Ha-ha-ha, yeah baby. You tell ‘em!
(Choking back a sad mournful whimper)
It’s time for me to admit that I’m not as advanced as I clearly should be. I spent a good solid year by myself. I tried a few little romantic larks, then thought the better of it and took an informal vow of celibacy, thought the better of that and took a sweet Ecuadorian lover, then back to celibacy. In the interim I did everything alone: took buses and planes, went to dinner, museums, shopping. I explored Madrid on my own. I went to the famous Perito Moreno glacier alone and marveled at its beauty and how it made me feel so much less lonely to sit in the blue glow and realize that I was part of a great sea of humanity. I went to Machu Picchu alone and meditated in the sunshine, birdsong echoing around me. I didn’t have to grimace at someone saying “honey? Are you done meditating? I’m starving!” In that magical place, I savored my singleness.
But now, things are different. I’m not in Spain, not in South America. I’m back home, starting a real job, moving into a big house where my footsteps echo, even as I pad barefoot through the yoga room (a room no husband would approve of!) I go to visit my oldest daughter who employs the royal “we” when speaking of her boyfriend. Tonight I’m hanging out with a dear friend and his newest girlfriend, and dreading the inevitable PDA. I used to be his wingman, now I feel like a third wing.
The worst part is, I used to be them. I was in love. After my divorce, when I could appreciate the startling joyous miracle of finding love again when I’d already effed it up once. My kids say I acted like a teenager. They are wrong! I was much, much worse, I’m afraid. The thing about committing sickening displays of being in love are that you don’t really realize you’re doing it. It’s like the movies, where the camera lens fogs to the center, where the lovers kiss and grope, unaware of anyone else in the vicinity. It’s lovely when you are part of it, but distressing to watch.
I can’t commit to being a monk. First of all, I’d look horrible with a shaved head; I’d need better cheekbones to pull off that look. And also, I miss … well, you know. Not just the sex (although that is a big part of it) but the companionship, the someone to do things with, or to get approval from to do my own thing. I miss being part of a couple. It’s an identity. I feel a little out to sea without that tagline. Not forgetting that I CAN go out to sea, or get on a plane or a train, without asking permission, without wondering if he’s cheating while I’m gone, without that limitation of having made my choice and being stuck with it if I meet someone new and interesting. The world can be my oyster. But sometimes it feels like oysters are just not in season. What if they never are again?
I guess I still need to grow up. I need to be happy and fulfilled just as I am. Much of the time I am. I do whatever the hell I want and nobody cares. But that’s just it. Nobody cares.
Well, I am about to make a new commitment. I’m gonna have some fun with this single thing. I’ve just got to figure out which way to spin it. Should I give up the search for a soulmate and channel my inner Cougar? RRRoowwrrr! Or maybe be the arm candy for some rich old guy, as long as he will buy me a pony? Or rejoin Match.com and write a funny twisted memoir about my dating mishaps? The sky is really the limit, chickadees, so stay tuned!