I should go ahead and admit that I have always been attracted to Davids. I’m like a moth to a name and I get singed every time, but hey! there I go again with half a wing, flapping crookedly toward another.
The first David, the David from which all other Davids sprung, was Fifth Grade David. He was the son of my Social Studies teacher. I tried to impress him in homeroom by reciting Lincoln’s Gettysburg address (I had it memorized for his mother’s class) or by humming selections from the La Bamba soundtrack (it was, after all, 1987).
One out of every four men I have dated since has been a David.
There was Playa David. And Bartender David. How about Canoeist David? He frequented the coffee shop/bookstore I worked at in Athens, Georgia. Once, during a game of Trivial Pursuit, he jumped up and uttered the phrase “Bounce you back!” Besides none of my friends knowing what this meant, but still finding it disturbing, he had an alien shaped head. I decided “bouncing back” meant dumping him.
After Canoeist David I took up with a new David, a graduate student in English at NC State. When you pulled his beard he would “baaaa” like a billy goat. This David accompanied me to my acappella group’s reunion concert where he unknowingly interacted with College David (see how this gets confusing?) and later that night broke up with me in his car, stoned, to the blues of a distance pitchpipe. Jow jigga jow.
I even dated a Vade, which seems harmless enough, until you realize Vade is an anagram of Dave. Vade was a pressure-washer. On our second date he picked me up in an unmarked van, the kind kidnappers use. He wore tight pants and was known in the Chapel Hill karaoke circuit as “that guy who sings Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog.” You can imagine how that might go:
After Vade revealed his racist side on our third date—he made Don Imus sound like a NAACP spokesman—I quit seeing him. A few weeks later, he dedicated an angry “Go Your Own Way” to me at a local karaoke night.
When I moved to New York five years ago, I tried to break the David chain. I got a job as a travel agent and skilled myself in the art of effortlessly pronouncing the names of my dates—names like like Arvid and Tomasso—around my friends at happy hour. This was great, until it occurred to me I was booking these men on flights away from me. Knowing the bulkhead seat requests and dietary restrictions of my love interests was taking its toll. I longed for simplicity. Thus began the mono-syllabic months in which I proclaimed men with monosyllabic names to be better boyfriends. I think by “better” I meant “here,” as in “not returning to Bologna.” If a man I liked happened to have a polysyllabic name I merely shortened it. Cameron clipped to Cam, Daniel docked to Dan. It’s problematic calling your bartender Owen “Owe,” but since by this point I was sleeping with my bartender, I’d clearly failed at Feng Shui dating.