Sunday, June 22, 2008

Don't Let Me Down

When it comes to romantic relationships, I’m Teflon, non-stick. The gal pal, the bridesmaid never the bride, the beard. The just friends.

With tongue firmly planted in cheek, I previously shared the tale of my magic vagina, how once explored it will lead a man to (or back to) the woman of his dreams. I’ve a second talent; the easy let down.

Whether the breakup of an ongoing relationship (of which there’ve been few; my crushes and encounters rarely last through a holiday or buying concert tickets in advance ), I tend to receive the let down, being released from thoughts of romance and forevermore, in the gentlest, most caring manner. I’ve never been labeled the bitch or the bore or too fat, too old, too ugly, too career minded or too immature.

It’s rejection, all the same, but mine has a crunchy candy shell.

There was Tom, who said the sex was great (he was a bit - quick - but a tall good looking quick with a voice that made me crazy), yet he’s a homebody and I live a "little too far away". He’s 15 miles, 26 minutes in traffic, per Google Maps. There’s Steven, the programming guy, who gladly accepted my offer of casual couch time, only to quickly rebound in less than a week with a first date and possible girlfriend material (hmmm…I think it was a girl). He wanted to see where this something-long-term could lead. He was ten years younger, and may be more bi than he realizes.

There’s John. We met for drinks before I proposed summer fun. "Maybe I'm weird for a guy”, he said, "but casual has just always left me feeling empty. I think you're a really cool person, but not sure there's relationship potential between us. Just shooting you straight.” I like straight shootin’.

There was the married who said “no regrets” after (perhaps) we stuck toes over a line - I don’t define lust as cheating - and his conscious got the better. That let down I gratefully acknowledge. It was right and changed some perspective. We backed away at the same time.

The gentle let down has historical roots, dating back to my 20's. Chris chose to pursue a girl in his zip code and time zone, 2000 miles separating us. Despite 15 years of longing, he says we’re more like brother and sister, an icky thought given late night, and recent, team participation phone calls.

Of course, the guitar players words ring like poetry. He said early on, “I'll always take ‘smart’ over ‘hot’, but in a nutshell there's the girls I like and the girls I fuck and they seem to be mutually exclusive.” Guess which one I was? He caught up via e-mail not long ago, wrote that he’s very happy with his new girl and that he was, “…lucky to meet a top-notch gal like Jodie Kash.” He chose the “top-shelf gal” instead, a titty bar bartender, my age no less. At least he’s not entirely rock star clich├ęd, going for the 20-somethings.

In an odd turnabout, there’s Daniel. Sweet Daniel, he won’t accept my gentle let down. This time I'm not feeling the sweaty spark. But he’s hanging in there; I think he’s open to exploring something in whatever form I name it. That makes me feel I’d be using him. Sometimes the gentle let down is just that; care for another in the moment before you realize you may cause hurt. I should rethink him. I could be wrong.

So I continue to share salty experiences along with a grain or two, making light as I go deeper. Sometimes you just don’t feel the heartbeat in places other than your chest. Much as you want it, there may be no shared chemical rush, no biological IV. A male colleague and long, long time friend told me once, “Men are like not too bright dogs, you have to tell us what to do." I want a smart dog. Then yeah, I'll happily be his bitch.

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