I’m going to preface all this by blaming Charming But Single, who has recently begun exploring (and thereby writing about) online dating sites. Sometimes, I read things this woman has written and I wonder if I am not actually suffering simultaneously from schizophrenia and amnesia– but I can already see a tangent in development here and will steer myself back on track.
SO. This thing. About relationships and dating and people and moving to a new city that isn’t really new, but darned if the majority of people I knew from college didn’t move away after *they* graduated and I have returned once more to a city virtually chock full of strangers.
This thing that is not really so much of a *thing* but I don’t know what else to call it– this *situation,* then, that I have suddenly found myself in. It all started because I have become a Craigslist fanatic in my search for fabulous deals on fabulous furniture that fabulously needs a new home, a new, empty home desperately in need of filling– a new, empty home that, hey! is just like mine! Because mine is quite definitely a new and empty home! (Was, anyway. I now have a bed and a couch and more stuff is arriving tomorrow.)
I am inherently an impatient person. And one day, while waiting for fabulous furniture to be announced as up for rehoming (I was refreshing my browser, like, every five minutes), out of boredom I decided to click on the "men seeking women" category. Because I was bored. And because, yes, I happen to be single in this moment. And also because people who post things in Craigslist tend to be hilarious, albeit usually unintentionally.
The latter theory was upheld by unanimous vote in the personals section. OH. MY. GOD. One man requested in his post title, a woman who had her tubes tied. Another, who keeps posting to this day, aggressively advertised in sequential posts, all-caps, for Asian girls. Many pointedly and very seriously requested that gay men not contact them with offers of blowjobs. And the resounding majority of posts I looked at called for: down-to-earth, real, open-minded, honest, loyal, intelligent, friendly women, with such aggravating and mindless repetition that I considered making my own post and advertising myself as delusional, fake, closed-minded, deceitful, untrustworthy, stupid and mean. Some demanded no baggage; others still screened out "fat chicks" (and only one of those requests was joking). An understandable number (remember, this is San Diego, home of the beautiful crowd) asked for women who "took care" of their bodies.
On the one hand, I feel bad laughing at these posts because hey, these guys are putting themselves out there, they’re making the effort and that’s more than I’ve ever been able to say for myself. The only reason I end up in relationships is because someone has chased me down with dogged persistence and has kissed me.
On the other hand, some of these posts make me shake my head sadly and think that it’s hardly surprising they’re single.
I’ve bothered to respond to a few of the more sane-sounding posts, but I make it clear that I’m not really looking for a date from the start, and some of the e-mails have turned into friendly conversations. I’m a bit embarassed to report that, out of sheer laziness, when asked to write about myself, I just send them a link to this site’s About page (which means it’s highly likely that there are CL posters reading this very entry, in which case: um, hi! You, um, might want to leave right about now and maybe come back in, say, a week? Or… whatever..?).
Which segues into the more substantial part of this prattle: this website and its role in my life and relationships. I haven’t been writing about dates or flings or interests or anything of that sort, mainly because 1) in the beginning when it seemed "too soon," I didn’t want my ex-boyfriend to be privvy to such information and get even more pissed off than he already (unjustifiably) was, 2) even though I never showed any signs of any kinds of commitment in the least to these people, I didn’t want the dates/flings/interests to read about each other because you know, men can be total drama queens sometimes, and 3) there really wasn’t anything that juicy to write about. Maybe. Or maybe there was. You’ll never know!
[Right here is where I am giving up trying to make this "substantial." Fuck it. Rambling = full speed.]
I’ve obscurely made references to him elsewhere but for the most part, have refused to acknowledge his mere existence in my life– he knows my Myspace profile and we chat on AIM, so he has access to a number of links that could take him here and if he happens to read this I’ll probably never hear from him again, which may actually not be so bad because then I can reattach my head to my neck and be a little more realistic– but, whatever, here we go. Back in March, I sort of ended up falling for this guy out of nowhere. I didn’t WANT to fall for him, certainly never THOUGHT I would fall for him, and in fact almost backed out of our arrangements for a first date (we didn’t call it a date, it was just meeting up, but a spade’s a spade).
That’s why I had so much trouble accepting this job, three weeks later. That’s why, in the middle of interviews, I drove back to Las Vegas for less than 48 hours. That’s why my heart has kept itself out of this whole move. That’s (part of the reason) why I’m so homesick right now.
The stupidest thing is, we both discussed at length how glad we both were to not be in a relationship. We even joked about what a relief it was to not have to worry about falling for each other. We continued to joke about it on that first date and condescendingly scoffed at people who get attached to something that doesn’t even exist.
I’d like to say that it’s all his fault. He is, after all, the one who asked me to meet up with him– but beyond that, *he* kept in touch with me after that first date. I hadn’t expected to hear from him ever again, so his continued friendliness (and flirtations) startled me. And then we had a second date and he introduced me to friends (who introduces a fling to their friends?), and then we had a third date and he insisted on coming inside after lunch and talked to my mother for a good half-hour (again, WHO DOES THIS??), and I was even more startled. I guess you could say I was so startled that I promptly lost all my common sense and resolve and thus fell for him.
Except: this whole damn time, I have been vehemently against all and any feelings developed for him and the duality is maddening. I want to mean something to him, yet I also want to never again be "that girl" who changes the guy’s bitter view of "love" and awakens his heart and makes him realize that why, yes! the risk IS worth it! because I have already been "that girl" on several occasions and it always ends in an unhappy mess. I want him to read this because then he’ll know and will back away with a grimace and I won’t have to give him the "Look, I kind of like you so maybe you should just go away now" speech, but at the same time I don’t because our conversations make me laugh in the best of ways. And also, I don’t do the long-distance thing, ever, and I knew from long before the first date that I was going to be leaving Vegas.
It’s just all the little things that won me over. The five dots and my companion sheep, Kierkegaard and "Without Feathers," the SNL Harry Caray skit on hot dogs and Ella Fitzgerald. The fact that he actually read a book I foisted on him. Our running joke that he’d sold me his soul. His insufferable and irritating habit of never letting me give up on him 100%– though I’ve gotten as far as 98.9%.
And suddenly I’m tired of writing this. I’d delete it, but the truth of the matter is, I’ve written this post no fewer than four times already so I know that if I delete my words yet again, I’ll still end up trying to write this in the future, an endless series of trying to be eloquent about goddamn fool-hardy nonsense.
The point I was trying to make is, there *is* a reason why it’s been two weeks since the move and I haven’t thrown myself into the dating scene here, a reason other than the fact that I am daunted– nay, frozen with fearsome awe– by my competition out here: I’m no beauty– I’m hardly remarkable– but at least back in Las Vegas I felt I stood a fighting chance.
And that reason is that confounded guy.
Even if there weren’t 400 miles between us, even if we both didn’t work as much as we do, even if we both had the time and the desire for a relationship, even if he one day woke up and lost all of *his* common sense and developed a modicum of feelings for me– I can’t shake the feeling that it still would never work out. Which is both a sadness and a relief for me to believe: sadness because he really is an incredible person, relief because I am tired of fishing in the air, of leaning on broken reeds, of chasing rainbows that lead to nowhere. I’ve done enough rainbow-chasing, thank you very much. I believe that, yes, at 22, I have already filled my quota of time wasted pining over men who think nothing much of me, when they think of me at all.
I currently have: a cat who runs to greet me when I walk through the door, a freezer full of mochi ice cream and grapes, and an apartment within walking distance of crazy delicious sushi bars and a Spanish restaurant that offers free salsa lessons five nights a week.
If that’s not enough to lure my heart back, well then, it was a stupid heart and I don’t need it, no how no way.