1) Don’t say you’re going to do something unless you actually plan on doing it. You and I were playing I’ll show you mine if you show me yours: we said 1,2,3, GO, I pulled down my pants, and you laughed and ran away.
2) If it’s going to be a one-night stand, let it be a one-night stand. Say: “Hey, it was nice meeting you, maybe we’ll run into each other again someday at some other wedding.” Don’t say: “Let’s talk soon.” Don’t call from O’Hare when your connecting flight home gets delayed. Don’t send cute postcards, each time promising the next card will be “more scenic,” each time promising a “next.”
3) Don’t get all huffy and mad when someone quotes you out of context (since that’s really what a quote is for, when you think about it, since if it were still in context it would be a transcript of the conversation and not a quote at all) and uses things you said against you, especially when those things were said under the influence of more than your share of Bloody Marys, and some heated foreplay in the backseat of a taxi to the hotel where the bride’s parents were so graciously putting us all up in the charitable hope that their daughter’s wedding might get a few of her friends laid as well, and a few hours of sex that made me think I might finally be able to understand how people decide to get married at all.
4) What not to say during sex if you’d like to maintain that sex is just sex and nothing more: “God, I love you.”
5) When your mother told you not to say anything at all if you couldn’t say something nice, she wasn’t referring to relationships, in which case it’s much nicer to say something: “I’m not really interested,” or “I don’t do long-distance,” or “I’ve met someone else,” or “Relationships scare me,” or “Did I forget to mention my wife and seven children?” or “Yo no hablo anglais.”
6) Did you know that misrepresentation can be grounds for a lawsuit?
7) I have little patience for guessing games and no patience at all for the rules of courtship—both those unspoken and those outlined in a best-seller I refuse to read—so I don’t do coy hard-to-get dances or spend my time dangling carrots. Life is confusing enough as it is, and would still be plenty difficult even if everyone actually did tell the truth in as far as they could discern what the hell that might be.
8) There’s little I find more pathetic than a woman waiting around for some guy to call, reading and rereading the words he left scrawled on a scrap of hotel stationery, trying to find within those simple lines—name, street, city, state, zip, area code, phone—some explanation as to why she now feels that to use any piece of that information would be to push and pry on the door of a life that’s been suddenly and inexplicably slammed.
8 1/2) You also could maybe have said something before slamming said and aforementioned door since I was standing in the goddamn doorway.
9) This has begun to feel like a Soho dinner party where everyone’s skinny and wearing black and you’re laughing gaily as you sip your Cabernet when you feel something fuzzy against your leg under the table. That’s me, begging for scraps. Something’s see-sawed way far off-kilter in the power dynamic here.
10) I am not a Basset Hound.
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