6.5% ABV bottled
She sipped her cheap blush wine and nuzzled closer to me. She clearly wanted to ask me a question but was nervous. Spit it out, I wanted to say. She finally spat. “Tell me about your last girlfriend…”
A loaded question if I’ve ever heard one, but I’m a bit of a psychological savant and have answered these enough in the past to know the “correct” answer. I took a sip of my Cascazilla, a “monstrously” hopped red ale that pours maroon, smells like an IPA, and tastes like one too. Pretty tasty, and quite drinkable.
“Well…my last girlfriend had major intimacy issues, lived under the shroud of her smothering mother who happened to hate me, couldn’t see and enjoy the practically perfect present for the always-unpredictable future, was clinically lazy, had a fear of commitment which she hid by claiming that I actually did, possessed a pathetically cyclical history of kamikazeing her serial relationships with the same personal errors, and, most egregiously of all, was not a champion of my dreams.”
Perhaps I’d gone overboard.
That was true but those were the only really bad things about her, stuff that could have easily been fixed. But that was irrelevant at this point in time. When a new girl you’re wooing lacks confidence, you tell her only bad things about your ex. One that is confident though, you can’t go far enough in telling her the good things, giving her lofty goals that she will then forever try to live up to and exceed.*
“She was smart as a whip, the sweetest person I’ve ever known, always laughed at my shit, even moreso put up with my bullshit, could drink like a longshoreman, liked to party more than me, fantastic and always forthcoming in between the sheets, enjoyed bar games, was incredibly creative, was my raucous ‘partner in crime,’ and had a comfortable bed…”
Tonight was our first “test” date. Er, actually, it had somehow become a “test” date when she started grilling me. The third date is usual a little early to get the third degree, but whatever, I was too drunk to mind. The only reason I hate being questioned, “tested,” is because it makes for boring conversation. I’d rather just drink, watch a movie, or make fun of other people not as genetically gifted as me.
Why must women always shanghai their chances by getting another woman’s essence into a partner’s head? What a stupid thing to do. You wouldn’t physically derail a man’s interest in you by showing him pornography–unless you were: awesome!–so why mentally derail him by forcing me to have remembrances of things past? And, indeed, now it was no surprise that I was thinking about her.
I was still miffed how it had ended. Completely arbitrarily and unnecessarily. Quite frankly, I was still shocked she hadn’t contacted me once in the however many months since we had broken up. On D-Day plus One I would have bet the heavily-subsidized farm that she would have phoned, e-mailed, texted, and/or carrier pigeoned me by now. Maybe that’s my narcissism acting up. Or, I guess she just didn’t love me as much as I thought she did.
I returned to the present.
“I’d always champion your dreams, Aaron.”
She said it, but I wasn’t so sure. Heck, I wasn’t so sure, yet, if she was even smart enough to know that the word “champion” could mean something other than the sweaty guy that gets to kiss a pretty trophy and display a giant novelty check after winning a sporting event.
Well, if my “new” girl was going to test me, I was going to test her. I don’t particularly care about a woman’s past unless it involves chronic STD contraction or ravenous intravenous drug usage, so I simply follow a trick Quentin Tarantino taught me.** I make each new girl of interest watch my favorite movie of all time — “Annie Hall.”
I’m surely not that daft, but I did used to agree with the line from the great “High Fidelity”: “What really matters is what you like, not what you’re like.”
Then why did every girl I’d ever liked, at worst, loathe “Annie Hall,” and, at best, feel apathetically bored by it?
It’s too irreverent. Too weird. Too old. Too out-of-touch. Too slow. And Woody gives me the creeps, they’d say. I’d heard all the complaints.
Finally, on Tuesday night, I’d come to realize, it didn’t fucking matter whether a girl likes “Annie Hall,” or good beer, or college basketball. All the mattered was if I liked to be with her. And I thought I might like this girl. I paused “Annie Hall,” grabbed her hand, and escorted her to her bedroom. Afterward, when she went to the bathroom, coming back she retrieved the DVD and her laptop from the living room and brought them back to bed. She had actually been loooooooving “Annie Hall” and couldn’t wait to see how it was going to end.
*As a secondary purpose, these revelations also allow you to tell a new girl exactly what you expect in a relationship, a template for what you will and won’t tolerate.
**QT: “When I’m getting serious about a girl, I show her ‘Rio Bravo’ and she better fucking like it.”
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