I have taken on a new belief system about dating that uses James Cagney as a metaphor. James Cagney was an incredibly versatile actor in the early-ish twentieth century, and great. Stupendous in every role that he played. Those roles were often contradictory, much like dating can be. I will lay it out.
At one point today, there was a man whom I had recently shared certain intimacies with, texting me and telling me that I had abandoned him. He spelled out, in no uncertain terms, how awful of a person I am, how cold I am, and how my karma is going to catch up with me. He sent me roughly fifteen messages letting me know how badly I treated him. Of course, I could not help but think that he in fact was my karma catching up with me, and that I might want to cool it with the whole dating thing for a while. I happened to mention this story to an ex. He responded by telling me that at the time of our break up, he had also felt abandoned. To top that, earlier in the week he had compared dating me to trying to care for a pet tiger.
I have had a lot of James Cagney as a gangster. The guy who does the wrong thing every time. The guy who is out for blood no matter what the consequences. It tires me. It wears me out. But I keep on going. I keep gutting it out. Why?
Because the Yankee Doodle Dandy James Cagney is such a delight. He lifts my spirits and my heart. He lets me know there is something out there worth holding out for. That is the dating life that I want. That is dating and relationships at their finest; light on their feet, lovely, and wonderful.
Yes, there are some times when you absolutely positively have to kill every motherfucker in the room. But those brutal and awful times are worth it when you finally get to dance on the table.
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