I read this piece a few weeks back at the fantastic show Serving the Sentence at Tow Bar in Roger’s Park. Check it out every second Sunday at 7 pm.
Jump, what’s the worst thing that can happen? After six years of being single, this is what I tell myself after confessing to an old coworker my copious crushing for him.
Even his name is perfect. Jack Summers**. He sounds like a made up character on Dawson’s Creek. And he has this smile. I can’t even pretend it doesn’t make me want to fall out of my shit. He owns his own condo. Getting his MBA. Has a good job. Works a 2nd one at Jcrew for the discount. He looks like he belongs in that damned catalogue with the skinny models and the Labrador retrievers, tall, dark, handsome and stylish in that way that looks like he isn’t trying too hard.
Damn. I haven’t seen or talked to him in months. It’s a week after my break up with the latest, right before the new year. I am unemployed, depressed, and have spent the last few days on an ambien high sleeping in my flannel scottie dog sheets, eating leftover Christmas fudge, and not showering. I’ve spent my time watching re-runs of The Wire, again, and eating random combinations of whatever I have in my sparse fridge or ordering large pizzas which I consume within a day. Shockingly, since unemployment and this break up, I’ve gained 15 lbs.
And bam! An email from Jack. Out of the goddamned blue. He gives me his number. Tells me to get back to him. SAY WHAT?! I lose my cool and text him back answering his question immediately.
We catch up a bit, and what the hell right?, I jump and confess my long time crush on him. Has god sent me him right now (nevermind I don’t usually believe in god)? Just a week after I dumped the last loser? The timing is honestly heavenly. We send each other photos, since I went redhead now, and because I just wanted to see his face. OMG. I forgot how cute he is. AND HE JUST SENT ME HIS PICTURE.
A few days later I’m still mourning and dealing with the loss of the last ex, and have let Jack’s face disappear from my daydreams. I’m on the delayed train back to Chicago about 5 inches into a 10 inch snowstorm, when my text message sound goes off. “What r u up to?”
OMG my heart flutters like I’m 13 and the boy at school is sort of paying attention to me. Dude is seriously hotter than Idris Elba.
I try to make conversation. I’m clearly the wittier of the two of us, which will work great as I continue to pursue my writing career and he does whatever dudes with MBAs do.
OMG my double chin! OMG my lack of employment! I totally had both of these issues under control when I last saw him. I was at the pinnacle of having my shit together, well, not really, but at the surface I was. Plus we were working at Jcrew together where the dress code made me wear so many accessories and cute shoes and all that shit so he probably gets an idea I like actually care about my appearance, when for the last 3 months I have solely worn leggings as pants.
"If it wasn’t horrible weather, I’d tell you to come into the city," I say, all slyly.
"Ditto," he answers. His text messages aren’t long. But all that meaning simply the word, "ditto", I think to myself.
"Snow check?" I ask. Man I AM SO witty.
"Ha," he replies. OMG He thinks I am FUNNY. I AM SO FUNNY, GUYS.
"Fo sho," he says.
Ok, Jack Summers, can you tell me when that ‘fo sho’ is gonna be? Because I’m going to need to dye my roots and buy some fresh Spanx for that day.
OMG our biracial children are so going to be fucking Jcrew models. I can feel it. I’m imaging our photo shoots with Jenna Lyons and our beautiful offspring, and he asks for my email address.
OMG WHAT WILL HE SEND ME!? Oh my god. He is so thoughtful. Sent me an article on job interviewing, as he knows I have one this week. I AM IN LOVE.
Mr. Summers, YOU WILL BE MY FUTURE HUSBAND. Let’s do this.
If you are my husband, I will stop eating Express Grill cheeseburgers at 3 am. I’ll shave my legs regularly. I’ll work out. I’ll finally read War and Peace. I’ll wash all the dishes in my sink. I’ll start sleeping 8 hours a night.
Who am I kidding? I promise, I’ll try.
