Saturday, May 26, 2012

It's Over - The Fat Lady Sang

About a year ago, I talked with an older woman from my church.  An older single woman. She is someone one of the priests had identified to me as someone who had never married and who I ought to relate to. Apparently, she'd joined a convent when she was younger, and left the order.

When we finally had a conversation, I realized that she seemed to carry a certain bitterness which she tries to cover with personal platitudes. She told me that's she's glad she never married because she didn't want to be, "... as miserable as everyone else." I don't believe it for a minute. I think she has convinced herself that the marriages around her are miserable because it makes her happier. Sure, some folks are miserable in their marriages, but I wouldn't lump them all in that category.

I tried to share with her how hard it is for me to be alone, and to mourn the fact that I probably will be for the rest of my life. She very sincerely told me, "It gets easier."

Well, that just ticked me off. No way can it get easier to be alone.  The past 22 years have pretty much sucked for me in that regard. Another 22 years of the same sounds awful.  It made me even more determined to find the man who would be my husband. He just HAS to be out there.
(don't get me wrong. I have been happy and fulfilled... but being alone sucks. there's no getting around that.)

As you know from my last post, I met 18 single Catholic men last weekend. Whoopie.
It's hard to know if the men were really that unappealing or if I am just so jaded that I wasn't going to accept any of them.

I went out with a guy a few weeks ago, and had a really nice time. We both did. We couldn't go out again for two weeks because I went out of town. When I returned, he called to try to lock me in for a date. The following weekend was already booked for both of us, and when I offered him either Tuesday or Wednesday he eagerly offered, "Both?"  We settled on Tuesday, looking forward to it. We only committed to the day, we didn't decide anything firm.

By Monday afternoon, he still hadn't confirmed solid plans so when I responded to his prior text, I asked if he had a good weekend and if we were still on for Tuesday. In his very positive, high energy way he texted back, "Yes! Still on for Tuesday!", but by the time I left work on Tuesday I still didn't have a time or a place for our date - much less word from him.  It didn't look good.

I waited until 6:00, put on my running shoes and headed to the park for a run. I heard a few pings come through behind the training app on my phone and decided to check for messages after my run. They weren't from him.  I still haven't heard from him.  What. The. &$%@#?!

So now, I can't even get a second date with a guy who asked for two dates!!
I'm not interested in any of the men available to me.

That's it.
I quit.

For years, I've laughed at people who told me to quit looking.  I can't quit looking. It's too important. I want it too much. How can I stop hoping and wishing and praying? How am I supposed to ignore the desires of my heart, put there by God Himself?

This is how. It's realizing that I'm just spinning my wheels. There is no forward movement. No progress being made.

I quit. I'm not looking any more. I'm not trying. It shouldn't be this hard anyway.

I've already grieved the loss of my fertility. That I will likely never experience pregnancy and childbirth - the experiences which make up the crescendo of womanhood.  I did that last year with the company of my friend who suffered a devastating miscarriage. We were blessed to share our grief with one another and support each other through it.

Now, I believe I've grieved the fact that love will never happen the way I expected.
If I trip over the guy, maybe I'll go out with him - but I'm not trying anymore. I'll date, sure.  But I'm not going to be as invested in it.  Instead, I'm going to get back in shape, save my money and start planning that trip to Italy.

It's over.
And I'll do my best to not become bitter.

Wish me luck.

(oh, and please be decent in the comments. This IS my heart I'm laying out here.  Have your opinions, sure - but don't come in my house and spit on my floor.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Selection Rejection

Le sigh.

A friend and I went to a Catholic Speed Dating event last weekend.  I was kind of excited, because I felt a  prompting to go after a few distinct signs led me to it.  I signed up for the event thinking I might actually meet my husband.

I mean, I'm realistic. I know what the pool of Catholic men in this area looks like. There would be a majority of socially awkward 40 year olds and hopefully one or two guys that would be worth getting to know.

