Sunday, May 29, 2005

Fish: Forty And Single

Have to reproduce this one in it's entirety -- what -- you're not reading This Fish Needs A Bicycle?!? You're stupid!

Forty and Single

One night over dinner, talk turned to personality quirks. He had an almost obsessive-compulsive need to keep his house stocked with extra toothpaste and toilet paper. Dozens extra. I had time zones in my apartment. The only clock that was set to real time was the computer. The microwave clock had a five minute late cushion, and the bedroom was set an absurd 44 minutes ahead, so I could snooze freely in the morning.

“I’m never really fooled, but it still helps.”
“That’s stupid.” He sounded annoyed and I didn't like the way he was looking at me.
“What?” I asked not because I han't heard him but to give him a chance to recant, or at least change his tone. He did neither.
“That’s really stupid. You should set it to the right time.”
“It’s not stupid…”

I said nothing more, and instead turned my attention my plate, pushing pink salmon flakes around with my fork, while warning bells went off in my head. I’d only been dating John a few weeks, so I didn’t know him well. But Control Freak certainly wasn’t one of the labels I’d picked out for him. He’d been a perfect gentleman, lauding me with compliments, calling when he said he would. Sending flowers.

He was thoughtful and… obviously ridiculously uptight.

And so, a couple weeks later, when he broke things off and blamed an entry about an ex in my blog that he didn’t particularly like, I was none too surprised. Or upset. The man had called me stupid! If he wanted to know why I’d begun to act… cagey after that, it might have occurred to him that calling your date stupid wasn’t too smooth of a move. And maybe (just maybe) I’d written that post to test his mettle. You never know. Passive-aggressive is the new straight up. He’d said he wasn’t reading it – you know, to give me my privacy and freedom to write. But I’d had my suspicions that maybe (just maybe) a man that hung up on the numbers on my alarm clock would have a few other issues with my freedom of expression.

I won’t go so far as to say this man is going to die alone with an enormous collection of personal hygiene products. He had plenty of nice qualities. But he did break it off over email and refuse to discuss it when I phoned him. Which, amusing as that is, kinda makes a girl want to say (ever so civilly of course),

“This is why you’re forty and single.”