Category — favorite mistakes
A long time ago, fresh on the heels of a devastating breakup, a friend eyed me over a wine soaked dinner. She reminded me that the best way to heal the wounds a man leaves is with another man. Which, yes absolutely, and an absolutely horrible idea. Still, she asked me if there was anyone I was attracted to, and without thinking, I mentioned someone. A very ill-advised someone. I wonder if I had taken a moment to censor myself if I ever would have admitted it, but I trust her implicitly, so I didn’t, and there we were.
Later, she admitted that she passed this bit of information on to our mutual friend, who was kind and gentle, but admitted that I just wasn’t wholesome enough. You know, it’s bothered me ever since. Not because he wasn’t interested, such is life, but because he wasn’t interested due to what he perceived as a lack of wholesomeness. It is probably one of the last vestiges of my bitterness.
Because all I ever wanted in this life was a cute house, a family, a comfortable income, and a bestseller. Seriously.
I married my high school boyfriend. He was the third man I ever slept with and the fifth that I ever even fooled around with. I thought we were going to grow up together and grow old together, and I was going to have a beautiful, impeccable golden anniversary party, with all of my grandchildren in attendance. This was before Pinterest, but trust me- I had the fucking flowers picked out for that fucker.
That’s not how things turned out, and that’s okay. We grew up together, but we grew in different directions, and we ended up not wanting the same things. Or, not wanting things the same way. It’s hard to explain, but with the gift of time and equanimity, it’s easy to see that what we had began to hurt us more than it helped us, and that golden anniversary party plan went into the dumpster with the debris of our marriage.
In my few years of sowing wild oats, I had some serious relationships. While I was involved with these men they had my complete and utter devotion, commitment and fidelity. At that time in my life I didn’t have the time or energy to date anyone for long that I couldn’t imagine marrying.
I don’t have to say much about those relationships because every bit of it is in these archives- the good, bad and the ugly. A girl meets an emotionally unavailable guy, falls madly in love, and winds up on the bathroom floor with a fifth of vodka listening to Carole King and Carly Simon on repeat and crying to dehydration. Rinse, repeat.
You could set a timer for about ninety days into to any of these relationships. On day ninety-two, you’d find me under a blanket of Grey Goose and tears, mumbling along to “It’s Too Late”. Or you could just watch plot-relevant episodes of “Sex in the City”, which is why I will never, ever forgive those assholes for writing Big’s grand gesture into the series finale.
The healthiest, most positive relationships I’ve had with men were the decidedly unwholesome arrangements. I still talk to most of those men- some of them are still my closest friends. They know me in a way that none of my boyfriends ever did, because they were safe, because there was no agenda. We were actual friends, with actual benefits, and when the benefits expired, the friendship endured.
Don’t misunderstand- I don’t mean to play the victim. I quickly dismissed twice as many decent men who were actually willing to explore the life I wanted and needed. In a fit of panic and delusion I still don’t quite understand, any man who suggested that he was willing and capable of sharing a home and a family was immediately deemed weak, suspicious, or overly dependent and was dismissed without hesitation.
No, I will not waste my time with some idiot that actually wants to share the life I dream of. Give me a man that isn’t sure he’s really capable of love. That’s who I want to spend the rest of my life with.
Yeah, I don’t know either. I’m just saying. It’s like I entered all of these relationships with an implied contract but understood how fucked up that was and categorically rejected anyone who enthusiastically bought what I was selling.
I am wholesome like fucking Cheerios. I always have been. I just looked too hard in all the wrong places for something that is on the verge of extinction.
Now I have a four month old son, a heart peppered with battle scars, no reason to think my piss-poor romantic judgement has improved at all, and people are telling me I need to “get back out there”. Numerous people, with notable insistence.
Dating anymore makes as much sense to me as a pinata at Helen Keller’s birthday party. I’m not looking for a husband, or even someone to share my life with. No one is going to think it’s cute or sexy that I spend most of my time running around with rice cereal and half-digested banana puree in my bra, and I wouldn’t trust them an inch if they did.
Which, really, is what it all boils down to- I can’t afford any more mistakes. My life is full, and when I look to bet what I can afford to lose, I come up empty-handed.
Why isn’t that a good thing?
April 18, 2013 No Comments