Hot Dating Tips for the Completely Undateable
A spoken word poem by Taylor Wear. Taylor is a writer, a bruncher, and a young lover of old things. She will order whiskey and you’re allowed to think she’s doing it to impress you. Her favorite book and favorite shade of lipstick are both Lolita, a fabulous little coincidence. This poem first appeared here.
HOT DATING TIPS FOR THE COMPLETELY FUCKING UNDATEABLE
when he tells you his favorite drink is an old fashioned,
allow him to think that he is suave, interesting,
the millennial Don Draper.
do not say oh that’s what my grandma orders.
when he asks you your poison, be a little less specific.
try to be sexy, vaguely mysterious.
say anything with gin.
three years later, the summer that he leaves you,
and you’re downing an entire fucking bathtub of anything with gin,
recall this answer.
then, recall that one British study that said gin drinkers tend to be psychopaths,
and think that here you are,
angrily inhaling yet another tumbler of juniper berries and ice and snowmen’s tears,
and somewhere, probably in the same bar that he used to take you
(with a prettier, younger amalgam of all the things he wanted to you to be)
Don Draper is sipping languidly on a glass of fucking fruit.
but no, you’re the psychopath.
note the irony. just, keep it to yourself.
fuck it, decide that you are now a New Woman.
do the things you think New Women are supposed to do.
for starters, reinvent your wardrobe.
invest in cap sleeves and plunging necklines.
remember – cleavage is always interesting,
even when you aren’t.
decide that from now on,
you are only going to fuck artists,
because they are so deeply attuned
to the connection between physicality and emotion.
then decide that you’ll only fuck people who do a lot of acid,
because i mean, technically so are they
and then only men in their forties,
because at least they know how female bodies work by now,
and then probably, now, you’re just going to fuck girls.
pride yourself on the fact
that you have never once lit your own cigarette.
when the strapping young soldier leaves the bed you are sharing,
and strides to the bathroom,
contemplate taking a picture of his back with your phone.
don’t do it.
but think how good it can feel be the one objectifying,
buy fancy lingerie just because.
whatever you do,
do not collapse in a puddle of tears in the dressing room.
put on the façade that you are emotionless,
uncaring. a Bad Bitch.
feelings, what are those?
don’t let anybody (except maybe your girlfriends,
after a few hundred glasses of Cab Sav),
know this is merely a brittle exoskeleton.
instead, contort yourself, like a desperate mime,
into whatever it is he needs.
a sex kitten with a shoulder for his fragile ego to weep on,
a blank canvas for him to splatter his complexes all over,
a peepshow without a peephole,
that bodiless, breathy voice on the end of the phone line
tell me what you like baby, whatever you need i’m your girl
the whole time, feel everything.
allow yourself to break,
but only in private.
tonight, you are visiting Hipster Dreamboat’s apartment for the second time
and together you will watch Memento,
because of course you will.
grasp his callused right hand in your left
and watch Guy Pearce desperately collect Polaroids and tattoos,
while Hipster Dreamboat kisses along your young, stupid neck.
watch him grapple with his memory,
think to yourself about how much of memory is constructed
of mere convictions,
and how much of it is real.
three years later, the summer that he leaves you,
and it’s nighttime again and the memories come to you,
recall his fiery touch, his vanilla tongue
how he looked in that suit
and how he trembled as you tried to unbutton it
now, grasp your own hand instead.
recall everything else.
recall that night, where he left you at the Park ‘n’ Ride, drunk and drifting.
recall that party, where you met her.
recall his nimble mastery of your desperate loneliness.
take a Polaroid of this,
tattoo it on the back of your hand, anywhere the light hits,
remember remember remember
and never look back.
resign yourself to being the perpetual single one of all your girlfriends.
routinely make forever-alone jokes,
talk about marrying your dog.
and when one of these girlfriends comes to you weeping,
comb her hair and spout one of your wittiest one-liners:
running after a man is like running after the bus –
another will come along in just a moment.
but remind yourself,
you don’t want to wait for another fucking bus.
sometimes you just want to hop on the cleanest, safest-looking one,
and escape, get the fuck out, leave everything behind –
the dead-end job,
the town full of stuck people,
the father who terrifies you,
the mother you can’t save.
but keep recalling that truth, the one that deep down you’ve always known,
that you are your own way out.
fly down the steps of your own fire escape.
recall that night, dusk and summer,
the one where on mere whim you stood up on the seat of your girlfriend’s car,
and leapt half yourself out of her sun roof,
and leaned back.
let the wind run itself through your tangled hair
let the night overtake you.
you are flying, you are free,
you are leaving this place like the way they left you.
yes, of course you are undateable.
and for now, you are alone
only because you have far, far too much to give
and they? they don’t even know the value of what they’re taking.