A few weeks later we go on our first date. He lives in the suburbs, which you know he’s cute if I’m willing to date a dude in the ‘burbs. We meet halfway at a Glenview bar to have a few drinks. I beat him there and sit at the bar, attempting to play it cool. He walks in a few minutes later, wearing a camel overcoat and plaid scarf over a Ludlow suit and Ray Bans black rimmed glasses. We hug hello. I about die.
So here I am jumping. What is the worst that can happen?
Hmm, let me see. Humiliation, heartbreak, crying rivers after he breaks my heart.
Here’s a few examples of the worst things that happened:
"I’m a Christian," he says, emphasized at least 3 times.
"I am divorced. Just a year ago."
"We didn’t have sex until we got married."
"I don’t have any interest in moving back to the city."
The man I’m infatuated with is a celibate, suburban Christian divorcee.
This may be the worst that can happen.
But what is the best?
That question and possibility is what keeps me going. Maybe this man will or won’t be the love of my life, maybe I’ll convince him to move to the city, maybe I can put off sex for a few months.
I have to keep jumping, right? Because whatever it is that’s the best possibility will always trump what is the worst.
**not his name
By this time, we have all seen or heard about John Travolta’s Oscar Night gaffe: he not only mispronounced Broadway star Idina Menzel’s name, he made up an entirely new one: Adele Dazeem.
Now, I was all ready to jump on the “Down with Travolta” bandwagon until I took a pause from my late night pancakes and moscato and really thought about it: I’ve done worse.
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve called some dude the wrong name-in bed-I’d have a total of 8 dollars, which-I think-is about 7 bucks too many, right?
I’ve confessed my transgressions with friends and they all look at me with the same incredulous, disappointed face.
How could you do that, Sam?
Did he hear you?
Did you do it on purpose?
Do you know his name now?
I always feel bad, but there’s never anything I can do before it happens. I’m a talker in bed and after a bot of wine, 2 PBRs, and a couple of tequila shots I’m most definitely going to call you my ex-boyfriend’s name. Or the name I thought I heard you say at the bonfire we stumbled home from. I have a hard enough time remembering names when I’m sober (and I work in customer service so it’s really embarrassing when someone tells me their name and I just look at them blindly for a few heavy seconds until it actually registers in my mind) but throw in the mix anything that will alter the little activity my brain has left, and it doesn’t matter how many times you told me your name was Zach; I will continue calling you Justin until you text me the next day and I’m too ashamed to ask you your name so I just respond with a casual “Hey…dude!”
When you’re single and trying to mend a broken heart, you throw yourself out there and sometimes there’s just too many names to remember. How am I supposed to remember which one is Joey, Justin, JC, Lance or Chris?! This is a real problem.
Seriously you guys, it’s gotten so bad that I’ve introduced men by the wrong name to my friends. This scenario has happened to me exactly twice:
I’m walking down the street with a friend when John Doe comes up behind me-
John Doe: Hey Sam!
John Doe: What’s up, I haven’t seen you at [insert bougie tap room here] in awhile.
Me: Oh I know, I’ve just been so busy with rehearsals. Ughhh.
John Doe recognizes my friend.
Me: Oh, Megz this is [with as much confidence as I can muster] Dan.
John Doe: Brian.
Me: Brian. Shit. I’m sorry we were just talking about Dan. Her ex. Who beat her. Beats. He beats her. It’s really…traumatic. Ok, that’s our bus, see you later Dan.
John Doe: uh.
Me: Brian. Brian. I know that Ahhh. Text me!
We run off.
It’s horrible and I know if some guy I just banged introduced me to his friends as Tricia, all hell would break loose.
I’ve tried different tactics to combat the issue:
-Banging from behind allows your voice to be muffled
-Immediately leaving before the guy awakens so there’s no opportunity for potential slip ups.
-Only going home with guys named John.
-Making a joke out of it (this has yet to work)
This evening, John Travolta finally responded to the Idina fiasco:
"I’ve been beating myself up all day," the Be Cool star said in a statement to E! News. "Then I thought…What would Idina Menzel say? She’d say, ‘Let it go, let it go!"
Truth telling moment: I never saw Frozen. But, if Idina is telling me to let that shit go and not get hung up on something as trivial as someone’s name-then I’m going to take that advice. Because there’s very little a sense of humor can’t fix.
