Since I'm now obsessed with Inside Amy Schumer, I was watching her skits on YouTube last night, and saw one that was about two women on a game show. How it worked was that they would be shown a guy, he would say a few words about himself, and then both of the women would guess how the relationship would end. The one who got closest to the truth won. So, like one of them would say, "We'll go out for two years and then one day, I'll discover that he has a secret folder on his desktop with nude photos of Daniel Radcliffe in them."
This, of course, got me thinking about all of the guys I've dated and how often I had more than an inkling that it wasn't going to work out. And I don't just mean that it wasn't going to succeed because of my own issues or because statistically, it's highly probable that it would fail (though both these are are reasonable worries), but because there was something wrong with the guy, or if not with him in particular, with the two of us together. Off the top of my head, I can list five guys I dated when I lived in State College, and how I knew, knew, knew within, oh, two hours of meeting them, that it wouldn't work out. And yet...And yet the desire to be in a couple was so so so much more powerful, that I ignored those signs and hoped against hope that I was wrong. In general, I had trouble evaluating these guys---I was way more interested in how they might feel about me (and how I might win them over) than how I felt about them. Hence:
1. Jon S. Should've been a no right away because he was uber interested in the outdoors and camping and eating beans out of tin cans in his back yard over a fire pit. I think he may have even worked at Easter Mountain. I, on the other hand, can think of no sane reason why a person would choose to sleep on the ground without shelter. We dated for two months and then he told me I wasn't outdoorsy enough. To be fair, he also owned a golden retriever named Toby, and so that fact also clouded my judgement.
2. Pete G. Sweet guy, but he wasn't over his ex-wife (who was coincidentally also named Amy). I knew this right away because as he was describing his divorce on our first date over flatbread pizza, he started to cry. Instead of saying to myself that perhaps he wasn't ready to date yet, I thought, Oh, my God, he can commit! We broke up three months later after I said, I think I love you (please notice both the qualifier and the Beatles reference), and he said, Oh, I think of you fondly.
3. Tattoo Jim. We all called him that because his body was covered in tattoos. He worked in the bike shop (of course) and was angry in this cute, emo way. I admired him because he didn't drink. We ended up making out one night (just kissing, mom) and he stayed over, and when I woke up the next morning, I saw that he had "straight edge" tattooed across his back. Just in case you don't know, this is a philosophy adopted by middle class white guys who are into music but have taken a vow never to drink, smoke, swear, or have sex prior to marriage.
4. TJG. Religious studies professor with two kids, oh, and also a wife. He converted to being Muslim in his early thirties and wore white smocks, socks with sandals, and one of those beanie hats, even in the summer. Nothing ever happened, but I carried a longtime, burning torch for him, despite the fact that he often said goodbye by flicking me the Spock hand signal that means, Live long and prosper. Did I imagine he would give up all the Muslim nonsense, leave his wife, and stop watching sci fi to be with me? Yes, I did.
5. The poets. There were a couple of those. Nice guys, for the most part, but super flaky and often into the beat poets like Kerouac, liking to see themselves as on the edge even though they were raised by dentists in the upper class Chicago suburbs.
And that's just my first year of grad school..........................Sort of. Here's the skit.