I. AM. SALTY.
Why? So many reasons, but this one thang in particular is stuck in my craw - has been since the beginning of summer. Two months ago I went on a camping trip to celebrate a friend's 30th birthday. I like camping - food's good, day drinking is one of my favorite activities, and peeing in the great outdoors is one of life's forgotten pleasures. But I had no idea what was in store for me.
It started with the car ride. I carpooled with an old friend, he of the married type. Seeing as how he was unattached for the weekend, he graciously took our two hour sojourn as the ideal opportunity to tell me ALL ABOUT the cracks in his marriage. No worries. We've known one another over a decade and I am a good friend. Lending a sympathetic ear is definitely in my wheelhouse, so I listened. And listened. And listened. Clearly homeboy needed to talk some shit out. By the time we reached camp, we both were ready for some beers. All was well.
Until Homeboy Number Two showed up. Let's call him The Wrench. The Wrench was shirtless, with shaggy hair inexplicably topped by a trucker cap - early aughts camping chic. And The Wrench was singularly focused on me. As soon as I cracked a beer and found a comfortable spot around the campfire, The Wrench sidled up to me.
"I remember you," he said pointedly.
I smiled politely, but apparently my look of confusion was clear. "You don't remember me? I'm hurt!" he exclaimed.
You guys, I panicked just a little. I have been single for a minute. And in the lull between worthy suitors I have slept with some dudes. Was The Wrench a drunken hookup?! A mistaken makeout?! A Tinder Roulette sexting slimeball?! FUUUUUUCCKKKK.
And then, BINGO! He was none of the above, thankfully, but some rando friend of a friend who crashed a drunken toga pool party I'd thrown for myself in 2009. (Yes, I am very good at being childless and single, don't be too jealous.)
I've helpfully circled The Wrench. Also, how cute was I?!
Thankfully Homeboy Number Three caught the nipple tweak and attempted a rescue of sorts. Let's call him The Hot One. I have known The Hot One for 10+ years. The Hot One had a girlfriend for many of those years. I was living abroad for some of those other years. But now The Hot One and I are living in the same city, unattached for the first time, and all I wanted was a good old-fashioned fireside makeout sesh. I was a damsel in distress, it was the least he could do. Unfortunately, The Hot One had something else in mind entirely. As soon as he swooped in and rescued me from the nipple-tweaking toga 'tard, he spilled his guts. And I do mean SPILLED. The Hot One proceeded to tell me some really heavy shit from his childhood that, frankly, I probably won't ever repeat, both because it was so fucked up, but also because I would never want to embarrass this dude. See, I *DO* have a heart.
Needless to say, The Hot One killed my vibe, and any buzz that was left over from eight hours of day drinking. Seeing as how I was apparently surrounded by emotional retards, I found a spot by the fire and attempted to tune out the noise.
Enter Homeboy Number Four.
Again, I have known Homeboy Number Four for a minute, probably close to 10 years. We've never been close, but in group social situations we always find something to chat about. Homeboy Number Four is harmless, so let's call him Dad. Dad showed up at camp fairly late in the day, as his car broke down on the drive and he hitched a ride with some other campers. Sometime late in the evening, after much drinking and smoking, Dad told me he left his tent in his car. I was already sharing a rather large tent with my carpool friend, so I offered him a spot in our tent - no harm, no foul. The night wore on, and everyone was pleasantly drunk and/or stoned. Around midnight I retired to my tent. Just as I was drifting off, I heard Dad unzip the door and throw in his sleeping bag.
"You awake?" he asked.
I mumbled something, probably about the possible wicked hangover that surely awaited me. He carried on quietly, and just as I was on the edge of sleep, I heard him roll over, sigh deeply, and ask, "Mindy, why don't you have a boyfriend?"
OH. MY. FUCKING. GOD.
He went on, "You're so cute and smart. I mean, like intellectual. You're strong and smart and why don't you ever have a boyfriend?"
I just laid there.
He went on, "You remind me a lot of my ex-girlfriend. She was strong and smart like you. You're just really intellectual." He said that word, INTELLECTUAL, like a dozen times.
I let this shit go on for a minute, hoping he'd get the hint, but he just kept rambling. I finally snapped.
"I don' know dude, why don't you tell me?! You're a guy. Why don't I have a boyfriend? It's probably because I am emotionally unavailable and overly critical. Or maybe it's because I'm not helpless and needy. Guys seem to really like needy girls. Needy girls always have boyfriends!"
Not my finest moment.
He soldiered on, "Some people have thought that maybe you're a lesbian."
You guys, I just laughed. And laughed and laughed and laughed. I didn't even know how to respond to such idiocy. Maybe it's because I'm soooo intellectual. At this point I was mentally and emotionally exhausted, plus the spins had set in. I rolled over and attempted to sleep. I don't know how long I was asleep or what time it was when I heard my name.
"Mindy! Mindy, is this your tent?!" The Wrench was drunkenly circling my tent, calling out my name. "It's cold out here. Can I come sleep with you?"
Are you fucking kidding me?! This guy just did not give up. I unzipped my tent, told him there was no room at the inn, and tossed him my car keys. "It's the blue Hyundai. Sleep there!" I shouted.
I slept fitfully the rest of the night, getting up just once to puke up a belly full of PBRs and half a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos. By morning, I was feeling horrible and ready to never see any of these dudes again. My carpool friend and I quickly broke down camp, downed a cup of coffee each, and headed home.
And here I am, two months later, still salty about L'Affair. First, why did all four of these dudes see fit to use me as an emotional dumping ground? Admittedly I was the only single woman at camp, but is that really all dudes need? If I had come attached to some guy NONE of them would have been this emotionally inappropriate, guaranteed.
Second, just because I don't announce every hookup/date/relationship via social media doesn't mean they aren't happening. Remember when I said Homeboy Number Four and I have known each other nearly a decade BUT WE AREN'T CLOSE? Apparently he thinks he knows all there is to know about me and if he isn't privy to my personal relationships then they must not exist.
Third, and this is the big one, why the fuck did he make the jump to lesbian? Is it because I cut all my hair off? Is it because I use social media platforms to proclaim my support for women's rights? Is it because I wear really cool Vans?
See? Cool, right?!
No. It's none of those. I could continue doing all of those things, so long as I had a boyfriend to call my own. It really truly is my lack of boyfriend that made him question my sexual preference. And that's the point that's stuck in my craw, not only because it's so shallow, but because it represents a cruel double standard. See, Homeboys One, Three, Four and I have a mutual friend, we'll call him The Boss. The Boss has been single as long as I've known him, something like 12 years. In that time he's had hookups and dates and flings, but nothing long term or meaningful (that I know of). Does that mean he's gay? Absolutely not. It might mean a whole host of *other* things, but to think he's gay simply because he does not have a girlfriend is ludicrous - SO NO ONE THINKS THIS. Literally no one questions The Boss's sexuality, even though he's been single FOR-EV-ER.
And that's why I'm salty.
Side note: I ran into The Hot One a couple weeks ago at the bar. He told me he and my carpool friend had had a bet going.
"Oh?" I questioned.
"Yeah. But we were both betting you'd sleep with [The Wrench]."
Guys are such idiots.