i don't have the most extensive dating history. that happens when you pick highly inappropriate people and stay with them for inexplicably long periods of time.
so there's been the gay boyfriend, the angry mexican, the shit and the douche. and in between the gay boyfriend and the angry mexican, there was the soup. who we never really counted because he was a bit of a blip. he happened during The Poems and i've long been of the belief that nothing counted during The Poems.
in the schematic of my dating history, the soup was kind of an anomaly. the only one i ever regularly encountered after breaking up. the only blonde. the only one who cared about things like race cars and guns.
our first date was coyote ugly.
in his innocence, the soup misinterpreted the subtext of my initial offer to go dutch (the subtext being i just accidentally dyed my hair purple with bargain bin colorant and know i turn men gay and thus i want to pretend this movie about hot, midriff-baring women adrift at a bar in the big city is not a real date because i secretly believe you are overcompensating because deep down you know you are gay and i am repulsive so please let me pay for my own ticket) as some bold condemnation of the patriarchal capitalistic amerian dating system.
i dumped him about three weeks into whatever it was we were doing, largely because when we went to a chinese restaurant, the waiter had to guilt him into paying for my $1.25 bowl of soup. i was happy to pay. hell, i was already digging in my purse for the change. but suddenly, like the waiter, i realized i probably deserved more. at the very least, i was worth 5 quarters.
we went back to his dorm and, as we watched a marx brothers movie and he coyly tickled my toes, i tried to summon the courage to devise the words and say them. 45 minutes in, i landed, unimaginatively, on we need to talk.
the better part of the next three years were spent avoiding him.
it was only as i was getting ready to graduate and move to chicago that we sat at the bar one night. with the angry mexican glaring at us from the sidelines and the shit trying to catch my eye, we sat and talked.
the soup was in town this week. we did dinner and walked about my city. it's been five years and we're still pretty much the same except i talk more because i don't give a damn.
i've always been of the belief that you have to be friends with everyone you've ever dated. two people have proven me horribly wrong. but, in the long run, i think there's something to be said about seeing someone years down the road and sharing a sandwich and some stories. it's comforting. to know they're still out there. and that you didn't turn them gay.