Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Thing of It Is...

So amidst a number of overtime shifts that nearly killed me and my will to live due to sheer exhaustion (how people work Monday to Friday jobs and wake up every single morning to go to work with only two days off between is a complete mystery to me), I had an epiphany. A tiny realization of one of the most influential and essential aspects of any good relationship. And it is completely and utterly out of a person's control.

Timing.

This is likely not something new to you and it's not exactly new to me, either. I've had a few situations over the years where the timing of meeting someone just did not jive with me or my current life state. But until recently, I don't think I realized just how crucial timing is.

You could be a perfectly awesome woman - a single woman with a lot to offer who has, as of late, been losing faith in the idea of good men existing in your world. And BAM! you could meet (or in my case, have someone from your past be reinserted in your life in an entirely new context) a perfectly awesome, good man. You guys could even spend a bit of time together, and you might even get excited at the prospect of someone who you not only connect with, but who might just hold some kind of potential for the future. And maybe even, instead of being your normal neurotic and impatient self, you're relaxed. You calmly anticipate whatever is coming because this guy seems like he's worth getting to know, whatever the pace.

And then...bad timing steps in; and despite your mutual awesome-ness, this new thing is just not going to go anywhere right now. And the only thing you can do is realize it, accept it, and move on.

Does anyone else ever just get pissed off at having to be mature about a situation and move on from it? Sometimes I want to revert to being a 5 year old who threw an absolute hissy fit at my mom who had to put me in the porch until I calmed myself down (my mom will remember what this hissy fit was about and exactly how old I was, I just remember being insanely irrational, ridiculous and feeling so ashamed after I was done losing my shit). This, of course, would get me nowhere right now. But somehow I feel like it might be satisfying to scream at the top of my lungs and flail my limbs around a little. You know, show the universe how frustrated I am.

I did not throw a tantrum, just so you know. (I am definitely superbly excellent at bad timing, FYI, hence being the female version of Good Luck Chuck.) Instead, I surprised myself. There was no resurgence of the bitterness I usually feel when yet another attempt at dating fails (which I feel means I am actually maturing, not just getting older chronologically...however there was a little dance floor make-out sesh the other night that would suggest otherwise, HA!). I had my little epiphany, and realized that beating myself up over something out of my control is useless.

The thing of it is, and I shit you not...timing is everything when it comes to dating. If the timing isn't right, anything you push forward in terms of a relationship is going to be lopsided. One person is going to be all-in, the other person isn't going to be able to open themselves up for that, and eventually, it's not going to end well (trust me, I speak from experience). I don't need to put myself in another situation that's inevitably going to hurt me, and I certainly don't want to force yet another relationship out of my need for companionship. Who knows why I would finally (like really, finally) meet a great guy only to have bad timing intervene and dash any hopes I have. Maybe this a way for the universe to let me know that good men still exist, and I might one day actually meet one with impeccable timing...? Maybe what's coming around the corner is even better? Maybe I just need to calm the fuck down and roll with the punches a little more?

Wait a minute...who is this positive person with some sliver of hope glimmering in the darkness heretofore known as her dating life!? I mean, holy shit, am I actually learning something out of all this??? Is it possible that I've gained some wisdom???

This is what goes through my mind anytime I have these little epiphanies that make me feel like I might actually be a grown-up...then I remember my shopaholic tendencies and my propensity for drinking far too much wine and I let out a sigh of relief...I'm not a grown-up...yet.

A

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Every Single Girl's Favourite Time of Year...

This past weekend I worked a string of night shifts that delivered a swift kick in the ass to my feelings of bangriness toward dating (bitter + angry = bangry, in case you forgot my brilliance in creating a new word). This is part of why I find my job amazing; nursing, if you let it, gives you a great perspective on life. So despite feeling exhausted, I was feeling pretty revived and grateful. And then I picked up an overtime night shift. And then I got completely exhausted, cranky, and really emotional. And then I remembered something...

...Valentine's Day is coming.

My plan, as far as the blog went, was to completely ignore V Day. I wasn't going to post a damn thing about it. Instead, I was going to post about the new book I'm reading, which claims it will turn me into an "ultra successful dating winner." Sounds almost as awful as V Day, doesn't it? (I decided on one of my night shifts that if I'm writing about dating I should do some research. It came recommended from a fellow single gal, and the name of the book, It's Just a F***ing Date was just too intriguing. I'm sure it'll snake its way into the blog soon. Click the title to check it out.)

