you know, you lose your charm when you get like this – he finally says, exhausted by our strangely passionate conversation. I stop for a while, a bit surprised.
-what do you mean? – i ask, a bit confused.
-well, he says- you should let go of an argument. insisting on proving your point sort of diminishes your femininity.
-remember X? – he says – she’s not pretty enough, or particularly smart and by all means she should not have married a much younger and attractive man. but when she smiles, the world shines around her. and she never follows an argument to the end.
i remember x. i remember her steely interior and proper and prim ways which i can never make mine in a thousand years. but i am confused since i do not think of myself as a particularly argumentative person. and furthermore:
-i am not trying to be charming to you – i answer. and it is the truth. i already know he is attracted to me. and i am not interested, mainly because of the pictures of wife and son he has in his wallet. so, i am trying to turn this into a friendship instead. and friends argue with each-other and do not stand to decor. but that is just my opinion. why is he still waiting for me to remain attractive to him?
i decide to ignore the sudden outburst of outrage i feel when i am compared to X and found wanting, and trust my intuition. she is after all just another means to an end.
so i smile, and decide to agree with everything he says dully, politely looking at my watch time after time and thinking about how someone else i know would have too much class to mention my diminished femininity.
-i envy your life – the voice on the other side of the telephone says. and he says so convincingly – you have no problems. you are free to do what you want, and nobody can stop you.
and where does he exactly see this, i do not know. often my spine feelss bent in half by the troubles on my shoulders, no more no less that those of any other living person. should i complain about my life, the slowly creeping cellulite, the larger size clothes in my closet, the feeling that life is slipping through my hand without me managing to hold on to at least a single particle? yet he envies me. what a novel idea.
it is interesting how we all think how much more we could do, if only we had the life of somebody else. if we were swapping lifes the same way we swap spit, would it have made a difference? would he have wanted the difference?
i try to dissuade him from thinking i am troublefree but he has decided on my image already and nothing can shake that. i let him do it. it is nice to hear that somewhere, a misguided soul is thinking of being like me, even for one crazy second.
-wow, you are so funny -he’s said maybe for the fifth time in less than an hour, making me think that maybe i should tone it down a bit. i do not want a date with a guy who still wets his pants after all.
he sounds surprised that he is having fun with me. possibly because he did not think he would enjoy a date set up by his evernagging mother and her scheeming neighbor. from my side, i am here purely because he asked me point blank, without any pretense of interest in me or embellishment of speech. seeing that as a challenge, i took it upon me to make him enjoy his date. which i am doing. the original coffee offer has extended into a dinner and drinks, which i have no intention of making use of. i reached my purpose, and while he is enjoying himself immensely, i am only irked that he never thought he’d enjoy my company before.
maybe in two weeks i’ll set him up with somebody else. somebody pretty, proper and prim, a born housewife looking woman, that he can marry and get bored with in about one year, just so that whenever he thinks of me he thinks of how much he enjoyed our one date, and how incapable he was of keeping that fun for himself.