Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Relationship C.V.

People ask me all the time, why do I write a blog largely dealing with relationships. Or more to the point, they say: “what makes you an expert on relationships?”

Of course, I often just reply that they could ask the same of any advice columnist (this is NOT an advice column, btw) or female writer who does the same. However, I prefer to mention that my resume is pretty extensive.

Yes, I’ve had a ton of relationships.

Some were great, some not so great, some were lousy, some were really, really lousy. So for all of those out there saying the same thing as they read yet another communiqué from the front of The War Between Men and Women, let me tell you about some of those lousy ones.

Oh, I could tell you about the good ones, but no one wants to read about those. I remember as a child taking a vacation with the parents and stopping at some roadside attraction to watch a man wrestle a crocodile. What he said before he began has stuck with me over the years. In his Aussie accent he said:

“I know you’re coming here to see this croc bite me leg off. I mean, even I go to the circus not to watch the high wire act succeed, but to watch them tumble. Let me assure you though mates, that today, this croc ain’t going to bite me at all.”

In other words, we don’t want to see cars traveling along a highway. We want to see a horrific car crash with 50+ vehicles stacked upon each other.

One relationship I really remember happened when my girlfriend and I were moving beyond second base. Or at least, I was trying to move beyond. As we lay on the bed, both of us with our tops off and running our hands over each others exposed skin, I made a slight detour south. As my fingers gently strolled below the waistband of her panties, she grabbed my hand and stared into my eyes intently:

“No, I’m a virgin and a Christian.”

I knew she wasn’t the former, and didn’t think the latter really mattered as if you read the Bible carefully, you’ll note there’s a lot of sex in there. But she could not be persuaded otherwise and saying “Me too” didn’t seem to change things at all.  Yes, that relationship went downhill from there.

On another occasion, with a different girlfriend, we walked up to the door of her place and stopped. It had been a fairly pleasant evening. We had gone to Esther’s Follies, a hilarious improv establishment here in Austin. While there, we did run into a mutual male friend, and it did bother me a little that she seemed willing to have a long conversation with him. He even seemed puzzled by this, but I didn’t say anything as it was early in the relationship and I didn’t want to ruin my chances. So after this fun night together, standing at her door, I slowly leaned forward to kiss her goodnight.

She suddenly vaulted back against the door, eyes wildly staring at me and her hand extended into my chest. It had been as if she thought I was the Boston Strangler about to slaughter another victim.

“What are you doing!” She demanded.
“Uh, um” I cleverly replied.
Okay, I was pretty young then and not such a smooth talker (still not the latter).
I finally got some composure and mentioned that I was just trying to kiss her goodnight.
“What do you think this is?” she asked, still in shock, still ready to spring forward and attack this wanton villain who had cornered her.
“Um, uh, a date?” Yeah, smooth.

She apparently didn’t think that was the case and promptly retreated into her abode. I believe that was our last “date.”

Speaking of speaking, I remember the time out with another Ex and she inquired why I didn’t talk much.
I’m a writer, not a talker,” I replied.

This was years after the previous encounter and I had become better at responding to women, but apparently not that much better. Truthfully, I can’t say that she was that talkative either, but this is a typical complaint we guys get from women all the time. For the most part, until the relationship is truly on solid ground, it is up to the male to keep things going. Even conversation. So it usually entails us asking questions of the female, and the female responding. After the relationship is to their liking, they tend to take over the conversation and we’re not required to respond as much. This relationship hadn’t gotten to that point. She did hang around another month or so, but as you guessed, this didn’t go much further.

The final encounter I want to mention deals with something that happens to all men. No, it doesn’t concern use of the little blue pill. It is about how men are more prone to action, while women seem to be more excited about words. That’s right, I’m talking about show versus tell.  Men believe that you can show your emotions and feelings by the way we act. Women think that you need to express those emotions or feelings.

In this one relationship, we had this discussion many times. I always liked to point out that Ronald Reagan (yes, I love making political points) would often say one thing, but actually do something else. You know, something like, oh, he hated terrorists, but then would arm right-wing Nicaraguan militias.  Or that trickle-down economics would help the poor. Well, you get my drift.

Anyway, one night after a pretty nice love-making session, my girlfriend turned to me and made the “I love you” announcement. I smiled and hugged her tightly and kissed her passionately. Yes, she had said the words and I showed the proof.
As you can guess, that wasn’t enough. That relationship lasted a few more months but soon we went our separate ways.

I’ve had relationships that lasted years, months, and some that lasted mere days.  Yes, I've seen it all. I won't say I'm not discriminating, but I have been with all size, shape, temperament, attitude and belief of female. So when someone asks me why I think I can write about men and women, besides the line I used at the beginning, I can always point out that I’m a seasoned pro.  I’ve been in the trenches in this game for a long time.

No, I may not be the best person to talk about relationships, but then also, who would have thought a two-bit B-movie actor would win two terms in office as President?   So guess I’ll just keep writing about the differences and similarities of the two species, er, genders dominating this planet.
The Never Ending Relationship Quest

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