Wednesday, June 21, 2006

There Is Nothing So Awkward, As Courting A Woman ... Whilst She Is Making Sausages.

I am single. Yes, I know you already know that, as you have probably memorized the information in my profile over there --> since I never seem to update with real stories anymore. But it has come as quite a surprise to people lately, so I thought perhaps I should address the topic with a little treatise here. Of course, 98% of them don't read this, but let's nevermind silly little details like that.

How can YOU be single? But you're attractive and smart and nice and I'm sure you have no trouble meeting people!

Oh, no. I am single. And by single I don't mean "unmarried," I mean "not a man in sight." I mean "it's just me and the tumbleweeds out here." I mean "the last date I went on was in the first Bush administration. The George H. W. Bush administration."

(Ok, that last one may have been a bit of an exaggeration. I'm pretty sure I wasn't allowed to date back then.)

Used to be, I thought there was something undesirable about me that led to this perma-single status. I wasn't pretty enough. I wasn't skinny enough. I wasn't bubbly enough. I wasn't popular enough. I wasn't tall enough. I wasn't athletic enough. I wasn't smiley enough. I wasn't fashionable enough. I wasn't blonde enough. I wasn't cleavage-y enough. I wasn't dumb enough.

(One thing I was plenty of: intimidating. Which I found completely baffling, as I certainly did not feel like I was the alpha-anything. Maybe it was the sausage-making.)

Somewhere in the course of college and my early-20s I managed to shake most of those "not ___ enough" worries. But I realized I still didn't have a boyfriend on a regular basis. Throughout school that was just fine with me, as a significant other would have been time-consuming and would have complicated my scholastic goals and career aspirations. I knew I was moving, even if I didn't know where, and I wasn't convinced that someone would be willing to make the move with me. Even today, becoming Involved With Someone is not high on my priority list, because the last thing I want to do is tie myself to California for the rest of my life. (DC friends: "Damn it, you said it'd only be a year or two!")

But it's not just my workaholic tendencies or the geographic difficulties that keep me single. And it's not that I relish facing this cold, harsh world alone. Or that I'm some ball-busting, man-eating witch. (No, that's just at work.) I actually like the idea of a boyfriend/husband/life partner. But I hate dating. I have really high standards, and I know it. It's the little things that trip people up. Like the ability to make plans and show up on time and open car doors and use the appropriate utensils and carry on a conversation that remotely interests me and not attempt to get the waitress's phone number while we're out.

I know. I set the bar high.

Male Friend: You need to get out more. You need human interaction.
Me: I'm in meetings and on the phone all day! I get plenty of human interaction!
Male Friend: I mean human physical interaction.
Me: *Blinks.*
*Blinks again.*
*Slight shaking of head.* No, no I don't need that.
*Thinking, oh my god, the extent to which I Do. Not. Need. THAT.*

What it really boils down to is this: I have a hard time adjusting to new people in my life. Not emotionally, but just re-arranging my calendar, my commitments, my lifestyle, my life to make space for someone else. It's easier to make room in my shoe closet for someone than it is to keep my calendar flexible enough to enable me to see someone often. I'm happy to do it for someone important. (And there have been some people who are important enough, for which I'm grateful. I hope they appreciate what I did for them as much as I appreciate what they did for me.) But for someone who's less-than-important? Not a chance. I'm holding out for Mr. Right. I know how to handle Mr. Right This Second. What I can't do is Mr. Right For A Few Months Or So.

Therefore, I've gotten to be really good at weeding people out early on. Maybe too good.

Him: I'd really like to see you again. Can I buy you a drink sometime?
Me: Sure. But please realize that I'm Catholic and I work for [redacted] and those are two pretty big parts of me that aren't changing. So, if either are going to be a problem, maybe you should consider that.

Nice guy, but negotiating our work lives could have been complicated, and he's Jewish so if my being a non-Jew was a non-starter, well then let's not start anything. A friend and I placed a bet as to whether he would call. I said no; she said "of course he will!" I won.

And I could overlook those little things and I could start something, hoping that things get better and I could stop being so damn picky.

But I'm not going to. As the Bee Gees say, "Too many lovers in one lifetime ain't good for you."

I don't date. It's just not my thing.


At Thu Jun 22, 04:49:00 PM PDT, Blogger doctor chip said...

what is this place... ?

... sausages?



At Thu Jun 22, 05:48:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arranged marriage?

At Fri Jun 23, 09:43:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Alan said...

Arranged marriage sounds like the perfect solution for you. I'll start shopping online.

Does Amazon have a husband section?

At Fri Jun 23, 09:46:00 AM PDT, Blogger Daily Tragedies said...

Ha! Depends on who's doing the arranging. I don't trust my parents to pick out clothes for me at this point; I'm not sure they can handle the husband selection. But hey, anyone who wants to do the initial vetting and submit to me a short-list of names... Go nuts.

At Mon Jun 26, 02:29:00 PM PDT, Anonymous clk said...

Hmmm...Careful. Some of us may take you up on that arrangement proposition. You might want to clarify the ground rules.

At Mon Jun 26, 02:40:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe I could write a PhD thesis on people abandoning the "dating" market due to high transaction costs.


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