I’ve had two dates recently where they started a story with a sigh. One over the phone, this week; and one across the table, last week, both began a story with a sigh, and a “well”.
“Well, I’m just annoyed at her”.
In both stories the “her” in question was a New Zealand woman (not me). Both times these men were trying to paint themselves as hard done by the kiwi villainess.
In the first story the kiwi-her was his assistant, who was too happy all the time. Made too many jokes. “She sounds great”, I thought in my head, arranging my face muscles to try to convey empathy instead of irritation. “I wonder if I sit through one more date, maybe I could find out his last name, maybe get to her through his LinkedIn?” I pondered, while frowning and nodding at the poor duck who had to suffer through a life of gentle amusement with a kind workmate.
In the second story the kiwi-her was the man’s neighbour, who wanted to make him a birthday dinner. He’d said no. She said she’d be sad to spend her birthday alone, and it was no bother. He said she shouldn’t be so closed-minded and to stop assuming everyone is just like her. She said he was a hard person to be friends with and needed to let people in. In my head I thought “oooooh girl, you tell him!”, but out loud I said “yes, um, indeed”, and wondered if it was worth sleeping with him to bump into her in the hallway the next day.
I’ve only just now realised it might be the same woman? I mean, an assistant who lives in an apartment, stranger things have happened… honey, if you’re reading this, please contact me immediately, I will buy you a beer.
These aren’t the only times I’ve found myself coming down on the side of women during a date. Men complain about their ex-wives nagging them and I say yeah, but how often did you do the laundry without being asked? Never?! She’s not your mother. Why is she the household manager by default? Challenge your assumptions there, sport.
(Now, you might think this means these ones don’t ask me out on second dates. You’d be wrong. This is a man who just said he let his ex-wife assume the role of his mother. Of course he’s going to enjoy someone telling him off over a drink).
And then there are the men who try to compliment you by saying how wonderful it is that you aren’t like other women. What?! That sounds like a nightmare. I love women! Compare me to them all day long, please. Have you MET a woman? They smell pretty, they usually have a pen you can borrow, they get shit done. If I’m not like other women, what am I? What does that make me? Don’t make me question my own life purpose, Steve.
And how am I not like other girls? Well aside from the ones who slipped a lil’ neg in (I’m “not a stick lol”, also they “prefer them older”, cheers Sam, wtf), they usually say I’m not like other girls because I’m “really honest” or that I “don’t wear much makeup”.
Boy, no. These are not compliments. I’m honest because I’m terrible at boundaries and having any normal human level of perspective, and I don’t wear much makeup because I am inept with brushes. If I could choose my life over I would have a thick layer of perfect contouring to help provide physical cover for my silky smooth LIES. I’d look like a Kardashian crossed with a drag queen and I’d be able to steal men’s watches and hearts in equal measure.
You aren’t complimenting me by praising my no-effort look and my inability to keep things to myself.
Tell me I’m just like all the other girls. Not different in the slightest. We’re all the same.
I promise you, I can’t think of a better compliment.