Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Mint Chip Philosophy
I love mint chocolate chip ice cream. There's always some version of it in my freezer. At the end of a hectic day, when the time has come to finally exhale, I treat myself to a scoop or two. The handful of times I’ve tried to deny myself the dessert in an attempt to lose weight, I’ve been miserable. I start craving ice cream in the early morning, salivating at the mere thought of it. Eventually, I cave and run over to Acme for a stash. And when the first taste gets to my mouth, the minty chocolate treat is better than I ever remembered. Confucius say: Sometimes not having something when you want it make you want it more.
Over time, I’ve applied my mint chocolate chip Zen philosophy to both the beginning and end of a relationship. At the beginning, you have to create some element of mystery. I mean, no one, regardless of gender, is turned on by someone who is always available. You start to question if this person has friends, interests or perhaps a life that involves an ankle bracelet and parole officer. On the flip side, at the end of a relationship, you need to create distance to evaluate whether the end was a good idea. Being apart will either make you realize you can’t live without or that you not only can live without but are also better off. That’s the extent of my dating game playing. Personally, I see it more as understanding psychology but some people might argue otherwise.
With that said, I was asked out the other week by a guy. He'd come across my online profile, liked what he saw and read and suggested a meeting. I accepted because he was different from what I was used to and different is sometimes good. We settled on a Sunday outing with the intention of finalizing things sometime before. I agree that 12:30pm the day of the rendezvous is technically “before” because there was still time left in the day and no activity had occurred. But having not heard from him up until then, I made other plans. Granted, they involved me and only me and could have been shuffled but I'd gotten so excited about sprawling out on a blanket and reading the Sunday New York Times cover to cover. I also was no longer up for being on and didn't have a desire to figure out how to flip the switch. Plus, isn't this the courting phase where we're all on our best behavior? I suggested we reschedule and he promptly proposed a Thursday night alternative. On both Monday and Tuesday night, he rang me to speak and make the plans more specific.
Date number one went so well that we made plans for date number two, again setting it up in a general sense for the following Thursday night with specifics to be figured out before. At 5:45pm on Thursday, my phone rang. He wanted to know what I wanted to do. This time, I just rolled with it. Our first date started late and ended later so I'd already taken the initiative and made a reservation for 9 o’clock in town at Amada. I shelved my mint chip psychology for the time being. After all, we had made plans, sorta kinda.
At the end of the second date, my interest had dwindled a little. There were significant differences that made me question if this was a person I’d want to befriend let alone bed. Let's see. He wants to have five kids. I'm not sure I want even one. And let's be honest. I'm thirty-three. It would take a medical miracle for me to pop out five kids. He also expressed some discomfort with gay men, adopting the military rule of don't ask don't tell. I don't know why it is that some straight men are so put off or threatened by gay men. No matter what, I love the ones in my life which in turn makes me dislike those with such ignorant beliefs. Seeing I don't shy away from speaking my mind I figured he too had noticed the same challenges.
Then he called. Twice. At 9pm on Saturday night, no less. I didn’t answer. Not because I was on a date. Instead, I was in the middle of picking out zucchini at Wholefoods. After awaking at 6am to spend the day in NYC furniture shopping with my mother, I stopped off to retrieve some fruit. I meant to just grab raspberries but ended up doing my general grocery shopping. We all know I couldn’t confess to where I was. Especially since my mommy was two aisles up sniffing cantaloupe. I’d sound lame. I’d sound pathetic. I let it go to voicemail. By not answering, he probably thought I was busy socializing. Too busy socializing to answer my phone. In other words, it was better to let him jump to a false conclusion because it was sure to be more impressive than my immediate reality.
By the time I stumbled through my apartment door, it was 10:30pm and I was wiped out. A long week followed by a long day in Manhattan drained me of all possible energy. I put away my groceries and retrieved the remnants of a cookie from City Bakery, all buttery and chocolaty. It smelled good but I just wasn't in the mood. I tossed it in the trash. Then I scooped some Turkey Hill Low-Fat Mint Cookies and Cream Yogurt into a small mug and curled onto my sofa. It was my first scoop all week long. And let me tell you, it tasted damn good.