LittleFly's back - with more debaucherous tales from the drunken dating front! Let's see how she feels about the color gray.
As an NY Barfly, I’ve had a lot of interesting experiences in drunk NYC dating. I’ve forgiven others’ late night eating habits, chosen to walk away from specific religious beliefs and learned a thing or two about singles of our neighboring continent before ultimately cutting ties.
Throughout it all, there has been one common denominator. Each and every relationship has been “gray” – located somewhere between the sheets of “just friends” and “I suppose that’s kind of dating.” Due to this ambiguity, each has eventually become awkward - is it going to far? do they actually feel too much? That’s when the lies have to start. I didn’t want to throw up devil horns at the Lutheran radical to make him go away. “Sorry, but I do believe I am a prophet of Satan”. I had to tell the donut hog that his sweet tooth was less than desirable: “I can’t see you anymore, my mother is diabetic and it makes me uncomfortable”.
Why the white lies to soften the blow? Are our souls so numb from whiskey that we couldn’t possibly be bothered sustaining something gray and …honest? I’ve always noticed our Barfly counterparts have chosen to behave in the same fashion. White lies light up the room. “I bought those panties for you,” I once heard upon discovering a crumpled up pair that wasn’t mine. The hazy truths are probably the reason we are attracted to the other party in the first place (aside from the bourbon and the cigarettes).
I decided I had enough. The next situation would be different. If my new gray partner handed me an unsuspecting pair of drawers in the morning when I’d been searching frantically with a hangover, I would be honest and say “Um, thanks but those aren’t mine” and move on.
5 weeks later, I found myself hanging suspended in the midst of another gray relationship. Thus far things had been all out on the table. I was feeling almost confident that it was possible to continue my relationship habits minus the lies. Each party knew full well the extent of the relationship. There was no pressure (except for that one err, butt thing), no expectations or secrets (he did in fact wind up in the hospital after that one time he got loaded on Jack and slid down the stairs). Lots of alcohol and consenting extracurricular activity, it was the perfect recipe for a successful gray relationship.
3 shots in on a fun day Sunday (i.e. beginning to drink at 3pm and falling off our stools by 4:30), things started to waiver. Perhaps my motor skills were lacking from all the booze on this particular Sunday but something was skewed and I couldn’t grasp the problem. After a few hesitations thrown my way, a previous night of suspicious unavailability (let’s be serious, Barflys don’t choose to learn to roast squash when they could be out drinking) it was time to find out what the problem was. He must have been feeling as though things were going from gray to a clearly defined black (or another color that is a step from gray). Was I going to hear the truth?
I asked him what was wrong and stood for a long silent pause as I waited for it. Was he going to lie Barfly style?
“There is someone that may be coming to NYC next week that means a lot to me. A girl from high school. She is a virgin and a philanthropist. I've let her go before. I can't do it again.”
I spilled my martini in horror. “That sounds like a load of BS. Virgin…pshaw!”
He went on tentatively. "No, really, she loves giving goats and things to indigent children. Being around her just makes me realize that I’m a flower,” He sighed in an attempt to be convincing. “I’m a flower and I really should just be with other flowers.”
The answer clearly was yes. He lied Barfly style.
Rather than remind him that flowers don’t engage in specific *ahem* butt things, I decided to respect him as a fellow Barfly. My attempt at any sort of truth was drowned in vodka from the beginning.
“Yes, I understand,” I responded. “I’m shaping up to be sober. I’m not going to drink anymore. I don't think you should call me again. You always smell like whiskey.” And with that I hopped off my stool and headed out the door.
“Where are you going?” he asked.
I threw my hands up. “To the corner bar!”
The white lies should be called gray lies. Not quite honest, not quite without truth, they are perfect for keeping things in pseudo-relationship limbo. In fact, maybe these lies aren't what end gray relationships - but what allow them to exist in the first place.
As I sipped my martini and reflected on the light thrown about by the shiny lies, I realized how silly it was for me to try to break out of the shades of gray be honest. I wasn't upset because he felt awkward and ended it, I was upset because flower boy beat me at my own game. The sweet little daisy had a virgin love from high school? Pure brilliance.
It took him a week to call, with comments on how bored he was with "Jesus talk", and hints that he wanted me to come over. I decided to remain a true Barfly, and keep the grayness going with a few white lies of my own. "How funny you called, I was just thinking about you. Things are really clear now that I'm sober, I've really missed you these past few days." He may be a daisy, but I am such a Tulip.