Saturday, May 2, 2015

Addendum to Friday's post

It occurred to me shortly after I hit 'publish' on last night's post that I might have erred in centering it around veganism, because veganism is not the point. In the same way that parenting isn't always the point in STFU parents. These mommy- and daddy-jackers must have been just as tiresome before they became parents, but parenthood gave them a juicy focus for their self-centeredness.

In the same way, my thought experiment--would people say less stupid shit about food to me if I were a "militant" rather than a "reasonable" vegan--was a rhetorical one. And my eye-roll at the guy's inability to check the menu wasn't primarily a vegan issue; it was a dating issue. I did make this clear when I wrote that asking me to a vegan-hostile establishment would have been one thing if he didn't know I was vegan--if we hadn't had a whole conversation about it--but the issue was that he was aware enough of my dietary restrictions to reference them in the message, but couldn't be bothered to check the menu. The issue is, if he can't even be bothered to check the menu for a first date, what else can't he be bothered to do?

That question is always in the back of my mind in dating decisionmaking because the last stretch of my last relationship was characterized by my getting frustrated at F. for not being able to make a single arrangement--beyond the ones I later realized he was passive-aggressive about because he wasn't interested. I'd already given up on expecting (or asking) him to come up with plans on his own initiative--I just kept lowering my expectations, and he continued to fail to meet them. Even things that he wanted to do, he couldn't make happen: he couldn't make a reservation on time--even after I reminded him that the place filled up fast--to a restaurant he cared about more than I did. And yet, even he might have mustered that when we first started dating. Last week's guy can't even muster checking a menu before asking me out for the first time.

The last thing I want is not only another F., but another me in response to someone like F. At the time, I suppressed my frustration, told myself I wasn't entitled to it--that he was just being a guy, that I was asking too much. The behavior continued--it kept getting worse--and so did the frustration, and even as I tried to stifle it, it came out in subtler but nastier ways. If there's one thing I know I don't want in a partner, it's that kind of ineptitude, in part because I know that it would bring out the worst in me.

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