When my editor asked if I’d be interested in writing a column about being a single girl in Charleston, I have to admit I was eager, but a bit hesitant. It’s not that I can’t be forthcoming about my own life and failed escapades, it’s just that they are so few and far between. You see, it has been a while since I’ve agreed to a date, and though I’m writing a column about relationships, it might surprise you that I absolutely abhor dating. It reminds me of my experience watching a movie called Envy on HBO the other day.
The film looked great on paper — the plot seemed funny, some of my favorite actors were in it, and it was directed by Barry Levinson. I was really excited to watch it, but for two hours I ended up splitting my time between the second hand on my clock and the faded glow of the television set, staring blankly into the screen like a dog being shown a card trick. Much in the same vein of that craptacular waste of celluloid, the act of casual dating is awkward, problematic, and a psychological cock-tease. Media outlets, publishers, and online dating communities have made millions upon millions off insecure singles like myself, willing to pay any price to find that one person we can at least tolerate until death do us part. There are even dating coaches out there, for Christ’s sake! Since when did a concept as simple as dating become like training for the 2006 Winter Games in Torino?
When it comes down to it, dating always makes me feel like a big fat liar with fantastic highlights. The last time I went out on a date, I got my nails done, my hair did, and my eyebrows waxed. (Just my eyebrows, sickos, it was the first date…) While I sat across from my latest victim, I had to consciously remind myself not to drop an f-bomb or make any dead baby jokes, because God forbid I scare him away with the real me. During initial dates, you are always forced to put on your dating camouflage, which, let’s face it, is essentially lying to the person. I rarely get my hair and nails done, and I certainly have a low pain threshold when it comes to waxing. Any of the boys who sit with me backstage at Theatre 99 before an improv show will tell you that I can make even the raunchiest of them blush with my sailor’s mouth, but when it comes to dating, I casually sweep the dust under my merkin and behave like a supporting player on 7th Heaven.
Maybe that’s why I detest dating so much. I pride myself on being a fairly honest person, and when I go out on a date, I feel like I’m just being deceitful. So partly, that makes me a good person, but at the same time, it calls attention to my insecurities even more. I don’t have to hide who I am; I just choose to do so. I think it’s high time that I stop with the bullshit, and then maybe, just maybe, I’ll actually start enjoying myself on dates. Yes, I like to tell dirty jokes. Sure, I am an absolute slob at heart. If I could wear a stained sweatsuit every day to hide my gut, I would. And one of my favorite things in the world is eating French fries dipped in chocolate pudding while watching reruns of Full House. Come and get it, boys!
Listen to Jessica Chase weekday mornings on 98X.
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