This morning I had an epiphany.
Part of the purpose of my whole “dating hiatus” thing is to take a step back and figure out what I’m actually looking for, before I just go and jump into becoming desperately enamored of any ol’ dude who “looks good” and seems “nice.” This, I’m hoping, will drastically reduce the chances of the next guy I’m involved with’s being a terrible human being.
So for a while now, I’ve been trying to figure out my dating “style,” and it’s mainly just been ticking tabs off a list. I know I’m not a “bombshell,” “diva” or “dime.” I know I’m not a “girl next door.” I’m not quite a “traditionalist,” but I’m not for turning norms on their heads and being the one who pays for dates either.
I was talking to one of my sister-friends a while back, the same one who was giving me the crazy face when I was ranting about why I don’t like dudes who ask me to cook when they find out it’s one of my hobbies, and she said,
“You just need someone who can dish it back as quick as you can.”
“It” being the rants, smart comebacks, etc.
And I just kind of brushed it off like whatever, I’m not sure what I’m looking for but I know that it ain’t someone who’s rude–I’m trying to find someone who’s NOT gonna be a jerk toward me.
…but I was thinking about it this morning, and I was thinking about the types of dudes whose company I actually enjoy (as opposed to the ones with whom I’m just making nice long enough to finish my free dinner and feel like I’m making strides toward my goal of having a normal, healthy relationship with a male)…and yeah. I would call them witty (notice the careful evasion of the term “rude”).
And I was thinking about the source of my rudeness in general. And I arrived at the conclusion that it’s just multiple levels of frustration. My mind works quick, and I mean obviously I’m a writer. I enjoy a good turn of phrase, and so I especially enjoy someone who can turn my turn of phrase around.
And sometimes I speak quicker than I think about what I’m actually saying either out of frustration or purely for the pleasure of speaking words that sound good.
And then sometimes I’m just rude because I’ve sized you up and determined that you can’t offer me anything I want. And that includes the typical (at least in my experience) dating thing of “talking” (AKA texting me good morning and an occasional phone call that includes a recap of my day, me trying to get you to tell me more about your day then “it was chillin” and then you tellin me I’m cute) and going out to eat and the movies and eventually you trying to get…me to cook for you.
…I think too much for that. It’s boring. And so contrived. And so I get frustrated. And so I get rude.
And I can think of one archetypal character whose traits align with the behavior and rationale I’ve described: the shrew.
This morning I was walking into the elevator and I was thinking about The Taming of The Shrew and I thought, that’s what I’m looking for is a Petruccio (…minus the starvation and sleep deprivation).
And I laughed because I wanted to think I was joking because “shrew” is pretty much a pejorative label, BUT I studied this play last year and, to me, Katerina (the shrew) is pretty much just a woman who is too smart for the roles available to her during her time. And so she becomes frustrated and lashes out, because the men who come around her can’t appreciate her intellect and fiery spirit anyway. And it takes the one man who can match her banter and behave just as badly as she can, and yet love her, to calm her ass down.