. It freaked me out a bit. Plus, I'm not sure how a relationship would work with someone with a short-term memory. Would they remember that they were dating someone before hitting on someone else? Either way, it didn't work out.

Yes, that is a picture with you outside a Japanese fireside. Those were happy times, and I'm grateful for the picture--I didn't have any on my computer from that time period. And it reminds me of aloha!

Hope all's well!

Steadie said...

Thanks for the clarification. Every experience counts!

Jim said...

Small correction: You'd have at least three buyers, plus the people I would recommend it to. I read your column every chance I get, and a book sounds like even more fun. :)

You're going to find this hard to believe, but I would trade you for the date you described. My personal worst was... well, let me describe it this way... You're very familiar (like many of us) with how it feels to have the date feel "hosed", "done", "over", "wrecked", and any other synonym for "disaster". Picture that feeling after TEN MINUTES of being next to the person.

Most details are omitted for the sake of public decency.

shauna said...

Jim, I have a regular male reader in Idaho Falls? You just expanded my demographic! I really thought the only people reading my column were people that knew me and felt obligated. ;) And if you have serious dating disasters to share, you might want to start a column of your own. People seem to find them very interesting. Thanks for reading!