PK and I were going over a few of our memories today, and I got to thinking that, despite how negative I may sound about the male gender, I have a lot of great memories about guys.

Habibi On one of our first dates we took my kayaks to a river out in Pennsylvania. We paddled around the edge of the river, at one point coming to a spot where the water created a little pool with a waterfall. We must have sat in there for an hour or so, talking and skipping rocks. At one point he picked up a large rock to skip it, proudly told me to watch, and then flung it…. straight into my leg. I had a bruise there for weeks, and I still have the rock. Mostly because it reminds me of how he kneeled down in the water in front of me and held my leg looking at the bruise. We spent the rest of the afternoon sprawled out on the kayaks in the sun, talking about our families, our friends, and how sorry he was for destroying my leg.

Matt It took me a few months to realize that this guy had a lot of problems, due to the combination of him being able to cover it up so well and the fact that we had so much fun together. I met him through a friend on my birthday, and he baked me a cupcake (a single one!) and put a candle in it. We ended up spending a lot of time together alone, diving around the country listening to Pearl Jam, him singing Last Kiss to me while making faces at me, and then chiding me for laughing at such a serious song. He never told me what our plans were, just pulled me along. One night, we stopped at a convenience store, while he danced through the aisles with me picking up popcorn, candy, and soda. We then drove into a deserted parking lot, where he smiled and pulled out a chain of keys. The keys opened up the doors to an old movie store, one that he used to work at. We spent the night watching any movie we wanted, eating candy and popcorn until our stomaches ached.

The Republican When I dated this guy, he was five years older than me and by far the oldest that I had dated. I was a freshman at college, and he had a downtown apartment, with a full bedroom, a dining room, and a library. Yes, a library. In college. He was a stoic figure, always in pressed khaki pants and tucked in polo shirts. On the weekends he drank scotch and smoked cigars, all of which I found incredibly sexy. We both had a love of photography, and my favorite memories were when we’d drive out further into the country in his convertible, our cameras on my lap, a cigar in his mouth as he drove. We’d stop at sailing docks, old graveyards, decrepit barns, and photograph them. One night he took me out on his sailboat, where we shared a bottle of wine and took black and white photos of each other, which I still have tucked away.

The FianceThis was probably my worst relationship to date; the guy was the epitome of an asshole and our relationship was a wreck. But I loved him, and we had the occasional good memory. For his birthday, I got reservations at “our” hotel in DC- one that was extremely expensive but terribly beautiful. While making reservations, I also told them that it was his birthday, so they assured me that it would be special. We found the room decorated with flowers, a bottle of our usual red wine with two glasses, and an exquisite birthday cake. I decided to take him out to dinner at our favorite restaurant in DC, a Chinese fusion restaurant with some of the best drinks in the area. We splurged, shared several drinks called “the volcano” that come out on fire, before returning to our room to drink the bottle of wine. We were sloppy, we were in love, and then we were talking about marriage.

CountryWe were probably the worst match of all of my relationships. He was a conservative Republican, grew up in the country, never went to college, loved hunting and drinking to extremes. But he was awesome. After the first month of us dating I began spending nights at his place, about 45 minutes from my apartment. I had just gotten Willa, so I brought her along with me. One night, she began whimpering in the early hours of the morning. Country, in his boxers, and I, in my nightgown, took her out into his backyard. His house had a short spurt of grass and a beach buffering against the bay. It was beautiful, especially with his dock stretching out into the water. Willa sniffed around for a few moments, while country and I snuggled on the dock under a blanket. We didn’t go back in, instead talking for hours and watching the sun come up as Willa romped in the water. At one point, a few geese flew overhead. He pointed at one goose flying alone. “See that one? That one’s a single. It’s one of the worst things you can do in hunting.” He explained that, morally, you weren’t supposed to shoot a goose in a pair, and that if you did you were supposed to shoot its mate. “Otherwise, the goose will never find another mate. They even fly around for days looking for their dead mate. Sometimes they starve to death, out of sadness.”