Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Guest Blog: The Boys I Have Dated

About 95% of the time, you read things that you will probably never remember. The remaining 5%, you will be lucky if you read things that you'll likely never forget. And when one of these things also involves (The Artist Formerly Known As) Prince, you know it's fucking over.

Lauren over at Hipstercrite wrote such a piece. Here it is. When you are finished reading, come back. It's OK. I'll wait. Tick tock. Tick tock.

See? Amazing, right? Basically offers a life-changing perspective, no? Never has an essay about Prince's bush been so insightful and hilarious. At least, I don't think such an essay exists; if it does, I will immediately marry said person, regardless of gender or species.* I'm serious. I'll do it, if he/she/it will have me.

Her ramblings on Prince are just one example of the hilarious insight Lauren has about the tumultuous goings-on of 20-something existence. Her story is also inspiring - she moved from upstate NY to Los Angeles in pursuit of her own form of happiness, and when she didn't find it, she uprooted again and moved to Austin, TX, knowing not a single soul. Going through one such move myself, I can speak for how hard it is, but I can't say with any certainty whether or not I would be able to do it twice. But this girl did, which is one reason I so look up to her and her work so much.

For all these reasons and more - Prince pubes aside - I was thrilled when Lauren agreed to guest-write a post for me, in which she reflects on the guys she's dated and how she learned to love herself, with all the honest and hilarious insight I've come to expect from the Texan transplant. Be sure to check out my piece on her blog, too, lest you make a whole gaggle of doves cry.


A few years back, I came across a Craigslist Best-Of post titled, "The Girls I Have Dated". In it, the author, who is on a four-year sabbatical from sex since his "psycho-bitch mother" passed away, reflects on all the women he has dated and/or slept with. Each woman is listed by name followed by a sentence or two about their physical features, their sexual abilities or lack there of, and the author's feelings towards them. The author does nothing to mask his disdain for most of these women, commenting again and again on his lack of respect for the female gender. It's easy to hate this man early in the post, but as the list gets longer, the descriptions get more raw, more tale-telling. By the end, you see an aged, lonely man who has pushed away everyone in his life.

Inspired by my dating experiences in Los Angeles, I created my own list and posted it on my blog titled, "The Boys I Have Dated". Though my list was nowhere near as long or hateful, it was often speckled with venomous attacks from a broken-hearted, emotionally immature young woman. At the time, writing the list was therapeutic for me. It enabled me to finally say all the things I wanted to say to these men that had hurt me.

Here are some snippets:

"You stopped me at a Subway Restaurant in Koreatown. You said my smile made you need to talk to me. You gave me your card and SURPRISE! you were an actor. You were beautiful. 100% conventionally good looking. You weren’t my type but I didn’t mind the idea of having you as arm candy. Soon after I discovered how stupid you were. We went out on my birthday but I didn’t tell you it was my birthday. I didn’t want anyone to know. We had a good time in Downtown, but I was more interested in listening to the new Arcade Fire album that was playing on the loud speakers than talking to you. We fooled around that evening and my only thought was, “you have to be kidding me”. You made noises like a retarded monkey and I was slightly embarrassed for you. You were very sweet to me but I no longer trusted any man. Finally one day, right in the middle of fooling around, you accused me of faking it. Maybe I was, but that was no excuse to banish me to my own couch. That was it. The last thing you said to me as you walked out the door was, “What’s the difference between a PC and a Mac and can you get on the internet with a Mac?” I wasn’t too sad to see you go. I think you’re dating a teenager now which is good. Someone more on the same intellectual wavelength as you."

"...I finally heard the standard, “I don’t want a girlfriend right now” and we parted ways. I don’t really miss having to go to vegan restaurants with you. You also sucked in the sack (maybe you were self-conscious about having a small d--k). Look, it’s not a race. You had the sensuality of a goat. Maybe it’s from not getting enough meat.

"...On the second date, as I was getting in my car to leave, you tackled me and we made out in the front seat, our feet dangling out, passersby wondering what the hell was going on. We saw each other for a month. You seemed really into me and I was indifferent. The sad thing is, I never really felt anything towards you. I looked at you lying next to me and my mind would go blank. You started to pull away like they all do and I was just so damn tired to fight anymore. You and your friends have a band and I’ve debated on texting you out of the blue to tell you that your music sucks ass."