That, and a boyfriend with a one syllable name.
**Share your embarrassing name gaffes below. I know I can’t be the only one!
Slate ran an article last week, finally putting into words what we all knew in our guts: Facebook is Officially for Creeping and Crying.
The study, (which I’m going to paraphrase here because I haven’t mastered that copy and paste thing) pretty much shows three things:
1.) Leading up to users changing their FB status, there is a spike in FB usage (stalking)
2.) While in the relationship, FB users pretty much disappear (because, cuddling)
3.) After relationship expires, FB usage is spiked once again (stalking and crying)
We all know this, right? Facebook most definitely is for single people and the occasional baby pic. It is not for healthy, happy coupled up people WHO HAVE LIVES.
I think Facebook stalking when you’re still in the lovey phase, is actually a good thing. Hopefully, that person is just as real as you and doesn’t have any qualms about showing their ugly side: I.e. Pictures right before and after you puked from finishing the Slinger at Diner Grill.
You get to see them in their best (headshots!) and worst (hangovers!) light, and I think that’s imperative for the Crushing Phase.
As far as Facebooking While Broken goes, it is my belief that one should abort ship. Suspend that account for awhile and when you come back, promptly block the fucker who broke your heart. That took me a long time to figure out. I thought I could be the bigger person and just breeze through my feed, completely unaffected by his presence.
That was not the case. I’d fall into this rabbit hole of looking at his pictures and trying to decipher his facebook posts and whether that chick who’s liking his status is also banging him in a dressing room and then I realized that 2 hours had passed and I had a come to Jesus moment:
I said, “Bailey. Get yo Life. Block that fucker and MOVE. ON”**
So I did.
It’s much easier to act like you have a life while nursing a broken heart by drinking two buck chuck in your shower when you don’t have to see their smug faces while they’re on Rebound Vacay (which is apparently a thing that the other half indulges in).
So. I leave you with this, Singles in the City: creep away while you’re crushing, but stay away once that shit goes to pieces. Your heart will thank you.
**this is actually not true, I smoked a bowl with a friend, drank moscato and cried for a very long time and *she* told me to get my life! forced me to block him! and thus move on. But. Whatevs, it got done**
We go on our first date. We’ve known each other a year. We have all this serious conversation over beers and appetizers and stare at each other starry eyed. We talk until the bar closes. We go back to your house. We have crazy chemistry, but keep it PG. We make plans to see each other soon.
2 weeks later, we go on date #2. We continue good conversation. We eat, have a good time. You refer to a future. You look extra hot. We go back to your house, cuddle, fall asleep.
I write a post about it. Which, of course, means I never hear from you again.
This stuff doesn’t usually bother me. Like dude, you’re not interested, moving on.
But I knew this guy. I don’t know what I expected, but I didn’t expect an MIA situation. Rude.
All I want to know is why? What went wrong? What did I say to change the course of your actions? And dude, can’t you just tell me you’re not interested or make up some excuse for being too busy to date or you’re traveling the whole month of February or something? COME. ON. And when I send you a text (which I did two times in the 2 weeks since we’ve talked), at least have the common decency to reply.
There were some red flags indicating I’m not sure we were compatible. I mean, dude mentions the fact that he’s a Christian 3 times in one evening, and I didn’t quite see myself worshiping in the house of Jesus every Sunday. And the fact he lives in the ‘burbs. But I was willing to overlook it. I keep putting parameters on guys and this doesn’t really help anyone find someone, it just limits possibilities.
All I’m saying is that there should be an exit interview, an exit survey, when this all goes to shit. Did you—
A) Read this blog and decide you didn’t want to be a subject?
B) Decide you only date models?
C) Realize I am not that into Jesus and church?
D) See the circles under my eyes in the morning?
E) ALL OF THE ABOVE
F) None of the above, Other: ___________________________
I’ve come close to texting him just to ask. But all that does is make you look like a crazy person, though we find it completely acceptable to simply cease all communications with someone else. All I need is an exit interview.
