Tuesday, December 10, 2013

the Dating Game

I know that most of my writing tends to be about my friends, and my amazing short people and the random acts of awesome that surround me on a daily basis, but I don't want to lead you astray lest you think that (despite the occasional bout of depression) my life is some brilliant melange of fun and laughter and fabulous people and non-stop shenanigans but. . .OK, it totally is.  Sorry.  I don’t want to rub your noses in it, but my life is freaking rad.  I know I tend to wax eloquent about the American Horror Story that is my dating history, but I've found that, in truth, it's a lot like Betty White: just when you think it’s dead it has a sudden resurgence in popularity and men start crashing in like Miley on a wrecking ball.

Despite the drama, the disappointment, and the uncomfortable silences, I really enjoy the mysterious vagueries of dating.  For me, dating is like Vegas: you take your chances, throw down your money, and maybe you end up with a big payoff, or maybe you wake up next to a dead hooker.  Either way, it beats sitting on your couch watching "Agents Of Shield" and eating Wheat Thins.  Even breakups aren't that bad because in the long run it's always for the best.  It's a little like being the owner of a New Orleans Home Depot before Hurricane Katrina: You hate to see it coming, but you know it’ll benefit you in the end.

Which is not to say that all dates are successful. We've all had those evenings where we walked into a situation whistling Dixie and come out more pissed off than Carrie Underwood with a Louisville Slugger.*

*And while we're on the subject, did anyone else catch "The Sound Of Music: Live" the other night?  Holy crap.  I haven't seen acting that stiff since Jose Baez delivered the Casey Anthony defense.

God and the Baby Jeebus know that I've spent more than one occasion sitting across from some guy who smells like Drakkar Noir and misogyny and has the interpersonal skills of Boo Radley while I sat there more out of it than Diane Sawyer at the London Olympics.  And as my friends Curtis and Gina can attest to, my last two "relationships" are something that could only have been scripted by Quentin Tarantino and Stephen King after snorting an 8-ball of Colombian marching powder.  But still, I enjoy the dance. . .the thrill of the hunt, if you will.  There's always that hope; that belief that the next guy will be "The One" and we'll go skipping off into the sunset like Adam Lambert on his way to a Cher concert.

But while I enjoy dating and could absolutely see myself in a long-term relationship, I don't know if I see myself ever getting married again.  I'm not ruling it out if the right guy comes along, but my experiences (both first hand and observed) have not shown marriage to be all that successful in sealing a relationship. You see, I love men.  Love them.  I love how they smell, I love how they take up space, I love how comfortable they are in their own skin. . .and as such, I can’t ever see myself reaching the point where I hate a man enough to tell him, “Hey, Babe.  Why don’t I take half your shit and we’ll never have sex again, ‘kay?”.  Because that’s what marriage is: roommates with better insurance.  I think that if two people want to be together then they should be together and when they don’t want to be, one gets the blender, the other gets the toaster, and the lawyers can stay the hell out of it.  Because marriage does not make you committed; it does not make you faithful.  If you believe that then it's time to crush the tinfoil on your helmet because some of the crazy is starting to seep through.  Shit, during my ten-year marriage my husband got more strange ass than a TriMet bus, and after his third wife I believe he’s having the marriage certificates written on a dry erase board.*

*That dude is more self-absorbed than SpongeBob in a hot tub.

Despite my militant fatwa on unholy matrimony and a dating record that sucks harder than a Kardashian at the Essence Awards, I still believe in love.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not actively hunting men down with a torch and a pitchfork like an angry villager from some circa-1930's monster flick, but I do put myself out there.  I talk to strangers, I smile at men in the grocery store; I live my life, do what makes me happy and believe that the right people will drift in and out of my periphery at the right time.  And, for the most part, they have.  Because the bottom line is: you can't fight the universe.  Eventually, you just have to sit back, do your thing, and don't you worry, don't you worry, child; 'cause heaven's got a plan for you.*

*Or, as a last resort, there's always an escort service.  For the record, I have no problem with prostitution as long as no one gets hurt. . .but I understand you have to pay extra for that.

And maybe that plan involves the man of your dreams falling into your waiting arms, maybe that plan involves you living with a friend in some surreal Grey Gardens existence, replete with head scarves and multiple cats, and maybe. . .just maybe, that plan involves you having such a rich and fulfilling existence surrounded by family and friends that you don't need or care about finding "The One".  Maybe that plan involves you waking up one day realizing that being alone is not the same thing as being lonely.  Maybe it means taking pride in your appearance and your actions not because you are trying to make someone else love you but because you love yourself so goddamned hard.  Maybe it means looking in the mirror and seeing that you'd found "The One" all along.  So, yes. . .I still believe in love.  Because I love myself more than any man ever could.

And I get to sleep in the middle of the bed.  Bonus.



Abby said...

FINALLY. I've been waiting to hear this from you. Amen ;)

Jen said...

I'm a slow learner, Abby. :)

Mothers little hleper said...

Sleeping in the middle of the bed! Oh yes! Singledom has it's benefits.

Cheryl S. said...

First, I totally agree. I'm married. If Hubs and I ever implode, I don't see myself ever doing it again.

And I just have to commend you for the amazing plethora of pop culture references. LOVE you so hard for that.

. . . .the interpersonal skills of boo Radley
... Such harder than a Kardashian at the Essence awards

Justamom said...

Welcome to the Party...Sleeping in the middle of the bed is awesomesauce

tbunni said...

(Sigh)...the middle of the bed...

I only get that on vacation in our trailer. He gets the queen sized one, I get the double. Still, its better than at home where "his half" is two-thirds, mostly in the middle.

And yup, happily married, but would never do it again. BTW, I met him AFTER I had given up men. The universe has a warped sense of humor...so 30+ years on, I still believe that you must love yourself to be lovable to anyone else.

And Jen? You're there. Just look out for that universe.

Valerie said...

You hit the nail on the head about marriage!!! Never. Again. But I do like how men take up space too! Your dating stories are that of legend.