Dating Hijinks: Kissing Tattoo Guy Goodbye

This is obviously not Tattoo Guy. This is some fella named Hemingway: "You especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously… but when you get the damned hurt, use it… don’t cheat with it.”

On Wednesdays, Amanda Chatel will be sharing stories about her strange, fascinating and sometimes wonderful dating life. If it makes you want to date, check out TheGloss dating page.

It is a sad day, my friends. Tattoo Guy and I are no longer. I know! The tears are streaming down your cheeks and you’re probably shaking your fist at the sky in anger yelling “Why?”

I would never belittle the fling I had with Tattoo Guy by subjecting him to the lowly term “place holder,” but I can say, in all honesty, that we both knew it was temporary. He had had his heart broken a year before, and I had had mine broken and re-broken over and over during the past few years. Emotionally damaged people do not make for a great love story unless you’re hoping that one dies tragically; the emotionally damaged aren’t usually a good fit until they’ve sorted out all that damage. There was also the fact that although I enjoyed my time with him, personality wise we could not have been more different; culturally, economically, and our overall outlook on the world weren’t even on just two completely different pages, but in two entirely different books. I’m not saying this is a bad thing or even that it contributed to the end, but in the long run, had either one of us wanted to pursue something serious with the other, it would not have worked. Although I would have loved to have seen the look on my mother’s face if I had brought him home.

It also didn’t help that despite the great sex, the fun, the days of lying around and lounging in bed while eating Lombardi’s pizza, we’re both in love with someone else. Again, that doesn’t make for a great love story. It actually makes for a disaster, and not even a beautiful disaster.

I had written not too long ago that a rebound was a necessity in recovering from an emotional loss. While I still believe it holds much truth to it, it’s not exactly a firm stitch sewn into your flesh to close the wound, but instead just a band-aid, and a flimsy one at that. Some losses require an entire box of band-aids, until you figure out how to sew again.

And when I realized that I had let Tattoo Guy into my crazy world so quickly, revealed my true colors at a rate that I had never done with a man before and actually cried to him about things that I hadn’t cried over to anyone else, what it all came down to was that I had found a friend; not a lover.

We parted on lovely terms. I took him to dinner, he took me back to the tattoo shop where he played me Hemingway clips that I was supposed to guess from where they came, we listened to Edith Piaf, and it was great. I realized, my god, Chatel, you can have a friendship with a man, a great, caring man and you don’t have to sleep with him! Of course, I wouldn’t mind sleeping with him again because I do put him in that very tiny category of fellas who in my life have truly opened my eyes sexually – there were only two, and now Tattoo Guy makes three.

When I saw him the night before I left for Colorado, I got (yet another!) tattoo. As I lay there, sweating from the intense pain of the Hemingway quote that was being scrawled into my skin with a needle, I told Tattoo Guy I love him like I love Lombardi’s pizza. It might not make sense to someone who doesn’t live in the city, or even someone who does, but as he wiped away the drops of blood from my arm that came to the surface because of this quote about needing to get hurt like hell before you can write seriously, that was the greatest compliment I could have given him. I’m not in love with Tattoo Guy; I’ll never be in love with him, but I sure as hell love the dickens out of him.

I know when I return to the city, I’ll see him again. I know at some point he’ll probably force me to try another fucking oyster, and when I freak out about something ridiculous and minor, he will call me out on it. Every person who comes in and out of your life serves a purpose; and walking completely away from a fella who insists upon calling me Zelda after Zelda Fitzgerald because he appreciates the crazy in me, is the type of person I never want to lose.

Share This Post:
    • Nancy

      Noooooooooo!!!! WHY!?

      If all I knew about him was that he was the one guy who you could cry to about anything, who knows you that well and likes you anyway, who calls you out on your bullshit and calls you Zelda, I would say that you two should be together. The other stuff doesn’t matter as much as that.

      BUT you two obviously aren’t ready for that anyway, so I’m actually FOR this because instead of a disaster you now have a really awesome friend! So I’m happy for you! And rooting for you!

    • Renee

      This is actually not sad news. It is great that you have this person in your life! Redefining the relationship to a friendship isn’t always bad. Congratulations!

    • Maggie

      Phase 1 of losing the man-child: complete! Good for you, Amanda. It’s small changes like this that contribute to an overall life change, and I think it’s great that you recognized the potential for disaster and changed it to a potential for friendship/personal growth. See, being a grownup is not so bad!

    • samwise

      awwww.
      Good luck Amada,
      I love reading this story unfold.

    • Marissa

      So long, TG! Amanda, even though I think all of your past men have probably shaped you or been “experiences,” I think your next man should be an outgoing type that is not in their head at all.

    • holleeta

      God, I love Lombardi’s!! I like it with their ricotta impastata & garlic spinach. Mmm also their roasted red peppers. <3 I know I should be focused on the article, but you have completely distracted me.

      • Amanda Chatel

        I’m mad for their roasted red peppers! Perfection!

    • Beverly

      having dated several man-children in my time and *finally* breaking free, I whole-heartedly support your decision. You will be better for it! More money in your account + more time to focus on YOU = better odds at fully developing yourself and attracting the kind of partner that adds to your life (and does not take anything away).

    • Jen

      Yay, this is great! Congratulations on discovering such a great friend. And if there’s sex in there sometimes, that’s cool too. Mostly, though, congratulations on all the realizations you’re having. It’s a joy to follow along.

      And HOLY GODDAMN Hemingway was hot. I had no idea.

    • Sabrina

      Thanks for sharing, Amanda. I’m sure you two will still find ways to appreciate each other, if not with time spent together, then with memories. It is nice to have a distraction, a fling, etc. but you’re right, at the end of it, it really can’t go any further because there is still the whole broken heart issue to deal with. It’s great that you found someone to have fun with during that difficult time!

      • Sabrina

        Also, Hemingway was a fox. He is the type of man I would have been in love with and who would torture me with his depression.

    • Amanda Chatel

      Thanks everyone!

      And yeah… Hemingway was gorgeous, huh? They don’t make ‘em like that anymore…