Mr. Dubai, Willy Brown, and the Twelfth Planet

October 30, 2008

On our last evening in California, two of my coworkers and I met at a rooftop lounge for dinner.  It turned out to have a swanky nightclub atmosphere.  The view was gorgeous, so we decided to stay for a glass of wine before going out to dinner.  One of my coworkers arrived before us and was already in conversation with a man.  Another man, his brother, approached us.  Mr. Dubai immediately had eyes for me and rudely ignored my companions.

Mr. Dubai was dressed impeccably and had an unlit cigar in his hand the entire time he spoke with me.  To be more accurate, he spoke at me, but I am letting my words get carried away as I remember the illusion of power he was attempting to create in his movements and speech as he interacted with me.

As he attempted to test the limits of my political sophistication and liberal arts education, I rose to the challenge.  Not because I took him seriously, but because I was curious about him.  I didn’t like him or dislike him.  I knew it was unlikely I would ever speak to him again after this conversation.  That’s how I see the people with whom I cross paths, especially if I don’t particularly like them. If they are different and I don’t relate to them, I want to know how their brain works.  I want to know what makes them tick.

So, here I had in front of me this African-American man of Jewish descent dressed to the nines, trying to reel me in with his charm, “power,” and intellect.  He made references to a wide variety of topics in an attempt to find a subject in which he was more fluent than I.  He jumped from politics to war to world trade and I didn’t miss a beat.  Finally, he resorted to flattery.  He started complimenting me, talking about how he is attracted to intelligent women and how much he admires and respects single mothers.  I have heard these lines so many times, I have a hard time believing it when people say it and actually mean it.  He might as well ask me if I come here often for all the good it’s doing him.

I made a reference to the fact that we were going to be finishing our drinks and going out to dinner.  That was pre-emptive strike #1.  Mr. Dubai was clearly looking for any and every available opportunity to dominate me and I was not going to let him take a single one.  No, I am not a shrub and no you are not going to pee on me, thank you very much.

 

He had a book recommendation for me and insisted that I write down the name of the book:  The Twelfth Planet.  More about that another time.  As he  continued to insincerely flatter me with lines he obviously didn’t realize I’ve heard many times before, I told him that even though he was dressed nicely and spoke well, that for all I know he is “completely and totally full of shit” (preemptive strike #2).  He played it off, saying he was full of shit and providing some twist on how that was somehow a good thing and meant something different than what I intended.

Mr. Dubai asked me if I was interested in a career in politics (he is supposedly a political advisor).  I said yes, possibly in a few years.  He immediately told me to find my phone and call “someone.”  I knew better than to ask who I was going to call.  This is all part of his attempt to dominate me.  I played along and dialed the number without asking any questions.  He told me that when the person answered or when I got the voicemail to say, “I am sitting here with Mr. Dubai.  He told me to call you.  I am interested in a career in politics.  Call me back if you would like.  My number is …”

Allegedly, the person I called was Willy Brown, a well known and well-connected politician.  I wasn’t born yesterday, though, so I had my (very serious) doubts.  At this point, Mr. Dubai decided it was time to go.  Interestingly, this is within a few minutes of our drink bill arriving (he and his friend had paid for their own drinks prior to our arrival).  This man, who supposedly travels to Dubai several times a year can’t pick up a $30 drink tab to impress the ladies?  It’s not like I was nice to him or anything, but I did watch and listen to him posture for a good 30 minutes.

The next day, Willy Brown (or a recording of his voice and number) left a message on my cell phone.  I “missed” the call because I was at a conference all day.  I also happen to know that you can use programs on the internet to call people’s cell phones and bypass the ringer so you only have to leave a message.  So, I am not about to fall for this pretend phone tag bull sh!t.  I can call “Willy Brown’s” number every day and somehow miss every single one of his return calls.  I have better things to do with my time.

Even if Mr. Dubai was for real, he was a total jerk.  A wealthy, well-dressed, well-educated, well-spoken dumb@ss.  Later that evening I asked my coworkers the following question:  Would you rather have a man spend his millionth dollar on you…or his last dollar?

Anyway, the moral of this whole story is that this was another one of those times I thought about how much I like Harley.  Actually, I love Harley.


