An A/B Conversation

I was at Sequoia’s in DC on Sunday night with my 30-something god sister and her 30-something friends. I arrived to brunch late and took a seat next to a gentleman who had consumed his fair share of champagne (he was buying.) He handled his intoxicants well, but alas, as he was feeling well, he was in the mood to chat. Not sure how we ended up discussing relationships and sex, but I suppose that is the inevitable topic when men and women who’ve reached and/or passed puberty gather together.

This is what he told me:

The people you seriously date only come as As or Bs. Anything else, like a C is a time killer, basically a non-option.

Here are their definitions:

An A is the nice man your mother would like to see you married to. He is reliable, rational, dependable, honest, humble, considerate, and goal-oriented. He courts you. You know how he feels about you; you don’t question his motives. He is consistent. You don’t worry that he is cheating or lying. He does what he says he will do. Within reason, he does what you ask him to. Everyone you know likes him. He is good to you and for you. Basic common sense and all rational thought indicate that you should marry and live as happily as possible ever after with this man. A is boyfriend/husband material. A rescues princesses from disastrous situations in fairytales.

A is for Aidan (for all you fellow Sex and the City fans)

B’s….there’s just something about a B. You can’t ever really put your finger on it. He doesn’t do half of what A does, but you will do twice as much for him. He’s not really reliable; he’s definitely inconsistent and usually not honest. He’s probably not conventionally attractive, but there is something about him that practically hypnotizes you, making you believe he is the finest man you’ve ever encountered. (Your girls usually don’t agree.) He is, however, drama. Around, B, suddenly life gets way more interesting. Your emotions run the full gamut, ie. you are a wreck operating in a near-constant state of stereotypical PMS. You might coast with a variation of 40-50 with A, but B is zero to 90 in 24 hours flat. You know full and hell well it’s disastrous just to be around B, much less be with him. Lord knows you can’t make a rational decision around this man, but if loving B is wrong, fuck it, you don’t want to be right. And the sex! It’s not just about the sex, of course, but with all that damn emotion, could it be anything other than mountain-moving? It’s not the kissy, lovey-dovey, nice only-in-the-bedroom sex you have with A; this is damn near pornographic. And you love it! Fairytales are not made about Bs. The concept of happily ever after does not rationally exist with him. The best you can hope for with B is a full 24 hours without tears, without hanging up on him, or without breaking your own electronics in a fit of rage over the most recent stupid thing he did. B is the love of your life and for all his dysfunction, you’ll want to spend the rest of your days with him. But if you have any sense, B, at best, is a one-night stand in Miami. B is the dude you cheat on A with (not that I condone cheating at all, but if you must deal with B…), but by God, you don’t leave A for him.

B is for Big.

At this point, drunk dude adds the real kicker: The odds of finding an AB combination are about as likely as Janelle Monae going platinum. [Or as a woman at dinner put it tonight, “AB hybrids are probably just rare. Sort of like four-leaf clovers.”] So you’re going to have to settle. Unless you find Dwayne Wayne, men don’t come in packages that are dependable, drama-free, honest, driven, gentleman-like and passionate, driving your emotions and your body haywire.

I’ve dealt with an A and God knows, I’ve dealt with a B. I’ve tried to make an A more B and a B more A and it did not work. By my experience and everything that I know to be common sense, the intoxicated gentleman is dead on.

Maybe it’s the eternal optimist in me that can’t accept his theory or my own observations.

In the final season of Sex and the City, Carrie, who has already deaded her A and just told her B to kick rocks, chooses a C to distract herself. They get into an argument and she realizes what a mistake she made in convincing herself against all logic that a C is a real option. She tells him she’s going back to New York because in the end, she’s looking for love. Real love. “Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.”

So am I.

The idea of having to choose either/or out of the A/B criteria is nothing short of depressing. I don’t want to settle. I don’t think I should have to. And frankly, I know I would rather be alone forever than go through another bout of A syrupy sweet inner-goodness or B drama.

If the Maker didn’t create AB hybrids, there’s got to be a way to grow them. If we can clone sheep and put people on the moon, anything must be possible. I refuse to believe that all the married/ boyfriend-ed up people out there are settling. I haven’t seen water tuned to wine, or metal to gold, but if I give up hope on that possibility, I will never date again.

To the intoxicated man, who bought an extra bottle and popped it in my honor after he depressed the hell out of me: Thank you for the conversation. It was fun. Next time, the bottle’s on me.


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