The meanderings of a recovering ex-expat with the occasional identity crisis
Some of you may be saddened to learn that I’ve broken up with the guy mentioned in Why I’m Still Sarcastically Single Part One: Steak. The relationship lasted a bit longer than it took for you to walk your dog around the block and pick up his poo in a plastic bag, but it’s taken me longer to realize that we had really ended the relationship over my refusal to be his Travel Sexcort.
(Key) Grip Guy – this is his profession, and I refer to all of my exes by a nickname, so I can remember their *essence* – said he liked to travel and had a ton of mileage points to go someplace warm. He thought about someplace warm so often that he had Palm Springs (California) weather on his iPhone and consulted it whenever the temperature in Seattle dropped below 40F. We’d exchange travel information: I gave him links to Conde Nast’s Top Ten Resorts and he’d tell me the weather conditions in Hawaii. Sometimes he’d call me up: Hey, Susan! If we leave next Tuesday for Palm Springs and return on Sunday, it’ll be in the 70s, and there’s only a 30% chance of rain.
During our relationship, I had traveled from Seattle to Taipei to Hong Kong to Mainland China to Hong Kong to Taipei to Vancouver to Seattle, while Grip Guy had traveled – in his mind – to Palm Springs, Maui, Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean, and possibly Thailand or the Philippines via Maldives, and Indonesia. But we had never traveled anywhere together, unless you count the times we scoured the aisles of Asian grocery stores in Seattle looking for coconut water and finding instead wax gourd drink.
After the relationship ended we remained friends, but Grip Guy continued to pester me about going someplace warm, though I told him it wasn’t appropriate now that we were just friends. But he didn’t want to go by himself: he had tried it once and hated it.
It’s not like I’d travel with just anyone, Grip Guy said. This was his idea of a compliment.
What, you think I’d try something? You have a pretty high opinion of yourself, don’t you, Missy? This was Grip Guy’s way of reassuring me that there would be no funny stuff, should I go on a trip with him.
At the end of March I was supposed to go to Peru for work and had jokingly said he should consider going, knowing that a man who couldn’t bring himself to try a wax gourd drink would never get his ass on a plane and fly to a country that even I had some reservations about visiting.
After researching Peru, Grip Guy emailed me and rejected the idea: March was the rainiest month. Tickets were much more expensive than for Palm Springs. The elevation gain of Macchu Picchu was worrisome. And diarrhea, baby. Diarrhea.
I emailed back and teasingly said that I had never expected him to take me up on my offer. If he couldn’t go to Palm Springs, which was less than two hours away from Seattle – Peru wasn’t going to happen. If he wanted to go someplace that badly, he should just GO, instead of torturing himself and whining about it. But wherever he was going, I wasn’t going with. Besides, Palm Springs seems kind of boring. Why go there when he had the time and money to go some place new and different?
Ladies and gentlemen – I never saw Grip Guy again.
Two days before leaving Seattle for China, I was supposed to get together with him. When I texted him, he replied that he didn’t want to get together, based on that email I sent him over a week ago. When I texted back, saying it was a low blow to tell me so late; I couldn’t make other plans – he wrote back, Well, well, well…look who’s whiny now?
From this anecdote and the title of this post, you probably think that I’ll now launch into a 6000-word male-bashing rant. But one thing that living in China has taught me is to maintain impartiality and a level head, while under great stress and frustration. Therefore, I’m presenting my dating history in a series of fact-filled charts and graphs, from which you can form your own conclusions. (Clicking on the chart below will enlarge it in another window):
In Exhibit 1, I have chosen five men representative of my dating history. I’ve included only the most relevant information, such as What Went Wrong, The Nail in the Coffin, and Where is He Now? And instead of using a point-form rating system, which may be confusing for some, I’ve listed a Comparable Experience, which everyone can hopefully relate to.
For those of you who may be more visual, I have also taken the data and formed a Relationship Flow Chart, detailing the external factors that contributed to the demise of our relationships:
Here are some more facts:
Amway is notable, in that he was the first guy I dated in Seattle and my introduction to Amway. He never told me he sold Amway products till the fake housewarming. (He also failed to mention he lived with his parents.) His bed was two twin beds joined together by a plastic thingy in the middle, and he complained frequently of back pain. There were no car mats in his car. It rains a lot in Seattle. His passengers had to ride with their feet on a plastic shopping bag or their shoes in their laps.
Pineapple, a Japanese American from Hawaii, had a very tenacious ex-girlfriend, who prevented him from successfully dating other women. Despite this, Pineapple refused to get a restraining order against his ex, so she would frequently drop in on him while he was hanging out with his buddies at the bar, or on a date, or attending a friend’s wedding in another State. After her driver’s license was revoked, the ex would stalk Pineapple by bus while he was driving, then leave him angry voice messages, when he veered off the bus route. They are now married and participate in marathons, but I think his ex-girlfriend- now wife – is really running after Pineapple. (Note: The last part of the previous sentence was my opinion and should not be viewed as fact.)
I’m embarrassed that I can’t remember ????’s name, even though he is the most memorable guy I have ever met.
???? had graduated at the top of his class from the top schools in Taiwan and worked as an engineer in a multinational company. But this is where he stops sounding human, because during the three times I went out with him, ???? did not speak a total 15 words to me. And whenever I asked him a question, such as, How are you doing today? he would think about it till it was time for me to go home.
Fact: We once had a “telephone conversation” for 40 minutes. I asked him, How are you doing today? then put the receiver down next to the radio, washed and deep conditioned my hair, and read an article in a magazine. When I returned, ???? was still on the phone, mulling over the answer to my question.
Fact: On our last date, we went to a coffee shop, which served Cafe Mocha with whipped cream and multi-colored confetti sprinkles. ???? did not like whipping cream nor confetti sprinkles, but ordered a Mocha anyway. When the Mocha came, ???? removed all of the whipping cream from the Mocha, removed the confetti one by one with a spoon, took one sip of his Mocha, then pushed it towards me and said, I don’t like it. You can have it. I yelled, Who the hell do you think I am? Your goddamn Mother?
Fact: My Dad, who had never met ???? before, bet me that ???? really wasn’t so bad. To prove Dad wrong, I told ???? to meet me in front of a busy movie theater, and my Dad would be 10 feet away, witnessing our meeting. As ???? approached, my secret signal was to tug at my earlobe, so that Dad would know he was the guy. After furiously tugging at my ears for several minutes, ???? asked me if my ears were OK. When I looked at my Dad, he was laughing hysterically.
I won the bet, but at what cost?
You may laugh at all of this, but faced with such epic dating failures, I can only look to myself for the cause. There must be something in me that’s attracting these men. In order to find a pattern, I’ve tried to come up with some possible reasons, assigned them with numerical values and plotted them on a line graph:
Exhibit 3 clearly shows that a solution to my dating problem may be as simple as getting cable. However, the above graph does not give any indication as to what type of man I should date, or will eventually end up with. Therefore, based on Euclid’s algorithm for the greatest common divisor of two numbers, I’ve developed an algorithm to determine my potential mate. Please refer to Exhibit 4: Susan’s Algorithm for Determining a Potential Mate.
After testing this algorithm several times using other men I’ve dated as variables – Starbucks Guy, Sushisamba, Fugly Guy, and Space Elevator – I come up with the same result – a Donald Trump Cabbage Patch Kid. I suppose it could be worse. I mean, it could be the real thing.