The least I can get from a dude who mixes up the words WEATHER and WHETHER.
For the past three years, every guy I’ve been with uses a French Press as their main source of coffee making. Dudes I bang for a night, Dudes I bang for multiple nights, Dudes I’ve chosen to bang, exclusively, for years-the one thing they have in common (besides being selfish, insecure, perpetual men children who I am obsessed with) is that they all love to French Press. It took me until this last guy to figure out how to use one without a tablespoon full of stray coffee grains at the bottom of our mugs and at the end of a very drawn out break up, I look at that small accomplishment as the one positive thing I took from him…along with his parent’s netflix account.
I’m an actor. Most of the guys I date are actors or artists of some sort. One of the great things about living in Chicago as an actor is the sheer amount of theatre we have and the size of the artistic community. While the community is big, for a girl who grew up and went to college here, it can seem pretty tiny. It sounds cliche, but everyone does know everyone. As a single person you can either make an active, yet difficult choice to not dip into that pool or, if you’re like me, you’ll take your chances swimming with the sharks. Thus, I find myself, more often than not, underneath (or on top if I’m really into it) some hipster actor I saw tear up the stage in a new adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone on Roller Skates. I’m a sucker for it. I’ve never been too impressed by the big stages, but show me some theatre in a dark basement with shoe-string lights and a crap ton of stage blood and all of a sudden I’ve dissolved into a fangirl who is not ashamed to practice her surfboard** skills on the lead actor in honor of his performance.
The first non-actor I’ve ever been with was Jon, a barista in Logan Square who looked like the poor man’s Gael Garcia Bernal. After using his cafe as my personal rehearsal room for about a month, I ended up naked in his bed one afternoon listening to him cry about how much he missed his ex-girlfriend. Who was also his roommate. I started laughing out of complete horror and he offered to make me coffee before I left. That was the first time I encountered the french press and all I could think during his sob story was how amazingly fresh and rich it tasted and if his misplaced tears were worth a perfect cup. It was. I stayed with him off and on for the better part of three years.
I was never a big coffee drinker until I lived in New York. Every corner, no matter what time of day, had coffee readily available for a buck. So I got used to drinking crappy coffee loaded with sugar and cream until I started seeing Greg, a graphic artist who was squatting in this loft in Harlem with a bunch of his friends. Being with him was like living the theatre dream: Here I was, in New York for the first time, coupling up with this dude who was living the real life RENT. Greg scoffed at the idea of replying to all those notices left on their doors about paying back-rent, but he’d be damned if he was going to drink Folgers drip coffee on any given day. He never had a phone that was regularly on (damn you boost mobile) nor did he ever have any money to go anywhere for dates, but what he did have was bougie taste in coffee…and an air mattress. I was in love.
I’ve always dated the same type of guys. I like to be needed so I’m a magnet for boys who need someone to take care of them. I’m incredibly attracted to dependency and talent, which makes me prime real estate for an artist looking to park his cock somewhere safe for the winter. While I’m not, in any way shape or form, ok with being some dude’s stepford chick, I do enjoy taking care of the men I’m with. Even as I type that I get a little nauseous, but it’s true! I have this deep need to be the perfect partner in a relationship and I get pleasure in making people happy; whether that’s making them laugh or making them dinner, my natural inclination (in love) is to try to make the other person happy and in turn I will be too. But only after they are happy. I know this about myself and my sensors go into overdrive anytime I’m about to go down the path again. But I can’t help it, it’s habitual.
A few days ago, I slept over another actor dude’s apartment and when I woke up he was making us coffee. Out of his French Press. In the agonizingly slow 7 minutes it took to make this perfect batch of dream coffee I saw our entire future:
He’ll give me his dirty Mickey Mouse shirt to wear one day along with a toothbrush to keep at his place.
I’ll start sleeping over every night, only seeing him between the hours of 11pm and 8am because we’re both in shows.
We won’t ever fight because I don’t like confrontation and he’s too high to care.
He’ll tell me he wants to move in together-because Rent.
We’ll get a place in Lincoln Square because that’s where people go to couple up and die.
