The sun is shining, the jasmine and rosemary (save the plants that have of late been choked and dehydrated by the relentless Redding temperatures) is fragrant and endearing, and people be getting’ their fling on. Summer lovin’ is no new social enterprise, yet the summer fling means different things to different people.
The Dude wants you to enjoy your fling, without it being confused with relationship. Here are The Dude’s “Seven Signs Your Summer Fling Has Flung.”
1. One of you is moving after the summer
It is all well and good, the idea that something out of nothing, occurring over a brief few-month gestation period, makes you feel tingly on the inside. Tip: Don’t feel tingly if that person is moving. We are all a bit narcissistic, don’t you think? We think we can make it work, that we have figured out some secret combination of desire and determination that will be a success, when so many others have, to their demise, tried the same. Moving = moving on. Deal with it.
2. It started out casual, and that’s all you want
To the unfamiliar, when flings (or whatever they may be called) begin, determining boundaries, roles, expectations and protocols is often difficult, and can make you feel a little, well, crazy. Like make-you-feel-crazy-because-you-can’t-stop-Facebook-stalking-the-person type of crazy. Tip: Know it early. Know what you’re looking for, and stick to it. Wishy-washy leads to “What the H just happened?”
3. It’s been nothing but fun
Reality, my children. Flings are not reality. They feel good because the most likely outcome is that they will end. And armed with such knowledge, we mentally equip ourselves to focus on the good, and likewise avoid the unpleasant. Just make sure you tune in to those preconceptions – the mind is a sneaky, obnoxiously powerful device.
4. When you have a bad day, you keep it to yourself
Nobody wants to be a whiner. Nobody wants to hear whining. While stress or emergencies or otherwise unbearable days don’t rightly fall under the “whining” category, it might well sound as such in the confines of the fling. Consider yourself – have you kept anything to yourself? And, how.
5. He/she forgets your last name
I’m not quite sure anything more needs to be said here. A no-brainer, unless you have no brain. In which case, enjoy.
6. You invite him/her to a company party, and they’re already “booked”
Ouch, this one hurts. You probably posed it in a passive manner, likely in a rambling, incoherent voicemail (e.g., “So, I like totally have this dumb company party, and, uh, I don’t even wanna go, but, um, I have to and, like, I was — if you’re not doing – if you’re not busy or whatever, it would be fine if you showed up, but if you’re busy it’s no big deal, like don’t even worry about it ’cause I don’t even want to go either, you know?”).
This is bad for two reasons: 1) It’s obvious you’ve developed some feelings beyong the physical for this person, and you will surely feel a tweak of pain in the heart later, and 2) When you develop these feelings, and aren’t comfortable addressing them (which is soooo often the case), even normally articulate individuals end up sounding like blubbering idiots. Tip: Don’t have too many wine coolers at the company party – you can’t afford another loss.
7. Either of you have multiple flings
Yeah, this seems pretty self-explanatory. But I know a lot of people – many of whom The Dude would never describe as having the capacity and reflexive cognizance that would allow one to objectively examine a situation, weigh its merits and use that knowledge to make an informed, thoughtful decision. The correlation here is not directly linked to intellectual capacity (though it can be assumed), but rather many people are simply too full of themselves.
Back to the narcissism: Many of us think we are smarter or more capable or, quite simply, better than others. So we take a situation like this, believe we can make it work, and upon its rapid decay seek out the company of our friends and sobbingly admit, “I should have seen that coming.” Tip: Save yourself the humiliation.
Dude Wisdom is a column written by a guy from town. This column aims to flip the traditional advice column on its head, spin it around a few times, then knock it over with a roundhouse kick. Email your quandaries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, this Dude abides.
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