It’s not often that I come across a young man with a completely sideways perspective on life and relationships. When I do meet men like this I want to slap some much needed sense across their faces, hoping that the shock will cause any misinformation to make a startled leap from where it hides.
It was just the other evening that I met a youngster so backward thinking that it may be too late to reverse any of the damage.
I was out with a dear friend, K, a gentleman who I just don’t get to see as often as I’d like. He knows of both my alter egos and when I suggested he join me at an event filled with the colourful men who inspired the creation of Tales from a Bar Stool, he couldn’t help but come. It would be chock-a-block with men in suits, inflated egos and the smell of money. It was a life I had left behind but had been invited back to one last time (until the next time, that is). After a bit of lubrication in the form of Jameson’s at a nearby bar, we entered the swanky hotel arm in arm.
Looking around I realized I knew a good handful of people there, including past lovers and current amorous crushes, sleazeballs and top businessmen. It was a smorgasbord of men, good and bad. Some waved at me and others just eyeballed.
Included in this group was one man who still elicits a flock of butterflies to flutter about my belly. Years ago we had engaged in a few months of salacious emails, texts and looks, which had culminated in an intense midday elevator pash rendering me utterly useless for the rest of the work day. We now respectfully keep our distance from each other, only allowing our eyes to bashfully meet. He is now married. Enough said.
After some hellos and small talk, we ordered one last beverage for the road. While sipping on our heady amber liquids a young man next to us struck up conversation. I think he was lost. Lost in that he had no idea what women wanted. Was this his age speaking or his general mentality?
The conversation started with him stating that he was a bad lover. A statement that no one should ever allow slip from their lips except in the presence of their therapist or bestest friend. I immediately interrupted him and asked why he would say such a thing, particularly to a stranger. It seemed his low self-esteem was battling with his ego and he tried to back track his comment by saying that he had no trouble getting girls into his bed but there was rarely a round two.
This initial dialogue opened up the flood gates. I almost asked him to leave his bar stool for the comfort of the couch, somewhere he could lay back and dish out all his woes as though I were his shrink. Not knowing how to help the fellow with his “techniques” besides suggesting a test drive and some hands on schooling, I told him to get some more experience and communicate with his lovers. The next admission from his lips made K and I almost spit out our precious fluids. He claimed that all girls want commitment and he didn’t want to hurt any feelings by leading anyone on. Um… what? Commitment? This poor ill-informed boy thought that all women wanted a relationship.
He then confessed that if he hasn’t had a relationship by the age of 26 or isn’t married by the age of 32, he’ll be a failure. Again… what? The guy was in much more dire straits than originally thought. Could anything we say change such ingrained retrograde fundamentals? Was he doomed? K and I both found ourselves getting angry at the lad. Heads were turning towards us as our voices rose with passion.
We couldn’t take anymore. We’d tried our best to change his ways but he just didn’t want to see the light. I wondered if I was this clueless and resolute at his young age, and hoped that experience and years would change his outlook. Looking back, I suppose in my early 20’s I did always think I would be married by my age, but I always knew that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I wasn’t. I never had a deadline, and I’ve never been happier. We drank our final sips and dashed out between rain drops to a taxi waiting to take us to the next party.
My lessons from a bar stool:
1. If you’re faced with a bad lover, don’t just leave him or her for the next. Try to communicate and educate. It’s your duty.
2. A person has to want to change. You can’t go changing anybody unless they realize this.
3. Find yourself a fine gentleman for your close friend circle. Every girl should have someone who makes them feel like a woman.
4. Not everyone wants to be in a relationship. Never assume.
5. There are no time limits in the game of life. It is what you make it, whether you’re a bachelor for life or married out of high school. Just live.
6. Be confident in your abilities. If you think you’re a bad lover you will be. Turn your thinking around and you’ll be astounded at your hidden talents.
7. Always find the time to indulge in an elevator make out.