"Are you kidding me?" he says. "Are you just completely kidding?!"
"Well, no, I am not kidding. I have not been with a man in a year. In fact, I have not even looked at a man in a year."
"Oh my God," he shakes his head because apparently, the planet has just shifted. He cups his hands around his beer, as if the danger that it will slide off the bar is only too real.
"I just don't notice men anymore. It's like they are invisible. I have no interest."
More head shaking. Then, he sits up in his chair, prideful, self-congratulatory. "What about ME?"*
"Well, yeah. But that didn't COUNT! You dared me. And you may recall, we were having exactly this conversation at the time."
Long pause. More beer protecting. Longer pause, a sigh. And then a leer.
"You want to do that again?"
I make no comment on the fact that I am thirty-seven and single. But my God, shouldn't one reach an age, single or not, when conversations that are scarcely distinguishable from those of teenagers become truly a thing of the past?
There I was, considering doing a 2am make-out session in the corner of a bar - with a man I just sorta like, as a friend - just to "test" whether my theory that I really don't ever want to date again is valid.
Last year, I broke up with a man I was pretty sure, despite all the gnomes in my head warning me against it, that I should marry. It would have made sense: he was single, educated, funny, smart. He had never been married. He had no gross physical deformities and knew how to say hello, please, thank-you, and good bye without letting on that he was completely fucked in the head.
The above also describes me pretty accurately, so it seemed all we had to do was buy a dress, order a cake, force our families to travel great distances and sleep in seedy hotels, and voila! Let the breeding begin!
Only that's not how it went at all. It went the other way, and for very good reasons. Based on this fact, you'd think that the break up would have been hedonsitic and liberating. But while in the past, I have commemorated the end of relationships with two weeks of crying (while shopping, of course) followed by getting wasted and making out with someone totally inappropriate, say a busboy or a banker who speaks nine languages but knows no English, preferably in a bar... I find I have not been able to follow through. I simply have no interest.
And so over a year after the break up, I find myself still shocked when, as sometimes happens, my friend Lola turns to me and says "psssst... that one."
"huh?" I say.
"That one. The one in the blue striped shirt who just smiled at you. He wants you."
I glance around the room, since I am pretty sure I haven't even seen a striped shirt since Clinton was president. I find him. He is male, walking upright, measuring appropriately. And I totally don't give a shit.
"I don't give a shit," I say. And Lola clucks about me just needing time, and we order more drinks.
And this is why, when Tex says, "what to do that again?" part of me wants to say, "Sure. It didn't count last year. Why would it count now?" and hustle him off to a corner to let him stick his tongue in my ear. Because we are such good friends** that we'd both outlive the trauma.
Reader, despite my persistent immaturity, I am in fact growing, and the general direction is down... It is high time, (ahem) that I grow up. I'll let you know how it goes.
*Okay, Okay. It was just a drunken bar kiss. And a pretty chaste one, so don't look at me like that. Unless you are my dad. Oh wait... Are you??
**actually we're not THAT good of friends. We're just kinda gross.