Have you ever scooped a red jellybean out of a bowl, expecting it to be sweet and cherry-flavored and instead you’ve shocked your tongue with a hot cinnamon surprise?
Whenever this happens to me, I feel sort of betrayed – expecting something and getting something drastically different in its place. And sure, it’s one thing when it happens with a sugary candy or perhaps a soup (you expect it to be hot, but it’s actually a super gourmet, weirdo cold situation), but when this same situation happens with a man it’s bound to throw you for a loop. And that’s exactly what happened to me not too long ago – I was expecting a sickly sweet romance and instead I got a fire-breathing hell boy.
Let me explain.
A couple months ago, a man-boy whom I had met through an ex-boyfriend unexpectedly resurfaced. Let’s call him Bob.
Excessively tall and excessively funny, I had always sort of crushed on Bob. But due to said ex-boyfriend who had introduced us, we kept our relationship G-rated by writing dirty emails to one another during work hours. A year went by, boyfriend became ex and Bob called asking me to grab a drink and “catch up.” It had, after all, been a while. For a week leading up to our “encounter” I played the Great Date Debate in my head. You know the drill: Was it a date? No, it couldn’t be. We were just friends. Yup. Friends who hadn’t seen each other in a year who were going to a dark bar to catch up.
It turned out to be a date.
Bob and I shared several cocktails, discussed our subjective dating nightmares, what we were working on (he’s a fellow self-loathing writer) and laughed and laughed and laughed.
Lo and behold, Bob asked me out again. In fact, Bob asked me out three more glorious times. We dined, we drank, we cajoled. It was wonderful and I thought Bob, standing at a glorious 6’7,” might be the towering light at the end of a very long, very dark, very depressing tunnel of dating.
I thought this until our fourth date.
Now, up until this point, Bob and I had made out in vehicles (mine, his) like teenagers, maybe there was an OTPHJ (over-the-pants hand job) thrown in for good measure, but for once in my life I had managed to keep my bra on and my Victoria a secret.
On our fourth date Bob invited me to his house to watch a basketball game. I arrived, bottle of wine in hand, butterflies in belly. Soon basketball took a back seat to tonsil hockey (yes, I just wrote tonsil hockey) and we were in the throes of passion. Bob carried me into his bedroom where we did the (much anticipated) inevitable. We slept together.
And for the record, Bob was very good at sleeping with people.
In our post-coital bliss, I asked Bob what had propelled him to call me up out of the blue like that after the passage of an entire year. I gazed up at him, smiling, awaiting his response. And then Bob said:
“Well, I think you’re pretty great, but really, I just wanted to f**k you.”
And then he went to the bathroom.
For the first time in my life I was rendered speechless. On the one hand,
Bob never called me again.
I was left very confused. I had never had someone wine me and dine me over the course of a couple of weeks just to sleep with me. This guy was in it for the sex and the sex alone. How had I ignored the signs? How had I not seen this coming? Where had I misinterpreted sweet for straightforward seduction?
Now mind you there is nothing inherently wrong with a sex-only relationship. I have been in plenty of “relationships” (and I use that term loosely) just for the sex, but I what jarred me about Bob was that he had tricked me. He had taken me on dates, been thoughtful and kind, listened to at least three inane stories about my life, all just to get in my pants.
After sufficiently beating myself up, I realized that the truth is that dating is like a mixed bag of jellybeans. Sometimes you know exactly what you’re getting, and other times, the results are jarring and gross. A couple weeks after the Bob debacle, though, I realized that there was something redeeming about the entire situation:
Someone out in the world had been thinking of f**king me for an entire year.
And that, my friends, is absolutely cherry-flavored.