Why I’m Single

(At a certain age you get asked that. A lot.)

Ugh.

I met this guy right after Element 11. He’s a friend of my campmate, and joined us at Crystal Hot Springs after the festival. He’s great. He lives out of town, but comes to Salt Lake all the time.

All was well. I was excited to see him. Then yesterday, as plain as a voice, I knew I would never love him. And it really bummed me out. This is that guy! This is the keeper.

But not for me.

He will never get my sense of humor. I found myself explaining, “I’m just being silly,” all the time. (To every frivolous thing I said he replied, “It’s okay. Everyone’s unique. Everyone’s perspective is valid … [this, that] ….”)

It was patronizing and weird, like he wanted to be seen as sage, wise, a leader, expansive and accepting of all. When I finally grew annoyed enough to notice the strange rift in communication, I understood that it was a fundamental difference of personality. Simple.

And dead in the water.

Yeah, I like to have deep conversations, too. Our first was wonderful. I was giddy to find a thinker who’s fun. I’m so impressed by him. I have tremendous respect for his integrity, commitment to his work, to fitness, his sense of adventure, his love of nature, art, humanity. I love his curiosity about the world. He asks serious questions.

But sometimes I’m ridiculous for its own sake. I can’t have a partner compelled to force every facet of my person into a compartment he understands completely. Let that piece be mine, if it doesn’t mirror you precisely. Guess what? If my sense of play is sometimes different from yours… “It’s okay!”

We seemed to match, with similar interests and talents. He seemed playful. But why must he turn every trivial thing I say into something profound, an opportunity to support me? Obviously, I’m not serious. Obviously, I’m playing. Obviously, based on other conversations and things I’ve said in this conversation, I think my progress through life is just fine. Every time I teased myself or poked fun at the foibles of humankind, he apologized for me.

Apologizing for a woman is another way of dismissing her. “It’s okay” so often means “shut up.”

I think much more highly of him than that. Nonetheless, I hate it when guys think they have to fix things. Do I act like I need fixing? When I’m laughing over a nice meal?

It’s bad enough when they do it and all a girl needed was to unload. At least then, I appreciate the intention, or the confusion, even. I know there’s a real difference between men and women, inasmuch as men don’t seem to understand or can’t get comfortable with the fact that sometimes the solution is just getting the words out. If a woman wants your help, you’ll know. Not because she’s raging; because she’ll ask. What we mean by “I want to feel heard” is “I want your companionship.” Be there.

And to comfort me when I’m laughing? It made no sense. In fact, I understand a little better now, my irritation. It was the opposite of being heard.

It made me fight for foolishness. Lighten up! It was the most bizarre sense of jovial aggravation. How can you be defensive and silly? I’ve never experienced anything like it. It was all I could do not to scream, “Dude! Just let me play!”

I was so excited to see him. We started the evening with a wonderful embrace, and went to a fantastic restaurant. But I couldn’t say one thing without being smothered by validation. “It’s okay” was the theme of the evening.

I KNOW!!!

Now, based on my murderous feelings yesterday, I have to recognize the likelihood that this is simply a bitchy mood swing, right? (I’m not premenstrual.) But I’m looking back over our previous dates and realizing that I’ve never heard him laugh out loud. A chortle. A chuckle. Pleasant amusement. That’s fine for some people. Some people dislike the snorting guffaw that is my personality. I’m obnoxious. I’m fine with that. But I need to know that my partner and I will laugh so hard some nights that we fall off the couch, lose our voices or bladders, and beg the other to stop being so damned funny, I might die from funny! I need it. I need to know he laughs his ass off regularly. I need him to think I’m funny. The man of my dreams thinks I’m hilarious because he is, and people tend to match in these things.

Last night’s date and I, do not.

It’s such an insufferable bummer, and I’m so over it! Everything else checks off on paper. Am I simply determined to not get what I say I want, by finding flaws where none exist? I could have it all with him! Everything I’ve dreamed of, the chance to grow a family, to be a mother, to build a stable home, beautiful and warm, filled with music. To share my life!

I don’t actually find any flaws here. We simply don’t match.

That’s not all. Last night, he crashed at my place. He has before. We don’t have sex yet, both preferring to wait for trust and intimacy. This one is special, the real deal, and I want something lasting, so for now we make out and talk and fall asleep. It’s nice.

