Dating career guy
An acquaintance convinced her friend, a man, and me, a woman, that we should meet.She gave us each other’s contact information so we could fail or succeed in private.He broke up with me as he’d loved me, long-distance. I heated my house with a woodstove, so I explained that fresh-cut wood is green and must season.If I’d seen him incompletely, he’d objectified me too, socio-economically: He saw my womanhood as so earthy it literally seized up his heart. My date was vegan, but he’d picked out a restaurant that wasn’t—out of courtesy, hospitality, or there weren’t vegan restaurants back then. My date ordered pasta, no sauce; I was too hungry to tell him that pasta contains eggs. We went back to his house where, in the fireplace, he lit wadded-up newspapers under clippings from hedges he’d trimmed that day. He found this interesting, or alluring, because he asked me to spend the night. I’d arranged for a cord of wood to be delivered the next day.
But I left town and, due to a series of bad relationships and improbably good grades, I stayed in school and earned a Ph. Then I was an adolescent who read Gloria Steinem and saw the feminists on TV.I grew up in a town known for hunting, fishing, bars, strip joints—even a house of ill repute, until it burned to the ground when, according to town gossip, a prostitute tried to make a grilled sandwich on a steam iron.It was like the setting for “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” only not suspenseful.Back when I was a freshman in college my sorority “Big Sis,” who was pushing super-senior status at the time, finally dumped her no-good jerk boyfriend and was ready to put herself back in the game.After a few short-lived moments of toying around with several rebound options, she quickly settled into a new relationship.