15 November 2013

Boyfriendless By Choice

I'm single. And I'm okay with that. More than that, I'm happy.

I don't think I'm supposed to be.

I think I'm supposed to want a mister. I think I'm supposed to want someone next to me, cheering for me while at the same time needing my support.

I'm a single woman in her early thirties and I'm not actively looking for a boyfriend. No, I don't need you to tell me that's okay - I don't really care what you think. It's just that I realized I'm "supposed" to lament these Friday and Saturday nights alone. I'm "supposed" to have profiles on websites and be sorting through suitors. But I've just (and I mean moments before blogging from my phone) realized I'm not sure I want what I'm supposed to be chasing.

I'm not sure I want to date. I'm not sure I want to have a boyfriend. I'm not sure I can put myself out there and get to know someone who (statistically) will be disappointing. I don't know that I'm capable of loving someone. I put my eggs in that basket once and the bottom disintegrated. My eggs and eggshells ended up crushed and strewn all over the sidewalk.

I don't bemoan any of that - I ended up with a good friend. I became myself in a way that I couldn't have otherwise. Heartbreak made me a better person. And honestly, I'm glad it happened to me. Still, I've loved. I've lost. I've improved. Do I want to love again? Do I really need to?

My partnered friends are happy. I'm happy for my partnered friends. Sometimes I want to make dinner for someone. Sometimes I want to cuddle and watch a movie. These are things I (can) do as a non partnered person. I have these moments and am sated without knowing his family or their drama.
I can't think of anything I'm missing from a relationship. Ergo, I am less likely to pursue one.

There's a thing though. And the thing is, I love kids. I think single women feel a yearning when they see a couple on the street. I feel a yearning when I see babies or toddlers or hear parents talk to their elementary school kids about their day. I want to have kids. I'm not ruled by my biological clock - I'm totally okay with adopting. But I do want to have kids. And I feel like I should try to get them the "regular" way.

But that's going to involve a partner.

And I'm not sure I'm down with that.

19 August 2013

The Girl Who Would Not Play Mistress

Things happen to me. Awesome things happen to me. I wish I had the time or energy to share all of those things with you guys & dolls - because some of them really are interesting. Case in point, my Friday evening. I was supposed to be home early, to call Kate to tell her the aforementioned amazing things that have been happening to me. Instead I was "one more drink'd" (which happens enought to become a verb) until I found myself starring in another adventure. This is the tale of the Girl Who Would Not Play Mistress.

We were just getting into the Hall & Oates jam portion.
I was sitting in a bar with a friend of mine. Naturally, we were out to answer life's great mysteries. We might have been onto something, but the music stopped. Even in a bar full of people, it felt silent. I dispatched my friend to revive the tunes, but she deemed it a two-woman job. And so we worked.

We cranked out a good 12 - 14 song selections before we slowed down. She asked one passerby if he had any suggestions, and he didn't. In the end it didn't matter (we thought) and (with pride in our choices) we filled the roster.

We sat. We talked. We were watched. The passerby from the jukebox was at my 10 o'clock. I was sitting up against a wall, opposite of the entrance. He was at long table that stood bar height and ran through the middle of the room. His back was to he table, because he was staring at us. I didn't mention this to my friend for a lot of reasons.

  1. She doesn't live in the city. I don't want her to think its strange. 
  2. He wasn't physically intimidating. He just seemed like a guy who was out of place. 
  3. If I had mentioned it to her, she would have looked at him. In these situations I find it's best to pretend it's not happening. No interest, no action. 
  4. We were about to leave soon anyway. 

I was mentally relegating him to "strange guy in a bar," when he approached.
"Can I hang out with you guys?" 
We could have said "no." I've done it in the past. But we were discussing anything serious. And we weren't putting out vibes to attract anyone else. This was an after-work crowd at a bar. Also, it's San Francisco. Talking to strangers happens, right before you're talking to a friend. (See what I did there?)

And so we met Peter. Peter is from Boston. He works in construction and was brought out by his company to work on apartment complexes going up near the ballpark. Peter has a heavy Boston accent. Peter is married to a woman who works for the federal government They are Catholic and have three children, who are all right around my age. They've been married about 35 years. Peter travels a lot for work, but goes home every three weeks. Traveling has been part of his job for about ten years. He gets put up in nice apartments, and it's lonely.
"Aren't I entitled to have an affair?" 
"No actually, you're not."  
But that came later. First, Peter forgot our names. And this friend and I have the same name. If you're going to crash my party, pay attention to the guests. He forgot what we did and where we worked. I switched to asking Peter about himself, because we were literally going in circles with the questions he was asking us. Then we got to the crux of the matter.
"You guys married?"  - Peter
"Yup."  - Friend, D
"No." - Heroine, D
"Do you got a boyfriend or something?" - Peter
"I live my life."  - Heroine, D
"What does that mean?" - Peter
"It means I live my life."  - Heroine, D 
In my mind, he's a dad. So I treated him like a dad. Dads don't want to know what their single 30-something daughters do in the dating world. Trust me - I've tried to tell mine. But Peter did not see himself as a dad. Peter saw himself as a potential. So he started making inroads.
"What's your husband say about you being out?" - Peter
"Actually, it's my wife, and she's out of town. But --" - Friend, D
"You're married to a woman?" - Peter
"Welcome to San Francisco." - Friend, D [possibly with jazz hands]
I wish I had a picture of his face. He was a man who wanted to accept it, but was incapable. There was at least one muttered "wow," and an awkward "so you're the 'wife' then?" And later "yeah but you can't be Catholic now, not married to woman." It was cringeworthy. I digress.

