Got Cash?

I recently read another blog post dealing with the idea that men should buy women drinks when ‘opening’ during their first meeting.  This reminded me of a tangentially related story of my own…

The main character is this very attractive man I dated on and off a few years back.  He was a part of the NYPD — and you know that special appeal men in uniform have.  Anyway, one night I invited Mr. NYPD to an amateur fight night in the city.  The tickets were $20 so I bought two and we were all set. 

We get there, and since I knew my way around I went straight to the concession stand and asked if he wanted a beer.   I had no problem buying since I had offered.  We finish the first round when someone conveniently walked by our seats selling beer.  I asked if he wanted another round and we were set for the next few matches. 

Right around the end of my second beer it’s time for me to break the seal (I swear I have a miniature bladder!).  He walks with me to the bathroom (I’m thinking wow, very gentleman-ly), but as we walk by the concession stand he stops me and asks:  “Do you have any cash for another beer?”  WHAT THE #$%&%^&$%*?!?!?!  Are you serious??  I mean I am all about modern gender roles, but it’s just common courtesy not to ask a girl for cash — right?  Particularly since I had been treating him to an entire night so far!   

I gave him the money for another round of beers 1) because I was caught so off-guard, and 2) because I seriously needed another beer to make it through the night without slapping him.  Is it just me or was that not ridiculous?  I have to ask, because I will admit upfront I lean toward traditional roles and prefer when a man doesn’t let his woman lift a finger (or dollar) for him.  Something about the question “Got Cash?” doesn’t connote sexy, romantic, or appealing.  Unfortunately for Mr. NYPD, the beer ATM (and any further dating consideration) ended after that round.

“Money is not the most important thing in the world. Love is. Fortunately, I love money.” ~Jackie Mason

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The Breakup… Again?

Since I’m reminiscing about the previously mentioned boyfriend, I thought I would share the story of our breakup.

I met Mr. Clingy right after I had quit my job in order to head back to school for a masters.  I had a free summer, and so I lived with him for the summer and he helped me move into my less luxurious quarters at school.  Coincidentally he had also just decided to get his masters in Europe at the same time, and that is why we decided to pursue the relationship.  We would both be busy for a year, and then presumably in the same city afterwards. 

Boy do you get to know someone when you do long-distance; too many phone conversations without any physical distractions.  This wasn’t my first go at a long-distance relationship, but it was certainly the worst.  Our phone sessions were like therapy sessions for him — had I charged him by the hour I would be in a much better financial situation than I currently am.  He would yap and yap and yap about his life and every detail of his day.  I could not get two words in!  I kid you not, one time my sister had a whole conversation with me, then asked me why I was being so quiet.  I told her “I’m on the phone”.  She couldn’t believe it.  I had been on the phone for an hour and never had to say a word.  He just needed someone to listen to his troubles I guess, and once in a while tell him ‘yes you should do that’.  He could have talked into a mirror and been just as satisfied, but he would want to be on the phone constantly at all hours instead!  Clingy, needy, and selfish.  I figure I never realized during the brief summer we were physically together because he could distract me with the occasional kiss when I got frustrated by his inability to listen to me.  It was also new and exciting at that point in time, and since my whole life was changing I never really stepped back to think about how he fit into it.

Once we were in seperate cities I would go out every night on the weekends, and he never even knew I had gone out… much less ask where or with who!  That’s the extent of his self-absorption.  So I decided this is no good, I’m breaking up now.  So I did.  I had an hour long conversation with him and explained to him that I saw no future and didn’t want to keep seeing him.  I thought it was over.  Apperently I thought wrong.

During our January breaks we ended up in the same city and saw each other one evening.  He had continued to contact me occasionally, and though I wouldn’t answer his calls I would occasionally respond to his IM’s on the computer.  At the end of the night he gets all serious and the conversation goes like this:

Mr. Clingy:  ‘We have to talk’

Me: ‘Ok’

Mr. Clingy: ‘I don’t think this is working, we need to breakup’

Me: [didn’t this already happen?!?!] ‘Ok’

Mr. Clingy: ‘I really care about you, but this is too hard on me… blah blah blah [I would tell you what the blah’s were, but I was so in shock I really don’t think I was listening].  Why haven’t you said anything?  Why are you so quiet?’

Me:  ‘Because I already did this 2 months ago!!!!!’

