He sent me a small message. By phone. As we all do now.
I’m not dating seriously, just something casual, he declared.
A two-day-late response that wasn’t really in response to anything.
The last two times he’d asked for a drink I’d been unable and said so. I wasn’t playing games, was simply busy. We’ll touch base this weekend, he’d written back. Sure, no problem. But know that these are the days when I'm available. Time fills quickly now, I told him, as way of an explanation. A subtle hint that to ask the day before was to ask too late.
He said nothing in response.
Until two days later. The days do fill quickly, he agreed. Followed quickly by his declaration: Causal, please.
I knew what was expected of my response in this dance of male-and-female living in Manhattan. I was meant to be agreeable—thankful, even.
And say: Yes, fine, no problem. To level myself in response to his whim. Because that’s what girls do here. Laugh easily and go to bed easily and say, as you wish.
Instead I wrote, I totally get it. Good for you. Not my thing.
And I’d like my hat back, please.
Not-good-enough by another name.
Few things have felt so good. To be able to say this is who I am and this is what I’m worth and so no—No, thanks. I don't do casual.
See, not only did I learn a few things from last year…I’m actually putting them into practice.