I got mad at a guy in college because he liked porn. But I was young, and I was righteous, and I couldn’t forgive any man for failing to be John Cusack (who probably also likes porn). For all my groaning about the city’s men, the guys I met were not the same old stereotype.D., just moved here from Portland, don’t believe in the gender binary. You never know who is going to lunge from the bushes and throw a canvas bag over your heart.
Recently, I was complaining to a male friend about feeling ignored on an online dating site. It’s important to note that I was not mad at my male friend. Those Dallas Women with their giant wedges and tiny glittering skirts.
I spent time on Austin and New York profiles to have points of comparison, and my summary of our city’s key differences can be boiled down to this: God, sports, and cleavage. They were sweet pictures of women hanging out by a pool, cropped at the waist or wearing some kind of a cover-up.
Dallas girls talk about the Cowboys and the Mavericks, while Austin girls talk about bikes and hiking. The biggest cliche—confirmed by men I spoke to for this article—was some version of this: “I’m just as comfortable in a dress and heels as I am in jeans and flip-flops.” Over and over, gorgeous women bragging on their ability to wear multiple kinds of footwear. Or, rather, I found a few, but they weren’t the full-on cheesecake images I had imagined in my mind. (When I did a word search for “bikini,” I found many profiles in which women said, “I’m not going to post a picture of me in a bikini.”) However, women were less shy about flashing some boobage, and on the subject of low-cut tops and exposed flesh, Dallas certainly distinguishes itself.
“A lot of women in Dallas do.” My head popped off, and I gently retrieved it from the floor, where it had landed. I also did not have a picture of me curing cancer or making out with Danny De Vito, which is to say that there is no such picture. It felt symbolic of the ways in which I sometimes do not fit in here.
Those Dallas Women who’d gone and turned my dating site into a wet t-shirt contest. I wanted to see for myself how Dallas women presented themselves.
I sat at a Starbucks near the Galleria with a friendly, fit black man (I’m white) who was recently divorced and lived in The Colony, which sounded to me like some eerie sci-fi TV drama. But he didn’t contact me again, and I never knew why. I was a real adult, a grown-ass woman, and he was in that shaky place where you have just emerged from the long tunnel of commitment with wobbly legs and blinking eyes, and you need to go bang 25-year-olds for a while.