Tuesday, November 4, 2014

At the End of Everything #6

“Well this is awkward.” She gave a nervous laugh, unsure of what she wanted to do. But she was definitely looking at me. “You’re Jarren right?” 

Although I had seen her picture online before, but I was still not prepared to see how she looked like in real life. I nodded my head. “Yeah.” And I pointed to her, “You must be Phoebe.”

“That’s right” She gave a little hop as an acknowledgement. 

We have been planning to meet up since last week and finally agreed to have a short dinner together, so that we could get to know each other better. It was her first experience meeting up with someone she met online, the second for me. She looked nervous. I was too. 

Our “relationship”, or whatever you would call it, began with a simple message of me asking her where she was studying. From her profile, I noticed that she was English literature major too, and I figured that it would be a good conversation starter. Gradually the simple message blossomed into something more, from questions about each of our lives, and our plans for the future. We asked each other about our past relationships, what we were doing right now and what we were looking for on the dating the site. The routine stuff.

From our conversation, I learned that she was a final year student at a local university, who had two relationships before prior to knowing me. She was on the site to just “try out”, to know new people. It was her friend who signed her up for an account, telling her that she needs to know widen her social circle. Just like what Lucas did to me.

“You’re one of the few guys who didn’t ask for sex immediately,” she would later tell me, when I asked why she chose to reply to me. One of the earliest questions that I asked was the number of messages she was getting daily, and she answered dozens of them. Every single day. 

Somehow it was not surprising, as her pictures on her profile was all very beautiful. Fair skinned, tall, with a sharp chin, a radiant smile and a hourglass body figure. I suspected that all the guys on the site would be probably queueing up and vying for her attention. A line in her profile, which stated that she filters her inbox due to the huge amount of messages that she was getting, seemed to confirm that.

Still, she replied with an enthusiastic “Yes!” after my first message, and then proceeded to ask me where I studied English Literature, since I mentioned that somewhere in my profile, and that I was currently working as a teacher as well.

In a way, I guess I have all the other guys to thank for it. One thing that I have realized after several weeks on the site, and after several conversations with different girls, was that almost every guy on the site was asking for hookups or one night stands. It was such a sad fact to see how the stereotype of guys is reinforced in sites such as this, that when we are allowed to do what we wanted, all we seek for is sex. The disparity between what guys and girls were looking for was like the the distance between heaven and earth. 

After her statement, I decided to do a simple experiment of my own, just to see whether these kind of differences do exist, or are they mainly a product of our stereotypical thinking. I went to the ‘Browse Matches’ page, and instead of searching for women, I changed my search criteria to men who were looking for girls. In addition to that, I added another criteria, and that was to only search for guys who were looking for casual sex. The results returned the profiles of dozen of guys, in which I had to scroll for a while before I reached the end of the page. It was indeed like what I was told, that there were a ton of guys who were on the site just for sex. 

To be fair, I decided to change the gender back to women instead, but still with the casual sex option. The search only eight female profiles. One of them was a transexual. 

Eight, or seven, compared to the several dozens of male profiles. It was hardly surprising, given how it confirmed the general conception that guys were the more sexual creatures. But still, seeing the results with my own eyes made me sad, because it suggested that us guys in general are slaves to our own hormones, to our savage instincts, that we were incapable of controlling ourselves. Women, on the other hand seemed to be the more logical and rational gender. 

Deep down inside, I would not be entirely shocked to find women taking over the society one day, and decided to lock us men up because we are thought to be incapable of rational thought. The entire men hating agenda by certain feminists seemed almost warranted through this small observation. The difference is staggering. Could it be really that we are biologically wired differently, or is it merely a product of culture and upbringing? Lucas had a slightly different explanation. 

“Have you thought before that it’s the desperate guys, those whom cannot find anyone in real life, and who are jerks are the ones who will most likely end up on this site?” he tried to console me, when I shared my observation with him. He had to console me the second time when he realized that he accidentally labeled me as a desperate guy as well. 

