I began driving for Uber to get me out of the house, meet people, and make funds much needed to upgrade from propane-tasting vodka to something better. I’ve been avoiding the 2am drunk-ass rides for obvious reasons, so I’m happy to report most of my riders are quite nice. In fact, I picked up a woman yesterday who needed a lift to LAX. That’s a 90-mile ride. Conversation ensued. Naturally, she asked what else I do for money.
“I write humorous books about dating and relationships.”
“Oh. Let me look you up.”
“Naw. Here’s a book. I keep them in my glove box, just in case. I must warn you: There are dirty words and sarcasm inside.”
She opened the book and began reading. I was horrified. You’d think a somewhat narcissistic prick like me would be apathetic about her reaction. Yet, I kept glancing in my rearview anxiously awaiting smiles and chuckles. There were none. Her reaction was like I had just laid a tritonal hardboiled egg fart and rolled up the windows.
“I don’t believe this is you. You seem so nice in person.”
Ah, the irony of it all. I explained that the “nice guy” thing was my volley of sarcasm. I defended my honor by assuring her about my niceness. There were twenty miles to go. I couldn’t have her diving out of a moving vehicle.
“Sorry. Just my attempt at humor on those pages.”
“Are you single?”
“Don’t you want a girlfriend?”
“Then, why would you write things to scare women away?”
There was no defending it. Nothing I could say would make her believe Ms. Right-For-Me would become dewy over my prose. After many frustrations, I have learned that we can’t change taste and preference; We can only respect a person’s right to have them.
This is a lovely woman, married 20+ years, with six children. She loves her husband and children, and can’t begin to fathom a love search through my eyes. She’s not my audience. I should know better.
Or, maybe she’s right. Maybe I should be nicer. I should tame my frustrations, control my anger, and put out a kinder, gentler version of myself to attract the love life people say I deserve. Sure, that would be somewhat disingenuous, but it would certainly make the dating forest more fertile.
Let me try: “Hi. I’m Phil. You’re adorable. I’m ready for love. Give me a chance. I’ll cherish you eternally.”
Ick. Fucking ick.