There are more beautiful women in Miami than anywhere else in the world. Women in LA are taller, which makes visiting there like a Disney World of dating (women below 5’8” tend to drop off my radar). Trouble is, they’re hopelessly, relentlessly blonde. Miami is a sea of dark skin, dark hair, dark eyes, like the women in my family, my first examples of beauty. Most Miami women aren’t exactly statuesque, but they make up for it by enthusiastically donning outfits better left in music videos with heavy drum beats. Not my type, but bless them for going eye-candy full throttle.
I’m finding it easier to flirt with these women. Because who cares, really? I’m just trying on my single shoes. To make someone blush, lighten their mood, make them smile, it’s a powerful ego boost. That’s good enough for me, but my friends want me to take it further. You know that scene in Little Miss Sunshine, when Alan Arkin tells his grandson, “Fuck a lot of women. Not just one. A loooooooot of women.” This is the advice my friends give me.
Trouble is, I’m not built for Miami sport-fucking. I’ve been with the same woman for sixteen years (and if you need to ask if I’ve ever cheated, stop reading this blog now; you don’t know me and never will) and the number of people I’ve slept with is correspondingly low.
“What about men?” a friend of mine asked when our sex numbers came up.
Oh, yeah. College. So I added one, but I’m still counting with a single hand.
Do I listen to my friends (some in long relationships who I suspect are trying to live vicariously) and fuck a loooooot of women to fluff my numbers? Or do I wait for someone special?
My character may not give me a choice. I don’t think of myself as charming, but I’ve been known to be charming when the need arises. Why oh why, with someone to whom I’m actually attracted, does my flirt go on the fritz? When faced with Anastasia, for instance, I have all the suave of a teenage virgin trying to get laid. Anastasia is ice cream, catnip, and bedroom eyes, and my charm flees before her. I get it, God. I’m doomed to compel affection from people I find only marginally attractive. Very funny.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m shallow. I flirt with good-looking people. But good-looking is such a tiny part of attraction. Twinkies might be delicious, but why waste calories on them when there’s Chocolate Mousse afoot?
Friends have advice for this, too. Be yourself, they say. Which I have been, unfortunately. You know how horses look when they’re born, stumbling around, shivering, knees knocking together? That’s me. It’s hard forcing myself to imitate a normal human being when I want to grab Anastasia like that sailor coming back from World War II.
“What you need to do,” my helpful friends say, “is pretend she’s someone you’re not attracted to.” Oh, it’s just that easy? I failed my Core acting class at Syracuse University, not to mention getting kicked out of their musical theater program. My performance skills are suspect.
Two of my closest friends have different, very specific advice. These are two of the three women I invited to Cheesecake Factory to help me forget the milestone of my ex’s birthday (or at least pretend to forget it for a while), the Aaron equivalent of telling my bros to take me to a strip club. Not fuck a looot of women; just one. “Put a dick between you and your ex,” is how they put it with each-other. To protect you from women’s filthy minds, I won’t tell you what they told me. But it was filthy.
Basically, I need to stop looking at everyone as a potential relationship and think of them as potential fun. I might be able to do that. But part of me is only happy loving someone from my hair to my toes, and that part of me isn’t cool with this plan. At all. That’s the part of me wishing I’d met Anastasia two years from now, when I have a little more distance from my marriage and might actually pull off pretending to be datable.
Oh, well. God likes seeing me tremble.