But last night, the way he touched me drove me nuts. So respectful. So timid. I begin to understand that the constant reassurance I get from him has been the coping mechanism he’s developed to get through his own challenges, and I honor that. He succeeded! He’s constructed a life he loves. It is okay, and his internal monologue is how it got that way. He’s simply continuing what he’s found to work in his own life.

He’s also a music teacher of young children, who need nurturing and validation, and he has it to spare. He’s such a good man. Kind and gentle. A conscientious and loving man. A real man. And a great musician. He’s one of those teachers, whom dozens upon dozens of people, for the rest of their lives, will talk about. He’s the one who made the difference. It’s beautiful! He’s powerful.

So own that! Be that. Take that! You earned it. And take me, too, godammit. I want to feel desired, sure, but more disastrous was the utter lack of arousal his gentle ministrations inspired. Gross. I want to know that when the time comes, raw passion will split the world and when we finally shut the door together, we won’t reemerge for months!

Instead, I wanted him to stop touching me.

Every kiss was tender, each caress polite. That’s nice, too, but we’ve done that several times now. We know sex isn’t happening tonight, so relax and have some fun! Kiss me! Sometimes he’d migrate from my mouth to my neck but it was like he’d seen in movies he’s supposed to kiss me there, not as though he wanted to devour me.

I’m a passionate woman. I believe I can have voracious sexual satisfaction with a deeply good, courageous, honest man. I want a man with an absurd sense of humor and profound respect for life and meaning. Why should the love of philosophical thought preclude adoration of the ridiculous? All women want a man who really cares, but why has experience told me that none of those guys is good in bed? MANhandle me!

*sigh*

Next!

God, what next? Do I give up on family and go for a man set to retire in 10, who wants an attractive, intelligent companion to travel the world with? Could being grandmother to grown step-children’s babies satisfy me? Of course I’ll love and enjoy them, but truly satisfied? It may seem draconian but if the answer is no, I’d rather strike out on my own, forever, roam independently, never worry. There’s real beauty in the freedom I enjoy.

It’s not about babies, necessarily. It’s about being a mother. It’s who I am. I feel it so deeply. I’ve always known. I waited and waited because I knew I had to get myself out of the way – like my mother couldn’t as a teen mom – so that my life was about them at that point, not me. I wanted me resolved. So I got blind drunk for a decade(plus). Give me a break, I was violently abused. I hate to be common, but most of us escape through addiction. I got out of it, entirely on my own. Does it cost me everything?

I want a family.

Has it been that the only reason I ever wanted a man was for my baby?

Perhaps that’s why I’ve never found him. Men are worth more than their donation. There’s karmic irony. I’ve resented my whole life that women, especially in my culture, are seen merely as vessels to produce offspring, to clean and manage everything afterwards. Domestic servants. Keep your mouth shut and let Man exercise the power, little lady. Gross. Now I see a man only for what he can do for me. I don’t think that’s true anymore. If all I wanted was a sperm donor, I’ve met a million. I want a lover, a partner, a husband, a father, a playmate, a friend, a companion. I want my man! I want to LOVE someone! And I can’t love less than what I need.

I am who I am. High demand, I guess. But I’d rather be alone than settle. Someone might die if I settled, and I can’t guarantee it would be me.

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Online Dating and Other Misadventures

Here we go again!

I got a love note from OkCupid, telling me how dismal life has been since I deactivated my account a year ago. The wheels started turning again (“Maybe…”) so, sure, hell, why not? I rejoined.

I think online dating is a young person’s game. I simply cannot force a connection with someone I meet there, even if the date is pleasant. Even with dynamic, interesting conversation. Even with a good-looking fellow. I don’t know; some kind of mental block.

And those are the rare finds. Generally, they’re of the trying-too-hard/always-on variety with screen names like “QualityGenes,” and I find myself wanting to remove them from the gene pool. Painfully.

I know it’s hard out there, but no.

I’ll give it another week, and if all I feel is hostility for myself and all others in the gene pool, I’ll get out of the water and back in the shade.

Speaking of young people, I got chatted up (insistently pursued) by a PUPPY of 21 the other day! He was very gracious and charming about not taking no for an answer, bless him, and he finally did. It was a fun flirtation, and a great boost (gorgeous young specimen, this one, looking all of 16, as far as I can tell anymore). The young’ uns asked me out en masse 5 or 6 years ago and then stopped en masse about a year ago, so it was nice to be the sexy older woman again to some young bloke wanting lessons. Ha!

