… and she never dated again.
… and she never dated again.
I was going to open with a big, fat mom anecdote involving only 4 hours of sleep and making milk-free cupcakes for my daughter’s class and multiple trips to the store and … you know what? I got bored halfway through writing it. So [insert charming “frustrated mom” story here]. If you’re a mom, you’ve got one. Feel free to substitute your own. Think of it like Mom Libs.
So yeah, I’m a mom. I don’t talk about that much on the blog, I guess. And I worry about how that comes off sometimes — like I’m all focused on being single and “me, me, me” and not on my kids. Luckily, however, at some point over the last few years I’ve finally reached that magical land where I can prance around in my tutu and not worry too much about what other people think of me. I’m not saying that I’m perfect at this yet, but I’m getting pretty damn good. The thing with my kids is that I find them interesting and entertaining because they’re mine and I made them. But I don’t know that all of you would find the same enjoyment in them. And I certainly don’t want to get all Kate Gosselin here and start exploiting all of their kid traumas for entertainment purposes. Their traumas are theirs. Someday, this blog will probably be pretty fucking traumatic for them as it is. Why pile on? [Also: there are many, many good “mommybloggers” out there covering these topics. I leave it to them to do the subject matter proper justice. Meanwhile, I will prefer to think of myself as a “motherblogger.” (Can’t take credit for that term, but thanks to the friend who thought it up for me.)]
So I know you all want to talk dating. You know how I know this? Because it’s all anyone farking asks me about anymore since I outed myself as a dater. All these people all tied up in relationships wanting to know what the juice is out there in the great beyond. I’m honored to be your amabassador. I admit, I still don’t know what the hell I’m doing but this brain of mine is doing some tabulating and calculating and coming up with some info. Of course, this info is very specialized and applies only to me. However, if you can learn something from it, I’m happy to share.
Again, I have to say how much it entertains me that all of you relationshipped-up people are so interested in my dating life. Shouldn’t you all have better things to do?
The answer to that is a very real and a very unsnarky “no.” No, you shouldn’t. Because what is at the core of all of this is something I touched on in my last blog. Dating is the first step in a long chain that may eventually end up in a little land we call love. (Aaah.) Dating also can lead to a little something we call sex. (Ooh.) These two things are big-ticket items, people. The biggest. And put them together … oh, baby. So I don’t blame people for wanting to pull up a seat to watch this little reality show. I’d probably be doing the same thing. After all, what’s more human, more real, in our sanitized, civilized world than a true connection with another person? And what’s more fun than the blush of new romance? (Sex. Sex is more fun that that.) Shut up. It was a rhetorical question, pervert.
Now that I’m out here in singlepeopleland and self-identifying as a person who wants to date, I find myself looking around and going, “What the hell am I doing here?”
While my last blog was all about being in the moment and not having goals in dating, I have since discovered that I, indeed, have some intentions. It was a shock to me to find this out about myself. But now that I know this, I can’t un-know it.
Earlier this week, quite by accident, I ended up writing a sort of dating mission statement for myself. I was surprised that this popped onto my computer screen even though I had typed it, but there it was. And it made sense. And it was big and scary but it was true so I will own it. If I’ve learned anything throughout all of this divorce crap, it’s this: Once the truth is out there, you can’t go back. And it might be terrifying and uncomfortable to live with that truth at first, but ultimately it will lead to greater things. Luckily, I happen to be one pretty brave chick when it comes to this stuff, so come what may, bitches.
Here’s my intention: I’m looking for love.
I’m in it to win it, baby. Bring it on.
Now let’s break that down a bit. (Because that’s what we do here on the old bloggity blog.) That obviously means different things to different people. As my marriage was in the process of disintegrating over the past however-long-it-took-that-to-happen, I thought a lot about what love — romantic love, in particular — means to me. And recently, getting out there and meeting some different people and having some different experiences, I’ve managed to clarify it a bit more. So what I’m looking for is this: I want to find my partner in crime, so to speak. As I have said before on this blog, I intend on taking this life and living the heck out of it. I’m looking for someone who’s not just interested in going along for the ride, but who doesn’t mind taking the wheel some of the time. I’m looking for someone who is going to challenge me and who is going to enjoy being challenged right back (this may be a shock, but I can be pretty challenging). I’m a big goof so I want to laugh my head off with someone. I’m interested in a hundred million things so I want to feed my brain with someone. And yeah, I want a smokin’ hot sex life, too. (Don’t we all?) On top of all of that, I want to be able to look somebody in the eyes and know that there’s a deep connection between us — that hard-to-define chemistry that goes deeper than physical attraction (although that’s important, too — see note about sex above).
And now, I worry that I have shot my dating life to hell for the forseeable future. Because all of that is terrifying. To dudes. I think. (Who knows what you guys think? Clearly, not me.) But let’s be clear: These are my big-picture goals. I want this someday. Like I want to retire someday. I have 0% interest in just snagging the first guy who’s willing to hang out with me, ensnaring him in my Web of Womanhood and making him watch the Real Housewives while I slowly devour him alive. All those things that I wrote up there in that last paragraph? They sort of only work if there’s a guy who’s just dying to jump on that magic bus with me. It’s a tall order. I’m willing to hang out as long as I need to.
Now maybe I sound all idealistic and romantic and completely unrealistic. And maybe I’ll have to go it solo for a long time. While it’s not a thought that I relish, I can handle it. I’ve been lonely before. It sucks. It’s not my favorite emotion. But for me anyway, I’d much rather be alone for the right reasons — with hope for something better around the corner — than hitch my wagon to someone tolerable who happened to be available.
In the meantime, I date (if anyone will ever date me again after this blog entry). I’m happy to take it nice and s … l … o … w … getting to know someone. In fact, I think that’s a great plan for me right now. I don’t want to meet anyone’s family and I don’t want to discuss how we’re spending Christmas or where we’re going on vacation. I just want to hang out, be open to possibility and see if anything good blooms from the little seed that is us. You never know.
And then I have the giant elephant in the room behind me, in the form of the two delicious little morsels of humanity that I call my children. Yup, there they are. That whole “deal” is not everyone’s bag. I understand that. What I am definitely not looking for is a new dad for them. They have a dad, so that spot is taken. I’ve never done this whole single-mom thing before, but I think that the biggest thought in my head is that the kidsters don’t need to meet anyone I’m dating for a long time. Then, eventually, if it ever gets to the point of cohabitation with a man-beast again (I want to meet my cosmic-soulmate-lover, but I don’t know that I want to live with him … after all, I already have two kids) it would need to be with someone who was interested in having some kind of relationship with the munchkins, beyond just tolerating their existence. And you know what? They’re really worth knowing. It would be cool if someone could view them as an asset instead of a liability, because they are the opposite of a liability to me. They’re funny and smart and unbelievably cute and clever — and they’re difficult and demanding and messy and the biggest one is prone to eye-rolling and the littlest one is smack in the middle of the tantrum phase. So, they’re kids. They’re ever-changing. But they’re growing and they’re getting more interesting and more interested in the world all the time. And guess what? They’re already on that magic bus with me.
Then there’s this: A friend of a friend who is divorced told me a few years ago that she hated to admit it, but it was kind of the best of both worlds. She said, “I get to have my kids most of the time, but then they go away to their dad’s sometimes and then it’s just me and my boyfriend [who is now her husband.]” So that’s kind of a nice way to look at it. Like I said on facebook a few weeks ago: Divorce. It’s the best babysitter.
So here I sit now in my bedroom on my new bed, finishing this blog that was started hours ago in the coffee shop. I look around the room and am blown away at how all of these random objects I picked up at different times and different places all just sort of gel. Much of what I bought for this room wasn’t my usual style. Some of it seemed completely impractical when I first picked it up — like these crazy lamps I have yet to find shades for — which perfectly match the bed that just fell out of the sky for me. A lot of it I just bought by instinct, even though my head was like, “Really? That? What are you going to do with that?” So it’s a nice reminder for me to relax and to remember to trust my instincts and intuition during this time. Yes, overthinking is my calling card. But I’m learning to go by feel, too.
Ultimately, I believe everything will come together even though it doesn’t look like it makes sense now. That charmed life I talked about before — that was no joke.
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