So, um, I'm still dating Memphis.
I saw him the Tuesday before Christmas, the day after I went ice skating with Valdosta. I barely returned his texts and the poor thing wasn't even sure I was going to show up at his place at all.
He cooked me dinner, which was hot. Apparently I like sitting on a bar stool and watching the man do all of the work. It was good food too, and that may explain his weight. I don't know if I'm just used to looking at Valdosta or if it was his clothes, but Memphis looked easily 15 pounds heavier from the last time I had seen him. He had gone from chubby to the kind of fat where he suffered from slap-face disease—he perpetually looks like he's just been slapped in the face.
He offered to open a bottle of wine, but I declined. Then he opened his fridge to grab some ingredients for his salad dressing.
"Ooh! I'll take a Yuengling," I said, spying the carton on the shelf.
He looked back at me, "You said you didn't want anything to drink."
"That was before I knew you had Yuengling," I beamed.
He grabbed the bottle from the fridge and popped the top. Then he took a swig out of it to enjoy it in front of me. I didn't say anything. I was tired from work and didn't feel like playing games. When he saw his game wasn't working, he grabbed another beer from the fridge and handed it to me. But anytime I made a joke or teased, he'd point to the door and tell me to leave. It was funny the first time, but by the fifth time, I was considering it.
Dinner was good. The boy can cook.
Afterwards we move to his couch. He leaned in and began kissing me. Normally I am able to be present in the moment and with the person, but I felt like I was being disloyal to Valdosta.
Memphis uses a lot of tongue. I'm a fan of the tongue if it's done right, but Memphis uses it with every kiss. My mouth began to fill with saliva. He used so much tongue that my body thought I was eating again.
I pushed him off of me, "I'm full."
He paused for a moment. "I was hoping we would go further tonight," he said.
He had already rounded second base; how much further did he think it was going to go? My entire relationship with Memphis has been dinner. That's it. We go to dinner, or like tonight he made me dinner, and then he'd drop me back at home. We don't hang out. We don't communicate between dinners, which is largely my fault. It's like we're in our 50's and he's my companion. So was he thinking dinner and sex? Dinner and a hummer? I don't know!
"Not tonight," I responded quickly.
Memphis shifted uneasily. "You don't know how hard it is to put yourself out there like that and then be rejected."
WHAT? SO AM I SUPPOSED TO PUT OUT JUST BECAUSE YOU ASKED?!?!
"I didn't reject you, Memphis. I said 'Not tonight.'"
He couldn't distinguish the difference. To be honest, I'm not sure there was much of one.
Memphis tried. He told me that he liked me and wanted to spend more time with me. He wanted to talk to me in between our dinners.
"It's just... you always give me such a hard time," I answered. He looked at me expectantly. Finally, I was honest. "I called you when my grandmother died. You didn't answer and that was fine. But when I did hear from you again, you were all 'Why did you call? Why did you call?' I told you, but you wouldn't let it go and the way you asked was like you thought it was a booty call and maybe if you kept asking my answer would change. I was like, She's still dead"—Memphis put his head in his hand and groaned out of embarrassment when I said this—"You made me feel really uncomfortable and made me wish I had never called you about it."
He responded apologetically. He told me he couldn't believe that a pretty girl would call him and he couldn't figure out why. And when he found out it was about my grandmother, he said he was honored that I would call him. He never actually admitted the thing about the booty call, but I know I was right. He said in the future for me to call him out on it.
"But what do I say? 'You're making me feel uncomfortable?'" I genuinely asked.
"Just say, 'You realize that you are sounding like this'. But you have to say it nicely or else I'm going to get angry and defensive."
I immediately knew I'd never be able to sugarcoat it the way he wanted me to. What I don't understand is that he dishes it out so aggressively, but he can't take it. At all. He wants me to be all sensitive around him while he points to the door and orders me to leave. It's an annoying an unfair double standard that I'll never be able to abide by.
I took the ending of the conversation as a cue for me to leave. He asked me to stay longer, but it was after 10 p.m. and I had to work the next morning. I felt better about things after our little talk and I left his apartment feeling optimistic, but then Valdosta showed up on Christmas day.
And Memphis is nowhere near Valdosta.