Fine, I’ll Come Out and Say It: I’m a Single Parent

September 10, 2008

I blog about dating and a few of my more recent posts briefly mention my son.  So, today, I am officially coming out of the closet as a single parent.  In Cindy, Living I wrote about why I am hesitant to publicly embrace this status.  I am now putting this fact about myself out there.  If you have read my blog before, you already know I am not your typical mom, single parent, or for that matter, human being.

I have been hesitant to identify as a single parent for two main reasons.  First, it is not my primary identity or role.  I am me first.  I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a nerd, a policy wonk, a rebel, and animal lover…among other things.  Being a mother, or more specifically, a single parent is only one component of who I am.

At the same time, I know I must embrace this “single parent” identity in order to help redefine it as something that is…okay.  It’s okay to be a single parent.  My life is not inherently flawed or defective, nor is the life of my son.  If his father was not an alcoholic, he might still be a part of our family.  Or maybe not.  Regardless, I do what’s best for my son. 

I just joined a single parent group on facebook (Single Parent Connections).  I heard about it while checking out other people’s dating blogs.  That’s what got me thinking about this whole single parent identity thing.  I guess rather than be shy about it, I will be more vocal about it.  It’s nice to know there are other single parents out there who aren’t ashamed to continue seeing themselves as sexual beings.  To borrow some content from the facebook page, “We are raising kids solo or co-parenting in two homes…We are navigating custody schedules or managing totally alone…We are looking for romance online or maybe just a friend with benefits.”  I think I might like these people.


Social Skills and Gender Roles

August 19, 2008

As I mentioned in my previous post, Social Skills, or Lack Thereof, I’m clueless when it comes to men.  Whatever social skills I’ve developed for other areas of my life don’t always carry over when I deal with men.  I think it’s because I’m not sure what my role is.  Thanks to feminism and the women’s studies classes I took in college, I am painfully aware of how limiting and oppressive gender roles can be – for both men and women. 

 

I am a woman, so when it comes to men, what is my role?  I rarely cook or clean.  I’m not crazy about kids in general.  When I see babies, I think, “Thank God I’ll never go through that again.”  I’m a brainiac and I would have definitely killed myself had I been born a few decades earlier.  As a matter of fact, my maternal grandmother committed suicide.  Prior to that, she coped with alcohol and cigarettes.  And my paternal grandmother wasn’t really into children, although she had 6 of them.  She coped with food.  She was obese, long before it was the norm.

 

Anyway, traditional gender roles are out for me.  I just don’t fit into that framework.  I don’t want to be anyone’s wife, in the traditional sense.  So does that mean I want a wife – a Mr. Mom?  I’ve thought about it.  It’s a definite possibility.  Or do I want to be with a financially stable man?  We could afford to hire a wife, so to speak.  We could contract out the cooking, shopping, and cleaning for the household.  That way, neither one of us would have to do it.  I’m leaning towards going in this direction.


Why I’m Not Desperate for Sex

August 7, 2008

Reflecting back to Bob and the way that a bike ride, dinner, and half a glass of wine added up to unwanted sexual advances, this leads me to two more questions, which relate to each other. 

 

Question #2:  Don’t men know that we can have sex whenever we want? 

 

Right now, I’m sitting at home by myself, unshowered, and I bet you I could be having sex with a man in 30 minutes or less.  In other words, I could have sex with pretty much whoever I want, whenever I want.  Or I can masturbate.  Why should I want to have sex at all, let alone with you?

 

Why would I want to potentially expose myself to pregnancy and STDs (condom’s can break) in exchange for…20 minutes of feeling good, culminating in feeling frustrated (see Question #3)?  What kind of trade-off is that?  So, back to Bob.  Why didn’t I respond to Bob’s sexual advances?  First, because I didn’t want to.  Second, because I’d rather have sex with my vibrator, which is exactly what I did when I got home.  Thirty seconds of pleasure and a great orgasm with no chance of getting pregnant or acquiring an STD.  Fabulous!

 

Question #3:  Do men realize that male and female sexual organs are more alike than different? 

 

Do they not realize that the equivalent of their penis is our clitoris?  How would they like it if we played with their testicles for 10 minutes, managed to gratify ourselves, and rolled over and went to sleep?

 

I heard a term years ago.  It was something like ‘masturbatory sex.’  I didn’t quite get what it meant.  Then one day, it dawned on me.  It’s what I just described.  It’s selfish sex, using someone else’s body as a means of masturbation – without returning the favor!

