I’m From Garland, TX.

by Marquise Lee

Satellite overhead image of Texas from Google Earth 2022

I met the first guy I ever dated on the Internet, of course, where we had a brief dialog before we decided to physically meet.  We knew very little about one another other than that which was posted to our profiles or divulged in our short email correspondences.  The limited information that I did possess essentially equated to, “an Attractive grade school teacher originally from Bumble-Fuck, Pennsylvania named Jared.”

Without much to go on, I found myself utilizing my imagination to mold Jared into the “ideal” man of my dreams.  Back then my ideal would have possessed a thinner athletic build, tone and smooth.  He’d have been an intellectual dreamer, proper, a bit introverted, subtle; with European fashion sensibilities. He’d have had a sarcastic humor and romantically, he’d have been extremely attentive and sensual.

Once I met and started to get to know Jared I discovered hardly a trace of the aforementioned ideals.  He was fit but had aspirations to bulk up far beyond a thin athletic build. He was a practical extrovert with a brutally brute sense of humor and a distinctly suburban American fashion sense.  I’ll just say that I would have considered most of his traits less than ideal at the time, spelling them out any further would suggest that I wasn’t into him when in actuality I was.

I guess the fact that he was attractive and had a gorgeous smile had a lot to do with it. But that can only go so far, right? I mean, we were really different from one another.  We shared hardly any common ground when it came to personal interests, entertainment, politics, religion etc…  Whether it was choosing where and with whom we’d hang out with, picking a TV program to watch, or even determining sexual acts and positions, someone typically ended up compromising on their own desires.   Of course I always felt that I was the predominate compromiser but I’m certain Jared would have strongly disagreed with that sentiment. Clearly this type of relationship wasn’t sustainable and it fizzled away in only a few months.

Thinking back about how I imagined him prior to our meeting makes me wonder if and how he might have imagined me.  I have a general sense of what his ‘ideal’ man would be like and I know that I didn’t fit that ideal, nor would I have desired too.  I was young, thin, and inexperienced; far too considerate and indifferent.  My political views didn’t align succinctly with those akin to Hillary Clinton’s, and the idea of raising a kid in suburbs was alien to me.  We would even differ on the simplest of things…  he’d suggest that I change my hair, to which I would dismiss in laughter. I’d recommend that he try slimmer fitting jeans, which I still believe he would have looked good in. His response? Flamboyant repulsion.  He wanted me to enjoy the sitcom “Sisters”; I didn’t! I attempted to instill an appreciation for dive bars and Conor Oberst’s music in him. I failed! To his persistence, he nearly got me to attend church service with him.

This was in essence the only reason we were able to last as long as we did and why we never stood a chance at all. It was a challenge, we were trying to change each other; trying to conform and mold one another to embody our ideals.  No less, at a time in our lives when both of us were abandoning such external projections.  Ironic huh?

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