Going in, it seemed like the odds were good, considering there were more men than women there. But in reality, it was a lot of work starting conversations every five minutes and trying to size of the man in front of you.  By the time there were about five men left to meet, I was exhausted!!

There were some very nice men there... sweet and kind but alas, no attraction.
There was one man that all the women complained to the organizer about - he was a real creep.

And then there were a few men toward the end who I knew had to be at the top of the age range. As I saw making their way around to my table, I thought, "Not bad looking, not great - but if the personality is there, there's a possibility." Some guys just don't do -over 40- well.  Particularly when they don't have wives to help dress and groom them.

This won't sound charitable at all but, come on guys - you just paid good money to have a shot at a dozen smart, attractive women and you show up in a faded, worn polo shirt that's so threadbare, the collar doesn't even stand correctly any more. Not to mention a healthy crop of nose hair, or the dried spittle crusted on each corner of your mouth. Surely, you don't think any woman is going to get amped up to kiss crusty spittle - so I can only imagine you haven't noticed - which I find remarkable.

Even if I didn't have a 10X magnification mirror in my bathroom, I would still notice the stray eyebrow hair, minuscule blackhead, or the occasional wild hair that could sprout from my chin or next to a mole.

Granted, this is a great difference between men and women  - the attention to detail. But really?  You don't FEEL the dried saliva on your face?! You don't notice when your nose hairs brush the top of the sandwich you're eating?  Can't see the frayed fabric fibers sprouting from the collar of the shirt you've obviously worn at least weekly for the past seven years?!
I hate to break it to ya buddy, but if you're oblivious to your own appearance to such a degree - how could I entrust you with MY body?!

Sure, it sounds shallow to focus on these details... but rest assured, it wasn't the hair or the spittle alone.  The absence of a sense of humor. The recitation of his resume rather than a sharing of his favorite things. There just wasn't a connection. At all.

My friend made the same observations, although she thanked her lucky stars that she didn't notice the dried spittle - probably because she was concentrating on not throwing her drink in the face of the creepy guy!

She declared the entire experience a bust! Didn't check a match on any of the guys.

I forced myself to check the box on one guy, who seemed like he deserved more than five minutes to make his case. I doubt he's my husband though.

It's suddenly more clear why so many people are single.
Friends, you just can't wait until your 40s to find your match.  At this point, I almost recommend marrying the wrong guy in your 30s just to avoid this crap. Lord knows, it's easier for divorced people to get remarried than for a single person to marry after 37.

Godspeed my friends.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

If I Had the Answer to THAT...

Why are you still single?
Well, gee - if I knew?

I've always hated that question. Um, pretty obviously, I was born that way. Perhaps less obvious, because I'm not married. Haven't met the right guy. The right guy didn't ask?
I'm not pretty enough? My boobs are too small? I'm too Catholic?

You know what? Why don't you go ask the men over there why THEY think I'm single. Maybe then we can get somewhere!

But you know something, bloggy friends?
The only thing worse than constantly being asked why you're still single....
is when they stop asking.

Suddenly, I have to wonder if it's quite obvious to everyone but me why I'm still single.  Did everyone figure out that maybe I'm a shrew?  Or worse, now that I'm over 40, do they all think the race is over? (I think they do! And that makes me sad.) 

Of all the times I've heard, responded to, or ignored that question... there have been a handful that actually flattered me.

My favorite was about a year ago.  My friend was newly married, pregnant and had invited me over for dinner. At her house, I love to work in the kitchen and I was merrily chopping away at some vegetables - sort of doing my version of the chef from The Little Mermaid... telling the vegetables what I was a going to do them... employing my range of silly voices, "Ah, I chop you up, and now you're going to fry!"

My friend's new husband overheard my goofiness, smiled broadly and said, "How are you single?"
My heart melted.  I thanked him and gave him a hug. It meant so much to have a really good man say such a thing.
That's what I prefer to hear. An acknowledgment that I'm fun, and appealing and that someone IS missing out by not asking me to share his life.