This Is What Happened After - Kate Bueler

This is what happened after I decided I was old enough to start looking for rings. Rings on the ring finger, on the ring finger that meant more than the it doesn’t fit on any other finger, no the married type of ring. This is what happened after I saw his ring on his finger, his finger, after a night of dancing and drinking I hadn’t looked, looked because I never looked because no one around my age was married. Not in this city. Not in New York. Maybe somewhere else but not here. So after I saw the ring on his finger as we sat in the back of the cab, the cab traveling too fast for how many drinks I have had, the jerky back and forth that only an urban cabbie can get away with. This is what happened after I saw the ring on the man who I thought was sitting to close. I said pull this cab over. Pull this cab over here, now. What is going on? He exclaimed. You are married. I know. Well you should act like it. I didn’t hide my ring. Okay but you didn’t act like you were married. Slamming the door shut.

I just was too na├»ve too look because unlike some women I respect the ring. I respect the ring. This is what happened after I had to start looking because I didn’t ever want to be in the back of the cab with a married man again unless he was my friend, or my father, or someone who I had no romantic attachment to. How bold I thought to not only flirt,but dance, but buy drinks, but mostly the getting into the cab together, the cab together- the destination was not determined. Not determined- TBD it would seem.

So now I look for rings, but don’t want to do it in obvious way subtly of course. Because the bottom line for me is not dating, but I like to know what I am dealing with up front. I kind of sort of want want people to wear signs: like just out of relationship, I cheat, I snort cocaine or drink too much, I don’t shower, I only know how to cook mac and cheese, I hate my mother, I am selfish, I don’t know what a clitoris is, You will have amazing sex with me but that is it. I wish there were invisible post its that only I could see. See. So I can stay away from the projects. Stay away from those so set in their ways, their ways that there is no place for me. Place for me in their heart, in their lives.

I am done with projects. My only project should be myself. I am starting to realize my own projection of being helpful and stable only attracts men with post its all over their body. Each one begins to appear, one by one and then I have decide the in and out. It always happens when I am sucked in, when I am invested. This is what happened after I decided I no longer wanted to wanted to give everything a chance as not miss the one. The opportunity. This is what happened after I looked for rings, I look for rings but the kicker is they don’t always wear rings, do they, do they? They most definitely don’t wear post its- not the kind I need to know about- need to know about. I need post-its that are visible to my eyes before my heart has blinded from my sight to see.