Still, Lucas’s hypothesis does sound logical, though I was not sure how accurate it was. I surely hope that it is, or it would be a very sad thing to explain guys off as being intrinsically more impulsive in general and more sex-driven than girls. Something that I refused to believe in. Both gender can be equally rational, I thought.

Still, the fact that most men who were on the site looking for sex played to my advantage, relatively speaking, as I appeared to be better than most of the guys there. The reality may be way different, that I know, but at least in the small little world of that dating site, somehow I was considered one of the better ones. One that girls would reply to.

“Well they’re guys after all, who more often than not cannot think beyond their dicks, in lack of a more polite term. And as one of them, I sincerely apologize.” It was a reply that I have thought a while about. It was the message that I sent to Phoebe. I would have gone into a long rant about how broken our society is, for instilling the idea that men should always want sex and it was normal for men to do that, but I refrained from doing that out of the fear that I might scare her away. 

She responded almost immediately after. “Haha, you’re funny. And at least you are not a sex crazed guy like the rest, so that’s good already! :)” She even inserted a smiley after her message. My roommate almost dropped out of his chair when I suddenly squealed in delight. Somehow I was excited over the prospect of having a beautiful girl to call my girlfriend. 

When she agreed to that dinner with me, I cheered so loudly that my housemates thought I was possessed. It has been a while since I last had this feeling of joy.

She was dressed in a cherry red dress that night, like a rose standing amongst the numerous faceless people around. Lucas was wrong this time, because she looked as pretty as her photos in the dating site. Her hair had an elegant twirl near the end, which added to her overall beauty. Like her pictures, she was fair, cute and had a figure to die for. And she was tall too, almost as tall as me. It was hard to believe that this was her first date with a guy she met online. 

I felt as if I was the luckiest guy that night. 

“So how long are you going to stand there staring?” She smiled sheepishly. Without realizing, I was too taken away by her looks that I have been standing there just gazing at her for the past minute or so.

Her question caught me off guard, as I fumbled to find my words. “Oh err, I’m sorry… Err, dinner right! Erm, err where do you want to go?” Lucas would have laughed at the way I replied. I could feel my cheeks flush red, something that usually happens when I am embarrassed, nervous or both. To make things worse, I would stutter as well, which makes me feel even more awkward, and the whole process just fed into each other and made everything worse. 

She gave a quick giggle when she saw the predicament that I was in. “Lets go to Oshi Ramen, shall me?” She gave me another smile, before starting off in the shop’s direction. My heart prayed that she would not think that I was pathetic. I quickly catch up next to her, my cheeks still warm from the entire episode. Walking next to her, I caught a whiff the fragrance that she was wearing. The sweet smell of it calmed me a little, as I turned to look at her, thinking that I should perhaps say something.

“Thanks for agreeing to come out,” was all I could muster. My heart was still beating quickly, while my stomach churned. It was not the first time that I was going out with a girl, so I was confused over the reason why my body decided to act in such a way today, especially when I was together with such a pretty girl. Seemed almost my own body was trying to sabotage me.

She turned towards me and gave another smile. “No problem! Thanks for not turning out to be a creepy guy!” 

I laughed in response. “What do you mean creepy guy?” Not only was she pretty, she had a sense of humour too.

“Well, you’re a guy whom I do not know from online, so my friends were scaring me by saying that you might be a 40 year old uncle?” Her tone of voice seemed to suggest that she was genuinely concerned back there. But she was smiling the whole time she was saying this, so I assumed she meant it as a joke as well, to lighten up the situation.

“Well I could be a big fat bald guy who’s really good at cosplaying,” I replied, a sentence in which we both laugh to. We continued to talk about our initial feels and reactions to the tonights date, and whether we told anyone. I admitted that I’ve told no one, while she mentioned that only two of her friends know. We both found it amusing how secretive the entire thing was.

Before long, we were standing in front of the ramen restaurant, my initial anxiety almost gone. Looking at her standing in the queue with me, I still found it difficult to believe that she was my date for the night. 

Lucas would have been proud to hear this.

******

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P/s: Hurray I am still on time!


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