Peter told us about his wife ("she could be watching right now") and his three kids (two girls and a boy) and then said he was looking for a young lady to spend time with while he was here. Friend D (bless her heart) first thought he wanted us to help him find such a young lady. She literally looked around the bar with an "ummmm."

But this man - this married older man - wanted me to be his San Francisco thing. It was infuriating on so many levels, I didn't even know where to begin crushing him. I unleashed all of my thoughts at once. My tirade spared nothing. I reminded him that he was disrespecting his vows, that his daughters would be disgusted that he was picking up a girl their age (or a little younger) and that his wife works for the government and really could be tracking him.

I told him she could be in bar herself with some 30 year old stud.
"She's not like that."
"Well she probably doesn't think you're like that either. But she has a friend. And that friend doesn't trust you and has been whispering in her ear for years. And that friend will get her attention soon enough." 
I asked him what could possibly be in it for me.
"You want me to waste a year of my life when I'm not getting married or having a baby to hang out with a married man in a situation I know has no future? All for the pleasure of your company? That's not enough. What are you offering that's worth the compromising of my morals and the scorn of my friends?"  
"Well no one has to know." 
"My whole life is on the Internet. As soon as you walk away. This will be on Facebook." 
Then I went in the other direction. Telling him that there was no way he'd find someone who would enjoy him for a year and just let him go. I told him if it were me, and I loved him for a year, that I would want to keep him. I detailed how I would destroy his homelife using DMV and real estate records that a former member of the media just might be able to access. (He doesn't know a media bluff - he works in construction.) I told him how one look in his wallet while he was in the shower could mess up his whole lecherous operation.
"Why would you do that to me?" 
It was as if he had never seen a revenge movie. Or more likely that he thinks women are weak. I told him a woman who willing be a whore for a married man for a year would probably not feel compelled to share her STD history.

"I can't believe you would give your wife herpes. That's gross." 
"I wouldn't!"  
I could have railed at him for hours. First of all, he thought I - dressed in my bowling ensemble - looked like mistress / whore material. Secondly, he assumes his wife has no option but to sit at home and be thankful for his existence. Thirdly, he's willing to suck a fertile year from a 30-something just for his own "funsies."

And he was unapologetic.
"I wish I had never talked to you girls." - Peter
"Yeah, that was a mistake." - Friend, D
"Know what else? This is my neighborhood. I've lived here for years. I go to bars in North Beach, Chinatown and Nob Hill. I actually hit every neighborhood in this city. And if I see you, I will tell whoever you're with the kind of person you are." - Heroine, D   
He left - without paying for his beer, which the waiter just put on our tab.

On our way to finding a taxi, we saw him briefly on the next street. He ducked his head and scurried away.

I mean, really!

18 January 2013

Another Year on The Books

I'm officially a year older.
I find this to be wonderful.

Me & my Fairy Godmother. 
I've been meaning to tell you how ready I am for this year. I started a blog draft and everything. But I felt like you'd heard it all before. I felt that I'd thought it all before. I was about to repeat myself, and I was not okay with that. So. Instead of writing, I got to purging. 

No one who had been to my place would have said I had too much stuff. They might have said I had a lot of stuff, but that it mostly appeared to be useful. They might not actually have talked about my stuff at all. The truth is, It doesn't matter what some hypothetical acquaintance might have thought. I did have too much stuff. I had too many things for which I made places, too many things around which I cleaned, too many things I thought I needed. I had started to imagine those things were consuming me. There was too much upkeep, too much finagling to make sure everything had a place that wasn't too close to any other thing. The only solution was to get rid of as much as I could.  

I went at it systematically, targeting every nook, container and storage bin in my apartment. I applied the 12 month rule to nearly everything. I assessed. I organized. I cleaned. I felt the weight lift. I accepted that I was not going to re-teach myself German, Italian or algebra from old text books. (I also accepted that you can't sell text books 10+ years after they were current.) I came to terms with the fact that I don't need 4 copies of that Shape Magazine that had me on page 88. I admitted I had no reason to keep two years' worth of magazines that I only read once. 

And WHY do I have CDs? I have redundant physical as well as cloud-based storage. It's time to upload and recycle. Yes, I have a lot of music and this will take a LONG time, but it'll be worth it to just have less. The time will come (eventually) when I'll be forced to move. Traditionally I've moved every three years. I've been blessed to have been in this place for nearly five (5!) years. So I haven't  had that "is it worth moving" discussion. I've just been importing and adding and organizing. It's been great. But it's also been a bit much.

