I’ve recently taken some time off from drinking. I’ve learned very quickly that nobody believes that “taking time off from drinking” is just that. Especially my mom who asked the question, “Do you miss it?” three days in, as if alcohol were my recently deceased wife of over twenty years. But this is the reality of sobriety, you have to explain yourself. Especially if you’re single. This became apparent the other night before a first date (for the college kids, a date is like a two in the morning meet up with memories). I had to send a text that could explain that I was excited to meet, not drinking, and I didn’t have a drinking problem. I got about an iPhone’s screen length into a first draft, and I realized how difficult it is to be truly honest with someone you want to get to know. That’s about as revealing a first date text can get — I’m saying that I drink enough to have to stop myself for whatever reason (I feel fat). That’s a moment of honesty that shows inadequacies, indulgences, and that somewhere along the line I’m someone that I might not be two weeks from now. That one text about my drinking problem — I mean break — goes against everything we’re taught about the beginning of relationships.
We’re told to hold back, be restrained, not to text too much, or be too much, or put out too much. Every lesson about “firsts” hinge on being protective, so the person across the table doesn’t come away with a negative judgment. But why? I’d say first dates and the beginning of any type of relationship (yes hook-ups too) is about how you feel and not the other person. Look at my own example: Even though I don’t have a problem (Did I mention I don’t have a problem?) that text is very much, me. If my date couldn’t handle my time away from drinking how would they be about any other twist my life takes? The same goes for texting someone first or asking a guy out or confronting the person who’s always making a last second excuse. If that little knot inside your stomach is telling you to make a move, isn’t that “move” your being? That “being” is just the thing you’re trying to fit with another “being” (I call my penis a “being” sometimes) so let’s all just put it out there, right?
A lot of people would disagree. I see female dating “experts” tell women to “reveal the crazy over time” every day. I’m not sure who that advice should insult more, the women whose feelings are assumed to be crazy or the men that are assumed to not have the ability to handle emotion. Don’t get me wrong, we are all lying a little bit. Hell, I use the bathroom every time I go to a girl’s place. I walk in, lock the door, flush the toilet, hold one ass cheek and squeezed out the air that had filled my stomach throughout the night. I often catch my own reflection and see a 30-year-old man, holding his own butthole open as if he were presenting himself to the senior members of the prison yard. Is this the lengths I’m willing to go through to make sure this person thinks I’m not an animal? The answer quite simply is, yes. Not only will I go in there and create my own silent but deadly, but I’ll use the hand soap and wave it around the room so I can leave without using the spray because humans don’t poop till date five. So, hide the crazy? Yes, if that means not holding up a cheek to fart midway through dinner. That shouldn’t be a message to stop acting on your feelings.
I understand the fear. It feels like a weekly occurrence that a girl will explain to me a situation from their relationship then ask “What did I do wrong?” As if the path to a relationship is a maze with one exit. That acting on one feeling is why her guy said, “things are really busy right now.” Go look at the fights on Facebook comment threads, and you’ll quickly learn that you can never tell someone how to feel. You can’t be told not to notice when you’re not being texted. You can’t be told to ignore that change in a dude’s attitude towards getting dinner in the five seconds after he climaxed. So, you did nothing wrong when you acted. All you did was be yourself. And that’s the scariest thing to admit. You just weren’t it.
That first date I mentioned ended up getting canceled. Not because I sent that text. Not because I wasn’t drinking. But because I was being myself. There are a lot of dumb people that would read those last sentences and sigh. They’ll feel bad and say something like, “No you’re a good person.” Those idiots miss the point, let them fart in the bathroom of life. I prefer to act honestly get dumped and move along to someone who will be better for an alcoholic. I mean for me! Me! The guy without a problem!.