Almost a year ago, I was casually seeing a guy that I really liked — probably because he was as sarcastic and intolerable as I am. However, despite the awesome banter and awesome, ahem, other stuff, the situation never materialized into something more, due at least in part to the moment when I essentially told him, "I don’t care."
This moment occurred at the end of an otherwise excellent evening about a month into our dalliance. We were leaving a South Austin bar, holding hands and heading back to my apartment when he mentioned that my address was saved in his GPS.
"Oh," I replied. "You’re not even saved in my phone."
Prompted by his incredulous, understandably insulted expression, I explained my logic: "Guys are like puppies — you can’t name them or you get attached."
As I mentioned in one post, some men I’ve met and connected with (both emotionally and sometimes, ya know, physically) are saved in my phone under monikers that I also use when discussing them with my friends. Take Man Bun, for example. Despite the fact that I’ve gone out with him half a dozen times, his real name remains a mystery to, well, everyone. All they know is that he has long hair that is sometimes worn in a bun (get it?).
And I’m not the only one who does this. Over the course of a few years, my friends have collectively spent time with about a million men whose, of course, words, actions and sexual preferences have been analyzed over a million brunches. (We apologize for anything you might have overheard at Bouldin Creek Cafe, by the way.)
Hot Dad, Google Guy, The Elf, Choker (named for his unfortunate necklace, not the kinky bedroom act, perverts) and the list goes on. There was even a particular gentleman — I use that term loosely — who routinely mistreated one of my girlfriends and, as a result, was dubbed Voldemort because he was the worst.
Yet, while I’ve spent hours of my life discussing all these guys’ actions and could easily identify them in a police lineup (in some cases naked — I've been forwarded quite a few photos), I couldn’t tell you their names to save my life. Mainly because we never use them.
Now, I know that, while some awful guys don’t deserve to be known via name (see: Voldemort, the pizza-slinging stoner who only texts me at 1 am to "come smoke and make out," and the Sixth Street bartender who sends me weird shirtless selfies), the good ones — the ones we genuinely care about — probably do.
I’m not sure if this no-names practice is an attempt to keep things casual and — just like a stray puppy — not get attached, or if it’s simply habit. When we’re drinking mimosas and dissecting 2 am texts from The Guy with the Great Ass, is it just a convenient practice? Or is it a form of objectification and somehow detrimental to finding something long-lasting?
I guess, for now, we can just boil it down to the classic Shakespearean question: "Would bros by any other name smell as sweet?"