Put Yourself Out There…


It’s one date. You’ve got this. Even if you don’t have this, pretend like you have this. Do this for me. Do this for us – you and your conscience. You’ve got this. I believe in you. We believe in you. You’re off to a great start. You put yourself out there. All those damn self-help books say that this is the first step. I have no idea what the other steps are. I didn’t read beyond the first couple steps and I remember only this one.

I‘m sure ‘pay attention to your coffee date’ is probably one of the steps, but I just can’t commit to it right now. I’m a one-step-at-a- time sort of gentleman, and frankly, I’m okay with this underwhelming pace. I think it’s appropriate for this particularly underwhelming human being.

I don’t remember what he does for a living. I think it has to be stressful because he got these extra shots of espresso. I think he does something with numbers. Accounting or investing; those things are virtually the same to me, and I regret saying that because now he’s explaining the difference as if they’re not. as If I’ve asked him to explain and I haven’t.

I’m only hardly more interesting. I’m a writer. Some mornings.

Never consistently, it seems, but often enough to get things published online and have that shit go viral enough to make me seem important on dinner dates. I know that, comparatively, I’m no more important than anyone else, but please don’t tell that to the men I’ve ended up on dates with.

“So I’ve read your work..” they mention as if I hand out pop quizzes upon that announcement. I don’t. I struggle writing that shit for weeks, sometimes. In actuality, my writing is almost the last thing I’d like to talk about on a date, even ‘weather’ ranks slightly higher.

.“So what’s your inspiration?” men I hardly know like to ask,

It’s a bit unfair that they can research the work I do so far in advance. I didn’t look up the files of expense reports you drafted up in the last fiscal quarter. I wanted to be surprised. Did you not want some element of surprise this late morning?

No. You wanted to ask questions about “inspiration” like you’re fucking NPR. I write about gay shit. Because I’m a gay guy. Columns for magazines, blogs, occasionally Huffington Post likes to make excuses for why they won’t pay me. I write about life. My inspiration is life.

I go on dates with accountants or investors or whatever and find shit to write about. Then I go on more, where you ask me these questions. It’s cyclical. You stay perpetually impressed, my soon-to-be agent will be happy, all at the expense of being able to enjoy myself on dates ever again.

I’m not sure who exactly wins on these dates. I just get through them one at a time, and it’s been some time since my last date or write up.

But here I am, putting myself out there because a book I didn’t even buy recommend it.

And I admit, I’m not even here for the coffee. I’m here for the bestseller. Do I actually plan on growing with Chad the accountant? No. I don’t.

Just sit quietly, Chad, and let this bestseller write itself.

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