I’ve established that I’m not ready to date, or at least I’m not ready to make a sport or hobby out of it. UnDateable, Part I.
But as I was writing about it, I heard from the TV in the background,
Matt to thirty-year-old New Christine: “You met him when you were 26. Now you’re 30. Trust me, from a guy’s perspective, that’s depreciation.” The New Adventures of Old Christine.
Scary statement. And the statement was to New Christine, the younger, shiny replacement model. That statement drove her to drink.
Imagine how scary it is if you a woman who is neither 26 or 30. Imagine if you are Old Christine, which is who I’d be in that scenario. Hmmm. Talk about depreciation.
So while I’m not dating, taking care of me, getting myself together, climbing out of the hole of depression and debt, yada yada yada, I hear something– tick-tock, tick-tock — no, it’s not that biological clock ticking — I have enough kids thank you — no, I hear another clock . A clock that (in my mind) will sound a silent alarm which will summon (in my mind) a giant iron hand from our misogynistic -youth-obsessed-paternal-madonna-whore- heaven to snatch me up and drop me straight into Old-Lady-Ville where all mothers or non-mothers over a certain age apparently belong, according to decent society (in my mind). I’ll be forcibly taken to a place where women are always covered from head to toe in solid colors, no one has sex, discussion is only about women’s health or lack thereof, and no one is ever seen again in public — well, not until the woman becomes a grandmother. Grandmothers can leave Old-Lady-Ville on holidays if they come bearing cookies and something made from yarn.
Old-Lady-Ville is a scary place. It’s a place where women are not supposed to wear, say, do, want or feel “that” anymore. (i.e. the people who criticize Madonna) “That” being anything that men like seeing women not in Old-Lady-Ville wear, say, do, want or feel. Where sexuality is either non-existent or the butt of a joke (i.e. Betty White). I’m not ready for that place. I can still pull off some looks and still want to be able to do — stuff. But that won’t last forever. Or at least that won’t be socially acceptable forever.
So I don’t feel like I can take my time. I don’t have years. Not in this market.
Okay, that tick-tock — that iron hand taking me to Old-Lady-Ville — is horrifying, but I know it’s in my head. I’m mean I’m not crazy. (Insert laughter here) But the calendar? That’s real — and worse. The calendar says that if I wait too long, I’ll have to check a different age box on the online profiles which will, effectively, make me ineligible for yet another whole generation of men, if I wasn’t out of the running already. Or, the horror, if I wait too, too long, I’ll have to go to the sites for . . . (gasp) seniors !!!!!! (Insert scary movie music.) And where it used to be completely socially acceptable for a woman’s age to have a fluid quality to it, in order to avoid the abduction to Old-Lady-Ville, the internet has taken this option from us.
Bottom line. It could take years for me to get myself together. In the meantime, I will have depreciated. So whatever it is, my imaginary iron hand or the real calendar, it scares the crap outta me. Clearly. It almost scares me enough to create yet another online dating profile, even though I’m not ready. But it’s do or die — or be put out to pasture, or Old-Lady-Ville.
(I know how paranoid I sound, trust me.)
I just don’t want to be the dude who dutifully, painstakingly, and slowly restores a previously neglected Victorian home with plans to sell, but by the time it is perfect and ready to go on the market, well, the neighborhood has gone to crap and no one will even drive by — except, of course, as a short cut to the “new construction” in the next subdivision. Five years earlier, the home would not have been perfect but he could still unload it. Five years earlier, it could stop traffic, or at least slow it down. Wait too long? Not so much. People just drive by.
Timing. It’s all about timing. And it’s not the same for guys, not in the open market.
I blame the economy.
Just Me With . . . fears, needs and more than a little paranoia. Shhhh. Did you hear something?
I had an unfortunate conversation with an old friend the other night. Well, the whole conversation wasn’t unfortunate, but she said something that kind of got under my skin. She said, “Online dating? I wouldn’t do it.” She was emphatic, a bit superior. She added, “I don’t need that to meet men. I can meet men on my own.” I pointed out that she has a man, so how does she know? She responded, “Even if I didn’t have him, I still would never do it. I prefer to meet men the regular way.”
It helps to have context here. She is currently living with a man, he’s “the one.” They say they are going to get married, but since they aren’t going to have kids, for them there’s no hurry. Her man is an old college friend. She didn’t date him when we were in college. They didn’t get together until many years later, when he revealed to her he always had a thing for her. (Yeah, romantic crap, blah, blah, blah.) Prior to that she’d had long-term relationships and had gone a significant period of time with no men at all. She’s very attractive. Beautiful skin, face, smile, sculpted arms and a belly that would make women half her age jealous. She can rock a sleeveless belly shirt like no one else. Scary smart and a brilliant conversationalist. She can engage a lamp-post in witty repartee. Consequently, she can meet men, easily. And she’s damn picky about them, too.
Me? I am now single. I don’t feel like talking about my appearance, but “I clean up good.”
Also, I guess it’s relevant that she and I are old enough that when we were young enough there wasn’t really online dating, and “personals” were primarily for the freaks or desperate. Still, she was single and at times unattached during the emergence of the online thing. I wasn’t.
Actually, I was seriously put off my the tone of her comments. I mean, I’m attractive, and I mean shit — I play in a band (sometimes) for goodness sake! The fact that I would consider the online thing doesn’t make me desperate. So I told her, “I get hit on, too. It’s just that the guys that I see in my daily doings aren’t the guys for me.” See Landscaper series I, II and III and the Fake Boyfriend story. She didn’t get it. Whatever.
Online dating is not for the desperate or freaks, but I guess some people will never understand that — because they don’t have to. They don’t have to because they are in a relationship, not because they are pretty enough to meet men “the regular way.” And I’m not even doing online dating now, having decided not to (for now) for specific personal reasons (blog post coming), but not because I think online dating is for the unfortunates. And there are plenty, plenty of dating disasters that did not begin with an online profile.
Her comments bothered me, though. Was I being overly sensitive? Was it Just Me With a little paranoia?
Hell, I might create yet another dating profile now . . . just, well just . . . because . . . humph.
Just Me With . . . a bit of an attitude.
I’m single. I’m free. I should be out there, right? Wrong. I have some real logistical problems in getting out what with all those people I made (the kids). But this post isn’t about that. Even if I could get out of the house, I just tiptoe around dating. Except for my Transitional Man, the only men I’ve dated since my marriage ended have been guys I’ve known since college. I think about branching out. I create online profiles but don’t pay. I don’t have a lot of extra money right now, but it isn’t really about that either. I check out guys’ profiles and get messages but I never respond. Why? Am I afraid of meeting a stranger — is it a safety issue? Nah. I don’t mind talking to strangers. Truth is, I can’t even get through the “What are you looking for?” questions online — let alone in person. I don’t know what I’m looking for. I’m not looking for anything. I know I’m not looking for a husband. I can’t take care of another living thing. I can’t imagine being anybody’s girlfriend. I could go on a date, though, if I had time. But in the meantime . . . I guess I need to be single, free for a bit. Doesn’t hurt to look, though . . heh heh heh.