tales of a girl in the city

janvier 05, 2004

In Search Of A Woodcutter

If I had to foster a guess as to when I realized that the latest perfect stranger I had decided to meet after seeing his blurred picture on an online dating site and exchanging a few awkward emails would not be the man I would marry-- Wait. Let me start over.

'Kay. How bout this.

I have discovered a disturbing trend among late twenty-something men. They are beginning to pose. As in to stand or lean back and arrange themselves in sultry or seductive positions while talking to me at bars. Trust me when I tell you neither sultriness or seduction is being achieved. Mostly they just end up looking like twits. They should all stop it.

Picture this: I meet this on-line guy for a drink at a trendy bar with lots of low mocha-colored couches. He shows up wearing suede, which, admittedly, should have tipped me off. If I someday have a daughter, one of the motherly bits of wisdom I may impart might have something to do with staying away from men who own suede outerwear. The jury is still out on this one, but with each newly bedecked Banana Republic suede-wearing weirdo, my case only gets stronger.

Anyway. To my point. We sit on the couch and I'm excited. Not excited like my-heart-is-behind-my-kneecaps-because-I'm-peering-into-the-future-at-our-beautiful-as-yet-unborn-children kind of excited. More like the kind of excited you get right before you dive into a bowl of fairly good breakfast cereal--moderate to low. I mean, he's cute. Looks like the picture he sent. Is tall. Ish. Does not appear to have brought along pictures of any car crash victims (this happened). So romance may be in the air.

But then he starts doing it.

Each time I turn to look at him directly, he has stretched himself into a new, unnatural position. First he leans in too close and tilts his head at a funny angle and makes his eyes look all buggy. I imagine he thinks his eyes look all "bedroom-y," but he also wears outerwear that is useless in the rain or snow, so this isn't the first time he's been wrong.

I ignore this initial offense. Perhaps he is trying to make some sort of ironic physical comment on the New York over-the-top hipness of our ultra-mocha surroundings? Perhaps he is having trouble seeing me in the dark bar? I decide to give him The Benefit of The Doubt. So, we continue our conversation, which, by the way, is so obviously first-date quality that men from around the bar actually come over to inquire as to whether this is, indeed, our first date and, if so, whether they might "have a go" at me. (More on this later. I hardly know where to begin.)

Minutes pass and my date asks me a question. I turn to reply and.... He's doing it again. This time it's unmistakable: lounging dramatically backward on the mocha settee, head cocked at an angle, eyebrows raised in a strange and silly manner that I suppose he imagines suggests satin sheets and swimming pools in South Beach. He is also biting his lip. Its true, it's true. His lip is actually held between his upper and lower teeth to suggest...What? His overwhelming desire to kiss me? His ability to deliver great oral sex? For a moment his intension remains unclear. For the best, perhaps.

I answer his question and quickly turn my head. But as I am looking away and mumbling something about the ladies room,

At the risk of sounding juvenile, Icky. Icky. Icky.

(Dear Lord, thank you for fast reflexes and good peripheral vision. Thank you for a neck that works and can swivel a full 180 degrees. These are small blessings, but they are indeed miraculous and I give you a big thumbs up for all your careful planning and anatomical foresight. We'll talk some other time about body hair and the G-spot, but, in general, you've done a stand-up job.)

I escape by rushing to the ladies room where I find solace in cool running water and anti-bacterial hand soap. I contemplate leaving, but, having left my coat and bag behind, this idea is nixed.

The first thing that happens upon my return from the bathroom is his blow-by-blow account of how many times he's had to hold up my handbag in my absence, thereby indicating to the various women who were "all over him" (and who are now, mysteriously, gone from the bar) that he is "taken." I nod and smile and mostly wonder what the women thought of my handbag.

The second thing that happens is that his posing continues in full force. Every time I look over at him he is pouting, pursing, leaning in, angling, lip-biting and generally lounging around with his eyes all big and "come-hither." I stay until midnight as he makes his way through what must have been a lifetime's worth of swimsuit calendar poses. After enduring just under two hours of his coy girlishness, I claim fatigue and flee the scene. (Admittedly, I should've left sooner, but I was all decked out. And sometimes a girl just wants to sit back on a mocha-colored settee and enjoy a martini. Or four. Even if the guy she's with is a posing twit.)

If it sounds as if his behavior made him seem effeminate, IT DID. Now, I'm not saying I need a man who can throw me down on the pile of wood he's just chopped and fuck me while crushing his used beer cans against my ass. Though, come to think of it.... Hmmm. Well, never mind. But the point is that any man who seems to have practiced his facial expressions in front of a mirror comes across as a) vain and b) generally misguided. Also, c) possessing a copious amount of free time.

And lest you say that one episode of this does not an epidemic make, may I also report that, on my plane ride home at Christmas, the attorney next to me bit his lip and lowered his head coquettishly--even threw in the old single raised eyebrow--as he asked for my phone number.

Clearly, action is necessary. So, let us avoid all further confusion about the effectiveness of this courting strategy.


Do not, under any circumstances, flex, arch, purse, lounge or otherwise arrange yourself in any artificial way, unless you can do it and look like this.

Thank you.

In the meantime, any available woodcutters out there, I'm ready for you now. Contact info is on the right.