Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Day 135 of 365: You Should Date an Unremarkable Girl

Author's Caveat: This is purely a random writing exercise. I was reading You Should Date an Illiterate Girl, and it made me think about a story I'm writing, where, at one point, the main character leaves a cheating fiancé, so I rewrote the article from the point of view of my main character. Writing is funny like that, especially writing first thing in the morning after reading a particularly interesting essay. This is like the most weirdass version of fanfic/plagiarism ever, but, hey, my blog, my rules. I just wanted to put this warning up there in case anyone is reading this and goes, "Hey, this is a blatant ripoff of this other essay," or, "Uh oh, girlfriend just left her husband." Because while this is a blatant ripoff of the other essay, I'm thankful to say that my own life does not mirror my character's life.

You should date an unremarkable girl.

You’ll find her at the bar, glancing furtively around as she chats with her friends. Confirm that she is still smiling even when people are looking away. Buy her a drink. Make with the small talk. Find something to talk about, at least something that can count as a conversation in a loud, dark bar with the alcohol flowing through your respective veins. Make a joke. Watch her laugh, but never offer anything of her own in return. But that’s okay: you’re looking for an audience anyway, and who likes a heckler?

Stay until last call. Share a cab and wait until she’s in to sheepishly suggest going to your place. Watch her agree with a bit too much flippancy. Take her back to your place. Make love to her. Fuck her.

Call her back. Take her to dinner. Desperately find things in common with her. Give up and settle on the broad ideas. Good food. Enjoyable music. Having fun. Ask her about her career. Listen as she complains about her job and later admits that she spends most of her day on Facebook anyway. Ask about her hopes and dreams and get met with a shrug. Continue to date her.

Make sure she is as good as illiterate. Listen and breathe a sigh of relief as she admits that she hasn’t read anything that wasn’t required since she was in junior high. Facetiously roll your eyes with your buddies at the bar, recounting all the nights she made you watch her insipid reality shows. Go through the motions, but never really mean it. Because you know that she won’t question you if you’re out until too late. She won’t get upset if you drunk dial at 3 in the morning. She won’t even notice when your shirt smells like the perfume of another woman.

Decide that you should get married, because you have been dating for all this time and it would be considered a waste otherwise. Find a generic ring and slip it into her champagne during dinner at a fancy restaurant. Fumble through a minor speech and propose to this girl. Plan a wedding. Fight about the wedding. Get married. Buy a house and move in. Try to raise kids. Fail miserably at it.

Grow more restless and bored. Go on walks feeling far too ethereal, like you could blow away or disappear with the next gust of wind. Flirt with one of your co-workers. Start an affair. Be covert about it. Be less covert about it over time. Come home one night and find out that your co-worker was overcome by guilt and had told your wife everything.

Listen as she cries. Listen as she screams. Feel terrible, but mostly because you got caught and getting caught has led you here. Feel a surge of anger for your co-worker. Listen as she threatens to divorce you. Listen as she admits wanting a divorce the same way others admit a dirty secret. Listen as she suggests couples counseling. Listen as she suggests it again and again, each time with less gusto than before. Watch as she drops the subjects entirely, but sleeps just a little farther away from you in bed and sips her coffee just a little slower than before.

Take no stock of the life you two have made together. Find to day-to-day pleasures. Watch TV in another room. Start having your meals with your buddies at the bar. Shrug your shoulders and decide that you’re too old, too tired, too strapped for cash to get a proper divorce. Live this way until your existence becomes just as non-corporeal as you feel.

Do this, dammit, because you want nothing to do with the opposite. You want nothing to do with the girl who has passion running through her veins. You want nothing to do with the girl who experiences life intensely, who will claw at the marrow of life until she has gotten exactly what she has wanted. You don’t want to be burdened with the girl who feels deeply, who cries when the moment calls for it and laughs when the moment even hints at it. How exhausting it is to love a woman who loves back completely and unapologetically. How tiring it is when you have to think and compromise and be considerate of another's feelings. Who wants a strong woman when strength can mean stubbornness? Who wants a woman who wants so passionately when it can mean you might not always get your way?

And, for the love of God, avoid the girl who reads. The girl who reads has vocabulary. The girl who reads understands syntax. She can articulate the difference between the man who loves too much, the man who can’t love back, and the man who has never truly loved anything at all. She has the words already forming when she has something on her mind, and she doesn’t fear putting them out there.

She understands plot and story arcs. She has no time for tales that go nowhere and instead craves the rises and falls, the tension and the climax and the resolution. She wants people in her life that will challenge her and drive her forward, the same way the antagonist does for the protagonist. And if you hurt her – if you betray her? – she will leave you. She will break her heart even further and say goodbye, because that’s what you do when a story ends. She has no time to stick around, praying for an epilogue or a complete rewrite. She simply closes the book, places it back on the shelf, and walks away, regardless as to how hard she is crying.

This woman will be nothing but trouble and annoyance and you want nothing to do with her. So, for the love of God, date that illiterate, unremarkable girl. She’s the only one who is truly meant for you.

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