He’ll wake up one day and decide he’s “not into it anymore”, and while he thinks I’m “very talented” he just feels he needs to “work on himself and rage while he still can”
He’ll be very close to 30 years old.
By the time he had poured my coffee in a mason jar to bring it over to me, I had my boots on and was halfway out the door.
I think I’ve learned my lesson.
So here it is, I’m breaking my patterns: I’m taking a break from banging selfish artists and I’m switching to Ginger Tea. I heard it’s good for cramps.
(no normal person should actually attempt the Surf Board. Leave it to Yonce)
Super excited to announce a new contributor here at SITSC. Read here for more about her adventures in single life and dating in the Second City. Welcome Sam!
Sam Bailey is an actor and writer, born and raised in Logan Square. Since she’s officially given up on getting that Columbia College acting degree, she’s been performing her own work lately at events including Salonathon, BYOB Story Hour and The Paper Machete. Sam really enjoys crappy horror movies, bougie beer, the entire Real World/Road Rules Challenge Series, and acting like she doesn’t give a fuck. Which isn’t true. She actually has all the fucks in the world to give.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Thank you! I want to thank everyone and anyone who came out last night to our final live lit show! We love you and can’t thank you enough for your support. I’d also like to thank Beauty Bar, DJ Continental, and all of our readers. Thanks to JW Reese for designing our poster (and for reading too).
New website! As you can see we have sort of a new look to hopefully be more readable. If anyone needs like an extra project for their portfolio and wants to make a website pretty for us, I’ll send you all the love, and maybe a few bucks. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
All my love to Carly and welcome to a new contributor! As you may have seen, Carly, my co-founder here at Solo in the 2nd City will be moving on to greater things. Since I know you don’t want to only hear about my sad dating life, I am welcoming a new contributor to the blog. Woot! I’m going to officially welcome and introduce her on Monday, so look out.
In the meantime, please enjoy your weekend. Don’t be a hater to Valentine’s Day and instead enjoy all the love you have for your friends, family, chocolate, and wine.
Big announcements coming up on Solo in the 2nd City tomorrow. You can also tune in tomorrow morning to hear me ramble about dating and single life at Vocalo.org (90.7 FM if you’re in Chicago) at 10:15 am.
In the meantime, come celebrate two years and our final live show with Carly and I tonight! Don’t forget to RSVP for hosted champagne from 7-8! http://do312.com/events/2014/2/13/solo-in-the-2nd-city
Happy Galentine’s Day!
First of all, I want to thank all of you for reading and supporting Solo in the 2nd City.
It’s been over two years since we came up with this idea and set out to make something of it. I couldn’t be more proud.
We’re having our final show tonight and with that, I’ve also decided to part ways with the blog.
I would love it if you continued to follow me at Carly in the 2nd City, where I hope to keep writing and expressing my thoughts.
You’ve been amazing and I’d hate to lose you.
Today marks the 6 year anniversary of being single. Insane. Did I think I would be single this long? No. But these past six years have given me so much, I can’t even tell you.
Not sure if I’ve shared this before on the blog, but here is a bit of the break-up story that happened 6 years ago.
(Also, enjoy the timestamps, like how Netflix was new and 24 was the biggest show on TV and is now coming back.)
One day you wake up thinking you’re about to get engaged and move to California to be with the love of your life and your supposed soul mate. I went to brunch with my friends, ordered Netflix for the first time, spent a nice Sunday doing all those things people enjoy on a Sunday afternoon.
And then he called from California. I had just seen him mere days before. I didn’t have much to report. I started out chatting with him on the phone about stupid things like my netflix subscription and Sunday brunch. He had a new conversation. I don’t remember how exactly he brought it up, because I was such in a state of shock and frozen up like a a thick icicle that was about to fall outside my window. I don’t remember what he said. All I knew was that it was over. I collapsed both mentally and physically. I fell to a fetal position on my cold, parquet wood floor in my tiny studio apartment. I was supposed to be moving to California to be with him in just a few weeks.
