Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Better Learn to Play

How many times have you heard this:

“I hate ‘The Game’ - It’s so stupid.  “Why can’t I just tell him exactly how I feel about him?”

Because, princess, he will Run.  For.  The.  Hills.  And before you get all, "Preach on, sister!" ladies, we’re no better!  Well, I’m not, anyway.  You tell me you like me before I’m ready to hear it and I will shut it down!  History has proven there is nothing I like more than a man who wants nothing to do with me.

As much as we all claim to hate “The Game,” I've found it is a necessary evil for three reasons:

1)  The mind-game aspect.  Have you ever wondered why all-you-can-eat buffets are so successful?  Because once we know we have a never-ending supply of something, we suddenly "get our fill" much faster.  I need me an a' la carte kind of guy, who’s open a limited number of days each week and has a little bit of price integrity.  I know it sounds trite, but we really do want what we can’t have.

2)  It increases your strike allotment to three.  I don’t know about you, but I have waved the white flag simply because I caught a glimpse of excessive earwax in an over-anxious suitor’s ear.  On the other hand, play a little hard-to-get and I’m much less apt to pull the plug when you give me an unsolicited “Love Is…” clipping, mistakenly believing every girl thinks those frightening Cupie dolls are endearing. (heads up, not all of us do…)  We need the chase as it forgives some of the unfavorable moves (or earwax) that might otherwise be deal breakers. 

3) It can jump-start the honeymoon phase.  When someone isn’t readily available or blowing up my phone with a play-by-play of his day, it causes me to wonder what is going on in his fabulous life.  I imagine he's not contacting me because he's busy hunting lions in Africa or skiing the Swiss Alps.  So, by the time I find out he was actually unable to call due to super gluing his butt cheeks to a chair on a dare,  I'm already hooked.

I mean, let’s face it, we’re all great in the beginning:

  • “Dating” Life Portrayal- I couldn’t be in a better place in life.  I finally know what I want, I spend quality time with my son; kids need that.  I enjoy piddling around the kitchen – some might call me a gourmet cook.  Oh, my waistline?  Well, thank you, but I’m naturally this thin.  Plus, I always find time to fit in a 3 mile run.  Another beer?  No thank you, one is my limit.  What a coincidence, my credit score is 800, too.
  • “Real” Life Portrayal – Sob uncontrollably as you realize you're jealous as hell of your dating alter ego.  Tell Timmy, “the usual” in the Taco Bell drive thru, speed home to free yourself from your full-body Spanx and exhale for the first time in 4 hours.  Kick your 8 year old son off the couch because you're gonna watch "Dog the Bounty Hunter," and if he doesn't like it, he can go play Grand Theft Auto in the back room.  Finish the night off by pouring a vodka-scotch and using your “Notice of Foreclosure” letter as a beverage coaster.

Eventually, that real-life is going to expose itself.  You might want to play the game in an effort to “hook” them before they find out you’re really….well, you.

"Game Playa’" Paul was delivered to me one morning and I liked what I saw.  He was cute, but different than my typical type.  His profile, however, was amazing!  He was humorous, well-written, and intelligent.  We spoke and emailed around our busy schedules, and he seemed to be a bit of a braggart, but I just figured he was puffing himself up due to insecurity. (kind of sweet, actually)  He was a father of two and very active in their lives, he was a runner like me and lived in a great area – he seemed really “together.”  After several email exchanges and phone conversations, we decided to meet for a happy hour.  And, yes my loyal readers, the happy hour was at BJ's.

When I walked in and spotted him, he was dressed nicely in jeans and a blazer. (hot!)  He was drinking some sort of dark ale, which made me cringe as I feared my Michelob Ultra would give me one strike right off the bat.  My fear was realized when he said, "You're ordering a Michelob Ultra?  "Why not just order water and be done with it?"  I laughed this off, as I've become quite accustomed to the beer jab. (strike 1)

We went through the all too familiar "get to know you" routine.  Like most, I get nervous when I'm on a first date and tend to fire off a barrage of questions to ward off any awkward silence.  As a result, Paul had ample time to talk about himself.  I learned that he was a highly decorated Naval Aviator, a black belt in some martial arts discipline, a full-time father of two kids around my son's age, he volunteered at a center for traumatized children, was an exceptional athlete, in the process of getting his masters degree and I believe he was being considered for a Knighthood.  (I may have made the last one up, but seriously?)

Then it was my turn.

Now friends, I believe I held court for an impressive 22 minutes with my nonsensical ramblings.  All I could think while I was talking was that he had an exceptional vocabulary and was quite eloquent in his delivery.  So after 21 and a half minutes of uncomfortably tucking my hair behind my ears and trying to (unsuccessfully) read his nonverbal cues that he was following my verbal diarrhea, I blurted out, "...and I can recite the quadratic formula and tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue." 


Did you also want to point out that you were the Chinese jump rope champ in 1978?

(strike 2)

Not surprisingly, he had no reaction to this - not even a courtesy laugh.  At this point I'm so defeated and embarrassed I was scanning my memory for ANYTHING I've done in my life that would be remotely interesting to him. (I liken it to being the chicken-hawk to his Foghorn Leghorn)  And just as I was about to admit defeat, I found it!  My Mud Run!  

For those of you who don't know what a Mud Run is, it's a 6 mile course with 32 military obstacles along the way and it's all done in the mud.  Picturing me muddy, sweaty and fit would be just the ticket to get me back in this pissing match of sorts.

Karen - "I ran in a Mud Run last November and am doing another this April." "It's a 6 mile -"

Paul - (interrupting me and sounding less than impressed) "Yeah, I'm familiar with the Mud Run - I've run it 17 times."  "In fact, I've done over 324 endurance races."

(strike 3)

I bet he had earwax buildup, anyway...




  1. It wasn't your game that needed work, he was a tool and a one upper, who wants to spend more than an hour with Foghorn anyway?

  2. ha! Thank you, Tanya - he was a total tool!

  3. I so hope you're out having a blog-worthy date so I have something to read in the morning when my hubs is in a tree trying to kill Bambi.