It’s 5:23 AM. I started this last night but exhaustion won out before I could finish. I’m sorta scared to see what I wrote … let me take a peek first before we all go in together. Wait here.
All right. It’s not gorgeous in there but I’ve tidied up a bit. Put on those mining helmets. We’re apparently going deep into the dark recesses of my brain. If anyone would just like to wait here today because of the unpredictable nature of this blog post, that’s fine. We’ll all reconvene at the next one.
So, once again peeps, it’s confession time. I’ve been hiding something from all of you and it’s time to be out with it. I’m a heart-on-my-sleeve girl and I might be able to keep your secrets but I’m not great at keeping my own.
So let it be known: I’ve been dating.
Listen, no one is more surprised than I am. Except maybe the poor guy who accompanied me on those dates. And right here, I think it’s important that we all stop and applaud him for performing the important public service of stumbling with me through my first few steps back into the Land of Single People. It wasn’t always pretty but he was a trooper. Sir, I salute you.
And no, I’m not going to tell you who it was. Because how on earth am I ever supposed to date if the (legions of) guys who I go out with have to worry that I’m going to write about them later? It can’t happen. Sorry to disappoint you, blogmuffins. Those conversations are best left to smokey bars with cocktails in hands. (Yes, that is absolutely an invitation to buy me a drink.)
OK. I’ll give you this. A tiny hint. Because you never know. Some of you might know this guy. It’s a small world after all. It’s a small, small world (bitches). Soooo…. let me just say that he has a handlebar mustache and he enjoys twirling the ends of it while pondering the best way to tie damsels to train tracks. He also once killed a grizzly bear by singing to it. (Damn. I may have said too much on that one.) Also, he is a carnivore.
Heh heh heh…
The point I’m trying to make here is: fuggetaboutit. And it’s nothing to get all nuts about anyway. Because it’s nothing serious. It’s all light and fun and completely like a big fluffly pink dessert — whimsical, tasty, full of little bubbles that tickle your nose.
Except when it’s not like that at all.
Because it can be confusing out here, blogmuffins.
I think dating is like one of those pictures that everyone had hanging in their apartments in the early 90s — the ones that looked like a big blob of nothing until you were able to relax your eyes enough to get to the point where … there! It’s the Statue of Liberty! And once you saw what the real picture was, it was really easy to see it again even though several of your friends were still struggling. When I was married, I could see the hidden picture in the single world very clearly. I could give great advice to my single friends. Once I had no horse in that race and I was sitting safely on the sidelines, my eyes relaxed and the entire scene was clear.
But then I got tossed back into the picture and I can’t seem to refocus.
OK, married people. I was one of you not so long ago and I can still tap into your thoughts with the awesome power of my divorced brain. And here’s what I’m hearing, “Trish, come on. Relax. It doesn’t have to be any big deal. It’s early. Why don’t you just have fun with it? It’s too soon to get into anything serious right now.”
I hear you. I respect your viewpoint. I tell myself the very same things, in fact. But there’s a problem with that logic.
That problem is this: Dating can be fun. Dating can be light. Dating can be a rip-roarin’ hootenanny of hilarity. But … the fact that you’re dating denotes something else. Because when you’re dating, you’re playing with real money.
And now, I must pause to say this is awkward. Because when I started this blog I told myself that I had to be a brave girl and write like no one else was ever going to read it, otherwise it was going to turn into something all sanitary and showroom-pretty but not very interesting or real. My biggest goal here, beyond anything, is to be authentic. So I will do that now even though I know that these words are going to be sitting here for anyone who feels like doing a little Internet recon on me (and who isn’t guilty of that?), including handlebar-mustache guy and any other men who have been or will be warped enough to read this blog and go out with me anyway. But also, I have nothing to hide so I will tell my truth.
Hunker down. Here it is.
The fact that you’re out there in the world dating, to me anyway, denotes that you’re open to the possibility of letting another person into your life in a big way (unless you’re just trying to get laid — in which case, it seems that there would be easier ways to pull that off). You’re vulnerable. You’re standing there on the planet and God is looking down and going, “Hey, any of you people down there want to fall in love?” And, very timidly , you raise your hand and squeak out, “I do.” So God starts throwing people at you. You do your hair, you think about what you’ll wear, you go to the movies and you laugh to your girlfriends. It’s fun and it’s funny.
But then, if you’re out here for the second time like I am, you have to hit the pause button and go, “Wait a sec … what am I doing here?” Because if memory serves, dating the first time around was very goal-oriented. The goal was getting the guy to like me, or the goal was having a relationship or the goal was getting engaged (although I was a little late to that particular game and apparently didn’t play it very well). So now I don’t want to “get” anyone to like me. I don’t have anything to sell here. Someone either likes me or he doesn’t. I don’t know what’s going on inside of someone’s head — that’s their business. What’s more important is that I contend with what’s going on in my head. So I need to ask myself, “Do I like this person? Am I having fun?”
And as for “having a relationship,” well, I have mixed feelings about that. Having that (or marriage) as an end-goal seems kind of like taking a seed that’s just starting to sprout and transplanting into a pot labeled “petunia.” And now, since this thing is growing in the petunia pot, that means that it’s expected to take on the characteristics of a petunia. Or else something must be wrong with it.
So I have a theory that I’m working on that just might be the thing that lets me go out and date without my head exploding. I like to call this theory tantric dating.
Maybe you’ve heard of tantic sex, made ever more popular by rockstar-guy Sting and his lady love, Trudy? Here’s the idea: It is sex with no goal. It’s maybe even sex without intercourse. The idea is to fully experience the other person and allow yourself to be fully experienced and through that, reaching some sort of transcendence. That means going along for as long as you care to go along, possibly without ever reaching “the money shot” moment (as our friends in the porn industry refer to it). The goal is no goal. There’s no finish line to race toward, just breathing, experiencing, soaking it all in and being fully present.
So I’m trying to adapt this theory to dating. That means no thinking about what’s coming up or what’s past. No score card to check off. Yet, there’s still an openness to it (because if there’s not, what’s the point?). For the moments that you are with another person, you’re fully there. You’re giving of yourself at whatever level feels comfortable and hopefully the other person is, too, without the constant head chatter of, “But what does it all MEAN???”
That way, there’s the possibility to let that little seed grow into whatever it is that it wants to be. Maybe it really does want to be a petunia. But maybe it’s a bean sprout or a dandelion or a giant sequoia. Because the little space that exists between two people — be it friends, lovers, family, anyone — has its own unique energy. The possibilties are endless . Maybe we close off those possibilities by attaching a name too soon.
So here’s my no-plan plan (because I’m still me and this is as close to no plan as I can get — the little seed that is Trish still overthinks everything): Meet people. Enjoy getting to know them. Let them get to know me. Be open. Let the seed do its thing. For however long it wants to. In whatever direction it wants to. Let the seed lead the way.
And once again, I’m writing a blog and realizing that my latent hippy tendencies are on full display. So be it. (But since this is a blog about dating, I think it’s important to reiterate that no, I don’t have hairy armpits. Just want to be clear about that.)
So that’s where I sit, right here, right now, drinking my coffee at my desk in the corner by the stairs, cultivating my respective seeds with the two munchkins as they do their early-morning thing.
Thanks for stopping by, peeps. I’ll keep you posted.