Studies have shown that 85% of the women who started out with me eventually moved on to more serious men.
They experiment with me. Figure it’s no big deal. I’m not that dangerous. I’m definitely not habit-forming. They think everything will be fine. But once they’ve tried me, pretty soon they move on to the harder stuff. Something more potent.
Okay,”harder” and “more potent” might be bad word choices. But you get the point.
I knew something was amiss after a rather sleazy two week fling I had in college with someone I did not even particularly like. Actually, it was not the fling itself. It was the reaction I received when I described it to a friend of mine, Melanie (not her real name; her real name is Michelle).
“Oh, that’s so perfect for you!” Melanie said.
It was? It was perfect for me? I might as well have told Melanie, “I just met this crack-whore in the park.”
It felt like she would have still replied, “Oh, that’s so perfect for you!”
“But…she’s a crack-whore. Why is that perfect for me?”
“It just is! I really hope this works out.”
Melanie and I had once had our own “thing”. But we were now just friends. Her concern for me was touching. But I was clearly giving off the wrong vibe. In my own mind, I thought I wanted something meaningful. Something long-term.
Eventually I met a girl named Jane (also not real name, her real name is “Melanie”) who became my first “serious” relationship.
Jane was in law school. I was unemployed.
“So what are you going to do with yourself?” she asked once, as I scrawled a bit of doggerel in some notebook.
“Who me?” I looked around to see if she might be talking to anyone else.
“Yes, you. For a career. What are you going to do?”
“Umm…stuff. All kinds of stuff.”
“I think we should see other people.”
“Both of us?”
“What else would I mean?”
“You might mean just me. Just me seeing other people. While you stayed faithful. I would be willing to do that. For our sake.”
“I definitely meant me. I should see other people.”
“Because…you’re not a good person to get serious with.”
So there it was again.
Still, Jane was a wake-up call. From that day forward, if anyone asked what my plans were for the future, I would make something up.
In time I did find a job. I told Melanie about it over the phone. “I’m working at Taco Bell.”
“Oh that’s so perfect for you!”
“Why is it perfect for me?”
“I really hope this works out for you.”
“What??? It’s just a stupid, minimum wage…”
“I’m really happy for you.”
“We should have sex again.”
“Yeah, I’m kind of into this serious thing with someone now. But you know, fooling around with you really helped me figure out what I wanted. Thanks.”
“Sure,” I say. “No problemo. As we like to say. At Taco Bell.”
Of course this was before I met Mrs. Rotting Post, and went to work at a ginormous Wall Street Corporation.
So now, after our many years together, our ups and downs and trials and triumphs, I take Mrs. Rotting Post to a nice, romantic dinner and I finally ask her. “Rotty dear,” I say, “Why is it that you decided to stay with me, whereas I was just a passing thing for so many others?”
She looks back across at me, and her eyes are just as soft and lovely as the day we first me. “Who says I’m staying?”