Anyway, let’s be honest. I had a temporary affair in a temporary city and, nearly a month on, I’m still pining for the perfect man! I know he can’t be. He’s perfect because he was gone before either of us could show or find flaws, but… PERFECT, I’m telling you! I wish I could love and let go. I never have festival boyfriends, for this reason. Offers at every event, of course. I love people. Connecting, flirting, kissing, dancing. Beyond that, “I’m just not available. Thank you.” He’s why. I’m so moony for him, I’m willing to join the other desperados online to fill the void he left. I’m aching. PERFECT!

He. was. perfect.

*sigh*gene pool

Airheaded Bombshell

I’m not the ingenue anymore, but I see I’m still being type-cast… the vampy ditz who knows a thing or two, haha! Call-backs are tomorrow. Wish me luck!

It’s good the email came, because I was starting to get sour. I got dumped-ish yesterday, and as the hour neared noon I began to feel like I’d yet again merely humiliated myself in an audition. It wasn’t the best, but that’s success for me. Historically, I bomb auditions, so any improvement is notable and necessary.

As for being dumped… The Climber and I have been seeing each other since we met on my 40th birthday. Our date Saturday changed everything. (Best hike ever. I can’t remember laughing so hard, and that’s saying a lot.) I liked John all along, but I was never giddy to the point of distraction. In fact, I was just beginning to worry about it. “Shouldn’t I be thinking about him non-stop by now?” I asked myself. Well… I am.

So, seeing the obvious change in the way I look at him, he texted Sunday telling me he definitely doesn’t want kids at his age (45). Being honest when it’s difficult makes him more desirable, of course, and all he has to do is hang around for the next couple of years. If I don’t find a breeder to take me on, he’ll be back in the running. Except… he never wants to live with cats again, and that’s my family whether I have a baby or not.

He could be the perfect guy except for one deal-breaker, and that one deal-breaker is enough.” -sage fatherly advice from a friend’s dad

Next. Yet again, next. Sigh.

 

Get After It, Hot Stuff!

So, my assignment at the dealership came to an end but then the cashier in the service department panicked that she would be alone until the new girl started back there, with month end and first of the month coming up… so off I went to the money pit.

One of the service writers is gorgeous, a stallion of a man. Like, as hot as the owner of the detail shop, with whom, incidentally, I still chat it up. In fact, I asked him this week if he’d jump out of an airplane with my friends and me on my 40th.

“That’s crazy,” he marveled. “Just yesterday my buddy said, ‘We need to go skydiving again soon.'”

“Bring him!”

“But that’s crazy,” he said again. “We were just talking about it.”

“Hm. You should pay attention to that.” (We’ve talked spirituality and “knowingness.”)

I told him the time and place, and asked if he still had my number. He put his hand on mine and winked. “I’ve still got your number.”

“As well you should,” I reminded him, placing my other hand on his. “‘Til next time, my unavailable friend.” (Still in love with ex-wife.) I hope he comes!

Back to the stallion… I’ve been tossing my hair and beaming when he comes into the office, and I’ve suspected that he’s lingering longer and longer, but I just couldn’t be the one to make the move with him. Yesterday, we got talkin’ movies. “Oh, I need to see that again!” I laughed, when he quoted “The Big Lebowski.” After lunch, he handed me the DVD. He’d gone home to get it. (God, he looks good kitted up in motorcycle gear!)

It just so happens that I have a copy of the other movie we talked about and this morning, very nearly this moment, I walked in and put it on his desk, my number included. “I know where you work,” I said. “I’m not really giving you my number to get my movie back. Unless you’re not available. And then I am.”

Tomorrow is officially my last day.

If Only Bird Shit Were My Only Problem

Leaving for work this morning… Milo won’t start.

I HAVE HAD IT!

It’s official, he’s a lemon. I’ve spent over a thousand dollars in less than 3 weeks! This time, it’s “E” for Electrical (and Expensive), because he wouldn’t auto-lock either (and I just replaced the starter).

I feel like crying. I’ve been without a car for 6 years. I could have saved the multiple thousands of dollars I’ve poured into the purchase and maintenance of this ugly piece of scrap metal and gone to freaking Europe already!

