My Typical Flirtations in the “Meta-”

Nov 24 2014

[Me:] Hey, I think you’re cute. Because of that, and because of the fact that I think you’ve indicated an openness to me, and because I’ve begrudgingly recognized the social norm that men generally make the first overt move in romance in our culture, I’m hitting on you in hopes that you share my essential neuroses. What I’m actually looking for in a partner is someone with a well-developed personal philosophy and a bleeding heart, but I’d like that with large breasts. You appear to have at least one of those, but I’m already suspicious of the other two and trying my hardest to walk a fine line between socially acceptable flirting and preserving my self-respect. By the way, I already feel like a prick for just thinking any of that.

[Girl:] Hi! I thought that maybe you were cute before you opened your mouth, but your intensity and atypicality is already putting me off. I’m used to being hit on by guys who rely on pick-up lines, conventional fashion, insincere sweet talk, and leveraging persisting backwards gender roles to their advantage.  Even if I am interested in you, there’s a good chance I’ll warm up to you only momentarily and then feign disinterest to encourage you to pursue. This is one of my ways of attempting to gain the upper hand.

[Me:] I probably won’t.  I’m put off by the sense that this has already become a slight power struggle. I honestly have baggage about the victor/prize dating mentality, which is either a result or cause of my standard “to find an equal and self-standing partner.”

[Girl:] That’s fine. I have every other barbarian in the age bracket, and you strike me as creepy and either too aggressive or not aggressive enough. Or both.

[Me:] As I try to put my baggage into check out of continual frustration and disappointment in dating, I’m starting to get comfortable talking with you, though. Despite the first impression I think I tend to make, I know not everything has to be intense. I’m actually having fun, however this works out, and I’d like to buy you a drink.

[Girl:] I’ll have something either “lite” or sugary and neon-colored.

[Me:] Wonderful. I just spit up a little in my mouth.

[Girl:] So did you like [blockbuster with horrible plotline and zero character development]?

[Me:] No, and the stuff of popular culture typically saddens and angers me,  but I can pretend like I’m eager to watch the movies you suggest. Have you ever seen [cult classic/independent film]?

[Girl:] No, and I’ll do less to hide the fact that your taste in movies seems pretentious. What do you listen to?

[Me:] Mostly the Mountain Goats.

[Girl:] Who’s that? They’re probably even more pretentious.  Have you ever heard of [someone I’ve heard on top 100 radio and hate]?

[Me:] I have, but I’ll lie and tell you I haven’t  heard enough of them to “really” form an opinion on them. I mostly listen to assorted punk and artists loosely grouped as “independent,” because they all get relatively little radio attention.

[Girl:] Why would anyone do that to her/himself?

[Me:] And some classic rock.

[Girl:] Oh, do you like [jam band]?!

[Me:] I do in theory, but the attempt to recapture the romance of the hippie generation in festivals that revolve more around drugs than their nominal commitments to music and social reform put me off the subculture. I’ll tell you “They’re alright,” though.

[Girl:] I just got back from [festival they were at]!

[Me:] Cool! At least you’re not going to judge my brand of substance-abuse. I would have hated it, but how was it?

[Girl:] Awesome! I  go more for the scene, by which I mean I actually go more for the drugs and sex. But I have to try to politely excuse myself now, because I’ve decided you’re less attractive than the next person I intend to flirt with. They have bigger muscles, two inches on your height, and I judge from the book’s cover that the conversation with them is likely to fall into more typical gender roles, which I find to be a more comfortable and empowering pretense.

[Me:] That’s a relief. I’m actually happy for you. It would sound incredibly snotty to make even a meta-remark about feminism in my head, but, well, I’ve already gone and done it. But I feel slightly guilty about my honest assessment of your personality, and I intend to rationalize to myself that I actually don’t know you well at all in case we ever talk again.

[Girl:] We probably won’t. I left 35 seconds ago, by the way.

[Me:] Thanks.

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