It's 9pm and I'm just back from an unexpected field trip.
To Nap. Yup. To Napa.
Around 4pm my phone rings. It's Katy.
"Hi, what's going on?" I ask. "And where are you?"
"At Starbucks." She says. There's a pause. I can tell something is wrong.
"Uhm..." she hesitates. "I have a huge favor to ask." Pause again.
"Can you come get me?"
"What? Sure, but. What?!?" I'm so unprepared for this.
"He's a total jerk, DG." She says, part laughing part crying.
"What happened, Katy?"
"Just come get me?" She asks.
"Sure. I'm on my way. Text me your location. It'll take me a while with traffic and all."
"I'm not moving anywhere." She says. "I'll be here."
Here's the short version, dear Dateologers:
Last night, after fighting him off on every front--Katy decided it was too exhausting, that they were adults, and since he liked her so much and was already talking marriage, kids, traveling to meet her parents over Christmas, etc.--it would be ok to give in a little more than she had intended. They kissed and made out. She thought it was nice and romantic; John thought she wasn't really into it. So they ended up heavily entangled, passionately kissing on the floor. He complained that they were on the floor and not in bed. They ended up on the bed. He complained that they were over the covers and not under--they got under the cover. It went on like this the whole evening. You get the picture.
It is still unclear to me just how far they went--but regardless--far enough for Katy. Around 2am he said she'd better head back to her room.
"You want me to leave?" She asked.
"Well, I snore. I don't want to wake you up."
Since he'd been talking the whole week about falling asleep together, she said "I'd rather stay with you, John. It would be nice."
"How about I just go and crash on the sofa in the entry room." Said he.
Katy, telling herself that it wasn't a big deal, stayed in the bed while he was in the other room. She woke up a couple of hours later and couldn't fall asleep again.
"I just felt so strange and alone." She said. "And I was cold." So she got her clothes on and was getting ready to go to her own room when John woke up.
"Where are you going?" He asked.
"To my room." She said and hugged him.
"Don't go." He said. "Stay here."
"But you're not here so what's the point?"
"I just didn't want to keep you up. I wanted to let you sleep. That's all it was. I'll come to bed with you if you want."
So Katy went back to bed and curled up to him.
"It was actually really nice" She said with a tired smile. "He was warm and it felt good. He's sort of bear-like in the way he wraps himself around you."
"You mean you." I correct her.
"Anyway," she says, "he wanted me to take off my pants."
I look at her.
"It wasn't the clothes..."she says. "I was cold, confused, in a strange place. I didn't want to take off anything just yet. But he kept tugging. I told him I didn't want to. To give me a few minutes, but he kept wanting me naked beside him."
"A typical guy?" I ask, trying to make the mood lift a bit. She's not amused.
"So I said to him--is sex really all you want from me?!?"
I chuckle. Good one.
"And then," she says sadly. "And then--he said I was high maintenance, an asshole and a jerk."
"Wait what? He said what?"
"He said 'you're such an asshole. You're such a jerk'!"
"While you were in bed? Together?" I ask
"Yes." She says. "After we had just been physically intimate. After I was getting ready to leave and he got me to stay."
"Did you slap him?" I'm laughing but really, I'm a bit in shock.
"No." She says. "I got out of bed and went to my room. Seriously--how can I sleep next to someone who just called me that? He didn't like it. I told him we'll talk in the morning. But, we never did."
"What do you mean? You didn't see him?"
"I did over lunch. I tried to talk with him. He texted me from the other side of the dining hall. Stupid things. Unrelated. Wanted to know if I had my itsy-bitsy bikini on."
"Then when I texted him back that we should talk, he basically turned around and wouldn't talk to me. He texted once more to say he can tell I've written him off."
"And had you?"
"Not at that point...I tried to tell him we need to talk. That I couldn't text for 3 hours like we did one night he didn't show for our date."
"Did I know about that?" I search my mind.
"Probably not." She says. "Anyway, that's when I called you."
So there you have it, Dateologers. It seems that this was all about the pursuit. About John getting his way. It's a bit surprising because he seemed like such a solid guy at first--albeit a bit obsessed with Katy. For three whole weeks he pushed and pushed and pushed and when Katy gave in and there was nothing to push against, he just fell into the empty space--unable to handle the very thing he wanted. Having Katy. Regardless of what it is that pains this guy, there's just not excuse in my mind for calling a woman "asshole" and a "jerk" right after she had been intimate with him. It's freaky and immature.
It reminds me of my first boyfriend. We were so passionate about one another but didn't know how to channel our feelings into words. We called each other names when we were upset instead of talking. We closed off instead of letting the other see us in our vulnerability. The more upset we got the smaller our vocabulary got. But no matter what, we always felt bad when we hurt the other person. There was always the midnight phone call, the apology email, the makeup makeout.
John, it seems, hasn't learned the power of caring. Or maybe he just simply does not care. He doesn't know how to be in two; how to develop emotional intimacy. It's about the chase, the pursuit, the conquest. He is like a child who always gets new toys and never has to share; a man who never lost a loved one--but who hasn't found himself yet either. He is in an ongoing race against himself. There's no winning in these races as you know. It's a vicious cycle that leads to nowhere.
Katy understands that and knows he is not the right one for her after all. And she's okay with that. But I also know she is sad and disappointed--not so much about John but mostly that this dream that started to take form is there no more. There wasn't really an amazing guy pursuing her; there wasn't really a man who wanted to have kids with her. There wasn't someone who would do anything for the right woman. Someone to spend Christmas with this year. Someone who saw in her his other half and in whom she started to see hers. It was all an illusion. A bubble that popped. Turned into air at the very tiny sign of distress.
I do hope this isn't the norm. That there are guys out there who are able to build relationships, to fall head over heels, to take risks, to know how to express themselves without hurting, to care, to love, to make things okay in the end, to build a dream. Guys who recognize the impact of their actions on others, who know they aren't alone in this world. And most of all, I really hope this is not a sign of things to come but rather, a gentle reminder of all things gone...