A Dater's Life

Monday, March 02, 2009

Don't Divorce My Friends

On December 19th, Ken Starr and the Proposition 8 Legal Defense Fund filed legal briefs defending Proposition 8 as Constitutional and seeking to nullify the marriages of 18,000 same-sex couples who had legally wed in the state of California before Prop 8 passed. On March 5th, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in this case.

Check out this video, Fidelity and please sign the letter at Courage Campaign to preserve Constitutional equality and to treat all citizens with dignity and respect!!!

To quote Sean Penn's brilliant Oscar acceptance speech:
I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren's eyes if they continue that way of support. We've got to have equal rights for everyone.


Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Existential Dilemma

A few weeks ago, I went out for drinks with some friends. D1 is a couple of months out of a 4-year relationship. D2 is happily married. C is two years out of a 7-year relationship.

And then there's little ol' forever single me.

C was praising her (relatively new) single life. She's one of those people who has always been in a relationship, and this is the first time in her adult life where she hasn't been a part of a couple. She's enjoying creating a home for herself, enjoying dinners out with friends, enjoying catching up with books and movies and solitude. For her, being single represents freedom.

I snorted. "Yeah, you're only two years in. That's the fun time. Talk to me after you've been single for a couple of decades."

All three of my friends looked at me, their jaws dropped. What was I talking about? I'm the independent single gal!!!! I'm Mary Tyler Moore! I'm Carrie Bradshaw! I'm Liz Lemon! I'm free!

I said, "Well, yeah, I'm free, but after awhile, that freedom gets sort of boring. That freedom gets (dare I say it?) kind of lonely."

This conversation has stuck with me over the past few weeks. It's not a feeling of sadness or unhappiness with who I am. It's not a feeling of self-hatred. On the contrary. I'm happy with who I am. I'm aware of all that I've accomplished and done, things that I probably couldn't have accomplished or done were I not single. But it's more an overwhelming feeling of...Have I missed the boat? Am I supposed to be doing something different? Have I made choices in life that have destined me to a life of solitude? Am I trapped in this existence?

And, as I said (though the Independent Girrls' Club of America will probably take away my membership card for even thinking this, let alone saying it) the freedom of being single gets kind of boring after awhile. Perhaps, in part, because that freedom is an illusion. I'm not spending my weekends dancing wildly at clubs (that was Years 21-29 of being single) or jumping out of airplanes (Year 33). I'm not picking up and flying to random foreign countries (not with a mortgage on my single-person's salary). No, as virtually the only absolutely single person I know, I'm spending my weekends much like my coupled friends are spending their weekends: Sitting on my butt watching DVDs and eating delivery. The only difference is that there's nobody to refill my glass.

Sure, I know exactly what I need to do to make my life more exciting. I can sign up for classes, join activity groups, go to singles' events, post a personal ad, etc. etc.

Been there. Done that. I desire genuine intimacy, not more activities.

The difficult thing, though, is that I don't feel like anybody gets it. They say things like, Oh, you're the type of woman who will be single forever, or, I just know that you'll meet someone. This is your year. My coupled friends all idealize my freedom. They stare at me starry-eyed, talk wistfully about my exciting social life, and ask when I'll organize another Girrls' Night Out. My recently-single friends are all celebrating in having control over the remote and being able to have cheap, one-night-stands. They see me as the eternally single gal, and they seem to think that I revel in this role.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bicycles, fish, or insanity?

Choose One:

A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.--attributed to Gloria Steinem

Men Are Like Fish: What Every Woman Needs To Know About Catching A Man. --by
Steve Nakamoto

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.--Albert Einstein

After being flaked out on twice in the last two weeks, I'm back in the saddle again. Tomorrow's "date" is officially scheduled. Bachelor #490093 provided two options of time/place for me to choose from. He's confirmed with me and provided me with directions.

Would it be too cynical of me to take bets on whether or not this "date" will actually take place?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Bridget Jones Moment

The alleged dater strikes again. This time he canceled on me 2 1/2 hours before our first date because he, "Isn't in a good place for dating right now." I'm not sure why these guys wait until only a couple of hours before the (rescheduled -- of course, being an alleged dater, he had already canceled on me once before) date is supposed to take place. I'm not sure why they keep scheduling dates in the first place. If this had happened once in my dating life, no biggie (because I'm the first to admit that I've done this ONCE myself). But it's not once. It's literally 90% of the time. Though on the bright side, at least this one had the guts to call.

And with this horrible dating year finally coming to a close, I can't help but feel a bit like Bridget Jones.