That feeling has come to me only that once in my life. Collapsing and having the breath knocked out of me combined with anger, resentment, love, and passion. I’ve never felt so betrayed and empty. And I was mostly mad at myself that I had let him make me feel like that.
When I finally peeled myself off of the parquet floor, I saw the shadowbox he had given me for my birthday, which had pictures, poems, and other trinkets of us and our time together. I took it off of the wall and threw it as hard as I could. The glass broke into 8000 tiny shards and our pictures, cards, and his poems went flying throughout my studio apartment.
I never imagined I had to ability to cry like I cried then. My eyes were swelled so puffy I wasn’t sure if they’d open back up in the morning. Nonetheless, I peeled myself out of bed and realized it wasn’t a nightmare, and that I had to go to work.
Later that morning he had flowers delivered to me. He had sent them before he had ended it. I almost threw those just to hear the glass shatter and the water and petals fly through the air.
A few days later, I opened my mailbox to find his key to my apartment in a tiny white envelope with my name on it. Who the fuck sends keys in a paper envelope with the address on it? Anyone could have found this key, saw the address, and come to rape me in the middle of the night. And why would you send me back a copy of my key when you live in California and I live in Chicago. Just throw it away you idiot! Another knife went through my heart with those keys.
I slept for about a week. I went to bed without eating dinner. I called in sick on Valentine’s day, which was just 3 days afterwards, because I just couldn’t handle dealing with the outside world who was obsessed with love and hearts and happiness that day.
He shaped my view of this amazing city and I can’t look at it the same as before. I walk by a fancy, overpriced tea shop where he bought expensive tea. I hate tea. The Thai place where we had our first date. The dance club where we met. The lesbian bar in Andersonville where I met his friend Dave early in our relationship, but we couldn’t talk out loud because the season finale of the “L Word” was on. The Wrigleyville bar where he used to work. The roof where we’d smoke clove cigarettes and look at the Chicago skyline.
My apartment had the same feeling. Everywhere I turned there are remnants of his presence. I still cook with the spices he insisted that I own though I don’t know how to cook and spend most of my meals ordering in. The pots and a cooking knife from him. A scarf he gave me. I’ve gotten rid of most of these things. Not too long ago, Adam (my best friend) threw away a couch he bought from him.
Random things also do this to me. Like grandpa hats because he had about 92 of them. Techno music. The stupid tv show, 24, which him and his brother would watch in complete and utter silence and concentration while continuing to shush me quiet if I dared to interrupt Keifer Sutherland. Caprihanas, strong ones, that I remember we’d drink at the Cuban bar where we’d go to have some drinks and some laughs.
I have yet to run into him since I left his San Diego apartment in a cab at 6:00 a.m. to catch a flight back to Chicago. I know it’s bound to happen one day. Happily, years after I originally wrote this piece, I can say the city and I, we are no longer his.
Like we need more pressure on finding “the one” and getting married, Facebook is going to go ahead and throw their opinion on it too. Gross.
And I have 3 months.
But interesting I have only 39 married friends. That’s out of 466. So isn’t it really true that since most of my friends are NOT married, that I should have like 10 more years?
Click on the photo if you want to do yours.
Tonight I am going on a second date with someone in the suburbs.
Yes, me, the woman who said I’m not interested in you if you live off the Red Line. I am going to travel to Glenview, which is halfway for both of us, to see a guy. I am breaking pretty much my largest dealbreaker.
He’s really cute, you guys. And well because I really like him.
But damn, this is going to be a problem. Not because I’m judgmental of people who chose to live in the ‘burbs (because I am), but the pure logistics of it alone. Dating from Logan Square to Pilsen was hard, and now from Palatine?
The other day he said, “Too bad we’re so far away. Great cuddling weather.” BAH, you’re telling me! I was about to get on a Metra train and take my ass to Palatine, but I would not have gotten there for another hour and then basically we’d say goodnight right after I arrived.
Driving everywhere sucks. We both have to drive. Tonight we’re having drinks and that means not too many because I will have to drive home or to his place, which both are at least 30 minutes away. Driving home in the morning during rush hour isn’t my favorite thing either. Let’s not even discuss gas money.
