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Robin Hebb.

writer, performer, cool girl.

 

Booty Call Rehabilitation.

Booty Call Rehabilitation.

Artwork By Quentin Monge. 

 

Goddammit.

 

I caught myself smiling as I biked to work this morning.

 

It was early and still quiet. The sun looked perfect and hazy as it peaked between the trees in the park. The humidity had finally broken and there was a nice breeze.

 

There were dumb birds chirping and everything. It was a completely idyllic summer morning in the city.

 

Old ladies under trees, moving their arms for exercise.

 

Junkie squirrels looking for their next fix.

 

Cute doggos chasing the junkie squirrels.

 

But do not be mistaken.

 

This is not why I was smiling.

 

I was smiling because of a stupid friggin’ boy.

 

I couldn’t believe it.

 

I have been on a strict romance diet for the last ten (almost eleven) months.

 

I really do mean strict.

 

All men have been kept at an arm's length, eye contact only when necessary, a handshake maybe but only if the situation really called for it. No contact... with the exception of some very exclusive male friends and colleagues, of course.

 

It was an act of self-preservation.

 

It’s no secret within the community that I’m not so great when it comes to gentleman callers. They make me nervous and self-conscious and riddled with self-doubt and, to be frank, I didn’t have time for that as I poured the foundation for my new bitchin’ life- I had to let that shit set properly, the only handprints in it are mine.

 

I broke the fast about a month ago with a very hot, very basic dude. He was chiseled and for sure the finest specimen I’d ever seen with my own eyes, but holy Toledo, he was next level boring.

 

We had a whole conversation where we hypothesized what it must be like to be “high on marijuana.”

 

It was some of the best acting of my life.

 

“I’m not sure…”

 

I said lying through my teeth

 

“…but I guess it’s probably a bit like getting drunk?”

 

“I don’t drink either- do you?”

 

“Uhh.. rarely...”

 

Lied again.

 

I lied because I knew it would take less energy to concoct an alternative version of myself than to listen to him explain why I shouldn’t- and I knew he would because he seemed to really like to play “devil's advocate” and would often cut me off with sentences that started with:

 

Ah, baby girl, c’mon, you sure about that?

 

Our second “date” involved him eating an entire package of spaghetti and an entire jar of sauce from a huge Tupperware container as he “carbed up” before his 6 am morning workout. He watched the news, I watched him. I couldn’t decide what was more disturbing- the state of democracy, or the fact that he thought this was an appropriate way to entertain a lady caller.

 

That was the final time we ever met.

 

I suppose I’m not being entirely fair… I should give him credit where it’s due. He played an integral role in my booty call rehabilitation and he doesn’t even know it. He broke my man fast. He did it well too- he fit the bill perfectly: hot as hell and completely unbearable.

 

Check. Check.

 

Impossible to catch feelings from.

 

I thanked him for his less than satisfactory performance with a fist bump and I fled into the night at 1 a.m. on a Wednesday.

 

It was pretty dope and made me feel bossy as hell, but perfecting the rendezvous wasn’t high on my list of priorities so I ignored the apps for another month.

 

Two weeks ago I felt an inexplicable urge to start swiping. This time I really committed. I wanted to go out with someone and have a decent conversation. I wanted to get out of the house and get to know someone who was like... normal and funny and interesting and liked wine and gin and listened to music I didn’t know about but was into.

 

I was looking for good company.

 

I implemented a vetting system and everyone got a fair shot- equal opportunity for all!

 

You would get an immediate right swipe if you:

 

1- Took the time to write a bio.

2- Were less than 10 km away.

3- Didn’t have a gym selfie/ shirtless selfie/ weren’t wearing an upside-down visor/ some awful combination of the three, in one or all of your photos.

4- Weren’t an actor (sorry fellas...)

 

I would wait until I had a handful of matches, and then I’d take the time to carefully craft a unique, hilarious (to me) opening line.

 

If you responded and thought it was also funny… game on.

 

Let me give you an example of some of the effort that was wasted on these men.

 

Take Nate for example.

 

Nate is 28 and says he works for a fruit start up, 6’1”… (luckily for you Nate, having a made up bullshit job was NOT on the list of credentials for being denied a swipe, though we are currently in negotiations for a number of amendments)

 

I wrote:

 

“A fruit start up?! I’ve never heard of that before! That sounds Nate!

