Show Me Your Work

There’s making a decision. Then there’s explaining a decision.

My decision to stop dating, to dismiss the idea of love and romance in my life? A sound decision. One I’ve circled since my last relationship ended in 2016. And maybe before that, when my boss (full disclosure: I am an executive assistant) gave me a “thank you for putting up with my shit” speech right before he gave me a $2,000 bonus and I remembered every time I’d heard a similar sentiment with no tangible reward at the end.

Either way, it’s 2022. I’ve workshopped this theory for six years. There isn’t a possibility or corner that I haven’t considered.

Still. I’m knocked on my ass when confronted with hope. I don’t know how to not sound like an asshole in the face of a true believer.

“But like, you’d change your mind if you met the right person…” a friend asked as we sat around another friend’s kitchen table, drinking wine and catching up the way college roommates do under the worst circumstances.

“I don’t believe there is a right person,” I answered. When that wasn’t enough, I launched my litany.

Men aren’t fun.

Talking to them is boring.

I’m 38 years old and the likelihood that I will be fucked well by a man my age diminishes by the minute.

I can send myself into full convulsions, I-see-stars-and-pass-out-for-15-30-minutes types of pleasure with the flick of my wrist.

And if you’re talking about emotional support, let me tell you how — as a hetero woman — I will always shoulder the emotional labor because women are nurturers but I am not.

Irrefutable logic in my head. Out of my mouth? It did not give what I needed it to give.

It shouldn’t matter. Except sixteen years after earning a degree in Mass Media Communications, I pride myself on effectively relaying a message. I don’t need you to agree, but when I show you my work, I need you to say “Hm. I see how you got here.”

When that doesn’t happen, I’ve failed.

So I need to tweak my message. Make it short. Sexy. Irrefutable.

“I don’t date,” she says as she swirls the red wine in her glass.

“Why?”

“Well…”

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a girl named rob

I used to be "skinny black girl." I'm now a slender woman on the other side of 35 with no new moniker who is not quite interested in writing under her given name. Still writing my life, a day (or some months) at a time. Also, still black.

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