The Nondating Life

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Part Seven: The Chase

(Previous post)

I have this friend. It's always the same thing. Meets someone, gets interested. The intended victim returns the interest and the friend, suddenly, isn't so interested. The intended victim, an apparently rational person, decides to shove off, to spend time on more worthwile pursuits, like fighting crime or underwater basket weaving. But two days after the victim has wandered off to more fertile soil, my friend, lo and behold, is suddenly interested again. So the emails, phone calls, text messages, IMs, smoke signals and billboards on the BQE start up again. The victim, letting logic fail, truly becomes a victim and comes running back to my friend. My friend, of course, quickly loses interest.

Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

This friend is a woman--which should be obvious from my awkward avoidance of personal pronouns in the above paragraph. But I'd bet good money that guy readers had "my friend" pegged as an attention-starved fickle girl. And women readers had "my friend" pegged as a jerk of a guy in constant need of ego (and other) stroking.

It seems a gender neutral phenomenon. And it often boils down to the simple explanation of wanting what we can't have and not wanting what we can. Not too long ago, in one of those wild weeks when I had, like three or four girl options from which to choose, a girlfriend of mine asked "Well, this one sounds just right. What's wrong with her?" My reply: "Oh, her? She's interested in me." (Obviously, I made all the right choices at that juncture.)

Sure, there might be minor motivational differences. A guy might keep changing his mind, thinking he might, after all, like to tap that ass. And a girl might suffer from the Frog Prince mentality: give him one more chance and/or a kiss (or more) and he'll magically transform into something she'll REALLY TRULY be attracted to.

But most of it boils down to pure ego. "She ain't getting over me that easily." Or, "He's totally not going to get THAT infatuated with someone else THAT fast." (Want to bet?)

Of course, there is the third thing, much more common among women. What I refer to is the woman who gets addicted to the attention of a paramour. And even though such a woman can barely stand to be seen in public with him, even feels a little skeevy when he comes around, she can stand less the idea of losing that attention, and even less than that, seeing the attention that is rightfully hers being squandered on someone else.

And I think, too, that women have an extra special Spidey sense about these things. I can't begin to tell you the times that I've been afflicted with infatuation, have finally decided to be done with it, have made real and true progress in putting my crush out of mind, when, lo!, the phone fucking rings.

Women. One question for you: How do you KNOW?!?

Of course, this is all part of the chase. And the aformentioned types of people are simply those who are addicted to the chase. We all know people who are. I guess at one time or another in anyone's life, we've all been more interested in the pursuit rather than the pursued. It's like playing tag. You're just running around the playground trying to catch something, not really caring what it is. (Well, unless it's the clap, cuz no one wants to catch THAT.)

Some folks are like dogs chasing a car. Some instinct takes over and they tear ass down the street, braying at the top of their lungs, having the time of their lives, tongue lolling out to the side, slobbering all over the place. Yet they have no real idea what it is they're chasing, why they're chasing it and, ultimately, what the hell they'd do with this thing when they catch it. I think guys fall into that category more often. "Oh shit, she likes me now AND she slept with me. Now what?"

Other folks are like cats. They start the chase, acquire the target quickly, then play with it for two hours. They might eat it. They might not. Either way, they're going to have their fun and inflict a hell of a lot of damage in the process.

And there are those who have it allll figured out, the playground leaders, the people who will go on to be student body president or captain of the football team or something equally annoying. These are the types that tell you what the rules are, how you have to play the game. "Nah, man. You're doing it all wrong. Yeah, you have to chase some. But then you have to stop. You can't look too interested." Or, "You have to play hard to get. You can't just call HIM. Are you insane? He'll think you're easy, some kind of slut."

I'd call those people... well, married. Or perpetually single. Or your parents. Whatever they are, they constantly give me chasing, gaming advice that I'm completely incapable of following.

Me? I'm like that spoiled kid in the neighborhood, the little shit who always quit in a huff if the game wasn't going his way. I'll start the chase at a good clip and, depending on my mood and time of year, run an all out sprint or might even settle into a steady pace. But sooner than later, I'll just get fed up, draw up short, stamp my feet and scream at the top of my lungs: "This game is stupid and I quit."

Everyone else on the playing field will stop. A frightened look will come over the chasees face and the other players will shake their heads, thinking, "Oh, god, he's not really going to do this. Again."

"I quit," I'll scream again. "This game is dumb. I quit. And I know I'm not supposed to be so obvious, but I like you, like you. So their, I said it. You happy now? Oh, that's right. Get scared. You run home too! See if I care. I didn't like you anyway. And, for the record, I was going home first. So have a nice life and I hope your next boyfriend beats you! NYAHHH!!!"

I guess I'm just mature like that. And, yes, as a child I played the game of tags with car-chasing dogs and aloof mouse-torturing cats. I'm not mixing metaphors, I was just a lonely child. Really, really lonely.

Either way, if you're out on the playground, enjoy the chase. And don't catch the clap.

(Next post in series)


  • very interesting writing. i dont play by the rule. rules meant to be broken.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:02 AM  

  • I don't understand why we stopped clubbing them over the head and taking them back to our caves. Much easier that way. Those were the days.

    By Anonymous Parry Stiles, at 3:01 PM  

  • I too was lonely as a child, and I can identify with you, uncannily..

    By Anonymous mike, at 4:31 AM  

  • Hi!
    As a writing..that was one of the best blogs I've read on such a topic. Awesome blog!

    I can soo relate to your playground analogy scenario...awesome.

    Thanks for sharing. Even though I'm a female I can totally relate to this blog. Hopefully, you've found your princess by now.


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