Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The truth shall set you free

Okay, so it's a quote from the New Testament, but it's Christmas, after all.

I went out again with Captain Best Effort, and it was Not Good. I just don't like him. He annoys me. His mannerisms, his unmanly fussiness, the way he constantly relates every conversational topic back to himself somehow, as though he were the most fascinating creature in the five boroughs, and maybe the universe.

It's not just that he's physically unattractive -- so was G. I. Josh. But before G. I. Josh turned all passive-aggressive, he was a wonderful conversationalist and a very entertaining companion. And I fell in love with him despite his mediocre looks. (And he was great in bed despite his mediocre looks.) So it's not that I'm totally superficial when it comes to appearances. I just cannot tolerate annoying guys.

Captain Best Effort wanted us to meet for lunch so we could really spend some time together. After he picked me up, every minute seemed longer than the last. I tried really, really hard to be open to him, but it was no use. He' s a nice guy, but he's weird. I don't enjoy his company, and physically he repulses me. I was tense and unhappy. I didn't want to be there with him.

"Last night, my father and I went out for lafa," he told me when he picked me up. "I ate so much meat and lafa -- it was sitting like a brick in my stomach."

Charming. Walking in the brisk air, I zipped up my jacket and shivered; it was sunny but chill.

"You need a big scarf," he told me. "I used to get just little scarves, and they wouldn't keep me warm. Then I got a big scarf, and ah...."

I might strangle you with it.

We got to the restaurant, one of the pricier joints in my neighborhood, and I was relieved to see they had an inexpensive lunch menu. I was already dreading the rest of the date -- at least I wouldn't be wasting too much of his money.

"I like your watch," he said, reaching over to capture my hand. I pulled it back abruptly.

"You know, I didn't want you to hold my hand last time, so it's really inappropriate for you to try that again this time," I said tersely.

"I didn't try to hold your hand," he protested. "I just wanted to look at your watch. It's only the second date -- it's too soon for us to hold hands." He smiled at me.

Oh. My. Gd. Kill. Me. NOW. He's doing it again! He's telling me what he thinks I want him to say. I can't stand it!

After a few awkward minutes, during which I tried my best not to glower, we started chatting again. But it was so hard to look at him. He was trying so hard -- and he liked me so much -- and I was so not into him.

"You know, you remind me of someone," he said. "Not just the way you look, but your manners, and your body language."

So he's known more than one dark-haired chubby bitch. Wait...

"Someone you went out with?" I asked.

His mouth said "No," but everything else said "Yes"; he shifted in his seat and looked coyly away.

"The girl you were engaged to?" I pursued.

"Well... yes."

Eesh. Talk about transference. I must have looked annoyed because he said, "You don't take compliments well."

Excuse me? "That wasn't a compliment!" I said.

"Yes it was!" he insisted. "I said you look like someone beautiful. You are beautiful."

I shook my head. Hopeless. At least this explains why he pursued me so ardently even after I was so mean to him.

Somehow we found another topic of conversation, and something he said made me smile.

"I like that smile," he said. "You look so nice when you smile like that, and you haven't been smiling much today."

Sigh. Should I tell him how I feel? I really don't want to spend any more time with him than I have to. I've tried, and I've tried, and it's just not working. Nothing I do or say could possibly make this worse or more awkward.

Here goes... "I'm sorry," I said. "I can't help it. You're a really nice guy... but I'm just not feeling this. There's no chemistry. It's not working."

He was somber for a moment. "Well... thank you for your honesty," he said. "You're very brave, to tell me that face to face."

"I thought you deserved that -- it's the least I could do," I said. "I think you're a really great guy -- you're just not the guy for me."

And that was it.

"I had a feeling," he said. "That's why I suggested we go to a restaurant near your apartment." Maybe true, maybe not. Doesn't matter -- I'm off the hook.

He did offer me a word of advice before I escaped. "You're a very beautiful girl, Ayelet," he said. "You shouldn't be so quick to judge other people. Give them a chance."

Never said he wasn't perceptive. He'd picked up on my aversion from the start, I guess. I am pretty easy to read, especially when I'm absolutely miserable. But I tried, I honestly did. I just couldn't do it.

I felt great for a few minutes after I left the restaurant, free, free, free!

... but now I just feel empty. I went into a drugstore to pick up a few things on my way home and looked at my face in one of the cosmetics display mirrors. I didn't see the beautiful girl he saw -- just a chick who seriously needs to drop a few pounds. But when Captain Best Effort looked at me, he didn't see me, either -- he saw his ex-fiancée.

Who is going to look at me and think I'm that beautiful because of who I am, not because I remind him of someone else? And will I be able to look at him and actually enjoy the view?
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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