I went to the movies twice this week – and watched the same movie.
Before you think, “Oh that cad, I wonder if the two women know he pulled this maneuver,” let it be known that I went to the movies with my regular movie date; the person I attend three out of four movies with – myself. The fact I went to see American Sniper for a second time should reflect upon me being a good American – not just a dude that can't find a date or, more to the point, can't stand the process of dating itself.
In reality, I much prefer going to the movies alone. I had a female friend tell me not to long ago, “I'd rather be caught dead, than at the movies alone. Pathetic.” I noted to her it is that very attitude that has her home alone, talking to me on Facebook at 10:30 on a Friday night. Unfasten your entitlement belt a notch, sweetheart. I realize that in our current social media driven world, in which everybody knows everybody's business, most women would rather be forced to own only one pair of shoes than be found at the theater alone. But I enjoy being able to immerse myself in the story without having to care if the person next to me is enjoying themselves, while allowing myself the option to cry as a man without having to fear my machismo being called into question. Besides the fact that at the beginning of the movie, we are told to be quiet and I am one to always follow the rules.
I hate the feeling of forced expectation. Being on a date always carries that awkward weight. Unlike meeting someone randomly at a party, bar, or even a crab feed (as I plan to do over the next three weeks. Thank you, crab feed season) I can't just set down my cocktail glass when the conversation runs stale and walk away for 15 minutes.
Dates force a man to always attempt to be “on.” I've been told by many female friends that there is nothing less attractive than listening to a man trying to be on his game when he is clearly not. I personally feel much more comfortable on a stage doing stand-up in front of 200 people than I do sitting across the table from a date. That may sound strange to most. I suppose it lies in the difference between “talking at” and “talking with” people. Believe me, if it were socially acceptable during a date that was going bad to stand up, drop my fork like a microphone and say, “You've been a wonderful date tonight, don't forget to tip your wait staff,” and then walk out the backdoor I'd date all the time.
Doing stand-up comedy, I've learned that it doesn't take much to lose the audience’s interest. In dating you are forced into a one-person audience. That terrifies me. Not to mention the fact that many of the women who my friends attempt to set me up with already know me. Strike one! If I'm forced to “go onstage” in front of someone that already knows my act then we are both going to become bored quickly. I've gone on a few dates with women that know my aversion to dating and, more so, the fact I very much enjoy being single. When they sway the conversation towards “Why don't you want a girlfriend?” and don't receive an answer that suits them, they act put-off. Suddenly, the date is effectively ruined. That is like going to see Eddie Murphy do stand-up and then being upset when he does “Eddie Murphy-like material.” You knew what you were getting in to. Yet my friends and friends’ wives/girlfriends continuously try to set me up on dates. Sometimes, I think they are just trying to run that friend off.
I recently had a buddy’s wife told me she wanted to help “get me out of the rut” I'm apparently in. (Obviously, she hasn't seen this old dinosaur perusing the local watering holes lately, but I listened nonetheless.) They have a 19-year-old daughter that plays on a traveling soccer team and suggested I attend a tournament in Vallejo with them. In her words, “There will be lots of people having fun and you may meet someone you like.” My response of “Don't you think 19-year-olds are a bit young for me?” was met with an immediate “I meant the mothers, you idiot!”
So we made a day of it. And she was right, there were cute moms as far as the eye could see, but there were also husbands as far as the eye could see. It seemed a hopeless day, until she introduced me to Melissa. She was sweet, funny, pretty – and I at no point wanted to set down my proverbial cocktail and run. I've never been comfortable with the old “Can I get your number?” routine, which if you are now over 40, you should be informed that “Are you on Facebook?” is now the preferred method of advancement.
So as we drove home I asked some of the specifics of cute Melissa. College grad with a good job – nice. Huge sports fan that loves the Raiders – fantastic. Four kids with three different dads – where is that cocktail?! Oh boy, that is a deal breaker for me. My friend’s wife immediately started in with “Listen, bub, you are 42. Finding a woman in your age range without kids is tough pickins.” She has a point.
However, I've never been one to adhere to this whole “age range” that people speak of. She was curious as to what I meant. I explained “I realize finding a 'new car' with my poor credit and bad driving history is gonna be a tough process, and it may never happen. But I know one thing – nobody has ever found a new car while walking around the used car lot.” Needless to say that is one less friend’s wife that I'll have to hear the old “I have someone I wanna set you up with” routine.
Anyway, American Sniper was incredible and should be seen by everyone. Family friend Larry Harris asked if I cried watching the movie, as he knew I had gone alone. I reassured him that I cried as I arrived. After all, I was going to the movies alone again … because I can't find a new car.
Crab Season is here...
If you are a resident of Manteca, it is your civic duty to strap on that feedbag and get your crab on. Many people will tell you which crab feed will have the better crab. That is a bunch of hooey! There is no such thing as bad crab – just people that ate too much bread before it arrived. I always love the vibe of a crab feed because everybody is getting messy together. There is no pretty way to eat crab, so let’s all get ugly the next few weeks. The majority of these events are the kick-off fundraisers for local charities. The town that eats together stays together. In keeping with the theme of this column, I personally put my foot in my mouth a few weeks back. I will be acting as auctioneer for the 209 BMX Crab Feed at the MRPS Hall on Jan. 31. The chairpersons for the event, Jon and Catherine Anderson, asked if I'd be willing to auction off a date that night. I agreed without knowing they had me in mind. Catherine has even made arrangements with Manteca's new Pete's Brewhouse. They have decided to be the dinner sponsor for my date. This way the lucky lady (and yes, it will be a lady because as the auctioneer I reserve the right to refuse a man's bid) will not have to find out how absolutely cheap I am.
“It's not Where ya do, It's What ya do”
If you know where columnist Chris Teicheira set his cocktail, please email him the location at firstname.lastname@example.org.