Chick Ego

 “Stay away from him,” Maryann warned.

“Why?” Christine asked her shore house roommate. “Shawn is so down to earth. I don’t remember being this comfortable talking to someone in a long time.”

“He’s a player, Christine,” Maryann explained. “This is your first shore house. This is my fifth. I can tell you from eyewitness experience that the kid should have a ‘now serving’ sign on his forehead like they have at Dunkin’ Donuts.”

“Really?” Christine said. “Wow, I had no idea. But lots of people hook-up down here. He is probably just having fun like every other guy at the beach.”

“This is different,” Maryann explained. “With some guys you know if it’s just a hook-up for fun: the expectations are already set. Shawn sells it like he actually wants to date you seriously, but after a month or so when it’s time for that step to happen, he’s already moved on to the next catch.”

“And,” Maryann added, “he’s got a weekday pseudo-girlfriend he’s been with for about a year back in Hoboken.”

“He never mentioned her before. Why isn’t she down here with him?”

“She has a beach house on another part of the shore with her friends,” Maryann explained. “He hasn’t offered any kind of commitment, so she’s like, screw him…I’m not going to waste a summer waiting around for him. But they still go to weddings together and even do the parents’ dinner once in awhile.”

“Ah,” Christine said, thinking in her mind it couldn’t be serious if they have separate beach houses. “Well, thanks for the heads up. I guess I was wrong about him.”

“No problem,” Maryann said, and walked away triumphantly. Every house has someone like Maryann; the girl who wants everyone to enjoy the same anger toward and frustration with men that she does.

Seconds later after absorbing this information, Christine’s mind began to race.

“So, he’s a player who uses his looks and thinks he can get to know me, play nice, fool around, and just walk away? He thinks he’s so smooth, but he’s just so arrogant and cocky. Boy, he has nerve thinking that I’m going to be another trophy for his mantle.”

Her heart started racing faster…

“Well…I’LL show HIM.”

When Christine stated that she would “show him,” one would think that meant she would either tell him off or simply rebuff his advances that had been successful to that point. But to Christine, as ultra-competitive, confident and stubborn woman as there is out there, Shawn was now to her what every guy strives to be when courting a girl:

A challenge.

To Christine “showing him” meant not only speaking to Shawn again, not only hooking up with him again, but making him realize that his player days were over.


Because he HAD to know that he couldn’t do better than her. Subconsciously Christine believed that most girls were inferior to her. Since his current ‘girlfriend’ couldn’t do it, SHE would be the one who makes him change his ways.

It also meant showing them…them being every other girl Shawn had conquered in her inner circle. They didn’t have the goods to get him out of his pointless relationship with the weekday girlfriend. But then again, they weren’t of Christine’s caliber (in her own mind). It may be a bit awkward with the girls out at brunch at first, but in the end, Christine was always about getting the guy first and putting her friends a distant second once she secured a boyfriend.

There was also a foolishly romantic side to Christine that made her think that Shawn had never said the nice things he had uttered to her to any other girl. Of course, when Shawn whispered in her ear over pillow talk that he “never felt more comfortable talking to someone than he does with her…that everything came so naturally” he has actually made about the same comment to four girls under the same circumstances over the past four months, only he replaced “comfortable” and “naturally” with “at ease” and “effortlessly.”

Her mission for the rest of the summer is to transform him from the person he’s always been since his major breakup with the only truly exclusive relationship he’s ever had into the guy that every girl he ultimately rejected wanted him to be.

A nice, steady, caring, complete boyfriend.

But Shawn, still mentally recovering (guys can move on physically within 24-72 hours of a breakup) from a relationship that ended two years ago, is a Gent who simply enjoys the thrill of the chase.

Is it ego?





Or is it a combination of the five that fueled this feeling?

“I just love beautiful women,” Shawn explained to me (on the record via digital recording but asked his name be changed for obvious reasons) during one of those multi-dimensional chats beach housemates have at 4:00 AM on a quiet night. “There is no feeling, NO feeling, greater than making eye contact and landing a girl you’ve been pursuing for the first time. My married friends don’t get to experience that anymore. They don’t get to experience the newness of someone: the endless conversations, the physical surprises, the thrill of the phone ringing and seeing it’s her…which can be very exciting.”

“So what happens to prompt you to walk away from something that seems to be working?” I asked.

“I get bored,” he sighs. “Maybe I get scared. Maybe it’s the fact I have a semi-girlfriend that I see on the weekdays that I may settle for and end up marrying someday. Maybe when the newness wears off and it’s no longer exciting to me. Who the fuck really knows?”

“What do you think of Christine?” I inquired.

“Oh, Christine?” he said as if he had to go through a Rolodex in his mind first. “She’s really cool. We’ve hooked up a few times. We always have fun when we go out down here. She reminds me of this girl Sherry I had an agreement with at college…if we saw each other out alone after 1:00 AM, we went home together without any questions the next day. God damn, that was a good time in my life. ”

“So why not pursue that further?” I asked.

Shawn paused before speaking, his face turning serious, “Well, she’s not Kendra (the weekday girlfriend), that’s why. She and I have something deeper that…I don’t think I’ll share with another girl. We may not have the newness, but we do have, well, something I can’t really explain.”

“So if those feelings are so deep, why go with other girls like Christine?” I pressed.

“Because I can,” Shawn said in his best Bill Clinton voice, echoing the ex-Presidents comment as to why he risked his Presidency for a few trysts with the Portly Pepperpot.

“But players never like to be called players, right?” I asked. “They see it as a big blow to the reputation of being an otherwise nice, trustworthy guy. Ultimately, I would think that players feel being labeled as such could cost them down the road with girls they may be pursuing.”

“It’s actually quite the opposite,” Shawn explained. “I mean, I’ll admit it, I guess I’m a player. I’m not proud of it…I don’t plan my weekends around being a player, but the way I live my life it always seems to work out that way. Still, it seems that whenever a girl confronts me about being a player, they seem to do it in this scolding voice, like “Oh, I know ALL about YOU. I heard you’re this big player!” Yet they always seem to say it with this mischievous smile on their faces. And I think 90 percent of the time, when a chick calls me a player to my face, we usually end up fooling around. I guess they like that I can be used and won’t end up being a Stage 5 Clinger towards them. This shit goes both ways, you know…”

“So you see it as a positive?” I asked.

“I think they see it as a rebellious thing to hang out with me,” Shawn said pensively. “Maybe they think they can un-ring the bell, put the toothpaste back in the tube and change me back into an innocent boy again, I don’t know. What I do know is that no girl will ever admit to being attracted to a player…it’s not politically correct or good for her perceived self-esteem. But I think any girl is kidding themselves if they state they haven’t knowingly gone with a player and didn’t know he was beforehand.”

I then asked a question that seemed pretty obvious to close the interview with given the context of the conversation.

“Do you think if you did settle down with Kendra that you could be faithful? In other words, how do you just switch the player switch off with one purchase of a ring?”

“Well, I would hope that getting engaged would change all of that. I would hope that I somehow got this whole urge out of my system…that I was ready.”

The word “hope” just exudes confidence, doesn’t it?

So we have Christine, the girl who wants to morph Shawn into the faithful, non-player weekday guy. We have Shawn, the faithful weekday guy who morphs into the guy version of Diane Lane in “Unfaithful” on the beach weekends. And then there’s Kendra, who has patiently been standing by for Shawn to be a seven-days-a-week boyfriend but isn’t completely shutting out all options.

Two’s company, three’s a crowd.

Such is the typical triad of a player’s life.