(16 hours + 2 mins before because I’m posting at 10am west coast time and I was born at 4:02am central time. 4:02 on 4/02. I did the math. Also, this post is brought to you by another friend’s writing prompt. Off we go…)
Once upon a time there was a 12 year old girl who wished on her birthday candles that a boy would like her, but her wish didn’t come true.
I distinctly remember it and can picture the flames going out on the candles of that cake. I actually wished for a boyfriend on my birthday candles for many years after that. In fact, sometimes I still have the thought right before I blow out my candles because it amuses me. It’s almost a tradition. Maybe I’ll do it tomorrow.
My massage therapist, Anne Waters, is one of the more insightful/intuitive women I know. A week ago, she was doing her usual thing figuring out what was going on in my life by what’s been going on in my body and we started talking about relationships. I told her how content I was feeling, about to hit the new decade and enjoying my singleness and not worrying about it…I told her that I didn’t really care that much. (Yes, we talk during my massage.)
She looked right at me and said, “I don’t believe that.”
Here’s the thing…I really do love my life. I really do love things about being single. Sometimes I even have thoughts like: What if I was married and stopped being able to eat popcorn for dinner sometimes?!
I mean, I don’t know, maybe he won’t like popcorn.
Confession: I’ve dated a lot of people but I’ve never been in love.
Let me rephrase that.
I’ve been “in love” with a number of men who weren’t interested for various reasons but I’ve never been in love with someone who loved me back.
Anne Waters can not understand this.
Neither can my kooky neighbor across the street or my friends or the number of men who have sat across me at dinner tables asking how this could be true while simultaneously not being interested in dating me. (Yes, this has happened more times than I can count on one hand…not at all confusing.)
I’ve had a lot of years to cycle through a lot of theories as to why this might be true. (See 12 year old birthday wish.). Said theories include: It’s just not the right time; I’ve had a lot of crap to work through in my life; I was depressed for awhile; only old guys like red hair; I’m too tall; maybe I’m just better single; I really only meet 20 year olds at work; I’m too picky; I’m not picky enough; I’m too opinionated, too difficult, too blah, blah, blah…you can see where this is going. Think about it too long and it becomes all about what’s wrong with me myself and I.
Except there’s nothing wrong with me. Well…that might be an overstatement…we all have faults. But there’s nothing so “wrong” with me that it would keep me from relationship. Redheads, tall girls and depressed people have been getting into relationships for all of time. The truth is that it simply hasn’t happened yet, and let me just tell you that I’m so thankful I’ve had a chance to become who I am now before it did…because I’ve been attracted to some messes of dudes that haven’t treated me all that kindly and I’m not okay with that anymore.
Maybe it won’t happen. If it doesn’t, I’ll live. But I still want it to. I still think I’m the kind of person who is built to share her life with another. In the meantime, I’m incredibly thankful for all the “others” who ARE in my life. Seriously. I can’t imagine that another human being has as many amazing people as I do! I have learned to be so grateful for that.
So I’ve had some theories. Anne Waters has a theory too.
She has a theory that I have a secret admirer who is reading this blog post right now.
I laughed at her when she said it, but Anne Waters, in my experience, is never wrong.
I mentioned that many of the posts I was writing for the 40 days (minus a few, ahem) before I turned 40 included a clause that said I would write about anything someone asked me to write about. (Sorry to the one of you who gave me a prompt that I haven’t come through on yet.) So Anne Waters told me I needed to write a post about why someone should want to date me and also what I’m looking for. After all, she said, some of your posts have been seen by hundreds of people all over the world…surely…
This makes me very uncomfortable. (Notice how many words I’ve used so far in the hopes that many of you have already stopped reading.)
I think her theory on me also includes the understanding and belief that if you want something you have to put it out there, which has been quite the theme of my life in the past 6-9 months. I’ve been putting it out there recently by telling all my friends “no…really…set me up.” I’m not feeling desperate. I’m just trying to find new ways to meet people because the old ways aren’t working anymore.
Oh my gosh. I’m procrastinating.
I’m nervous and I don’t really want to do this.
I’m nervous because one of you might be a whackadoo.
I’m nervous because you might think I’m crazy or desperate or worse. You might think I’m vain.
I’m nervous because this part of life is really important to me.
I’m nervous because there actually might be a secret admirer that I wouldn’t admire back and I hate to make people feel bad.
I’m nervous because some of you might be really supportive and tell me how great you think I am, and having people say nice things about me makes me really uncomfortable most of the time.
I’m nervous because Anne Waters might be right and this might actually work.
I’m also nervous that it won’t. And then I’ll just feel silly.
But here goes. Diving in. Taking the leap. Choosing risk.
I think I’m a genuinely kind person. I’m also highly empathetic so I can see how others might disagree. I care immensely about the people in my life and spend most of my time with them. I don’t care as much about activities as the people I do them with…though I really like to do fun things and will try (almost) anything once. I love travel and adventure. I’m a Christian who believes that God is love and love is God and that we are all connected by his image within every human being. I care about people’s stories. I want to know about other humans and what makes them tick. I care about telling stories too.
I am extremely loyal but can also see both sides of almost every argument. I’m a defender of those I feel are in need of defense. I’m a fan of deep meaningful conversation. I give pretty damn good advice. I’ve had to be very self sufficient but I really want a partner. I make a mean pecan salmon.
I’ve gotten feedback on my cuddling and smooching skills and apparently I’m very good at both. How one can be bad at cuddling, I can’t understand but I’ve been informed that it’s possible. I’ve also been informed that if you are an approximately 6’2″ man, I’m a good height for walking next to with your arm around me. 5’9″ girls know that this is true but most 6’2″ men don’t. One time, on a date, a guy who had been married to a tiny girl tested me out and said the fit was better. So there you go. Call it a focus group.
Sometimes, I crack jokes when I’m uncomfortable or when things are getting too serious. I also smile when I don’t mean to because it keeps me from crying when I feel like tears might come and don’t want them to. But I’ve been told that’s confusing so I’m learning to stop.
I respond to feedback. 😉
I laugh at a lot of the things that 12 year old boys do. I have a theory that we all have a 12 year old boy on the inside.
Winnie the Pooh is my favorite ride at Disneyland.
Also, I’m really good at parallel parking. Apparently that’s also something ladies brag about on dating sites.
How do I even scratch the surface of explaining who I am? Is that enough to get me started, Anne?
And the guy? Honestly, the jury is kind of out. I’ve had a type but that doesn’t so much exist anymore. But I do know that a good start would be someone who can hang with both the seriousness and silliness above. Someone who also believes in trying to live the way Jesus did and that we are all connected through love. Someone who doesn’t believe the exact same way I do about everything who can challenge me and doesn’t mind being challenged in return. Someone who can have deep, meaningful conversation but can also talk about weirdo things that catch me by surprise and make me laugh. Someone who I can be completely honest with and trust that they’ll stick around. Someone who has a job (hopefully that they love) and who lives in or wants to live in LA (you know…or Europe…or…). Someone who I can spend hours with and not notice that I have. Someone who is first and foremost my friend. Single, divorced, kids, no kids. I can hang.
So, this post is dedicated to my secret admirer. And to Anne Waters, who believes he exists.
I feel like I’m going to throw up a little when I post this.
Today is the last day I will ever be in my 30s. Here’s to more wishes, grand adventures and things just getting better from here. I trust all of you who have ever told me they do.