OK, confession time. Shhhh. Lean in real close, would you…? Anyone looking? Here’s the thing: I, uh, really don’t know how to be single. I don’t know how in such a massively huge way that as I’m sitting here typing this I’m on the verge of hysterical laughter because I REALLY DON’T KNOW WHAT THE HELL I’M DOING!
I’m sure this sounds premature. I know we just made The Big Announcement. It’s true. But divorce decisions don’t just happen overnight. There is a big, fat lead-up to the day when you finally become the town crier and confess that, yes, it is true. So you have some time to kick things around and think about what life is going to be like afterward. I am not ready to date right now, today, here at the Panera where I seem to spend so much of my bloggy time…
The time is coming. It’s out there. (Oh no! It’s out there! Somebody call the police!) Right now I feel like I’m 15 and in my best friend’s house and I just want to giggle into a pillow. Because this Trish who I am right now has never been single. The Trish who was single before was a different Trish. That long-ago Trish is sitting inside of me right now, poking me in the ribs and going, “Hey! Guess what? I’m still here… You want some help? Because I’ve done this before… remember?” Oh yeah. I remember.
That Trish was not great at dating.
You want to know just how not great? If you happen to be a guy and maybe you went to high school with me, here’s a test to figure out if I had a crush on you back then: If I spoke to you at all, I was absolutely not interested. Sorry (I’m sure you’re fabulous now, though).
I maybe got a little better as I got older but probably not much. I don’t know. Let’s face it, if I dated you at all in my 20s I was probably drunk during the meet-and-greet phase of our relationship (or possibly “relationship” — you know what I mean). And I’m pretty goddamn charming when I’m drunk, I can tell you, so I probably had no problem chatting you up. Also, if you were lucky enough to meet me during what I like to refer to as the Slutazoic Era, I’m sure things moved along quite nicely.
But now it’s a different ballgame. And I’m out of practice for any sort of dating ballgame, to be honest.
I like people. If you’re a person and I don’t know you (or even if I do), I want to dig into your head like it’s a half-gallon of ice cream. I’m interested. I want to know what you ate for breakfast and if you had a dog when you were a kid and what age you were when you first did it and if you ever pee in the shower… I want to know it all. So I think that this is probably good for my personal dating world because I like to ask questions. Or it will be, when I freakin’ have a personal dating world… but I’m saying that even if I go on a buttload of bad dates, at least I’ll get to meet a bunch of people and have some conversations. Some of the guys will boring or loser-y or whatever. Some of them may be nice but there’s no chemistry. Maybe some of them — or even just one of them — will be the best ice cream I ever had. Who knows?
But I’m paranoid that that shy, tongue-tied, long-ago Trish is going to try to take over. I was pretty sure she moved out years ago so I was surprised to find that she’s been squatting in the basement all this time, waiting.
And here’s another thing that I’m paranoid about — and it’s probably really, really stupid but I think about it and I want to say it: I am maybe the only divorced person (or soon-to-be, anyway) in most of the peer groups I associate with. I am big and loud and crazy and talkative sometimes. As I mentioned before, I like people and I like to talk to lots of people. I am now really, really paranoid about talking to anyone’s husband because I am terrified that people will think that I’m flirting — because I’m being big and loud and crazy and talkative. But please let me assure you that I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO FLIRT. I missed that lesson whenever they were giving it out. Any attempts at flirting in my past have ended in terrible disaster, I assure you (ask my college roommate — she still teases me about it). So please do not mistake my smartassiness as flirting. It’s just me. (I also say this because it’s been misconstrued in the past — I’d find some guy trying to lay a kiss on me and be like, “Whoa! What are you doing?” And he’d be like, “You were flirting with me all night!” And I’d be like, “Ummm… I was?” So I am clueless.) (And also: I do not cheat and I do not help anyone else cheat. Long-ago Trish had a policy of not going after anyone who was otherwise involved with anyone else — that’s one policy I’m going to borrow from her.)
So I don’t know if I had to say all that or not, but I wanted to. A divorced friend of mine (who is now happily married) said that he felt a lingering sort-of 1950s stigma about being a divorced person. Possibly he just perceived it, possibly it was real. But I get what he was saying. I keep thinking of the Happy Days episode with the “hot to trot” divorcee’. I wonder, “Will people think I’m hot to trot? What the hell does that mean anyway?” Where is Potsie when you need him? (And why was he called Potsie? What the hell was up with that show?)
And now, chickadees, one more confession: The thing that prompted this whole blog tonight was that I think I might have maybe kind of gotten checked out by an OK looking man when I walked in here. I was thinking, “OK, girl. This is your world now. You’re not ready but you could use some practice…” So when I got up to throw some things away he happened to be walking past. And you know what happened? Nothing because long-ago Trish took over and I put my head down and sprinted to my seat without even attempting eye contact. So embarrassing to even write that. I’m laughing at myself right now — and also cringing. But, hey, it was a learning experience and it was harmless. Now I know that long-ago Trish needs to be bound and gagged and reminded that she doesn’t run the show anymore.
Someone today called me the Indiana Jones of Singledom (thanks, Charlie!). I’ll take that. If I think of myself like that then maybe I’ll be able to take this on…
Hang with me, people. It’s going to be interesting.