Single White Nerd: “Do You Want Me To Be Honest?”
a blogumn by Michael Kass
Seven terrifying words. On the one hand I absolutely want her to be completely honest. All the books I’ve read tell me that honesty is the best policy. On the other hand, I have a rather delicately constructed sense of self-esteem. An honesty overdose could shatter me.
I should mention that her question is a response to a question of my own: “Why did we land in the no-sex zone?”
Emily and I met online two months ago. The emails rapidly became flirtatious, even suggestive. By the time we met in person, there was no doubt in my mind that she liked sex. Also she was smart and pretty, all that stuff.
So we met in person and had a great conversation. More flirtatious emails, now bordering on the pornographically explicit. She came over to my apartment to “help me decorate.” My understanding was that the whole decoration thing was code for “have sex.” I based this understanding on the fact that Emily had actually said “We can pick out a new bedspread and then mess it up while naked.”
Emily showed up on the appointed day at the appointed time. She walked into my apartment and proceeded to pick it apart. She hated the tiki lights framing my balcony window. (For the record—I like them. They’re festive.) My new used blue leather couch offended her sensibilities. I had not hung the pictures correctly on my wall.
Exhausted by her orgy of criticism, she then plopped down on my couch, wedged herself into the corner and fortified herself with pillows. I read the message loud and clear: don’t touch me, you maldecorated neanderthal. Ok, fine. So we talked for an hour or so. Then it was time for her to leave. I went to hug her and she kissed me.
Let me type that out again: She. Kissed. Me.
A real kiss. With tongue and little moany noises.
The next day, she sent me an email. No mention of the pillow fortress or the tiki lights. Just a thank you for my hospitality and for the kiss. Now thoroughly confused, I invited her over again. This time for dinner. When she arrived, I went to kiss her. She turned her head and offered her cheek. I tried again. She turned the other cheek.
We had dinner. And wine. She left.
Now, one week later, I’m sitting across from her at a bar. We’ve each had a couple of beers. The conversation has been flowing. And I ask: “Why did we land in the no sex zone?”
She takes a sip of beer. “Do you want me to be honest?”
Seven terrifying words. I look at her, trying to pierce her soul with my slightly inebriated gaze. I drain my glass. And then I nod. “Yes,” I say with more confidence than I feel.
She opens her mouth to speak and. . .speaks. Honestly. When she’s finished, I smile. “Thank you for being so honest.” Then I get up, go to the bathroom, and slam my head against the wall.