A lot of clothes. Promise.
So I got rid of books and clothes. I got rid of kitchen items that I had stop using. I finally parted with the maps / bus passes / pieces of daily life from when I studied abroad - in 2001. That's right. I've had trinkets from Seville neatly organized and in my possession. I've moved them from Seville to Ithaca to Fargo to Las Vegas and finally to San Francisco.  It is here my essays from 2001 - 2002 will be recycled. 

I still have work to do. I don't need the international money I've accumulated since 1996. I have pesos, pesetas, lira, francs, dinars, euros, and dollars from Canada and The Bahamas. I'm hoping Pinterest will give me a creative solution. The jewelry box I've had since 1998 can stay, if I get jewelry the lock fixed. The runes from my Wiccan exploratory days are also somehow still here

Closet. Still full.
It has occurred to me - as I'm sure it's occurred to you - that I am some sort of hoarder. Last month, I would have adamantly denied that. Today, I'll still deny it, but I'll also put more effort into defending myself. Here we go.

It's just that I never thought my life would be as exciting as it is. I thought there would be time to go back and reflect. I thought I would re-read my essays on government and media and either shake my head in disappointment or rekindle my undergrad passion. I imagined I'd have time to re-read Baroque Spanish poetry - you know, to stay sharp. In an unforeseen lack of activity on either a social or professional front, I would have activities to keep my mind going. Life has steadily proven me wrong. I'm just now accepting that. I won't be replacing any of the stuff I've removed. I'm looking forward to less clutter. And now that the universe sees I have the bandwidth (as they say), I'm sure all kinds of new adventures are heading my way. 

03 January 2013

The Things... So Far

These are some of the things I'm no longer going to carry with me everywhere, every day. Why carry three thumb drives, when I only use one? Why can't I take my vitamins at home? Why carry three pretty pens when I only have one favorite?

Goodbye eyelash curler. Farewell eyelash comb. Adieu back up lotion packet. I don't need you when I'm in transit; I barely need you at all.

What I do need is a new purse hanger. The one pictured couldn't carry tonight's load. And I have only myself to blame.

02 January 2013

One Day Done

I've so far been able to talk a good game in 2013. I know exactly what I want to accomplish. I know exactly what I need to do to accomplish it. Still, the time approaches when thoughts and intentions will not be enough. I will have to take action applying neither excuse nor delay. I know; I'm already starting to stress myself. It's just that 2012 went by really quickly. I still have the stack of notes / scrap-booking materials from my 30th birthday celebration a full year ago. And you haven't heard / read anything about that, have you? The more I do, the faster time seems to pass. The faster time passes, the less time there is to go back and properly process. I don't have enough time to 0rganize the past and grasp the future. So. It's time for the More Practical Resolutions. These are things that can actually be crossed off a list. These are my kinds of things.

Carry less weight on my shoulders.
This can (and should) be taken figuratively and literally.

I carry a large purse. I like to be prepared for whatever life may throw at me. I can say I've used everything in my purse on one occasion or another. I can also say I have a version of everything that's in my purse both at home and at work. The bottom line is I don't need to carry as much as I do. I just like being the girl with the solution to every situation. But you know what? She doesn't have to be me. Someone else can carry the load. My purse is heavy. It's so heavy my shoes wear harder on the side on which I carry it. It's so heavy my shoulders ache. It's heavy to the point of being a burden rather than a convenience. In 2013, I will carry less.

Get it done or get over it.
Pretty safe to say I'm already over it.

I have projects I've started and not finished. I have tasks and to-do lists and post-it note reminders to last all the live long day. I organize well. I'm not so good at the finishing. This simply cannot continue. If I'm going to make more movie-stub wallets, I should get to the making of said wallets. If I'm going to make anything out of the boarding passes I've accumulated in the last 17 years, I should get to assembling. If I'm going to take the photos from the photo boxes and stick them into the waiting albums, I should get to the sticking. You get the idea. I have heaps of things primed for action. I hereby have 30 days to take some action. In 2013, I will finish what has been started.

Make my own dinner.
Popcorn & wine can no longer cut it.

I love hosting. I have a vision of well attended dinner parties every other week. I can't describe how happy it makes me when people are brought together for no other reason than merriment. I prepare well for every occasion. But when all is said and done - when it's just me in my happy kitchen - my ambition is just not the same. I need to cook more. It will save me money. It will give me practice. It will give me a sense of pride. It will help me learn my way around the grocery store. In 2013, I will become even more familiar with my kitchen.

I once heard a speaker say if you're going to take on new challenges, you have to be willing to let go of old goals or responsibilities. I'm more determined now than I've ever been. I won't let keeping up with the Joneses deter me. I won't be detained by what's weighed me down previously. It's time to let go so I can get going.

This year is going to be great.