I suppose, however, any dating blogger worth their salt has to address V Day. I can't very well just ignore the one day a year where love is supposed to be exalted and the world should be showered in candy and roses, can I?

Well, I could, but then I'd be missing out on sharing my oh-so-original hatred of this Hallmark holiday.

If I had my way, every V Day would be spent the way I spent it in 2012: on vacation with two of my most wonderful friends in Puerto Vallarta. I started the dreaded V Day by doing "fuck Valentine's Day" shots with a gentleman who had been dumped the day prior to he and his girlfriend leaving for said vacation destination. It was 9 am. The remainder of the day was spent downing piƱa coladas, being proposed to by a 20 year old rugby player with a ring made from a $1 bill, burying each other in the sand and pouring drinks down our throats, and really, just having fun. Granted, I became violently ill at supper time (I say food poisoning, but I mean, shots at 9 am may have been the culprit), but I would still rather be in Mexico hugging my porcelain prince rather than worrying about celebrating (or not) V Day.

I'm not alone in my dislike of V Day. I'm also aware that my views on V Day aren't particularly original. V Day is a massive commercially-hyped construct that society has welcomed with open arms. We all see the advertisements telling us (for the most part) that women should be showered with flowers, presents, wined and dined (and one would hope at least 69-ed) and made to feel extra-special on love day. I'm not sure if dudes get as much attention from the ad execs, but it's the same idea - men should receive a display of lingerie or some sort of special present (ladies, I'm quite certain a well-timed blow job would be just as good as a new watch, I've heard a lot of guys whine about not getting enough blow jobs). Basically, you should spend money on someone so they feel special.

Well, ok. Sometimes that's a great way to make a person feel loved (listen, I would NEVER say no to being gifted a great pair of shoes, so I don't have a leg to stand on in hating the commercialism of V Day). But something about the way V Day is presented makes me feel like people might think it's the only day you should celebrate how much you love/like/lust the person you're with. I don't want to be in a relationship where the only time my man friend shows me his feelings is the day a bunch of retail executives have decided to exploit those feelings to make a buck (add that to my ever growing list of requirements). For a relationship to work, shouldn't there be effort on both sides to express those feelings regularly? I mean, shouldn't we be made to feel special all year round? (Translation: shouldn't someone be buying me shoes and bringing me coffee at work on the regular? And then I suppose I should be going down on my man like there's no tomorrow...but alas, no man to go down on and I buy my own shoes.)

I'm laughing right now because I can't remember the last functional relationship I was in, so me having an opinion on how to maintain one is kind of hilarious.

Either way, I don't like V Day. I don't like having to watch commercial after commercial reminding me that it's coming, and I don't think people should focus all of their romantic energy on one single day. I would find a man just as romantic if he brought me coffee during a random night shift as I would if he orchestrated a grand gesture on V Day. I think when you look back, it's those little things that count, and for me they've always overshadowed any grand gestures in past relationships. I still have the blanket a long-ago ex gave me because he knew I got cold in my bedroom at night and wanted it to feel like he was giving me a hug; I know he did something amazing for my birthday that year, but truthfully, that blanket is all I remember.

A

Monday, 9 February 2015

Short & Sweet

So that last post...it was kind of a big one for me. Not only in that the post itself lay bare my biggest insecurity, but also because it was the first post I chose to share on social media; letting my twitterverse and Facebook friends be privy to all my single girl problems (which is small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, I know). I was unsure of what to expect and nervous for people to read the blog...but wow.

***Mush alert***

You people are amazing. Those of you who took the time out of your busy lives to glimpse into mine - you overwhelmed me in the best possible way. The sheer positivity of everyone's comments brought tears to my eyes. The kind souls who sent me private messages, some from rather unexpected sources, you humbled me and warmed my heart. And for those in my life who I can only refer to as my people (yes, despite it's many technical errors, I love Grey's Anatomy) - I will never be able to say thank you enough. You guys suffer through my neurotic ramblings before they make it into blog form and I probably drive you crazy, but you are just always there, because you are my people.

It's one of the most amazing feelings to invest your whole heart in something, put it out into the world, and have it well-received; so from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

***End mush alert***

Now let's get back to bitching about dating (still waiting on that sarcasm font guys...).

A





Friday, 6 February 2015

This, is a tough one. A really tough one.

So this post might be a bit of a departure from my regular (hopefully) sarcastic and witty, dating-related posts. However, this subject is something so inextricably linked to my love life (or lack thereof) that I'm almost surprised I haven't written about it yet.

