Traditionalism. What exactly makes a traditionalist? Usually the word brings to mind Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, and I can’t say that paints a positive picture. Generally I don’t think of myself as a traditionalist—should sex be saved for marriage? Do men have to be the breadwinners? Do you have to get married? Does a woman have to change her name? My answer to all these questions is a resounding no.
Yet, after an experience at my favorite bar two weekends ago, I’ve started reevaluating my supposed non-traditionalist status.
A friend and I went to one of my favorite bars and I ended up chatting with the bartender. I can’t say we talked about anything really important, or meaningful, but it was really fun. He gave me free samples and he was really cute. But, when it came time to leave I didn’t give him my number, even though there were several awkward silent moments while saying goodbye, as if each of us was waiting for the other to make a move. I kicked myself all the way home and made sure I’d come back the next weekend.
So, last night Sapphire and I went back to the bar hoping that my cute bartender would be there again. And he was. Kind of. The bar is also a restaurant and he was working as a server that night instead of a bartender, so we made eye contact, said hello, and that was it. Sapphire and I had a good time, drank some beer out of a really cool glass, and then met up with some of her friends for a birthday. I wasn’t too upset, because, like I said, it’s one of my favorite bars. I’ll be back.
At the birthday bar, I again found myself lacking the lady balls to put myself out there and ask for a phone number. Or give out mine. While escaping from some super creepy guys that followed us around, I met a microbiologist. He was tall, smart and didn’t try any funny business on the dance floor (I’m not opposed to the bump and grind, but I wasn’t feeling it that night). Instead we had fun, he twirled me around a few times, chatted, and eventually I felt like I needed to at least reconnect with my party. I didn’t want them to think I left or something. But on my way to finding the girls, I lost him. And then Sapphire and I left.
Again, I wasn’t too disappointed. Okay, maybe a little. Do you know how hard it is to find a tall, smart, good-looking guy in Boston? It seems like you can have one, but not all of the three. Again I kicked myself (metaphorically) all the way home.
While I don’t necessarily believe in traditional relationships, I found that I am a traditionalist when it comes to gender roles. At least in the beginning. I want the guy to take the lead. He should ask for my number. He should plan the date. He should pick me up. After that, I’m fine with being the controller—the one making decisions and organizing. I like knowing what is going on and where things are going and what exactly I am doing.
But he should be prepared to keep up with me.