So last Saturday I’m at home majorly depressed. I had convinced myself that the dealer in my card game of life had some sick twisted pleasure out of dealing me such a bad hand. I was pouring myself a glass of Moscato ready to begin my own private pity party when my buzzing phone stops me at ten o’clock. It’s Katrell.
“Be dressed for ten-thirty. We’re going out.” “I’m coming by to pick you up.” She always knows what’s going on. “And don’t give me that bullshit about you not going; and don’t get all dressed up either.”
I sigh in her ear solely for the dramatic effect. “Fine. Are you driving?”
The car honks fifteen minutes late, which is fine because I wasn’t fully dressed until five minutes ago. I’ve got on jeans, heels, and a frilly top that’s cute and I can sweat in.
“Who’s throwing this fabulous party?” I ask.
“A DJ. Friend of a friend. We should be able to find it. I have the cross streets.”
“Um, you don’t have the address?”
“Relax,” she assures me. “We’ll find it.”
We find it, and as soon as we pay our entrance fee, Katrell sees this guy she knows and gives me the deuces.
I’m left there standing at the door, so I decide to walk as best I can through the gyrating bodies on the dance floor. The farther away I get from the DJ booth, the less I can see. With all the boys towering over me, I can barley make out anything. I head to the foyer and plop onto the first available couch. I knew I should have stayed home. I break out my phone to text Roderick to come and get me, but I’m interrupted by a bass-filled voice.
“What are you drinking?” I’ve met him before, but I don’t remember where. Cute. My type. But I’m not in the mood to holler.
“Tom Collins,” I say, taking another sip from my glass.
He sits next to me without asking, tells me he’s drinking rum punch. He holds out his cup for me to taste. “It’s good,” he promises.
Not sure how many cups were in his system, but he was in the mood to talk. “You got a boyfriend?” he asks.
Trick question. Jay and I are Jay and I. Technically, I’m free to date other people. I mean he did just tell me that I could do and see whomever I wanted, and he’d be totally fine with it.
“I’m seeing somebody, ” I say, giving the vaguest answer possible.
“Well, there are some things you should know about men,” the guy, not technically a friend, not really a stranger, begins.
This, in a nutshell, is what he tells me: the people you seriously date only come as As or Bs. Anything else, like a C through Z, is a time killer. It’s not the real thing, so why put forth the effort?
An A is the nice man your parents would like to see you dating or married to. He is reliable, rational, dependable, HONEST, humble, considerate, and goal oriented. He courts you. You know how he feels about you; you don’t question his motives. He is consistent. You don’t worry that he is cheating or lying. He does what he says he will do. Within reason, he does what you ask him to. Everyone you know likes him. He is good to you and for you. Basic common sense and all rational thought indicate that you should marry and live as happily as possible ever after with this man. A is a boyfriend/husband material. A rescues princesses from disastrous situations in fairy tales.
A is for Another Guy
B? There’s just something about a B. You can’t ever really put your finger on why. He doesn’t do half of what A does, but you will do twice as much for him. He’s not really reliable. He’s definitely inconsistent and usually not entirely honest. He might not be conventionally attractive, but he’s hypnotize you into believing he is the finest man you will ever encounter. He is, however drama.
Around B, life gets away more interesting. Your emotions run the full gamut; you are a wreck operating in a near-constant state of stereotypical PMS or menopausal symptoms. You might coast with a variation of forty to fifty mph with A, but B is zero to ninety in six seconds flat. You know full and hell well it’s disastrous just to be around B, much less be with him. But if loving B is wrong? Fuck it, you don’t want to be right. And the sex! It’s not just about the sex, of course, but with all that emotion, could it be anything other than mountain-moving? It’s not the kissy, lovey-dovey, nice only-in-the-bedroom sex you have with A; this is Pinky-Cherokee-Italia Blue pornographic. And you love it! Fairy tales are not made about B. The concept of happily ever after does not rationally exist with him. The best you can hope for with B is seven days without tears, without hanging up on him, or without breaking your BlackBerry in a fit of rage over the most recent stupid thing he did. For all his dysfunction, you’ll want to spend the rest of your days with him. But if you have any sense, B, at best, is a one-night stand on vacation. B is the dude you cheat on A with if that’s how you get down, but by God, you don’t leave A for him.
B is for Big Mistake.
At this point, the drunk guy adds the real kicker: the odds of finding an AB combination are about as likely as Lil’ Kim’s comeback. So you’re going to have to settle. Men don’t come in packages that are dependable, drama-free, gentlemanlike, sensitive but also aggressive, swagged-out, and passionate, driving your emotions and your body haywire. Those are all the traits that women say they want in a man, but they don’t exist well all in the same man. You’re going to have to choose which one you want.
I’ve dealt with and A, and God knows I’ve dealt with a B. I’ve tried to make an A more B and a B more A, and it did not work.
But then there’s J.A.S, who is all of those things this guy says one man can’t be, and he blows this theory out of the water.
“Reagan, that’s what you may think about him but you can’t have it all. Not in one person,” the stranger promises. He leans over towards me, and kisses the side of my cheek. This perfect stranger whispers in my ear before he gets up off the couch, that he enjoyed our talk, and that he hoped we would bump into one another real soon, and maybe the outcome will be slightly different.
I ponder his assessment as I wander back to the bar for a second drink. Is J.A.S the exception to the rule?
Maybe I’m lucky.