It's time to get down and dirty. You'll need to pop a bag of cheap light butter popcorn and put your cellphone on phone calls only. Check, and check. And then occasionally look out the window where your sexually frustrated dog is digging a hole by a tree. Check.
And now curse me for bringing up my dogs again! in a post that has nothing to do with them.
I joked to one of my friends last weekend that if I had to secure a date to save my life, I would die, in much the same way that running for my life is an oximoron because in no universe could I ever run fast or hard enough to save myself. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't try. I would stop, assume the fetal position, cry and maybe beg for mercy. I say maybe, because my tears would probably convey begging for mercy and we wouldn't want to be renundant now, would we? Besides, who wants to deal with a crying woman? Alright, maybe a bear, or a mountain lion.
So, you know, I'm single as the day is long. And I love my life. I genuinely absofreakinlutely love my simple bleach-the-dog-bowls-fill-the-bird-feeder-water-the-garden-walk-two-miles-work-my-ass-off life. It's the one I want.
And then, maybe two weeks ago, I decided I wanted something else. A relationship. You might wonder how you decide you want that. Are you ordering Starbucks and think, "Eh, I'd like a relationship with that." Are you on Craigslist one night and it dawns on you, "Who cares about vintage lamp shades and retro dining room tables - I want a relationship!" Or are you grilling salmon and veggies and as quietly as the breeze floats by, something stirs...hmmm, it'd be nice to share this with someone.
I don't remember how it dawned on me, and before you think this has a predictable ending, I can assure you this story does not. But there it was one day. This awareness that perhaps after all these years (and yes, I'm old enough to use that expression) and all this time of growing emotionally and healing spiritually and discovering life's journey and Googling a bunch of shit that I missed out on because I was a nomad most of my life - "so you have no recollection of, like, Michael Jackson?" "My first memory of MJ was during his trial and then when he died." Shocked silence - that now feels like the right time to add another human to the mix.
That sounds like I'm having a kid. I am not.
Operation Holly Needs a Date launched a long time ago.
"Holly, there's this guy, his name's Greg. You have to meet him."
And then two days later, "Oh my god, Holly, remember that guy Greg I wanted to hook you up with? Turns out he's a con artist, he's embezzled a bunch of money, and he's gay."
"Oh, I know who you'd like. My cousin Justin." I'd prefer no one in your gene pool.
"I've got it. Todd. Great guy, he lives with his mom."
The operation's been a semi-covert one for awhile, but now I've boarded that choo-choo train.
After-work dinners with friends have turned into episodes of Tough Love.
I've been instructed. "Okay, when you're on your way to the bathroom, you have to walk through the bar area. Walk with your shoulders straight and your head up. Make eye contact."
Scolded. "Holly, that guy totally checked you out, but you weren't paying attention."
Admonished. "You have to look approachable. Be friendly."
"But I am friendly."
Critiqued. "The boy sitting next to you was so into you, he was doing everything he could. But you were oblivious."
"I was talking!"
"Yeah, but not the right things. The problem was you were both too shy."
Advised. "Playing with your dogs in the river is great, but the people you might meet there are most likely undesirable old fishermen."
So I've been thumb-wrestling with myself, because let's face it. Finding a date is like digging a ditch. It's manual labor and it sucks. Plus, I'm a traditionalist in many ways; women shouldn't be digging ditches, men should. Translation: you should ask me.
(Possible) Roadblock #1: You are afraid of me. I'm bossy, sarcastic, unintentionally rude sometimes and shy.
(Possible) Roadblock #2: I am afraid of you and my lack of experience, which could quite possibly mess this whole thing up.
(Possible) Roadblock #3: I'm not likely to 'get' any of your subtle advances. You're better off to just come out and say how you really feel or what you really want, otherwise we run the risk of me missing every possible clue and then you think I'm totally uninterested and I think you're rude.
(Possible) Roadblock #4: My eye is on the prize even if the prize is a green and red pepper which I will use to add color to my planned vegetable dish. I'm not thinking "Cute-guy alert in the veggie aisle." I'm one-track-minding my way to a plastic baggie to put my peppers in.
Exception to the Rule: You should ask me, but that doesn't mean you will. So I'll fill in the blanks for you. I don't do that for everyone.
Exception to the Exception to the Rule: I still think you should ask me, and the fact that you don't makes me think that me asking you could be a waste of both of our time, because don't forget - I'm shy. Asking you for a dance (because I really, really love dancing) is by far the scariest experience of my life, and I've glided before. Do you know what gliding is? It's flying in an engineless airplane. So humor me with a dance.
(Your) Solution #1: Hit me over the head with a 2x4. That's likely what it will take to get my attention.
(My) Solution #1: Read the naughty books some of my friends have. I might learn something.
And then fundamentally, at the bottom (or is it the top?) of what I've made a convoluted mess, is my mantra: live your life right now. Not the one yesterday or the one tomorrow, but the one you have right now.
The truth is that although I might be kinda/sorta ready for a relationship, I'm not in one. My life right now is single as the day is long, it's beautifully simple, and crafted to fit me. It's not that there isn't room for one more, it's that there isn't one more right now.
So, I'm ready.
Eye contact. Check.
Attention on men who check me out. Check.
Play somewhere else besides the river. Developing check.
Dig a proverbial ditch. Check.
Despite all that, you're probably still going to need a 2x4. Or at the very least, be prepared to stand in my full-steam ahead path and flag me down.
Don't worry. I'll come to a screeching halt for you, the right one at the right time to live our right-now kind of life.
In the meantime...well, I think you can probably guess.