"...What a sweet, dear man you were….and horribly desperate. I wasn’t ready to date anyone yet because of "Bill" but that didn’t matter, you freaked me out hardcore. You were kind and generous, but from Arkansas, Republican, and 35. After a week of knowing you, I heard through the grapevine you were calling me your girlfriend and “the one”. You’d get mad if I didn’t call you every day and I was doing everything to you that I hated about what men did to me. I think you were ready to settle down and I definitely wasn’t the one. You were also more effeminate than me. You loved your “mani’s and pedi’s!” Sometimes when I hear a stupid John Mayer song, you pop into my head (which is another reason why we wouldn’t have worked out)."

As you can see, I was one bitter little girl!

As my list got longer and more angry, I reflected on what it was telling me. I was putting all the blame on these men, but maybe I was making bad choices because I wasn't happy with myself.

So, after five years of living in Los Angeles, I decided it was time to move on. I packed my bags and drove to Austin, TX with no plan, no connections. I quickly built a life there, and I quickly noticed that I had no desire to continue the list. I started making better choices in who I dated. I went out with an older gentleman who treated me like a queen. He ultimately gave me a line about not wanting a girlfriend right now (dude, you're 38...really?), but we're great friends now. After that, I dated a lovable ADHD-riddled spaz who'd do anything for me, but only if he could play on his iPhone the entire time. We just broke up, but we talk every day. I have no interest in tearing them down. They are good men. Every single man I put on the list is now a dear friend, and I've had to constantly go back and edit the list. In fact, the list has been carefully put away, considering about 50% of my former flames may or may not occasionally read my blog. When before I wanted to shout from the mountain top every name of every man who has ever done me wrong, now I understand that having some secrets is not such a bad idea.

Sometimes I like to pull the old list out. Laugh at the girl who used to point fingers at everyone but herself. Lots of times I don't understand who she is - why she was so angry and making such dumb ass decisions.

All I know is that it took learning to love myself a little more to show me the path to finding a loving and healthy relationship.

I hope the Craiglist Best-Of author learned how to love himself too.

*If this esssay does exist, it was probably penned by Chuck Klosterman, who I have already openly professed my love for in a very embarrassing manner


  1. Loved the Prince post... yeah, u gotta just do what suits u and no one else... and if u don't love yourself- it will definitely be obvious to others....question: doesn't it feel good to say or do what comes to mind? how many times have we kicked ourselves for not saying or doing something all because of what was appropriate?

  2. You know what was hard for me to see? That the common denominator in all my problems, whether it be in relationships or otherwise, is me.

  3. hm, this sounds like something I'd like to try.

  4. Hey Miss M. Just to let you know, you have another Blog Award! :) Please visit to view it!

    Love your blog BTW!!!

  5. This really depressed me for some reason. Thanks a million sunshine.

  6. Well done... this is almost inspiring me to make my own list!

  7. It was such a whirl wind reading through this! I felt very proud and independent in the beginning when you were putting those men down, but as it got a little more nasty I thought "wait! she's the one making the bad calls!" and sure enough you reflected on that same conclusion.
    Nevertheless, we are constantly beating ourselves up about men and relationships no matter how great they ever really are! But you know what? Not fully knowing ourselves or other peeps, despite what dumb phsychiatrists may say, you need to have that mystery , or nothing would be fun.
    Keep us posted : )

  8. I should make a list to get rid of some of my baggage.

  9. I see you as the kind of woman men fall in love with for so many different reasons (beauty being the most instantaneous), none of which encompass the totality of your personality.

    Is this accurate?

    (I loved this post.)

  10. @Hannah: Not sure if this was meant for Lauren or me, but... I can't speak for her, but what you said is a freakishly accurate description of my past loves.

  11. I think every woman should make lists about exes. Whether they're good or bad. It's often therapeutic or just plain enjoyable.

    Hannah, if you are talking about me, thank you.
    I would love to think that but maybe I'm just a bitch and that's why people don't stick around. Who knows? ;)

  12. Lauren, I may be way off target here but I wonder if the problem isn't that you suck at relationships, but that instead you are such an awesome girl that everyone who starts off wanting to be your lover ends up wanting to be your friend...I think that's quite a testament to you and a rare thing to find in someone (usually it is the other way around), although perhaps that observation doesn't help when it comes to matters of the heart.

    My advice? You need to find someone who loves you for you rather than someone who wants suck your energy dry because you make them feel good. In other words, someone who is more of a hipster than yourself, if such a thing is possible.

    I would offer my services but unfortunately I'm a square.