It’s Not You, It’s Me

“So how did it go on Friday?”

“Pretty good. Dinner, drinks. Then she wanted to go back to my place.”

“That makes things easier.”

“Except in the morning, it’s either driving or cab fare.”

“You’re a gentleman.”

“Not really. But I have my standards.”

“So did she stay the night?”

“And then some.”

“What do you mean?”

“She woke me in the morning, if you know what I mean.”

“Gotcha. You know, maybe I’m alone in this opinion, but I don’t like morning sex.”

“You’re not alone. Last thing I want to do is go down on a woman while my mouth still tastes like stale beer and her.”

“First thing you want to do is piss.”

“Then there’s that.”

“So what happened? You’re sleeping and she just starts blowing you?”

“Pretty much. She was subtle about it.”

“What do you mean, subtle?”

“I was asleep for the first three minutes of it.”

“That’s subtle.”

“Then I woke up, you know.”

“Right.”

“So she looks up at me with this smile, a little bit of something glistening in the corner of her lips. She’s got her eyelids half-closed sleepy-like, trying to look sexy, I guess. Then I notice.”

“What?”

“Her pores.”

“Her pores?”

“She’s got the biggest goddamn pores I’ve ever seen.”

“Big pores?”

“Big pores. Like pig pores. Hollow holes all over her face. Up close they’re like craters. From a few feet away she’s like a pointillist drawing. It’s very distracting.”

“You didn’t notice this before?”

“She’s always wearing makeup.”

“That’s a lot of makeup.”

“And it was dark.”

“Pig pores, I mean. It would take a lot of foundation to cover up pig pores.”

“What do I know about it?”

“How many times have you gone out with her?”

“Six.”

“And you slept with her every time?”

“Pretty much. There was the one time we just did it in the car and she had me drop her at some party in Venice.”

“How did you just now notice the pig pores?”

“Like I said, she usually wears makeup. We usually stay at her place, and I guess she gets up early and does her face.”

“Sounds like she’s comfortable enough with you now to show you her enormous pores.”

“I guess.”

“So what did you do then? After your wake-up call?”

“What could I do?”

“Okay. Fair enough. What did you do after that?”

“We showered and went to breakfast. Then I drove her home.”

“Did she put on makeup before breakfast?”

“Yeah. It was okay after that.”

“Breakfast was fine? You weren’t repulsed by the idea of her humongous pores hiding behind a thin layer of makeup?”

“No, she looked fine. Like always.”

“But you’re breaking up with her.”

“I don’t know if I’d call it ‘breaking up.’ We weren’t really dating.”

“Six dates. Sex every time. Morning blowjobs. Trust me. You’re dating.”

“I don’t think so.”

“So what are you going to tell her? ‘Sorry, I can’t go out with you because your pig pores give me the willies?'”

“Of course not. It’s got nothing to do with that.”

“What are you going to say?”

“‘It’s not you, it’s me.'”

“Unbelievable.”

“Believe me. It works.”

“I can’t believe women actually let you get away with that line.”

“I know.”

“It’s been parodied on TV even.”

“I know.”

“And chick-lit.”

“I know.”

“You’d think they would be wise to it by now.”

“What are they going to do? Argue? Force me to admit it’s them? Why would they do that? It’s like that ‘Have you stopped beating your wife’ question. There’s no way out of it.”

“If you tell me it’s you and not me, and I push you to explain, it ends up being me and not you.”

“Exactly.”

“And that’s why women don’t push for a better answer?”

“Sure. Nobody wants it to be them. So if somebody admits it’s not you, you grab on. Let them take the blame and move on.”

“Maybe they think it’s true. Maybe they think it is you and not them.”

“Come on.”

“I think most women are able to convince themselves that it’s the man who has the problem with the relationship. I think women view themselves as the ones more willing to compromise and accommodate in order to ensure the survival of the relationship. I think that’s the default understanding when it comes to emotional intimacy.”

“You’re probably right about that.”

“So when you tell a woman that it’s you and not her, you’re confirming her suspicion that it is not her pig pores or sex habits which result in incompatibility, but the fact that you are a man-child with the emotions of a lecherous monkey, which makes you incapable of an honest, intimate relationship with a member of the opposite sex.”

“Why do they get so pissed off and freaked out about it then?”

“Because they know it’s about them. They know it’s the pig pores and sex. They know that’s all a superficial monkey-boy cares about.”

“Why can’t I just say that? ‘Sorry, but we’ve had sex six times now and it’s not improving.'”

“You are saying that when you say it’s not them, it’s you.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s not her who’s lousy at sex – it’s you.”

“That’s not what I mean.”

“I know. But it is what you’re saying.”