Ah, male objectification.
How liberating it was!
How empowering it was!
How easy it was!
On weekend evenings I'd spent at least an hour in front of the mirror, making sure each hair was in place and that my eyeshadow was perfect. My lips were never anything less that perfectly glossed, and my nails were never anything less than perfectly manicured. My unrelenting gym schedule gave me plenty of energy and a body worthy of the barely-there clothes I wore to go dancing in.
Once I convinced Michal to go out with me, I'd give her the prep talk on the drive there and/or in her bedroom, as she was inevitably late and I'd end up perched on her bed, picking out her jewelry for her from the double-doored jewelry armoire that sat on her dresser while she was still getting ready.
"Okay. Remember that you are just as beautiful and just as fun and just as magnetic as any girl there - probably more so than a good amount of them. There is no reason in the world for you to be shy or anything less than outgoing. What's the worst that could happen? You could make a fool of yourself? Well, for one thing, that won't be the case. And for another thing, who cares? You don't know any of these people and you'll never have to see any of them again unless you want to. You have perfect freedom. Let your restrictions go."
And of course, the prep talk about boys:
"See them as toys, as not real. They like it when we use them! Just find one you like, or like well enough to talk to for the evening. And don't worry, if you change your mind, you can end the conversation. Remember - men don't have emotions. They don't care. You're beautiful, so you can basically treat them however you want in this environment we'll be in tonight. That's what they go for too! Of course, you won't give them what they really want (because you'll be coming home, and coming home alone) but same difference."
We never let anyone buy us a drink.
If we didn't to be stuck there, they wouldn't monopolize our attention because we'd simply relocate. We had our "save me!" signal and our "what do you think of this one?" signal down to a science.
The two of us even had songs to label the ranks of boys we dallied with. We'd name him as a guy belonging to one of four songs, and the other would immediately know how we felt about him.
I'd routinely sit at the bar with Michal, sipping our drinks and chatting with the bartender, until my eye fell on someone who I dubbed as the pick, for now. Sooner or later we'd talk, maybe dance, maybe maybe exchange numbers, and perhaps a kiss or two. I never called anyone back. I can only remember even choosing to answer one call out of the ones that came a couple of days after the number swap.
I had my life perfectly compartmentalized. Work, career, wellness and contemplation during the week, and partying on the weekends. My weekdays consisted of rising at 5:00am, making my bed, hitting the gym, going straight to work until the evening, then coming home, working on some school work, dinner, touching up my nail polish, maybe a facial, and bed. That is, every weekday except for Friday. By the time Friday came around our plans would already be made and after work the routine would begin - shower, dress for a night out, check to make sure the miniature purse is equipped with everything I'll need, the phone is charged, the cash is withdrawn from the ATM, and off we went.
I introduced Michal to various kinds of men, labeling them with their "types" - country boy type, scholar type, fun to hang out with if you don't try to have a real conversation type, only good for (semi) real conversation type, pretty to look at but please just don't say anything type, and on and on.
We'd joke about past experiences and dish details of current ones. I was setting up what was and was not appropriate behavior for someone I'd spend any time at all with - it ranged from hygiene and manners to hobbies to emotional stability.
I was completely open with her about some of the things during my relationships with Ethan and Noah, and how I'd feel about similar things now with my new 'pink spoon' outlook:
"Don't cry at me. I don't want to see you cry. The only way I want to see a man cry is if he got bitten by a shark."
That last bit, about the shark, was one of our favorite quotes for a good while.