Saturday, November 22, 2008

...I CAN BE LATE FOR A DATE, THAT'S FINE, BUT HE'D BETTER BE ON TIME...

This past week I did something sort of stupid. Now before you roll your eyes and think, Here we go again, hear me out. It wasn't totally my fault. I only gave Gerardo (name slightly changed to protect the ridiculous) the time of day for longer than one night because my friends liked him. Cara and Dave, my just-married pals from New York City who spent last week in Buenos Aires on their honeymoon, kept going on and on about how great he was and how into me he seemed be. Some of my BA friends, who met him at a group dinner last Monday night, were just as enthusiastic. One of them went so far as to call him "a keeper."

So I gave Gerardo a chance. Some keeper he turned out to be. He never quite pulled the wool over my eyes. I knew there was something off, but I figured I would let someone else's intuition call the shots for once. It wasn't just that he wore sneakers and non-white wife-beaters tucked too far into his jeans. There were red flags that were just too bright to ignore. A rundown...

The mind is a terrible thing to waste--and so is my precious time. I could deal with the fact that Gerardo was rollin' on ecstasy last Saturday night when we met. We were, after all, in a disco. But I'm not ashamed to tell you that I tossed and turned in my boots last night on our third "date" when he announced that he was going to look for the dealer from whom he had bought ecstasy the night we met. I can handle a guy with a nose for trouble. But having had two ex-boyfriends enter rehab shortly after I broke up with them, I don't have much tolerance for dates who need to pop a pill to have a good time. Even if we were, after all, in a disco. Been there, done that, and I have no desire to make a return trip.

I will never be your stepping stone. No one is comfortable hearing about a potential whatever's past love life. But unless you are dating a 10-year-old, chances are that anyone with whom you get involved will have a few romantic skeletons taking up precious closet space. That said, nobody should have to sit through small talk about someone's ex the first three times you meet them. Kevin this, Kevin that, Kevin who? To me, all the Kevin chit chat says one true thing: It ain't over 'til it's over, and it ain't over.

How dare you talk to me like that? Any Argentine guy with the right face can get away with calling me "mi amor"--even if we met under the flashing strobelights all of five minutes ago. Dare to say it in English, though, and my laughter might drown out the DJ's tunes. But as I've said before on this very blog, the corniest sweet nothing can melt my icy blue heart when uttered in the right language or with the right accent. I got a text message on Wednesday from Javier (Remember him? He's the one with two kids and the ex-girlfriend who left them all to chase unspecified big dreams in Italy) that made me consider responding for one split second: "Ves...cada...gotita...de...lluvia...que...cae?... Cada...es...un...besito...para...vos. TQM" Ahhh, que dulce. Translation: "Do you see each little drop of rain that falls? Each one is a little kiss for you. I love you much." Gag me with a fork, and poke my eyes out. The moral of this story? No German guy, no matter how excited he is about speaking another language, should ever refer to me as "mi amor." It just sounds as silly as Gerardo--who, yes, hails from Berlin--must have looked typing it into his cellphone.

Don't get me wrong. Gerardo is no baddie. He was certainly an improvement over the majority of the porteƱos I've tangled with over the past two-plus years. But something about his ardent pursuit of me didn't feel quite right, and I had to extricate myself from him somewhere between when he found his ecstasy and when it started to kick in. He seemed to be having this inner struggle between one side of him that wanted to make a meaningful connection with me and another side that wanted to have the full BA party experience. There's nothing wrong with enjoying the tourist thing to the fullest. But I said it before, and now I'll say it again: I will never be your stepping stone.

Any man of mine better be proud of me. Even when I'm ugly, he still better love me. He'd also better check the ex-boyfriend talk, the lousy lines and the pursuit of ecstasy at hello.

You've been warned.
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