Then I have the dogs. They’re good for like 12 hours, but I have to rush home to get back to them too. I’ve decided there needs to be a dog walking service titled, “I decided to go home with him” where they come by at 6:00 am to take your poor dogs out while you shack it up.
But what do you do? I guess you make it happen somehow if it’s worth it. Get a dog walker, download some podcasts for rush hour traffic, and purchase a 10 ride on the Metra. And if you saw him in a suit, you’d see he’s worth it.
I didn’t think it would take over four years for me to fall in love again.
Maybe that sounds obnoxious since being in love is pretty fucking great, but also not the easiest thing to come by and who am I to think I could have it more than once.
I guess I figured since I’d been looking and trying and writing about it and getting in front of people and talking about it, I was somehow increasing my chances.
But months and years kept ticking by. Interactions, dates, promising leads. Nothing.
Until it just happened.
I’m lucky. I’m grateful. I am overwhelmed.
But there are times when I’m alone or with friends, away from him, and I feel what it’s like to be in my old life again. A mixture of solitude and social things. Dealing with personal problems on my own and also keeping certain things to myself.
I got really sick last week and spent the first night of my illness tucked under the covers at his house as he took care of me in a way that I hadn’t experienced since being a kid. But what I longed for was my bed. I told him I’m like a dying dog who wants to crawl under the house to be alone.
So that’s what I did.
Then he got sick and more days passed that we weren’t in each other’s presence.
I started to feel a disconnect. Each day I dealt with knowing I wasn’t going to see him and didn’t know when I might. So I did other things. I made other plans. And I felt myself drift into a space where I started to consider what it might be like if we weren’t together.
Not because of “out of sight, out of mind”. Not because I wanted that. Not because there is something wrong with our relationship, wrong with him.
Simply that I have spent a long time being single and sometimes that feels easier.
Then we were finally face to face and I remembered why easy isn’t what I want.
Here in front of me was a beautiful and complex person who is willing to share a piece of that with me and working through the difficulties is the lifeblood of us.
It’s what I was looking for those four plus years.
It’s what all of those years did to prepare me for this time around.
February’s issue of Marie Claire is not so subtly paying homage to single ladies. It’s a quiet anti-Valentine’s Day rallying cry.
I would have appreciated it a lot more all of the years I wasn’t with someone.
Now it feels like every report is about the declining amount of marriages and babies and how there are millions of single women out there who are enjoying their lives without someone.
Then again, there has been no shortage of engagements on Facebook and a serious uptick in wedding themed Pinterest boards.
Maybe we should talk less about whether we Are or Aren’t and more about finding some kind of happiness within ourselves.
Last night I had dinner with some girl friends and I was saying I think I should get off of social media and get a hobby. One of my friends said “yes, but what about your boyfriend?”
At first I felt bad for not factoring him in on how I spend my time. Then thought “how does being with him affect wanting to take up knitting again?” There’s room for him which I have and give happily and as often as possible. But there are plenty of instances where I’m by myself, hours and days I haven’t been utilizing very constructively. Or more accurately, are lacking in satisfaction and accomplishment.
I guess what I’m getting at is that maybe it’s time to put less focus on defining ourselves as whether we’re with someone or not with someone.
At 34, having a boyfriend is almost the equivalent to casual dating or even being single. if I’m not on the road to engagement rings and wedding bells, then I’m still not in “the club”.
There is a really sad narrative that’s been constructed for all women to desire the same thing: Find Your Someone.
But there are millions of unmarried women all trying to feel OK with that and reassuring one another that’s it’s totally OK.
I wish it could be a “to each their own”, but even someone like me who has never seriously considered marriage (beyond that unfortunate 20-something year old me insecurity of thinking that if my boyfriend didn’t want to marry me, he would leave me), still can’t escape the idea that I’m missing out.
Then I realize that getting married is less about me and the other person and way more about how you suddenly become accepted.
Unfortunately, acceptance is hard not to desire.
http://do312.com/events/2014/2/13/solo-in-the-2nd-city Be sure to RSVP for free champagne!