Thursday, November 12, 2009
I can also tell you that I've attended 10 LDS temples and dined at 9 Hard Rock Cafes (Call it the "Saint/Sinner Equilibrium"). The first wage I ever earned was 25 cents for every 12 bunches of radishes I picked at a local farm. For years I thought my best mile time was 5:45, until people started casting doubts on the measuring system my Centerville Junior High gym teachers were using in the early 1990's.
I used to keep stats on my dating, too. I know that my first one took place the evening of December 5th, 1992, an unmitigated disaster featuring Spaghetti Factory meatballs, a ceiling-mounted Christmas Tree and a legendary group photo at the State Capitol*. But that one was a girl's choice dance, so my first real date probably took place a week later when I got up the guts to ask a girl out on my own. For a long time I could blast out a complex stat sheet on my total dating career from memory, complete with notations for repeat outings, disqualifications via marriage, and whether I got action at the end of the evening (or just watched the girl sprint for her front door). The precision of those stats has floated into the historical ether, but I can still estimate with some accuracy that since December of 1992, I've taken 200-300 girls out on 300-400 dates. And if you figure I spent an average of $25 on each one--probably a lowball estimate--I've thrown about eight or nine grand at the ladies over the years.**
My passion for stat-tracking has faded in the last couple of years, as dating has become a different animal. I still talk about it with friends, and obviously I'll even blog about it on occasion. Heck, I even wrote a book on the subject (Still waiting to hear back from the publisher on that one...). But something feels very different now than it did five or ten years ago. It could be that I've finally matured a bit, or that I just don't care as much. Either way, the Great Mormon Singles Quest doesn't feel the same way it used to, so neither does the impulse to track it.
I really can't understate this: I thought this one was going to work. The rejection was truly a surprise. There had been plenty of times I had gotten my hopes up, yet known that success was still a long shot. This one hadn't felt like those. And yet, I didn't react with anger or sorrow or really anything. I didn't call to plead my case, drive to her apartment to confront her, or immediately call another girl out of spite to convince myself that I was still The Man. Because I'd tried all that before, and none of it made all that much difference. I knew there wasn't much to do besides drive home and enjoy my Teriyaki Grill take-out. Obviously I was disappointed, but I wasn't despondent. If anything, I had become comfortably numb.
I have no idea what that means, but I'm pretty sure you can't put it in stats.
*I should also mention that the unmitigated disaster was mostly my fault. As in, I probably never should have told my date that I was bored halfway through the proceedings. Hey, I was a rookie, right?
**It occurs to me that when guys complain about dating, one of the knee-jerk gripes is always the financial investment involved. I realize it sounds a little shallow and cliche, but there is a certain amplified angst that comes with the realization that not only are you getting your tail whipped regularly in the metaphorical cage fight of the dating game, but that you are paying your opponent to do so.