I'm sitting cross-legged on my therapist's couch 4 months after my husband's announcement that he wants a divorce when my therapist informs me that he thinks I should start dating again.
I had told myself and others that I was going to take time off to concentrate on myself for once. Between a husband and three boys, I didn't know who I was anymore. I just wanted to hang out with my girlfriends, drink martinis like a fish, and let the hair grow long on my legs if I wanted. I had even gone so far as to announce to my friends that I was going to take a full year off from any kind of relationship.
Read more here.
Yes, I’m A Picky Bitch
It’s true. I’m a picky bitch, or, at the very least, I’m a ninny. It seems the recap of my date with Man #27, The Flavor Saver, got under the skin of a few folks, prompting a number of comments informing me I am too shallow and always looking for the bad things about men instead of the good. I’ve been told to work on myself instead of being so damned negative.
(Note to self: Increase workouts at Experience Fitness from three days a week with the trainer to six. Call Mom more often. Meditate more. Don’t worry; be happy.)
It is rare that I write an entire blog post in response to reader comments. The last time this happened was when I wrote Inhale, Exhale in response to “Jewish but not a Doctor” ripping me a new one after my date with Man #4, The Poser. This process of dating and blogging has evolved, or perhaps devolved, over the past year and a half, and it might be time to reflect on my process and get your comments and suggestions on how to move forward. Although, I will say, that as the writer of this blog, and the captain of my vessel, I retain the right to do whatever the hell I want, and choose or not choose whomever I want as a partner, as I see fit.
The prescription: date 100 men without getting serious with anyone. You may recall that none of this was my idea. I never wanted to be divorced, and when my therapist told me he thought I should get back out there and date, I thought he was a nut job. I will also remind you that I don’t particularly like dating. In fact, I think it sucks. If I could meet the man of my dreams and never have to go on another date, it would be fine by me. However, here I am. I’m doing it. I hate it, but I’m doing it. Just that alone makes me want to say a big “fuck you” to anyone who wants to complain about my methods.
Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. I would rather read a textbook on soil science than respond to another email from a man saying, “nice legs and a pretty smile too…. ” (Insert Beavis and Butthead laugh here.)
And yes, before you ask, that is the content of an entire email in my inbox on OkCupid, right now, as we speak…and you have the gall to wonder why I’m selective.
And about my methods…blogging about my dates is inherently flawed for sure, but it is what I have chosen to do. Knowing that I can share my misery with the rest of the world somehow makes the whole process a little less painful. However, in terms of the actual process of going on a first date, I can’t say that it really changes anything. There is this assumption that I approach each date looking for the reasons why I shouldn’t date a guy, rather than looking for things that are good. This is actually not true. You must remember that all of my blog posts are written after I have been on the date and determined that there will, or will not be, a second one. Like anyone else out there dating, I have posted my online dating profiles. I exchange emails with potential dates to see if they can even put two words together. If a man asks me out, I go out, try to look cute, engage in a good conversation, and hope he will call me again if there is a spark. I don’t go on the date looking for it to be bad. Why would I bother wasting my time doing that? That would be stupid.
I will say again, as I’ve said many times before, if a good man comes along, I am not going to throw him away just because I haven’t reached 100 dates. As this blog proves, finding the one with whom you’re compatible is like finding a needle in a haystack, so I will not let a good man pass me by if he happens to come along.
Now, all of that said, here are the problems I see.
First, if I meet someone I like, and I happen to get hung up on him, like I did with The Blues Man, you, my readers, tend to get a little disappointed that I’m not following my prescription. Well, actually, I think some of you enjoy when I go off my meds and write about a male lead character who you hope will become my prince. Who doesn’t like a good fairy tale? But, for the most part, it seems there are a lot of you out there who like rules, and when I don’t follow the rules of my prescription, it makes you a little edgy.
For the sake of foreshadowing, however, I will just say I have an upcoming dilemma to share, and this brings me to my second point. Where dating and blogging really go awry is when I meet someone I like. At some point, very quickly after I meet a man, if I don’t want to have what happened to me with The Blues Man happen to me again, I have to tell the man I like about my blog, and before you go telling me that I don’t have to tell him, I’ll just remind you about this little thing called Google. I’ve been at this long enough now that My Dating Prescription comes up as one of the things I do, so I feel it’s only right to disclose my dating endeavors to a man before we go out again. The mere mention of my blog weeds out any man who is going to have a problem with me dating other men while dating him, and any man who isn’t comfortable talking to me about what he is willing to share online about our relationship. To be honest, if you really want to help, this is an area where I could use some pointers on how to deal with this problem.
Third, I want to address this whole issue of negativity and being picky. Like I said, I approach each new date with the hope that I will never have to go on another first date ever, ever again. So, imagine this is you. You go on a date; your date is pleasant enough; but you know you would not want to be in a long-term relationship with the person. Perhaps there is no chemistry for whatever reason. Perhaps her tits are too small. Maybe her butt is too flat. Maybe she smacks her gums when she eats. You, a person who is not writing a blog, can go back to your friends and simply say there was no chemistry, or, perhaps, you don’t mention it to anyone at all. In fact, if you want to stick your head in the sand, and never examine why you keep dating bitches (or assholes) who walk all over you, you can do that without any self-examination or reflection on what it was about the date, or an entire relationship for that matter, that didn’t work.
I, however, have created this problem. (Or, maybe my therapist created the problem.) Anyway, how interesting would it be for you, dear readers, to read for the 27th time, that I did not have any chemistry with someone?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
I have to come up with a unique name for each gentleman, and I also have to find something that stood out about the date that will make for entertaining reading. Believe me, if I wrote each blog post like most men write their online dating profiles, there would be nothing here worth reading. After the fifth one, they would all start to look and sound the same. Just this process of making each man seem unique creates the impression that I’m a picky bitch.
In real life, does it really matter that a man is too short to ride the ride? As it turns out, no.
Am I really opposed to facial hair? Apparently, I’m only bothered by facial hair that ends up in my nose when I kiss a man.
There are a lot of reasons why two people may lack chemistry. I just happen to be writing about it. I wish the ratio of men I have dated to men I want to date again was lower. Believe me; I do, but it’s not. If it were, I would appear less picky, and dating would be a lot more fun.
Finally, in regards to the suggestion that I “start working on transforming [myself] into the person [who] has the ability to be in a successful relationship,” I would say that this process of writing about my dates is actually helping me do that. You, the readers, don’t get to see all of the behind the scenes action, but there is definitely an evolution happening, allowing me to feel more empowered and more self-confident. In the past, I settled for a “successful relationship” that, in reality, involved me just being happy that a guy wanted to be with me. That sounds like a woman with pretty low self-esteem, doesn’t it? I sacrificed a lot of myself in the process, and I learned the hard way, that a man who will not accept me, for me, is not a man worth having in my life. In this process, I’m not asking any man to change; I’m just moving on to the next number when the chemistry isn’t right. The mere fact that I pick one detail and write about it for entertainment sake, does not make me a picky bitch; it makes me a creative writer. The fact that I’m a picky bitch is what makes me a picky bitch.
At the end of the day, when you meet someone you like, it really comes down to the whole package, not just a wayward flavor saver.
Now, you will have to excuse me. There is a gentleman with a goatee who is patiently waiting, ticket in hand, to see if this operator will let him ride the ride even though he doesn’t meet the height requirements.
Go buy the Picky Picky poster here.