The Roommate

When I was young and at the birth of my career, I needed roommates to afford living in a half way decent home in the San Francisco Bay Area. One applicant was a very attractive woman I shall call Carol. She was young, slender, intelligent, good conversationalist, had a good sense of humor, great career, and as mentioned, very attractive. I really wanted to ask her out. With the specific goal of making her my girlfriend. The problem was, after many a bad roommate experience, I needed a chance to a good quality roommate, free of drama and problems. I had to define my needs. Either put on the full charm and acquire a rare catch, or realize that even entertaining the desire to make such a move would have disastrous consequences in tenant / roommate relationship. So, a decision had to be made.

For 5 nights I went for walks around the block after arriving home from the studio. Several times, As many as 20 consecutive laps. All the while balancing the need for a great roommate with the desire for a hot girlfriend. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, I thought. But cake was not what was on my mind. If the roommate need was truly primary it would require me to eliminate ALL thoughts of “Cake”. If the desire for a new date won out, I would have to immediately resume the search for the right roommate. Not an easy task as I am somewhat picky.

After countless internal battles, surprisingly, the need for a roommate won out. But once confirmed, the next step was actually more difficult: The Purging. I had to vanquish the normal healthy thoughts of a young male. Completely annihilate them. Wipe them out.  Which I did. Completely and fully. And Carol and I became roommates – quite good. With no other desire or attraction left form my side, we actually became quite close. Almost like brother and sister. Which made it a little strange when she started dating a childhood friend of mine, Ed.

Ed and I grew up together since elementary school. We were on swim teams together, water polo, and even dating the same girl back in high school. There was one thing Ed was known for, and after taking many cold showers after swim practice with him I can attest to, he was much more well endowed than I. So, now the roommate that I had purposefully chosen because I wanted less drama in the house, would be moaning in the bedroom all night long with my childhood friend.  I learned to go for even more walks.

After a few months the passion subsided and they broke up. Carol dated other guys. Many other guys. She seemed to have sex pretty frequently, at least in comparison to my own reference point. In fact, it seemed like she would only go out with guys if they treated her to elegant evenings out and then came home for moaning quality sex.  That seemed to be her lifestyle. Work hard during the week. On the weekends get treated to a nice date, then come home for heavy sex.  Not my own lifestyle, but certainly entertaining as a voyeur roommate.  So, I was a little surprised when she asked me to sit down to dinner with her because she had something she wanted to talk about. Something emotional. Something that, she said, was intimate and concerned me. We sat down and she began by explaining how much she liked living with me. That she didn’t want to endanger what we had as roommates. That we have become very close.

Yes, yes, yes…..?

So, she wanted to let me know that she…………….
Yes?
… had decided to become gay.

Huh?  What?
I thought everyone says that was not a decision? I thought people knew if they were or weren’t? I really thought she was going to say something else!  But she continued on about how things just were not working out for her and all the guys she had dated. So, she felt it was best to switch sides and try the other bench for a while.

Well, not much I could say or do in that situation. She was concerned that I might feel uncomfortable and dump her as a roommate. I saw no reasons that her new path would affect our relationship, either as friends or roommates. But once she started bringing her new dates home I began to notice something very interesting. She treated these woman so much nicer than she had treated the men she dated. It became apparent that the men were thought of as something to be used for sex or for shows or dinners out; that expectations on the men were much different than they were on the women. The woman were treated kindly, with great concern. They were listened to and not argued with. There was not the expectation to be taken out for the night, but rather she would treat her dates or maybe go dutch.  Now I am not making a judgment on Carol. And I certainly am not going to attempt to explain whether this was a nature VS nurture thing. I am just explaining what I saw and why, from my perspective, the relationships she had with woman seemed to work out better for her.

I thought, gosh I would hate to be one of those guys and get treated that way, when I know she had a much better side to her.  And then I realized something. I almost WAS one of those guys. Or at least I wanted to be, at one time. In fact, I had to vigorously fight the desire to want to be one of those guys. Now, here I was SO GLAD I wasn’t one of those guys. And super grateful that I was just her friend and roommate.

So, what is the take away from this little tale? In making a decision, base it on what is truly most important for the long term. And once that decision is made, stick with it. Cut off other possibilities, eliminate them, get them out of your head, and you can use that energy on what you have decided to focus on.  If you do, you will be happier in the end. I certainly was.  Oh, also, sometimes the fantasy and desire is far better than the reality.

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