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Date (w) me: Mr. Babitz Pt. II
red flags, yellow flags, we all scream for more!
I haven’t been writing about dating as much because I’ve been pouring more time into friends and myself and it’s been beautiful. And just when you find yourself, everyone wants a piece of your stasis.
My first date with Mr. Babitz was interesting. We grabbed a drink at this wine bar near me. I was late ( I always am) and he was already there at this table in the back. He stood when I arrived. Came around and pulled my chair out. I am a sucker for a man with traditional manners (walking on the street side, making sure I never touch a door handle, etc) and I blame my Kansas roots and my incredible father for that.
“You’re late.” he said.
“I am” I said.
And this started us off on the right foot. Because antagonism is the sign of a healthy self-concept when done tactfully and honestly. My ex could never get mad at me and I feel like it led to a lot of riffs. I want to marry (if I marry!!!) someone who isn’t afraid to be angry with me and tell me why. Suppression is only good as foreplay.
So we’re sitting there. We’d already covered a lot of personal ground the night we met. So we were left in that awkward state of not really knowing what ground to broach now.
“How did your week go?”
I bit. Was as honest as possible. I try to get my absolute worst traits out there first so someone can’t say I didn’t warn them. I’ve gotten to too many third dates only for someone to be “scared” by an expression of emotional vulnerability.
Like the time I was hanging out with this guy and admitted how much I missed my family. And instead of being comforting or reassuring, he procured his out.
So I was at this wine bar with Mr. Babtiz, who I met at the gym, and we were talking about our lives and childhoods and loves and loathes after a glass or two of wine, and I’d already warned him who I was at seventeen. I think my unconscious is still seventeen. Largely because of some things that happened that year that I’m trying really hard to work through in fiction. But I digress!
He told me about his relationship with his mother. We will see how this develops. Because the people who scare me the most are those who are able to give a good performance of emotional vulnerability and then still do the same bullshit mimetic desire stuff, grasping for some semblance of power in this digital world of dating where you always know who’s winning based on the frequency and length of texts.
And after an hour and a half, one of my friends texted me about a party in Brooklyn. and I told Mr. Babitz that I had to go to a party in Brooklyn. Because I think I like dating a lot because I wasn’t allowed to until sixteen and then found myself as a puedo-college housewife for four years. So I’m left with a lot of spillover curiosity still. I have so much of the world to see and learn and feel.
I am afraid sometimes that this curiosity shares a line with some sort of masochism. But I think that that’s true when there’s any threat of danger, which is an inevitable reality of life.
So I left Mr. Babitz at the wine bar, bookending an hour-and-a-half-long date with a quick kiss. A good one, but a quick one. Because I had places to be. And lately partying (with good friends) has been so much more fun and satisfying and nurturing than dating.
So, I will see him again. He planned ahead. I’m an awful texter — I think texting is one of the worst parts of contemporary empty intimacy —, and he knows this, so he called me on the phone to schedule date three. The real test: Dinner. So, to answer your DMs, Mr. Babitz is still in the picture (among others), but I’ve just been centering myself aggressively lately. I have a book to write, I’m still dabbling in music with a friend of mine, and I have other things going on!!!
But, as Girard predicted, when you’re finally content on your own, the suitors come knocking.