How to Give the Wrong Impression

Usually I know it’s a date when there’s Camera Obscura playing in my head. I came to realize this through another blog entry about dating because I live on the internet and get all my knowledge from fairly unreliable sources with no scientific basis whatsoever, but the Camera Obscura score comes as a reliable indicator. Close seconds are Beach House and Neko Case’s “That Teenage Feeling”, but even that gets too intense.

“But nothing comforts me the same/ as my brave friend who says, ‘I don’t care if forever never comes/ ’cause I’m holding out for that teenage feeling”

Usually I know it’s a date if there’s physical contact involved. Not face raping, not weird out of context shakes: the right kind of contact. But “right” is such an arbitrary term. I know what’s not “right”: the good night high five. I know it’s not a date when the night is capped with a good night high five. I give good night high fives because I rarely know what to do with my hands. Heck, I rarely know what to do with myself. I rarely know what to do with myself, that’s why I rarely know it’s a date.

My favorite date, as told by Hemingway:

“What do you think we should do?”
“I don’t know,” he said. “What do you do?”
“I don’t care at all. If you’d like to fish I should write a letter or maybe two and then we could swim before lunch.”
“To be hungry?”
“Don’t say it. I’m getting hungry already and we haven’t finished breakfast.”
“We can think about lunch.”
“And then after lunch?”
“We’ll take a nap like good children.”
“That’s an absolutely new idea,” she said. “Why have we never thought of that?”
“I have these flashes of intuition,” he said. “I’m the inventive type.”

This doesn’t really count because it’s a discussion between a married couple (from The Garden of Eden), not between two almost strangers awkwardly negotiating dinner or coffee.

If I were on a date, I want simple conversation, but I look at the person sitting across from me and turn cynical almost on impulse. I see relationships that fell through, people fucked over out of spite, out of revenge, out of boredom, or out of genuine optimism; but even that ended up going nowhere. Heck, why else would you be here “hanging out”. The bigger problem though is not that I see this, but that I’m terrified–frozen in my seat–hoping these things are not reflected in my own eyes.

I keep waiting for my mind to be blown. For the “perhaps…” moment, the one where you consider it working out. Fact is I’m tired of “hooking up” and “hanging out” and I exhaust myself looking for what usually isn’t there.

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