Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Man, The Woman, The Legend.

Urban legends, right in time for Halloween. Not only are there scary urban legends, there are the sort of urban legends that Single Girls tell to each other to feel better-- things like "It's not you; it's him. He's obviously crazy, and he'll be begging you to come back next week, just wait and see." That, my friends, is a total myth, and one we all know is complete bullshit.

So which do you think is more unbelievable, the ones we choose to re-tell, hope attached, or the ones told to give us goosebumps of the un-delicious kind? The stories of the friend-of-a-friend-of-a-cousin whose fiancée cheated on her, and then repented to become the best husband and father there ever was, or the one about the girl who came home late one night to her dorm room, drunk, and fell right into bed, only to wake up in the morning to find her roommate brutally murdered, and the words "Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the lights?" written in her blood on their wall? Appalachia's Tailypo story scared the shit out of me when I was a kid, but the legend about how it's women who least expect it find the perfect guy is supposed to give us hope? How do we least expect it, if we're all frantically looking for it? Sure it happens, but never in the way we're least expecting it to.

And what about Hook Man? Maybe at one time, he had showed up under a girl's window with a boombox and won her over. And alligators in New York City's sewers. Oh, wait-- that one's true. Do you know what other Single Girl urban legend is sometimes true? The girl who had a one-night-stand that turned into a relationship.

Once upon a time, I had a one-night-stand. I had met the guy a week previously. We spent about 2 hours talking, on a kind of set-up, and that's all it took to convince me he was attractive, convince him I was cute, and convince both of us that we should end our respective dry-spells. We slept together for one night, and then never again. I ran out of my apartment the next morning at 8 AM, leaving him eating breakfast in my living room.

Once upon another time, I had another one-night-stand. This time, I had no disillusions about it being anything but-- we both knew it. He asked me to spend the night; I had brought my overnight bag with me. He kissed me goodbye the next morning; I was confused, yet triumphant. It was like big-game safari hunting, campus edition. 5 days later, he called. He wanted into a relationship. Thus started a 330+ day on-again, off-again unholy partnership of egos, lengths of silence punctuated by periods of too much talking, the exchanging of books and saliva and lots and lots of stories, and just enough occasional sweetness to make it actually seem like an ok idea when barely lucid. The fling was flung. Man, myth, legend.

Like how my mom used to chop all my Halloween stash candy bars in half because of that urban parenthood legend about psychopaths shoving needles and razor blades into trick-or-treating candy, proceed with caution when it comes to these stories, and like with all urban Single Girls legends and gossip, take it with a grain of salt. Someone else's sort-of-optimistically-Unhappy-Ever-After may be just what you're looking for, or it may be the sort of thing you told around campfires to hear other people's screams. Moral of the legend? Promiscuous sex rarely leads to relationships-- it tends to lead more to things like venereal diseases, people saying "I'll call you" and then never doing so or never returning your calls, and terse mornings spent hovering over the toilet bowl making all sorts of strange promises to different gods re: your fertility-- but sometimes, when all the planets align, and the air smells right, and when you least expect it, sometimes, it will at least lead to a second night. Or a whole bunch of second nights. Boo. Scary, ain't it?


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