That's a lie, I'm well aware of why I haven't written a post about it. The subject is painful. I've written pages upon pages of diary entries about it but they all end the same way - fading into blank spaces that ache with emptiness. This post has sat dormant for months. I come back to it, rework it, and then let it sit. I think it's sat long enough (which probably means I've spent at least another week or two revamping it). I'm not sure I can convey how tender this subject is. It's vexing, not only to concisely discuss my situation, but also expose a part of me I consider to be the seat of my vulnerability and self esteem...so...this feels scarier than doing the world's highest commercial bungee jump (been there, done that, and it was a piece of cake compared to this; how silly is that?).

I cannot conceive children.

Were you waiting for something crazier than that? Something life-threatening or drastic? Maybe you guessed it. Either way, there it is. Not an overly shocking revelation in itself. Thousands of couples in Canada experience infertility - roughly 16% according to the government. Except I'm not a couple. I'm an otherwise healthy 32 year-old woman who wakes up every morning, takes hormone replacements, and is reminded that instead of being "normal," she's menopausal. (Ladies, hot flashes are the fucking devil, I kid you not. Thank God I don't have to deal with mood swings or I think we would all know exactly why I'm still single.)

When you learn this at 17, you know it affects your future but you don't see the totality of it. At 24, when a fertility specialist lays it all out on the line - that your best chance of "naturally" having a child is to find an egg donor and do in vitro fertilization - reality comes crashing in. You realize that one thing you have always wanted - to be graced with the privilege of having children - may never happen. At 29, when you're unceremoniously dumped because you can't conceive children, the bigger picture starts coming into focus. It becomes clear that 9 times out of 10 the guy you just went on a date with will probably run for the hills once you share this little gem. Most people want a family, but they don't want to go about getting it the hard way. At 30, when you still haven't met that tenth guy and your personal deadline for attempting to carry a child comes and goes...well, the big picture is in sharp focus and it's glaringly obvious. Not only is that prospect of having children floating further and further away, but the idea of finding your soulmate seems to be following suit. Suddenly, you realize this shit is just not going down the way you pictured it; a remarkably difficult thing to accept.

I'm not quiet about my infertility. Most of my friends know, my family knows, and I'll freely share it if the conversation steers toward having children; which it frequently does when you're a thirty-something single woman. I can't begin to count how many times I've been asked why I'm single, why I don't have any children, or how come I'm not "hopping on the marriage and kids bandwagon" (that's an actual quote, mentally I screamed I would gladly jump on the fucking bandwagon if it came anywhere near me; in reality I smiled and cracked some joke about being single by choice). I find it amazing that it would be considered uncouth to discuss my sex life in public, but commenting on or criticizing something as intimate as my reproductive choices/situation is just considered standard conversation.

I came across an online article in early December that brought this all to the forefront of my mind (now you know how long it actually has taken me to write this) - something that happens cyclically for me depending on what's going on in my life. Some days/weeks/months I'm at peace with this situation - it's part of who I am, but doesn't define me or my worth. Other times...other times I don't know how to describe it in a way that most people would understand. All I know is the aching of those blank diary pages does not compare to the visceral, gaping hole that threatens to swallow me if I let it.

The article talked about "Why giving women shit for not having babies is one of the most fucked-up things you can do." I don't think I need to tell you, but I agree. I've spent 15 years contemplating what having a family would look like for me. I've run through all the possibilities: egg donors, in vitro, surrogacy, adoption...every last one of those costs a lot - financially and emotionally. I lean more and more towards just not having children. For whatever reason (and only God knows the fucking fucked up reason for this) having children is not natural for me - why would I then force it? There's also one fact that has remained relatively constant throughout those years (feminists are going to hate me for this) - I'm still single. Call it antiquated, old fashioned, or whatever else you want, but I've always wanted at least that to come about in the "normal" fashion. I don't think it's crazy to want to find my person (my man - the right guy, for me) before I start pursuing having a family, whatever form that takes.

While that article didn't necessarily speak to my exact situation, I can identify with it. But I wish I could extend it one step further. I'd suggest we all realize that every single person, man and woman alike, have different circumstances in their lives that bring about varying opinions about bearing and raising children. Sometimes the decision about having children is taken completely out of a person's hands. So perhaps, instead of chastising or teasing someone about their lack of children, just stop and remember - the person you're talking to could be someone who has no choice in the matter. And that person might just appreciate an attempt at empathy instead of yet another reminder that their biological clock is ticking.

