In a post not too long ago I discussed how I’m heading to Budapest for ten days with a few buddies. Then I wrote this post and had it scheduled. Then I told my girlfriend about this post and she kindly asked that I remove it from my schedule. I obliged – for the most part she’s pretty tolerant of my writing topics, but everyone has their limit. Then we broke up – but she asked if there was anything we could do to stay together and I laid out my terms. At this current point in time it’s not something I care to write about. Ultimately, we stayed together.
Then I made some edits to this post (understand this post is written in present tense but the events occurred a few weeks ago) for my girlfriend’s privacy, and now here we are.
Confused yet? Good. Cue explanation.
Unfortunately to Budapest happen, I kinda had to…stab my girlfriend in the back. So, let’s flash forward to a few months ago when she asked if I’d be willing to go on a week long vacation with her family. At the time, I’d just started my new job in Los Angeles and hadn’t written more than ten pages in my book.
It feels like forever ago.
When she first pitched me on the idea, I wasn’t thrilled on the town. They own a rotating timeshare, and this time the trip was to a little town in Northern California; “wine country” area. Now, when I say “little town”, I really mean it. We’re talking a population of less than 30,000 people. If you take a look at the TripAdvisor page for this town, there’s less than a dozen things to do/visit listed. On top of that, nine of those things to do are different wineries. I’m all for drinking, but drinking wine in a “tasting” environment where you have to keep it relatively classy doesn’t sound quite as appealing as going to a Budapest bath party…
When Holly (my girlfriend) originally talked to me about this trip she had said that she and I might have our own condo to ourselves, or worst case scenario, we would have to share with her brother and his girlfriend – both of whom I really like and get along with. Turns out though, it’s going to be us four and her parents (whom I really like, as well), all crammed into a two bedroom/two bathroom condo.
She claims that she made this clear from the get go, but my memory of that conversation goes very differently. While I’m sure it’s a pretty good-sized condo, this is a bullet list what is going through my head:
- Ten+ hour drive to middle of buttfuck nowhere town.
- Near my hometown, which I hate visiting other than to see my parents.
- Nothing to do but wineries, which is something for old people, anyways.
- Crammed in a condo really meant for a family of 4 with six people. This means I’ll be going an entire week of sleeping on a pull-out couch bed with my girlfriend but not getting to have any dominant sex.
- THIS TOWN HAS NOTHING TO DO!!!
My whole mindset was basically: this is a “vacation” that my grandma would love to go on. And while I was ok with the trip for a while, I began to realize that it wasn’t something I wanted to do. I didn’t want to burn through all of my vacation days that I currently have to take that trip. Even if it was “free” on paper (needless to say that as a man in a relationship it never ends up free), it just sounded like a trip that was going to torture me for a week with blue balls and wine.
Why the hell would I do something I didn’t want to do?
But then, something else came up. A local buddy of mine lost his job, but walked out of it with a decent severance package. We had talked since October of last year about taking a trip to Europe together in the spring of this year, but it never materialized as I figured I wouldn’t have the vacation hours to do it. When he lost his job, he brought up going again – and I realized I had enough hours to do it. I could do a Wednesday through the following Sunday and still have a leftover day – but planning like that gave us two entire weekends in a city.
Then he backed out.
Due to the high-turnover nature of his career, it was “now or next year” for him to find a job. So he bailed out, understandably, but I’d already requested the time off. I figured what the hell – I hit up Jeremy who was pumped about the idea, and we booked everything a day later.
A few weeks ago, I had to explain to Holly that I was bailing out on her and heading to Europe with Jeremy instead. You can imagine how a girl would feel about that.
This brings me back to the title of this post.
(As A Man) You Must Always Do You
You do what you want, when you want, however you please. Jeremy sent me a good text regarding the situation when I was grappling with the morality factor:
You’re a train on tracks. You’ll slow down or speed up for others sometime but you’ll never change the path of the tracks.
I’ve wanted to return to Europe since I got back last year and wrote about how much I missed it. If Cracking OKCupid continues to sell well, I very well might up and move there sometime in the next year. While I do love Holly, she and no other girl will get in the way of my mission.
Sometimes that means making very selfish decisions like I did in choosing Budapest over wine-vacation. I’ll be the first to say that it wasn’t the nicest or most morale thing I’ve ever done. In fact, it was pretty shitty. She feels like I stabbed her in the back.
I started out with the good ‘ol, “We need to talk”, conversation starter.
Then I just told her the truth.
“I’ve decided I do not want to go on the trip to <city>. It’s just not something I want to do. I’m going to Europe with Jeremy.
She said it felt like I was ditching her, and that I was thinking like someone who was single versus someone who is in a relationship. I understand where she’s coming from, but I look at the most successful relationships that I know, and frankly – the man acts like he’s single. He does whatever he wants.
She wished I’d talked to her about it beforehand.
But what would that have solved? It would have still ended up with her believing that I threw a knife in her back and twisted it a few times, for good measure. As red pill as my relationship (usually) is, here’s how I can see that conversation going down:
Me: So, I’m thinking I’m not going to go on your family vacation. Instead, I’m going to go party in Europe for ten days with some blogger friends.
Holly: Yeah…not cool. I’m going to be pissed/upset if you go through with that.
Which would have resulted in me going through with it anyway (exactly as happened) and her getting mad at me anyway (exactly as happened).
Different paths to the same same destination.
Of course, later that night she actually said that she was mad at herself that she was forgiving me, cue up…
I’m Young & Dumb
Not sure how well-known this is, but Holly is older than me by three and a half years. I’ll turn 24 in July. I grapple with the morality of whether or not I’m wasting her time. Thing is, I’ve made it crystal clear to her. She knows I don’t want to get married or have kids at the moment. She knows that if I do change my mind, I won’t go through on either of those things until I’m at least 30, probably 35-40. She believes that I “have those things in me” – and I fear that she thinks she’s the one that can bring it out of me.
Bring it out…meaning tame me. To lock me behind a white picket fence which encompasses a house with a small man cave, where I can go jerk off to increasingly disturbing levels porn as the years go by. Maybe there will even be hamsters involved at some point. Meanwhile, I’ll have a couple of little rugrats who I’ll come to resent because they locked me in a jail cell at work and killed my dreams of going to Europe and frolicking with barely legal girls at bath parties. Hopefully I can find those hamsters on PornHub.
She says that she was selfish at 23, too. She said she grew out of it, and that I will, too.
It’s every girl’s dream to tame the “bad boy” – though I can barely call myself that with a straight face. The morality I grapple with is whether to even let a girl try. Once you’ve seen the other side, it’s hard to go back. When girls take two hour train rides to see you because you don’t give a fuck, it’s hard to go back to thinking from an unselfish standpoint. When selfishness gets you further than being a nice guy, it’s nearly impossible to think of your significant other in your relationship. Because in reality, making the selfish choice actually makes her more attracted to you. And you get to do what you want. Reap all of the benefits while staying away from the picket fence and midget porn.
Despite the negative vibe of this post, I’m chuckling over here. I’m going to Budapest for ten days in a month. How bad could life be?
I’d love to hear thoughts about the last part of this post (morality, taming the bad boy, hamster). Sound off below.