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In Utah This Week Issue #88

Sarah Nielson|In Utah This Week|The Dating Years

Click to read the newest column of “The Dating Years.”

Sundance, blah, blah blah… By now, I’m sure most local residents are exhausted of hearing about this year’s Sundance Film Festival. First, it takes over our local news and radio and now, sadly, my column. Too damn bad. I’m writing about it anyway.

I’m an avid film buff and have been attending the festival for years. Every year there seems to be an underlying theme to the festival. This year, in my opinion, the theme is relationships past. This theme was pervasive in a screening I attended, A Complete History of my Sexual Failures. Maybe the theme could also be found in another film I attended, Megane. However, I wouldn’t know since it was in Japanese and the man in front of me had such big hair I couldn’t see the subtitles very well. Out of complete boredom I created my own story line, one that didn’t exactly fit under my proposed Sundance theme.

A Complete History of my Sexual Failures chronicles one man’s journey to interview all the women who have dumped him over the years and through the cathartic process receive some sort of closure. This was done in hopes of curing his erectile dysfunction. Yes, erectile dysfunction. I’ve always hoped this wouldn’t pop up into one of my columns, but here it is. At least it has nothing to do with me!

The movie is British and by default brilliant. The man in the film, Chris Waitt, not only found the closure he and his penis so desperately needed, but somehow managed to gain a girlfriend in the process. The girlfriend attended the screening with him and took part in the Question and Answer period following the film. I had to admire a woman who didn’t seem to mind her boyfriend sharing the intimidate details of his sex life with the world, but at the same time was thrilled not to be in her position. Of course the fact Waitt doesn’t brush his hair throughout the entire movie didn’t exactly make him prime datable material for me.

There seems to be a lot of past relationships and self-analysis going on lately–first High Fidelity, then Scott Baio is 45 and Single, and now this movie. I find the idea intriguing. Luckily I don’t have to go off in search of all the men I used to date; three of them happen to be attending movies with me this year. In all fairness I guess only two were real relationships. The other was just a guy who offered a pretty mouth to stick my tongue in.

Okay so the easy part of this catharsis is done: finding my exes. Now what? Do I ask them where I went wrong? Do I ask them to list some of my fault in hope or correcting them? Or do I just ask why the hell our relationship didn’t work out? As I sat and pondered this, I wondered if perhaps asking all these questions would cause more damage than actual help. After all, I’ve been fortunate enough to remain friends with these men. Do I really want to discuss our history and risk the offhand that talking about the past will bring negative emotions to the surface? I’ve worked really hard to make these friendships work, the last thing I need to do is sabotage them because of some silly thought brought up by a Sundance movie.

Besides, do I really want to know what’s wrong with me? Logically at that point I probably should do something about it. And frankly therapy really isn’t in my budget right now. Maybe next year…


  • Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with either party — you just weren’t right together. And if you are still friends with these people, I’m betting that’s the answer. Or if it isn’t, I don’t think it’s that important to know the real answer. Why dwell on the past when there’s no changing it?

    Of course, if there was something glaringly wrong with you, I’m sure it would be helpful to know. But I bet there probably isn’t.

  • at least you don’t have to get your (non-existent) balls whipped, squeezed and twitsted to find out like that bloke in the film

  • If there was something wrong with you, we’d all know by now, and since most of the world thinks you’re pretty much the most amazing girl ever… It must not be that.

    Probably what it is… is simply that the match to someone as amazing and rare as you are is (almost) as amazing and rare so he’s just extra hard to find, that’s all.

  • I heard an interview with that ‘bloke’ and really want to see that film, hopefully it will come out here.
    Guys are idiots, ex’s even more so.

  • sra: Thank you. I’d like to think there’s nothing wrong with me, beyond the cute crazy thing.

    mrs. ak: I’m still freaked out over that. I wonder how Arlo’s wiener would’ve handled it.

    rockhardaimee: This is why I fucking love you! That and the fact you’re pretty much amazing yourself.

    midge: It was great. I think Arlo really wants to see it as well. We left him home, turtleneck and all.

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