 

...sorry neat… that sounds NEAT.”

 

Unsurprising to literally no one, he did not respond.

 

In fact, I received very little response back in general- even with this foolproof system in place.

 

This did not discourage me though. I stayed committed to the swiping regime for several days. I’d do it in the morning while I waited for the coffee to brew and in the evening while I cooked dinner. Basically, I did it whenever I was standing in the kitchen.

 

To be honest, I don’t remember swiping right on Le Monsieur (that’s what we’ll call this particular gentleman for the sake of anonymity and hilarity), but he obviously checked all the boxes. His picture didn’t get me overly excited, but he also didn’t give me murder vibes straight out the gate so I messaged him. I mean, I didn’t have much choice- the system required me to.

 

He said he went to the University of Sarcasm (l gave him the benefit of the doubt and I didn’t even roll my eyes at that.)

 

I wrote:

 

“Oh! A U of S grad! What year? A bunch of my friends graduated in 2012.”

 

10/10 opening line.

 

Le Monsieur responded right away.

 

“2012 was a shit year- 2011 was much better.”

 

Not too shabby. 8/10.

 

The banter continued and he made me laugh more than once.

 

In my experience (for which there is not much) the best practice for a dating app introduction is to skip the usual first questions (What do you do? What part of the city do you live in? Are you horny? -- save those for the first meeting) and just dive right into trying to out-funny each other.

 

Yes, it has crossed my mind that this could be my Achilles heels for dating, or it could be what winds up saving me years of boning squares-- only time will tell.

 

We had a solid initial back and forth and I could tell it was only a matter of time before the scary part came.

 

“I’d like to take you out for a beer- when would be a good time for you?”

 

Ughhhh this is where I always clam up. I always say it’s because I’m afraid of getting murdered but really it’s that I’m afraid they’ll be disappointed with me in real life. Both options feel like they’re highly plausible and I can’t decide what’s worse.

 

I said:

 

“I’ll have to see- I’m a very busy woman you know…”

 

(Not completely untrue)

 

Monsieur said:

 

“That’s fair... I’m also a very busy woman, so please let me know sooner rather than later and I will pencil you in.”

 

That was it. The clincher. He was in. So simple. So lame. I liked it.

 

I waited a day to get back to him slash I am a very busy woman and forgot all about it until he texted me almost exactly 24 hours later, which I liked because as we covered above- I like to keep a regimented schedule.

 

He asked again if he could take me out- I told him I was free the next night at 8 pm and what neighbourhood I lived in. He picked a place close to me, but not too close (Le Monsieur is a gentleman!) and the date was set.

 

The last real date I had been on (boring hottie obviously excluded) was ten months ago (feel free to read about that here, lol) and it was…. well…. incredible. It had everything. Electric chemistry, flowing conversation, lots of alcohol and french fries, great lighting.

 

Any person who saw us that night probably thought, “Wow, those two are having a REALLY good first date” and those people would have been right.

 

That was my first first date in like, 6 years, and for some reason, the universe decided to set the bar really quite extremely high. I knew not every date could be that way, nor would I want it to be ... holy mackerel, I was exhausted afterward.

 

I had implemented my date diet several weeks after that first first date for a variety of reasons. The most important to THIS story was that I simply needed some time to myself to figure out who the eff I was and what the eff I was going to do about it once I figured it out.

 

I had initiated a sort of personal data dive if you will.

 

 I needed to roll on my own schedule and do what intuitively felt right without having to consider if it fits into someone else’s life. I needed to not make any decisions that might transform into mistakes. I needed to neutralize. Plus, it would have been unfair to the poor soul who matched with me anyway- I was the human embodiment of ‘emotional unavailability’…so much so, I think I would have been more accurately categorized as just straight up ‘unfriendly’.

 

To my surprise and delight, the social sabbatical I took worked. Things started to really line up in the spring and by the time summer hit I had a new job, new creative endeavours and a new outlook on pretty much everything.

