Don Bauder 5:30 p.m., Nov. 20
- Community Blog
- The Single Life: Random Adventures in Awesome
Playing the Player
Playing someone or getting played has become a common phrase in our dating lives. It seems more and more often we hear people speaking of hating the player or the game, playing the game, or getting played by the player. Why are so many of us falling prey to this elusive player that sneaks up and catches us off guard during this complex game? If it is so common, shouldn’t we know better? Aren’t there signs that the game has started and we are getting pounded? Although the players always leave glaring clues of their identity as well as the rules of their game, we ignore and play on. It feels so guiltless to call it being played or pretend the alleged player has some kind of super vagina/penis hypnotizing power. If this player exists, we never have to take responsibility for our inaction in dating, love or sex. Here’s the story.
I met a man from Venezuela. He was tall, funny, had greasy longish hair and he wore a lot of raggedy bracelets that looked like the odds and end of his world travels. I generally seethed with anger when I saw him because he reminded me of a boy I dated for a minute, who was a manipulative ass-head. This is what I saw, but all the other women in the office saw a tall, handsome foreigner with smoldering brown eyes, tousled bed hair and wrists bejeweled like an exotic Vegas pimp with the charm of a modern day prince.
Due to my bias and illogical repulsion by Mr. Wonderful’s presence, I was able to be friends with him and have no attraction whatsoever. We both liked to drink a lot, eat, act like jackasses and then drink more. Oh sigh…..he could have been my platonic soul-mate. I even identified with his girl chasing. He always talked about women and what a pariah he was. I highly doubted his self-proclaimed glory, but I found it entertaining and every once in a while I would get to throw in one of my tales of glory and boy chasing.
Office observations and rumors began circulating and speculating on our friendship as he and I spent lunches at the beach, surfed on the weekends, and were the first at happy hour every Friday. My female office mates said, “You should go for him. He’s so good looking.”
“Guys, I’m not into him and he is not into me. We are just friends and I want to keep it that way. I love having a drinking buddy.”
“Ok. But he’s so good-looking. Whatever, one of these drinking nights it’s going to happen.”
I hoped not, but knowing me, the possibility was certainly there and if it happened, oh well. Oh well?
As soon as I thought, “if we kiss, oh well,” I knew there was finally an attraction brewing. However, I am a smart girl who has read He’s Just Not That into You at least three times. I decided to ignore my body butterflies and forge the friendship. I knew over time the silly feeling would evaporate and I would still have a great friendship.
…and this would have worked had I not been the target of a player.
While I was establishing a carefree friendship, he was laying track in preparation to…park…ride….something about his train and….I don’t think I need to finish this far too explicit metaphor.
Weeks and weekends of hanging out come and go. One Saturday morning, Mr. Wonderful texted, “What r you doing tonite?”
“No plans. TV, wine, movie, myself? What r you up to?”
“There is party at my friend’s house. The Italian girls.”
“Cool. I’m sure you’ll have fun. Lots of girls.”
“Or………you could come with me.”
This sounded unusual and like a date. No. It couldn’t be. I had meticulously gone through Greg Behrendt’s signs and I knew this guy had no romantic or sexual interest in me….Suddenly I recalled the chapter about most guys having no problem with sabotaging or ditching a friendship for sex. Dang.
I texted back, “I don’t really know those girls, so I’m gonna stay here, but thanks.”
Hopefully he would read the subtle message behind the curt text: We are just friends so stop running game.
On Sunday he texted again, “What r u doing?”
“Nothing much. Just doing some work.”
“You know I am professional lover?”
“Are you drunk?”
“No, ja, ja, ja. You know I am professional lover? “He asked again.
“Yeah, yeah. You’ve told me.”
“….You want try...”
What? Was he booty calling me? I checked the time. 9:30 pm. A little early for a booty call, but maybe there is a booty call time difference between countries. I responded, “What have you been drinking?”
“not drunk. Come over.”
“I think you r tired. Go to sleep. I’ll see you tomorrow.” So, this was annoying and dangerous.
Two weeks later, we drank a lot of beer, all of our friends mysteriously left early, and he made his move. While I did fall prey to some making out and cuddling, I turned him down when he tried to consummate me as a chump who just got played. Yes, drunk and horny, I said no to sex because I had kind of figured out his game. I felt invincible. This feeling was confirmed the next week when a female coworker, who I have occasionally seen in the halls, asked me about Mr. Wonderful:
“Hey, you are friends with Mr. wonderful right?”
“Well, everyone is telling me they heard he is a bad guy but I don’t know why. He told me that I should ask you since you are his friend.”
As we chatted, we discovered that these texts and tactics of his were being used among at least 3 different girls, one of which was me, another of which was her. I was overjoyed as the sun rose over my single life and I achieved dating girl Nirvana: I did not get serious about a douche bag and I did not get played! There were even larger ramifications from this success…if I had not been played then he was a little less of a player.
Hypothesis: If you recognize the player, then deny the player and thus do not get played, the player ceases to exist as he is denied into extinction. He or she can only be defined by the bodies that lay waste like used condom wrappers in his or her sexual history. If you want sex, but no one will give it up, you’re just single and going through a dry spell, but definitely not a player. Rejoice people! You do not have to get played. Read the book and resist temptation for a better option. The next time you are drunk and horny, sex-up the nice guy or girl standing next to the wannabe douche bag/player.