Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dear Men of the Online Dating Realm:

As I conclude my three-month stint in the harmonious world of e-dating, I want to offer - by way of showing there are no hard feelings - a bit of advice to those men with whom I didn't find the advertised deepest level of compatibility...

Dear Hunter/Gathers:
Thank you for demonstrating your ability to provide dinner. However, it is not necessary to submit photographic proof that you can wrangle up a dead animal.

Dear Dignitary Protection Agent:
In that space for your occupation, "bodyguard" will do.

Dear Lovers of Kenny Chesney and Nickleback:

Dear Self-Proclaimed Einstein (Literally):
When you state that you're "super selective" and have "super attractive" female friends - who, by the way, would marry you immediately if you gave the word - it's super annoying. Stop with the Einstein bit. And the tanning bed.

Dear Brothers with Sister Wives:
I have a brother. And we don't hug like that in pictures.

Dear I'm Bored Already:
Your passion for tennis is riveting.

Dear Divorcees:
For the love of all that is logic, do not post a picture of you wearing your wedding ring.

Dear Intrepid Adventurer:
I do not, in fact, want to go ice climbing with you in patagonia.

Dear Living in Your Mama's Basement:
Bill Cosby called and he wants his sweater back.

Dear Lovers of the Gym:
I'm fat. Get over it.

Dear Self-Employed:
What does that mean, exactly?

Dear Anyone Who Thought I Like to Perform Rap and Hip-Hop:
That was due to my misunderstanding of the difference between listen to and perform. Apologies.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Trouble with One

On a few recent occasions, when friends have inquired about my dating life, I expressed some exhaustion with it. As I near the end of my three-month stint on a harmonious online dating site, I haven't been matched with anyone on the 29 dimensions of compatibility that's resulted in that 30th dimension - actually being someone I wanted to date.

And since that 30th dimension seems to continually elude me, I've started contemplating the very real possibility that there's not someone out there for me. When I say this, it is not accompanied by a litany of my faults and insecurities. It is not backed up with a diatribe against my neuroses and cottage cheese thighs. In fact, the word "because" doesn't factor in...because I don't know why this is the case.

At a recent happy hour with coworkers, a good friend and coworker called bullsh*t on me repeatedly. Maybe because he assumed that my monologue of faults was just 'round the bend, but then, after I calmed him down and explained my position, he still angrily denied the possibility that I could be alone.

I think that this argument comes from a place of affection - those who care about me don't want me to be alone. There's the impulse to defend my honor to me and force me to acknowledge my finer attributes, even though I wasn't making an attack on myself in the first place.

But, let's face it: the world is not Noah's Ark. We don't all go about two by two.

And what is it to other people if I accept solitude? I'm not locked away in a convent somewhere. I'm not even exhibiting particularly spinster-like behavior. My social calendar is rather full, in fact.

I'm unclear on why accepting one's single status is so unacceptable. If I don't concede that it's a possibility, I live my life in a constant state of discontent waiting for what will be. And what of putting off things until that time? Should I constantly hit the hold button on living life until there's someone to share it with?

And for the record, it's hard enough to not feel sorry for oneself for not having someone. I don't need someone to tell me that I should be feeling sorry for myself.

So I'm not going to feel sorry for myself. I'm going to take a deep breath every day and remind myself that I am okay all alone. That by myself, I've bought a house and have a great job and am surrounded by truly amazing friends and have a wonderful family. I'm going to be open to what comes, embrace my freedom and remind myself that I am not incomplete. In fact, I'm extraordinary. And until something comes along that is equally extraordinary, I'm going to be happy being in a long-term relationship with one amazing person: me.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Monday, March 14, 2011

A Man

The last couple of days, driving back and forth between my house and Mom and Dad's, I noticed a man. He's been standing on the less traveled side of an intersection - a little side road, really, that leads to an old road that used to be the main road. He has a very small cardboard sign that says, "HOMELESS HELP."

The first time, he was nearly a blur as I took the yielding curve on the slow side of 40 mph. I noted the cardboard, the flannel, an unkempt beard, a baseball cap. That was Saturday. And yesterday, I saw him there again, impressed by the same details, an additional sense of fatigue. Worn work boots.

I headed to Mom and Dad's after work today. An unsettling blue mood fell on me at the same time I was bathed by golden sunlight and perfumed by the early blooming cherry trees. So much beauty on the edge of melancholy. I flew across the county line at the bottom of a hill, crossed the river on the old main road and turned up the hill.

He stood where he'd been the past few days, all faded flannel and denim and weathered leather and a face burnished by sun and whatever hardship had fallen. The light was red. I dug in my purse. My windows were down. I held a folded bill out the window.

He approached the car assuring me that he was a harmless fellow. But I wasn't afraid of him. That sense of sadness in me just welled up. He took the money from my hand with callused fingers, thanking me. "God bless you," I said, feeling a terrible knot rising in my throat.

"God bless you," he repeated. And then he add, "Rock and roll til you die."

I smiled as the light turned green, held out a lifted hand as I made my turn. Maybe he's crazy. Maybe he's an addict. Maybe he's an angel. Maybe he's none of those things. But what I do know is, he's a man.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


...for beautiful weather

...for a Sunday afternoon nap with the door open

...for the promise of spring

...for dispensing - even if for the moment - of desperation

...for those who remind me, when I feel the void, how many dear ones there are to fill it

...for loving so much the sound of someone else's laughter

...for answered prayers

...for e.e. cummings

...for a house that is becoming a home

...for being one known as "Auntley Ashley"

...for being a "plus one" to someone

...for camellias

...for the smell of libraries

...for old friends made new

...for new friends who feel old

...for you, dear reader, gratitude for you...