Dear Blind Date from the Other Night,
I am extremely sorry that I peed on myself when you brought me home. And not in a kinky-European-porn way. I mean in an I-couldn't-make-it-from-the-couch-to-the-bathroom-so-I-peed-on-my-Diane-von-Furstenburg-wrap-dress-and-you-helped-me-into-your-bathtub-as-you-turned-on-the-shower way. Then, because I still thought we were on a date and still wanted to sleep with you, I tried to act sexy, touching myself for you to watch even though I couldn't really stand up straight, until you told me to stop, dressed me in your Lollapalooza '98 t-shirt and a gigantic pair of Santa-print flannel pajama pants, gave me cab fare and told me to go home.
It wasn't the first time that happened, either. The first time was a few years ago, when I was in college and heading over to a guy's apartment and ended up peeing on myself in his entranceway, right after he buzzed me up. Reminding myself of that makes me feel better, makes me feel like I'm not alone, even if I'm only comparing myself to myself.
Until recently, I used to drink a bottle of wine before a first date. It's the only time I'll drink alone. It's a behavior I've tried to spin into some sort of Sex and the City style anecdote even though I know it's not normal. But I justify it because I don't usually get drunk — not really with friends, not by myself, only with — or before — meeting a man.
Guys don't know that. When they meet me, I seem confident, bubbly, a career girl with blown-out hair, knee-high leather boots, a Marc Jacobs bag and four-inch heels, who's maybe just a tiny bit buzzed. Just in case, I always issue a standard disclaimer along with my introduction: "Sorry, I just came from a glass of wine with a friend." I hold onto eye contact, concentrating on the space between his eyebrows. I know myself too well and know that if I didn't have a focal point, I'll look away — probably toward the bar.
Invariably, he smiles and relaxes into himself. I like that. After all, he knows what he's getting: a party girl, one with friends, an active social calendar, someone who's looking for a good time.
I know, I sound like an alcoholic. And maybe, at age twenty-six and countless sexual decisions driven by one — or five — too many cocktails, I am. It's a phrase I've often experimented with: I'm an alcoholic. When I say it, it sounds like an icebreaker game. It doesn't sound real.
"What do you like more, drinking or sex?" One guy asked me that three years ago, the winter I was twenty-three. It was probably the tenth time we'd slept together. At one point, we seemed to be on a sort of relationship track, with actual dates, phone calls on nights we didn't see each other and daytime back-and-forth e-mail banter while we were at our respective jobs. That was before our fifth date, before I began drunk-dialing him as many as twelve times in a night. Quickly, our fledgling romance downgraded to friends with benefits. We never really discussed it, but it was something I tacitly understood. I was okay with that.
"I don't know?" I tried to sound coy. He'd just rolled off me and I felt sweat-sticky all over.
"I know the answer," he half-sighed. He kissed me. Because I was drunk, I kissed him back. "You love your booze."