Being a born-procrastinator means that even though it's late January, I still haven't nailed down a definitive set of resolutions for the upcoming year. On the bright side, however, waiting this long has afforded me the opportunity to peruse other peoples' lists for inspiration...
Of course, you've got the old stalwarts -- dropping some lbs, doing more things that scare me, not waiting until the last minute so damn much. And even the Kumbaya shit offers up some food for thought -- after all I do need to be kinder to myself, and I should start looking for the good in all people (even fanboys).
However there is one thing that seems to pop up on many a list, year after year, and it's something that I simply cannot get behind. Because while I am very much interested in busting through the haze of lust and courtship to find real love, I must be honest, I have no desire AT ALL to stop playing games.
Yeah. That's right. You heard me. When it comes to dating, I absolutely love playing games. I love the entire pursuit -- from first furtive glance to Sunday mornings in bed. I love deciphering texts with double entendres and instituting self-imposed grace periods between chats. I love the sexually loaded anticipation of waiting for him to contact me -- the profound satisfaction that can come with receiving a triumphant you-are-more-than-just-a piece-of-ass-phonecall, as opposed to that universal I just want to hit it and quit it text (What u up to?).
It's a dance that invigorates and emboldens me, even while occasionally eating at my self-confidence and sometimes even my sanity. In fact, I wouldn't change a single thing about it. This is what keeps the sparks flying. What keeps the sex exciting. What keeps me young.
I used to subscribe wholeheartedly to the belief that if you didn't have to fight for something, or at least out-compete others to get it, than it simply wasn't worth having. Like a medal given solely for participation or a college that accepts all applicants, a boyfriend that no one else wants was nothing more than a consolation prize -- uncontested proof of my own averageness.
Fortunately, I have softened a bit in my older age (though I do still consider the a-word to be one of the nastiest in the dictionary). I realize now that focusing on procuring a "prize" and or beating other people distracts me from my own journey while also sewing seeds of jealousy and constant comparison (can you tell I've had a few years of therapy?). But what has not changed is my profound love of the romantic hunt. And you better believe that I'm only trailing the prize buck.
It's been said so often that sadly, it has become a cliché, but courtship truly is a dying art. What isn't acknowledged nearly as much however is the fact that our grandparents and great-grandparents were really just engaging in an analog version of the games we now use our cell-phones to play. Men puffed up their chests and attempted to be their most thoughtful, interested, gentlemanly selves while women did their best to come off as coquettish naïfs with neither a demand nor a care in the world. Now, gay or straight, it's more about men and women appearing self-possessed and sexy; but it's still very much a choreographed dance.
Only folks back then embraced this fact. More importantly, they enjoyed following the rules as opposed to complaining about them. Rules determining who called upon whom. Rules determining how much interest was shown. Hell they even had rules about how long one had to wait between dates. And you know what, everyone was happy. In fact, this is what kept young people busy long before TV and smart phones.
It blows my mind that anyone would want to put an end to something that is every bit as entertaining as binge watching House of Cards? And for what? So that we can look into each other's eyes and say exactly how we feel about one another??!! Let each other know that there is, in fact, no one else. No reason to stay on your toes??!! No reason to keep it tight and right??!!
Trust me, like farting in bed and pissing with the door open, there will be plenty of time for that kind of "honesty" when you're both planning your nights around eating binges and secretly masturbating anytime the other's out for more than an hour.
Let me be clear. I'm not saying that vulnerability and openness (aka no game-playing) in a relationship aren't wonderful, or necessary for true commitment. I'm just saying, why rush it? Why not feel the primordial life-force of that marlin on the edge of your hook for as long as possible? Why not struggle to reel it aboard (I mean that in a metaphorical way); employ every ounce of strength and ability to procure it? After all, once caught, no matter how precious it becomes to you, there's no denying the fact that this once formidable specimen is now just a lifeless trophy on the wall. A memory of past skill and excellence.
At 33-years-old, perhaps I sound more like Peter Pan than a well-adjusted man... Perhaps it is time to give up the games and start making decisions concerning grown-up stuff like marriage, babies, and minivans (thanks Neil Patrick Harris and the example you've set!)... After all, I do want that stuff.
Just not yet. Right now I want to feel young, sexual, and desired. I want to flirt my ass off. To whip out my repertoire of tricks. To win some and lose some. I want to play games.
Unless of course it's the real thing -- in which case I won't have to.