That was it. Right there. Right there. That was the moment. I suddenly realized that unless something changed soon I was going to live a life where my major relationship was with a bottle of wine. And I'd finally die, fat and alone, and be found three weeks later, half eaten by wild dogs. Or I was about to turn into Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.
I wonder where the strength comes from to keep going out there, optimistically, and not just accept a life of tragic spinsterhood.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Home (Alone) For The Holidays

This year I made a conscious decision to not fly to the midwest to visit my family. This decision wasn't out of spite or animosity toward them. No, it was a decision based on the fact that my school semester didn't end until the 23rd this year and the fact that I'm on sabbatical next term, so I'll have a chance to see them that doesn't involve flying through Chicago O'Hare during a blizzard.

I've always been quite content with this decision, and as the countdown to Christmas began, I became more and more content. I bought a little tree, hung my stocking, stocked up on Blueberry Stoli, and struggled over which movie to go see Christmas Day.

But while I was sitting around my drafty condo in state of alternative-holiday bliss, my family was worried.

You're going to the movies, alone???
my mother said to me on the phone Christmas Eve.

I thought you were going to C's for dinner...
my brother said.

No, I said. I'm not going to C's for dinner.

Well, maybe you could go volunteer somewhere. Or go to K's...my mother said, worried. Didn't she invite you?

I had thought about volunteering, but the slots for that filled pretty early. And it was true that K had invited me to dinner, but I just didn't feel like going. I was choosing to spend the holidays alone, and I was happy with that. My family, however, just couldn't comprehend this fact.

The holidays are a time to spend with others, my mother pleaded, her voice rising through the receiver.

I suppose this is true, and to ease her anxiety and get her to hang up, I told her that my friends M and B were probably coming to breakfast (which wasn't even a lie).

The simple truth is that I feel like simplicity this holiday day. I don't feel like being with a big group of people I barely know, don't feel like braving holiday travel. As I sit at my dining room table, mug of coffee steaming beside me, Christmas music playing, lights twinkling, dog knawing his Christmas rawhide, I am happy. I'm not rejecting human companionship. I've spent the weeks leading up to the "big day" with friends and coworkers, raising our glasses in good cheer. And the thing that my family doesn't understand (the thing that many people probably don't understand) is that this isn't a sign of despair or depression on my part.

For me, choosing to be alone on the holidays isn't a negative thing unless I choose to make it negative. Being home alone for the holidays is far less distressful than flying alone (again) for the holidays two weeks after (yet another) breakup. And being home alone for the holidays is far less challenging than being home alone the other 364 days of the year I am home alone. It's far less challenging that being home alone after a difficult day at work. It's far less challenging than being home alone the day the sewer main line backed up. Or the day the car broke down. The day the bird got sick. It's far less challenging than being home alone the day my father died.

Because everyone is happy on the holidays. Joy really does fill the air. If I decide to go to the movies (or out for Chinese food) I will be greeted with a smile and a "Merry Christmas." There will be ample parking, and I won't have to stuff coins in a meter. I have a stack of DVDs I can watch, a pile of unread novels. I have food in the cupboard, vodka in the freezer, and a dog who can never get enough pets.

So if you've found yourself alone on the holidays, I wish you well. Not just on this day but on every day of the year.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hoping for rain

Last weekend, for the first time since Mr. Nice ended things, I went out on the town. The past few months I've spent keeping fairly quiet: going to dinner with friends, watching movies, home repair.

No more.

Last weekend, I got all dressed up, spritzed on some Chanel, and headed out with a new girlfriend. And get this....I met an actual flesh and bones man.

It was so easy. After months of dealing with the utter nonsense of on-line dating (correction: on-line alleged dating) I had forgotten what a catch I am. I looked good. Mr. Flesh and Bones looked (and smelled -- I forgot how good they smell) good. We stayed out until after 4 a.m., exchanged some sexy kisses. He even left me a sweet message the next day.

But...there's always a but...

Mr. Flesh and Bones was going back east for two weeks for the Thanksgiving holiday. Of course, experience shows that I'll probably never hear from him again, that two weeks is like a lifetime when you've only known someone four hours. And that's all fine, but what's a girl to do to distract herself?

Easy. Meet someone else. Didn't dating in triplicate teach us anything?

The clouds started to converge Monday morning. It smelled like rain. I logged in to Match and -- miracle upon miracles -- this guy I e-mailed a couple of weeks ago had finally responded. He said he had taken a hiatus from dating and had just gotten my e-mail. After a few exchanges, we've arranged to meet for a drink this Monday. The perfect distraction.

Now I just have to find me a third....


Monday, October 13, 2008

Ding! Ding! Ding!

The alleged dater surfaces. After five days of silence (thereby bypassing my suggested, preferred times to meet up) he responds with, "Sorry for the delay. How's Tuesday for a beverage?" This after he'd already disappeared for a week and a half then reappeared again as if no time had passed.

Er, no thank you. I'm not the type of woman who's willing to accept crumbs.