School started; my life stopped.
Or that’s my excuse for not blogging anyway. Though it’s true that I’ve been very busy with my ELEVEN Talented and Gifted students (think about how crazy that is considering TAG means you’re in the 96th percentile or above in intelligence!) So yeah my class is wicked smart and wicked quirky and I ADORE them.
But today I got the following email from Ahab:
some of your fans live faraway now.
and they don’t have many friends.
and they wish you would post on perfect heart.
and also they were kind of hoping you were going to post something beautiful and thought-provoking about your friend’s lover asking you out on a date.
and they would be happier to read that than watch more pan am, because it is a stupid fucking show, but christina ricci is hot, even if she does need a sandwich.
and they miss you.
Well. Remember back in like ’05 when Perfect Heart was all about dating boys and having fun? I have been doing some of that stuff in the months since my Big Break Up. It’s almost certainly ill advised considering that my 5.5 yr relationship ended in June and I’m still feeling periodic (though less frequent) after-shocks. But for years I felt like, “Welp, my days of romance are behind me. I live with my boyfriend, I’m a career woman, my hair is gray, and I wear Naturalizer shoes.” When it was pretty clear that He and I were going to break up I felt so panic-y and sad thinking about how now I’m 31 and feeling kind of frumpy and anyway I can’t think of anyone I’d want to date. When pressed for “my type” a few weeks after the Break Up, all I could think of was “someone who wears soft shirts.” Pathetic, no?
But then, around the middle of July, I got an email from a gentleman I’d been seated next to at a dinner party months earlier. He’d heard I was newly single and asked me to go hiking with him. I’ll call him Charles, as he was a big Darwin enthusiast. Charles was very smart and very compassionate. We hiked 8 miles, had a few tacos, a few margaritas. I made it clear I was not ready to date. We ended up at the same music festival a few weeks later, had a nice time, went on a few dates after all, and then suddenly we were in Costa Rica together. It all happened very fast. I felt pretty insane the whole time- feeling excited to be with someone new who was interesting and interested in me, still missing my ex and nursing my wounds, not really ready to open my heart up again but wanting to be ready. But school was going to start soon and Charles suggested this trip, and though it was scary it also seemed fun so I went. By the end of our first day in Costa Rica though, it was clear we were not a good match. Our communication methods, under the stress of travel, did not align. Our interests overlapped, but not quite enough. Luckily we realized this pretty simultaneously and decided to travel as friends which took a lot of pressure off. We saw monkeys and a SNAKE!! and went to a beautiful beach and rode a zipline through the cloud forest. We had a very pleasant dinner on my last night there and I haven’t spoken to him since.
So then school started again and it was busy busy busy! but not as mentally consuming as I’d expected and it was sad to come home full of stories to an empty house. I spent a lot of time with my girl friends in the evenings, though. It seems like everyone I know is going through a break up, so we all have lots of time that we don’t know what to do with.
At a certain point I felt like I wanted a “sweet romance” in my life. Nothing serious, no drama. I put it out there to mutual friend that I thought one of my softball teammates from the summer was cute, and the next thing I knew he was calling me up on the phone and asking me out on a date. Real classy, right? I’ll call him Sam because he’s a big fan of Sam Coombs and Quasi (as am I.) I had been warned that he had “commitment issues” which was fine with me because I did not want to commit. I just wanted to go out on some nice dates and feel that feeling of getting to know someone new. So Sam and I went to dinners (he made reservations!) and on walks (with his nice dog!) and to the beach (it was actually sunny there!) But Sam did not have commitment issues at all, unless wanting to find a nice lady to settle down with is an issue which it is not! He knew what I was up for and not up for, but couldn’t resist trying to win me over with sweetness and good humor. I tried to let myself be won over- this man had skills! He could build a house! He could play the drums! He actually WANTED to get married and start a family in the not too distant future! But there was always a knot in my stomach that told me it wasn’t right, and we both felt the disconnect. Today we walked his dog and I told him I couldn’t keep going. I was sooo worried about hurting his feelings or making him mad or damaging his confidence, but Sam, as ever, was full of class. His response was essentially, “Well, I knew you weren’t totally in but I had to give it a shot and I’m glad I did.” We parted with hugs and good wishes and I feel very relieved.
Meanwhile I keep getting asked on dates- sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly. I am not complaining about this, by the way! It’s awesome! But also sometimes awkward. Someone I went to college with but didn’t know offered me a ticket on Facebook to a classical music event. I accepted but then it was “I’ll get the tickets, you get the drinks” and suddenly I realized I’d agreed to a date! I was just starting to see Sam then so I backed out as gracefully as possible (which I’m sure you can imagine was not that gracefully.)
Also the gentleman mentioned in Ahab’s letter sent me the most charming message ever, complimenting my new haircut and asking me to drinks. We’d run into each other at Sam’s art show a week or so ago and it was nice to see him. But… I was not available. I responded with my regrets and complimented his approach.
To tell you all the truth, despite the fact that I am single again, I am still not available. My eyes are opening to all of the amazing men out there, and I don’t feel frumpy anymore, that’s for sure! 31 is a pretty sweet age to date it turns out. Men are more direct and mature than the last time I dated which was 6+ years ago. It’s easier to communicate and figure stuff out. But getting to know someone from scratch is just too much for me now. (There is someone I know professionally that I am very interested in, partly because we’ve worked together for years and have a baseline of knowing each other to work from. Plus my heart is already open to him from years of being friends and colleagues- with the others I kept that thing locked up tight but he gets grandfathered in. We’ll see if the crush pans out before I give him a pseudonym, how about that? He’s very outdoorsy and I think he likes active girls but I’ve been feeling a vibe lately so we’ll see.) Otherwise, I’m going to play it cool- decline dates, accept fun with friends. And blog more. I promise.