It’s a strange ‘thinking of you’
October 24, 2007
The other day, I got an e-mail from this guy from the East Coast I had a fling with once. He sent me an attachment of a video clip he said reminded him of me. So I opened it.Imagine my surprise when I discover that it’s porn.I have never been good with following directions, so even though the subject line clearly states, “BE CAREFUL OPENING” in giant capital letters, I decided to check it out while I was sitting at my dad’s computer in Steamboat. My parents recently built a brand new house with a state-of-the-art home entertainment system. You know, one of those deals that has speakers in every single room in the house. What I didn’t realize is my dad’s computer is connected to it so he can play all the cheesy ’70s songs he downloads in every room of the house.We’re talking about a two-minute video clip, so there’s no time for bad porn dialogue or predictable plot lines. There’s no mechanic sliding out from underneath a hot red Camaro, no boss-on-secretary after work, no landscaper/ painter/pool guy/tennis pro/massage therapist seduction scene.As soon as the clip is done downloading, it launches this giant window on the screen with a naked girl spread-eagle on the bed and this big bald dude wearing Elvis glasses about to do his thing. (Why is it that the guys in porn movies always have to be so ugly?)The unmistakable sound of sex pours through every room in my parents’ house while I frantically try to close the window, shut down the computer, burn the house down – whatever it takes to get this thing to stop the moans and screams that are making the walls shake, before the neighbors call the police.I’m pretty sure I know why this video reminds him of me, and while it’s probably best to save that story for another day, I’ll tell you it has nothing to do with blond hair or blue eyes. I just don’t know how to react, exactly. I mean, should I be flattered or insulted?Far be it from me to find a man who can actually deliver a normal compliment like, “this flower reminded me of the way you smell” or “the color of the sky made me think of the shade of blue your eyes turn when the sun hits it just so …” Forget about finding a guy who might buy me jewelry or take me on vacation. I’ve saddled myself – so to speak – with a surfer dude from Porn Beach whose version of a sweet nothing isn’t sweet and isn’t nothing.Is this what its come down to? I mean, seriously. My mom always told me that when she was growing up, if a guy didn’t ask her out by Wednesday, she wouldn’t even consider it. Also, men who wore jeans (or “dungarees” as she called them) and didn’t dress to impress were considered disrespectful, the type of men who only wanted to take you out once, not twice – also unacceptable. She always told me these stories about when she was at Skidmore and the boys from Dartmouth would come down all drunk and dressed in jeans – the nerve!If she only knew the crap I have to deal with. (Wait, she sort of does because I have this bad habit of telling her everything, even though she’s made it clear as day she really doesn’t want to hear it.) If only those kinds of rules still existed, we might even know how to play the game. Even if they did, would the women of today have any interest in following them?My friend Jessica told me this story about a guy friend who she’d finally slept with after years of being platonic with him. She was pleased to discover that their chemistry was better than she ever imagined. She thought this was a good thing, what, with already knowing him so well and all. In her mind, it was the farthest thing from a one-night stand.After their first blissful weekend together, she rolled over in bed on that fateful Sunday morning and said, “So, what does this mean?”She pictured a long weekend in Northern California, maybe that trip to the Alps they’d always talked about.”It means I got you out of my system,” he replied.In reality, it took more than a year for that to happen, but the friendship was eventually destroyed. She said the last words he ever spoke to her were, “make the bed before you leave.”I don’t know if it’s offseason doldrums or what, but lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of really good women get treated like garbage by men who aren’t doing right by them at all. That’s an age-old story, I know, but what’s changed is women seem to accept it, to settle for so much less than we deserve simply because we’re used to it. That’s just the way it is.I think what happens to a lot of us is in our late 30s is we see our good girlfriends get married off and start to have kids and we start to question whether we really deserve that. I try not to beat myself up over having partied my life away for the last 10 years, cavorting with bad boys and throwing care and responsibility to the wind. How could I have believed, even for a minute, that there wouldn’t be consequences to that, a price? You know the old saying, “You have to pay to play.”After a week or so of deliberation, I replied to my little friend’s e-mail and decided it was best to downplay it. I figured he was trying to get a rise out me. But in this day and age, sometimes it’s hard to tell who’s getting a rise out of who.The Princess is in need of fan mail. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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