Anyway, I don’t know if he got it after that but I wasn’t going to stick around to tell him.  If letting him think he broke up with me helps give him closure without hurting his ego, so be it.  I do not need to be anyone’s psychiatrist — I need the energy (and therapy) for myself.

“Don’t let people drive you crazy when you know it’s in driving distance.” ~ Unkown

‘It’s been so long!’

We all know about the sexual double standard between men and women.  Men are held to high esteem for the quickness of their game, while women are labeled easy if they can get a man to unzip quick.  I was recently reminded of a guy I seriously dated for several months last year.  He was your typical alpha male.  His pitch was that he was done with having fun (because he has played the field for so long), and was really looking for someone to settle down with.  I was thinking the same thing, but I had to adjust my pitch just a tad. 

I should first give a little background on my dating habits.  If I really like someone I like to ‘test-drive’ them as soon as possible.  For me sex is an important part of a relationship, and if that’s not going to work out I want to know before it gets difficult to extricate myself from the relationship.  It’s usually a safe assumption that if I haven’t slept with you (or at least made the innuendo) after the first two dates — I’m just not that into you. 

Fast forward to this encounter.  Second date and he easily ends up in my bed.  I’m ussually pretty passionate and of course before things got started I gave my pitch: “It’s been so long!”.  The truth is it hadn’t been long.  At the time I had my very convenient FWB, and so really it had only been 3 days.  The funny part is that after the fact he said “I know it had been a long time because you were so impatient and passionate”.  All I can say is “Ha!”. 

But the truth is that’s what men like to hear.  I think men get insecure if they’re confronted with a women that is unashamed to embrace her sexuality.  They like to think she has been holding out just for him.  I guess some people would think I am not that independent when it comes to sexuality because I still will ‘cover-up’ the truth when I deal with men.  I just think it means I’ve learned to play within the rules of the game.  I think the independence a woman feels should be within herself and her comfort level.  I never have to tell people or brag about my conquests.  I guess that’s another difference between men and women, but I digress…

In the end that relationship didn’t work out.  For somebody who had played the field so much, this guy was truly insecure.  Once we got serious he depended on me for EVERYTHING.  Couldn’t even make career decisions without me telling him what to do — and we had only dated 6 months!  In my book that is not normal and I don’t need clingy-ness.  Sometimes I feel like the man in relationships.

“And when a woman’s will is as strong as the man’s who wants to govern her, half her strength must be concealment.” ~George Eliot

The United Nations

I’m an equal opportunity dater.  I’ve dated French, Italian, Mexican, and certainly good ole’ plain American men to name a few.  My mom jokes that I’ve made a tour of the United Nation via men.  When I call her to tell her about a date she first asks “what country did you visit this time?”, and then proceeds to sing a song native to that country.   It never fails to bring a smile, no matter how bad the previous night turned out.

Despite this apparent ‘open-mindedness’, I have never entered into a serious relationship with anyone who doesn’t share my cultural roots.  I’m a first generation Hispanic-American, and the only people I have really connected with on a level one step deeper than casual dating have shared this distinction.  It makes me wonder, are we trapped by our cultural upbringing?  Held back from sharing deep, meaningful bonds because of who our parents were?  I’ve asked my close friends about this, and through an anecdotal straw poll I found this generality holds most of the time.  My Russian-American friend has only entered long-term relationships with Russian-Americans.  The same is true of my Indian-American friend and my Irish-Catholic friend.  It makes me feel semi-hypocritical for even attempting to go on dates with someone who doesn’t fit the ‘mold’.  But that makes me so sad!  Not only does it severely limit my pool of prince-charmings who may sweep me off my feet, but it has terrible implications on how many generations it will take to erase cultural stigmas and stereotypes. 

But there are always the exceptions.  Those rare couples who have surmounted different views and lifestyles.  One of my best friends is an American from Portland, OR and she has been happily living with her Newyorican boyfriend for two years.  She embraces their cultural differences, and knows that there is an extra give and take required in merging two families with such distinctly different backgrounds.  The extra stretch this requires of your personality really pushes you to grow as a person.  I wonder if I have what it takes to stretch myself in that way.  The evidence thus far doesn’t show it, but I will continue to be an equal opportunity dater.  Maybe the prince-charming at the end of my road will be nothing like I have ever known before.  This prospect is inspiring.

“Mi vino es amargo, pero es mi vino” ~Jose Marti