Sexless in the City

Sometimes reading romance novels doesn’t quite prepare you for a love life...

For this 30-year-old urbanite, love is always a misadventure: The Harvard Lickwit, Hippie the Groper, the 5% Man, and the Ad Weasel. These and many other men wander in and out of her life — but never her bed.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Hesitator gets decisive

Just when I was gearing up for an ultra sexless (even dateless) winter in this city ... I got a few pleasant surprises today. First off, apparently that Geriatric Gent will be at a monthly cocktail party on the agenda for next Wednesday. We had brief mid-holiday contact, and he told me we’d have to “have coffee” when I returned from adventures out West.

It’s decisive men like this I need to remind myself exist. Timidity and ambiguity are so much the rage in Christian circles it’s easy to make a crucial mistake. That is, to simultaneously hike one’s standards (though not one’s skirts, of course) for spiritual maturity, while lowering the bar for chutzpah. (Did I spell that one right, Esther honey??) Sometimes, for reasons indiscernible to the probing female mind, the men in Christian circles pull a shameless Mr. Flirty Pants. And we women, so addicted to attention, oft put up with it. But no more!

What is a “Mr. Flirty Pants,” you ask? Well, he’s a gentleman of charm. And probably some measure of good looks. For whatever reason he attracts a disproportional number of the female crushes in a given Christian social circle. But don’t think that he’s a player. Oh no. How could he be a player while so dateless?

How could he be misunderstood?
There was this one guy, for instance. Athletic, pre-med student, M.C. at the weekly Campus Crusade meetings ... very visible figure in the group, with lots of skill in welcoming new folks. Except that ladies in the group were inclined to mistake this for personal interest on his part. How could they know he was “just a nice guy”? That he just “being friendly”?

You see, they made the critical mistake so many girls make: they read into things. Read entire novels out of one little casual sentence. Some reference, perhaps, to his interest in having children. Just that one tiny, casual sentence.

But because he might have uttered it mid-study session ... a study session one-on-one at the girl-in-question’s house ... after he’d spent several such study sessions in her company alone ... she started to think he liked her! That he was looking to get married! She started to think she was feeling a VIBE.

And then because he started feeling a vibe — a something-more-than-friendly vibe — he suddenly became a monk-like student. Who had committed, no doubt, to a vow of isolation, in activities scholastic and, er, gymnastic.

... Until the next girl came along. And then he probably felt the right thing to do, in welcoming her to the group, was to help her study too. A noble and benighted gentleman, that Mr. Flirty Pants.

How could he possibly be to blame for all that interest, all those vibe-emitting, lovestruck women? I mean — by analogy — is it my fault men look twice at me if I happen to be wearing fishnets or hot pink pants? I didn’t mean for that to happen (whistles aimlessly, primps hair); I can’t control it if I’m attractive to them ...

He’s married now, Mr. Flirty Pants is. There must have finally been a girl who came across his path and said to him, “Look, Mister. We are not friends so you can flirt with no commitment. If it’s friends we are, then drop the flirty-flirty. But if it’s more you want, then don’t just flirt, pursue me!”

The one she overlooked
Besides, you see, as maybe-not-so-Hapless Mr. Hesitator has reminded me, there is no lack of Christian men with balls and boldness (though spiritual depth ... well, that’s a toughie). Now maybe it takes a woman of substance to transform a Mr. Flirty Pants into a bold pursuer, but who wants to waste her time on that? Quite possibly the oldest lesson women keep trying to learn is that you cannot change a man!

But since the Hesitator seems to have persistence and some marathon potential where his slightly-more-than-friendship with me’s concerned ... Well, we will have to see. He is blond, after all. And blue-eyed. And a musician. And he has learned to chomp down breath-mints! Fits the profile almost perfectly. Which is important, because you should always go for men who remind your sister of the ones you liked before. It’s like a sign: I’m being consistent!

Back to Hesitator, though. Recall, readers: this is a guy who volunteered for dancing! And he’s only a somewhat conventionally Christian guy ...

Man, I might’ve overlooked a keeper! Of course we might need to get him a keeper for all that hair he’s progressively losing ... but what is early-onset baldness in a man determined to call you? Slight desperation in his email today: Am I still in New York?!! His cell phone has been stolen! At what number can he reach me? And when I sent an answering email ... What time can he ring me today? Is sometime between 6 and 7 OK? What time will I go to bed tonight? (Anna starts to hum to self.)

Yes ... a very interesting winter this might prove to be. Ta for now, dahlings. Oh, and slight delays expected in our contest finale. Dear reader Frasier has now requested a postponement-of-game so he can complete a trip to the City of Love Most Photographed. He promises pics by the latter part of this month.

Related reading
Friend Zone, the Flipside: Blogfather’s Nondating Life: Part VIII. Friendship, post-DTR.