A

P.S. - When I watched the documentary on the Dixie Chicks' documentary Shut Up and Sing a number of years ago, it was a relief to learn two of the band members had dealt with infertility in their marriages. And then to learn they'd written a song about it, well, it was crazy that not only would a song speak to me about this part of my life, but also be so accurate when it comes to describing it..."It felt like a given, something a woman's born to do...And I'd feel so guilty, if that was a gift I couldn't give." You might not love the Dixie Chicks like I do, but you should watch this, it might give you an inkling of how I feel.


Monday, 2 February 2015

Bitter what?

So I know I said that letting the bitterness seep in was really no alternative to keeping a positive outlook when it comes to dating...but I'm feeling awfully bitter lately.

I've gotten a plethora of messages lately on match.com. I've ignored them all. Every time I look at someone's profile I envision myself taking out a tiny little rocket launcher, firing at their little profile picture and blowing them to smithereens while cackling and thinking to myself that I've removed one more dipshit from the very shallow dating pool in this city.

Yup, just a little bitter. Maybe I'm more angry than bitter. Or I'm a combination of the two, can a person be "bangry?" Like being hangry, but instead of hungry and angry, I'm bitter and angry. Bangry. BOOM, I just made up a word. I should enter my new word into Urban Dictionary, unless it already exists, in which case my bangriness might escalate a little bit.

Sidebar: I just searched urbandictionary.com to see if bangry is a word already (yes I know that a word being on the site doesn't really make it a word per se, but slang seems to be infiltrating Webster's so really it's only a matter of time). And it is a word!! But their definition is not quite what I'm trying to convey. Apparently it has more to do with your anger building to a point where you need to use sex to release it. Hmmm. I could very well be that definition of bangry...

Anyway.

I'm sitting here wondering why I'm keeping my match.com account. In fact I question my inability to give up on love every time I face rejection. Everyone must, right? How do you deal with rejection without going through a phase of wondering what the fuck you're doing? Well, today, I'm wondering what the fuck I'm doing.

My most recent rejection was only after a month of dating (see my last post...the bangry was in full force for that one). There was no talk of being exclusive, he had seen other people during this time, and was obviously not as into me as I was into him. I, on the other hand, actually canceled a date with someone else because I was so interested in this guy. I was considering sleeping with him because my attraction to him had reached that level (and it was starting to wear out my vibrator), and I was ready to tell him that I wasn't seeing other people. I just re-read that paragraph and am wondering how I was so off-base. When things ended - though I had an inkling at that point it wasn't meant to be - I was surprised to learn he was just not that into me.

I know for a fact I have a hard time trusting my own judgment lately. I've been so wrong about so many guys...but when I look back, was I really all that wrong, or was I clinging to them out of loneliness? Was I just so intent on finally finding someone (maybe even the one) that I managed to convince myself to press on? I'm really good at diving in, but I'm not always so good at taking a step back, critically looking at the person I'm dating, and deciding if I should keep seeing that person. I get swept away in the initial lusty stage (when there's actually chemistry between two people) and somehow I stop paying attention to things that bother me.

If I'm completely honest, I knew this most recent date was not right - he's vain, elitist, introverted, and would never have been able to come on a snowboard trip where we crushed ten people into a three bedroom condo, drank pitcher upon pitcher of beer, and ended the trip with a topless last run down the mountain and a party with 18 people in an eight person hot tub (mom, I still had my bra on if that gives you any relief). So I'm angry more with myself than anyone else - why did I let myself get attached to someone that would never fit in my life? And why wasn't it me ending things before him? (That might be a really silly thing to think, but really...through the course of our dates, how did I overlook these things and almost unconsciously decide that I could live with them rather than decide that he was just not quite what I am looking for?)

I've always been my own worst enemy, and I'm realizing more and more how much that applies to my dating life. Maybe I should have made a few New Year's resolutions...maybe one of them should be for me to...to what? I'm truthfully not even sure what to do differently when it comes to dating. I just keep going with the philosophy that I should just be me, do my thing and trust my instincts. Oh wait. There it is.

Trust my instincts.

A




P.S. - Every post I write seems to have a soundtrack to it - a few songs, or even just one, that I listen to on repeat until the lyrics are second nature. Today, it's Phosphorescent, and their album Muchacho is freaking good. Song for Zula just seems meant for me today (I so love that feeling, when a song connects to you)..."I know love as a fading thing, just as fickle as a feather in a stream..."

Check it out: