According to Trish

not worth reading since 2009

Letters to Louie: Welcome back, celibacy (or) the Meg Ryan Effect

Chastity belt, from the collection of the former torture museum in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. Because celibacy is torture.
(Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

Hi readers. Once again, this post is not for you. It’s for my future husband, the comedian Louis C.K. You can find out how our love story began here. Since I probably can’t stop you from reading this, you might as well get to it.

Dear Louie,

I guess we need to talk about that last post, a.k.a. the sex post. I like to think of it as “the one where Trish rubs one out for all the Internet to see.”

I’m sure you’re wondering what’s up with that guy – the one who was banging your future fiancée. Well, I’m not seeing him anymore. It’s over.

Over, over, over.

I wanted to really like him. It would’ve been great to feel that way. Life would’ve been easier if I’d felt that way — if only for the reason that Single Parenthood can have its social drawbacks. You probably know how that is, too. Your couple friends are never quite sure what to do with you when you’re on your own. Your friend’s spouses aren’t sure how long they’re allowed to talk to you without seeming like they’re hitting on you. People never know whether to invite you to parties for families, since your family is down one member. I always sort of feel like the three-legged dog in the dog park. I’m just running and happy to feel the wind on my face, enjoying my three good legs, until I look around and notice everyone staring at my stump.

But whatever. I’ve never, ever been a person who could go out with someone just for the sake of having a boyfriend.

Anyway Louie, this guy was great in many ways. Good conversationalist. Interested in much of the same pretentious, cultural crap that I’m interested in. Impressive, smartypants job. Lots to like, for sure. But the more I saw him, the more I felt like I should’ve been getting invested in the idea of “us” but I just wasn’t.

I couldn’t think of a way that I could keep seeing him without leading him on in some way. He was still all shiny and new in the dating world – he hasn’t been back in SinglePeopleLand that long. He seemed excited about the idea of us together. But finally, I just had to tell him that he deserves to be with someone who can be emotionally available to him.

What your penis deserves

It’s true. He deserves that. Don’t we all? I wrote a big, magnanimous email saying just that and explaining that I do not have the space in my heart, in my mind, or in my busy, busy life for a relationship right now. I explained that he seemed like a wonderful person and that I had to be honest with him. I didn’t want to waste his time.

And then he wrote back. And his email was magnanimous, too. He was worried about me. My vagina, most specifically. He was worried that my vagina might be lonely since I didn’t seem like the type who could just write off sex for long. And also? He pointed out that it’s true, that I might not have time for a relationship right now, but that was unlikely to change any time soon … and did I realize that I was basically writing off any chance of getting laid for the foreseeable future? And then, I could be wrong here, but I felt that the email took on an implied “Hey, I happen to have a penis you can use” sorta tone. (I’m not wrong.)

I definitely did not write back and say that women fucking love it when men second guess their decisions and tell them what their priorities should be.

I definitely did not do that.

But I did reply and explain that I’m much more motivated by love than by sex. I said that I can’t do the casual thing. I assured him that my vagina and I had weathered many a storm together and that certainly, we’d find a way to muddle through again.

The Meg Ryan Effect

Fuck, Louie. Being a girl – pardon me, a woman – sucks so much sometimes. I’m 41 and I’m still a big, goony girl when it comes to sex. At least by this point, I’ve realized that I can’t fight my biology. If I sleep with someone, I really want to love him first.

I’m 41. (Did I already mention that?) At this age, I accept that relationships take a lot of time and effort. Just look at grooming alone. We women have to shave 40-60% of our bodies on a regular basis if we’re in a sexual relationship. That’s not even time we’re spending in your presence — that’s prep work. And don’t get me started on the amount of time we then spend on planning outfits, thinking about our feelings, thinking about your feelings, staring dreamily out the window, sniffing your pillow after you’ve gone …

Yes, we really do all of that, even though we like to pretend that we don’t. Even the coldest, most ice-queeney bitches you can imagine get all Sleepless in Seattle after meeting someone who rocks her world. None of us is immune to the Meg Ryan Effect. (To clarify: My own inner Meg looks more like the pre-Botox version.)

I’m willing to put in all the time for the right person. Hell, for the right person, I’d probably drive two hours to meet him for 10 minutes on the side of the road somewhere. But I don’t see the point in making the investment if it isn’t right.

I’ve been out here in “single again” land for close to three years now. In that time, I’ve been on a buncha first dates and a handful of second dates. I’ve had two relationships that lasted a few months each. I’ve also had one relationship that lasted more than a year. In that one, I fell in love like a giddy little teenager, made out with my charming foreign boyfriend in a variety of public places (because we just couldn’t help ourselves – yes, we were that couple), started thinking about where he, I, and our combined children would eventually live … and then had to say goodbye to him when I could no longer ignore the fact that yes, the Irish accent was adorable but the drinking that accompanied it was not.

I have had times in my Dating 2.0 life where meeting a man and falling in love was a priority. After being in an emotionally unsatisfying marriage for so many years, I really wanted to fall in love. Big, big love. Find someone special. Get swept away.

And I did. All that happened.

And then it unhappened.

That’s the way it goes sometimes.

Screw you guys, I’m goin’ home (for now)

At least all of that reminded me that real love is out there. It doesn’t always last forever, but it’s there. I’ve had it a few times in my life. I think it’ll come around again. But right now, meeting someone and falling in love is not a priority. I’m sure it will be at some point again later, but not now. I’m taking my vagina and I’m going home.

So let me rest a while, Louie. In the meantime, you and I can get to know each other, slowly. Then, when the time is right, we’ll get this thing moving. Could be nice.

In the meantime, I’ll keep writing.


Read the next Letter to Louie here.

Read the previous Letter to Louie here.

Follow me on Twitter @singlemommaTSJ or on my Facebook page.


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