It has been awfully convenient. I’ve been eating healthier because I can make more frequent trips to Whole Foods, which isn’t close. Being lazy, I didn’t always want to bike over.

I took one trip to Idaho to see my grandma, but overall I have to admit… NOT WORTH IT. I could just take the shuttle up north like I have for the last six years, and… what? Go to Europe already!

I’m bitter.

Phil is such a jerk. He helped me pick out the car. And he’s a mechanic! In fact, the car shopping experience was the beginning of the end for us, because he was just such a jerk! He was completely irritated, put-out, and rude. If you don’t want to help, don’t say you will and then act like a victim! He wouldn’t render even the slightest opinion.

“What do you think about this one, honey?”

“I don’t know. It’s your car.”

“Right. I know nothing about cars. I was hoping your expertise could wisely direct me? Whadya think?”

“I don’t know what you want. I can’t make the decision for you.”

“You do know what I want. This price range, 4 doors, something you might trust. Would you get this for yourself? For your mom? That’s what I want.”

“I don’t know! It’s your car!”

Our first fight ensued. The second came a couple weeks later. He’s so wrapped up in himself it doesn’t occur to him to see another’s needs. When I communicated those needs, he simply did not care.

So we broke up. That’s cool. It happens. Today, I asked for his help. I figure it’s been long enough. He’s moved on. I’ll offer to pay him, and get a little savings. (He lost his job while we were dating and the grapevine let me know he’s still not working.) I texted a humorous plea, “… Sincerely, Old Christie 🙂 ” (His new gal is a Christie/y)

Nothing.

OK, that’s fine. (Immature and petty, but fine. And stupid! You need the money, you baby!) I texted again. “If not, no biggie, but please let me know so I can arrange a tow, etc. Thanks much, hope you’re well. Cheers, C”

Nothing.

Just a jerk. I don’t understand people who can’t be civil when a relationship ends. So we weren’t a forever match. So what? I’m always glad for a connection, even a fleeting one. “We really liked each other once. That rocks!” I don’t get stupid people.

(Like anyone, I have exes I hate. Like the grifter. Of course, I’m the idiot who loaned him two-thousand dollars. The serial cheater. Of course, I’m the idiot who took back time and again. The CREEP who didn’t tell me for 8 months that he doesn’t want kids, when I told him on date 3!)

So I have a stupid car I officially regret. In fact… I hate him. Yes, I said it. I hate you, MILO MILO MILO! Pththth!

I’m, Like, The Bravest!

And he’s, like, the hottest!!!

So temping at the dealership, this Adonis comes in all the time to detail our used cars. The first time I saw him I had to catch my breath. (I’m telling you, like, the hottest!) He asked where the old receptionist was. “I know nothing,” I shrugged. “I’m the temp.”

“That sounds like a movie,” he said. “‘The Temp.’ Actually,” he went on, “You look like you could be in a movie.”

Hm.

Luckily, knowing nothing, my blushing and stuttering could be explained as first-day-on-the-job incompetence and I pulled off Lovestruck pretty gracefully. I asked Darlene to help me, and he and I have been flirting ever since.

I decided I was done with waiting, so today as I wrote stock numbers and peg numbers, I grabbed a Post It and wrote my number. “So… there’s a movie I’d like you to see,” I smiled. “It’s called ‘The Temp.'”

He laughed, and then we talked and talked until I got busy and he had to get back to work. On his way out, he asked something but my phone rang again. I waved him off, saying, “We’ll talk, we’ll talk. Let’s go out.”

Weeeeeee!

Word On The Street

I sound like a redhead!

The lovely woman who’s been assisting me in this super fun assignment at a car dealership told me the most curious thing this morning. Her sister calls quite a bit, it seems, and said to her, “I just love Christie! What does she look like?”

Darlene described me.

“That’s exactly how I imagined her! You have to take a picture!” Ha!

As for the super fun position? In 2 days, the salesmen had given me a nickname (Tiny Dancer). In 2 weeks, I’ve had 2 dates with 2 different gents, and I get chatted up more here than I have in my entire life! Very reassuring for the 40-year-old ego…

So far, I’m 3 for 3 at being offered (in some cases, begged to take) the full-time position. Very reassuring for the professional ego…  

Wonder if I sound like I’m going gray. 🙂