 

I found myself waking up in the morning feeling grateful… more grateful than I ever had before. I was reaping the benefits of relentless hard work and it felt good. I began to emerge from my protective little emotional turtle shell I had been hiding in and started taking up people’s offers to hang out and catch up over a drink. I was meeting people for lunch or having coffee with them- I even started staying out later than I said I would because I was having a good time.

 

I was ready for some male company. Nothing serious… dear god, please nothing serious.

Everything has been so friggin’ serious for so long.

 

I wanted a mutually respectful booty call.

 

Someone with diverse interests and a fine ass.

 

Surely that was out there?

 

I started swiping.

 

I rehabbed with the hottie. I ripped off that initial booty call band-aid and now here we are- getting ready for a date with Le Monsieur.

 

I felt no anxiety, very minimal self-doubt (but don’t think I didn’t try on three shirts) and hopeful that he would be able to keep up a conversation. I’m not sure where all this optimism came from, but perhaps it’s just what it feels like to be healed.

 

To my relief, upon our initial meeting, I was not overly attracted to him. He was cute, without a doubt, but I could tell I wasn’t about to become a stupid idiot around him. Men that I find really, really attractive turn me into an inarticulate poor decision maker so it’s important I don’t spend too much time around them, especially one on one.

 

Le Monsieur was a great balance. There was no denying he was handsome, but there was something very sweet about him. He lacked that air of danger that really attractive men have and thus I was less attracted to him.

 

Don’t shoot the messenger boys- it’s just science.

 

I was the right amount of attracted to him.

 

He was wildly charming and funny and listened to what I had to say with what appeared to be genuine interest. What we had initially planned to be a quick one drink meetup turned into a six hour, six drink date. The server kept coming over to ask us if we wanted another round and we’d do that thing you do where you want to stay but aren’t sure if the other person feels the same. The server could obviously read the table and after suffering through that twice, just began asking us if we wanted the same drink or to switch it up. That’s good service.

 

We drank and we laughed and talked about things that I don’t even remember. I do remember that he was incredibly knowledgeable about all kinds of different fromages- very Monsieur of him. He stayed a good distance and flirted in a nice way.

 

When it was time to go home he walked me to the corner near my house, kissed me goodnight and said he hoped to see me again.

 

And this morning I was biking to work a little hungover and smiling.

 

Because of a stupid friggin’ boy.

 

Then it struck me like a rogue pigeon in a bike lane.

 

It wasn’t at all because of the boy.

 

I mean, he was fine… we went over that.

 

But this time it was all me, baby! 

 

It was suddenly so obvious that I was finally okay. I went out with someone, I opened up to him, I told him a bit about my past and I told him with pride.

 

It’s been a long time coming but as I was riding my bike this morning and smiling at all the junkie squirrels I realized I had finally started to fall in love with myself a little bit.

 

It had nothing to do with Le Monsieur, or Hot Boring Guy, or anyone else for that matter- though they certainly all served a purpose.

 

I had never taken the time to become a whole person. I always felt like I needed to share a part of me with someone else to be whole. I thought being alone was something I should fear, not something that would cure me.

 

I had been hit by a truck of emotions this past year and I needed time to rehabilitate and re-learn how to walk on my own.

 

Now here I am- a whole human.

 

A whole Hebb.

 

I’ll probably keep swiping in my kitchen whenever the mood strikes, but I think I’m finished my regimented program. I’m ready for new experiences and I’m solid enough for my emotions to ebb and flow and for people to come and go and I don’t need to prove that to myself anymore.

 

Bring on the weirdos and the cuties.

 

Bring on long dinners with friends and late night dive bar debauchery.

 

Bring on the quiet moments alone with my thoughts, and the intimate conversations with old friends.

 

Bring on the booty calls.

 

Bring on the meaningful relationships.

 

Bring on constantly reminding myself I’m dope as heck.

 

To conclude I’ll quote the immortal words of Drake-- because no one sums shit up or celebrates themselves quite like Aubrey does.

 

 

 

 Yeah, been on the move like the lease is up.

And I can’t even name one person that’s keeping up

Damn.

Fuck how it was in the past tense.

Ask yourself, how do we match up now?

Cause I’m only 27 and I’m only getting better

If I haven’t passed you yet, watch me catch up now.

Forreal.






 

The Worst Part.

The Worst Part.

A Toast.

A Toast.