 

One thing I won’t quantify on this blog is how many times I’ve had sex with men without having an orgasm.  Or how many times I’ve had sex with the same person, over and over, and haven’t had an orgasm.  Or how many times I’ve had one-night stands with men and didn’t have an orgasm.  Would you like to know why I didn’t have an orgasm on this multitude of occasions?  Because too many of men I’ve slept with didn’t bother, not once, to touch my clitoris.  One night, I had sex with this guy who was supposed to be the local Rico Suave.  We had sex three times in one night.  I initiated the sex the second and third time.  Why?  Because I wasn’t satisfied.  Nope, still not satisfied after the third time.  I NEVER had sex with him again.  He was probably perplexed, wondering why I was a sex maniac on one occasion and never slept with him again.  Duh. 


Date #2 (A Second Date), Continued

August 7, 2008

I’m disappointed and a little ashamed to publicly admit I kissed him back.  I could have tolerated some light kissing, but now Bob is putting his tongue in my mouth.  Gross!  I am just not feeling it (i.e., any physical attraction)!  It wasn’t an altogether unpleasant experience – it was kind of neutral, kind of blah.  I maintain at least an ounce of personal respect and integrity and keep pulling away, but these subtle hints are lost on him.  Maybe he thinks I am trying to play coy.  I feel forsaken by the feminist movement.

 

He starts to touch my body with his hand.  Ugh!  This is so uncalled for.  I tell him I have to go.  He immediately backs off.  Relieved he still understands English, I relax for a moment and decide to go ahead and finish my glass of wine.  In an attempt to keep him at bay (i.e., his tongue out of my mouth), I suddenly find myself being Ms. Chatty.  For the first time on either of our dates, I am actually talking freely.  Not about anything important, but I am so uncomfortable (and determined to finish the glass of wine, because I could use it at this point!) I’m finally talking about whatever I feel like talking about to avoid having to make out with him. 

 

I make a point not to drink the rest of my wine like it’s a shot of liquor.  Once again, I’m trying to be reasonably polite.  I’m fighting my inborn ‘fight or flight’ instinct to run as fast as I possibly can and get the f^@% out of there.  I’m partially disgusted with myself for falling into the ‘polite’ crap because this is the kind of thing that women do.  And it takes a toll on your mental health. 


Date #2 (A Second Date)

August 7, 2008

Bob calls me two days later and asks me out again.  We agree to meet for dinner the following Friday night.  We have a nice dinner.  The food was good.  As we did on the bike ride, mostly we talked about his career and interests.  That’s okay, but it’s something I made a mental note of on the first date.  It’s okay if one person dominates the conversation on a date.  After all, people sometimes get nervous or are just naturally more talkative and a short-term imbalance results.  If this is something that becomes a pattern, it’s a problem. 

 

So, it’s date #2 and I’m still not overly concerned that we’re talking more about him than me.  He does make some effort to ask me questions, so I keep an open mind.  After we leave the restaurant, he invites me to his condo, which is two blocks down the street.  I remember from his profile he likes to drink wine, so I figure, what the hell, I’ll have a glass of wine.  I rarely drink these days, so I consider it a treat.  I already told him it would be an early night for me because I had to get up early the next morning to take my son to the airport.  I said I could come over for a bit.  We drank some good red wine and chatted some more.

 

By the time I’m halfway through my glass of wine, he starts moving in closer, physically.  He did this a couple times on the first date, but I just kind of ignored it.  I still try to ignore it, but he’s moving in for the kill.  He gives up on more subtle gestures, which I am trying to pretend aren’t happening, and grabs my hand.  I’m thinking, “oh, great, this is going to be really hard to ignore.”  I try to tune it out and continue with whatever conversation we were having.  Then he leans forward to kiss me.  I’m thinking, “okay, I really don’t feel like kissing this guy. 

 

I still haven’t gotten over the fact that he’s twenty years older than me.  I barely know him.  I’m not completely repulsed by him, which I guess is a perverse sort of relief.  Because, one of the stupid things women do is kiss men back because they don’t want to hurt their feelings.  The feminist in me is screaming, “don’t do this! Set boundaries for yourself!  Don’t do things you don’t want to do just to avoid hurting someone else’s feelings”. 

 

Question 1: Do men know we sometimes ‘romantically’ respond to them in order to avoid making them feel badly?  Or am I the only woman who does that?