Lady Talons

I still don't date.
I have to admit that it's a lot less empowering than it was at first, less empowering than when I was dating myself, even.

I think it's less fun because I'm starting to feel left out. I feel like I can't really talk about dating OR not dating anymore. I'll hear myself about a half second after I say something that I am sure would be witty and sarcastic to another stolidly single person but to a couple, or even to half of a couple, just sounds desperate and slightly crazy.

So I feel left out because I feel like I don't have anything to contribute to the conversation when someone says that Hawaii really is for lovers, and I know I have nothing to add to something like, "Man. I've been married for 28 years and had no idea men were so emotional."

Well, I knew that.
But because of my long-term status in Alone Time, I am not an authority who can speak on the matter with any credibility.

So I called 22 because who better to talk to me about my credibility than the one person who looks up to me with utter trust and devotion and who always makes me feel like I know stuff? 22 is.... 22 years old and as adorable as my 32 year old day is long. She's optimistic and blond, tall and lives with her mom. She gets rides whenever she needs to go somewhere and she doesn't even drink.

"Oh my gosh! Did you just get your nails filled, because they look REALLY good!"

After that, she moved on to more insightful commentary, stuff I needed to hear for feeling like such a boring, pinchy-faced excuse of womanhood.

"You shouldn't feel bad because you didn't WANT to be with anyone for a long time. You went through some SHIT with your Viking and you needed to, like, not be around guys and that's, like COOL! That's AWESOME! I couldn't do it after me and Tony broke up and I, like totally wanted to because I, like, wanted to me more like YOU!
You're like, you're... you're my [pathetic spinster friend who I am lying to in order to make her feel better] like, HERO!
And plus, dude! You've turned down, like SO many guys because you KNEW they weren't right for you and you were like, why bother? [because I'm gravely concerned that my lady parts will dry up and possibly turn into wildfire kindling]. You're just, like, waiting for the right guy! [pretty much any guy who's not an emotionally unstable alcoholic]."
and, "Think about the people you used to BE with! Now you have self-RESPECT and that's AWESOME [I don't want any STDs]! You'll TOTALLY, like, meet someone, because like, now you're ready and you were TOTALLY not before, like at all!"

She's lucky she didn't say 'you know' one time during that conversation because I cannot hear one more meaningless 'you know' for at least three weeks.
YOU KNOW how I feel about 'you know?'

Fake nails, Sarah?
And they look fucking hot, so back off, you Arrogant Hippy Id. I needed a change and while I usually cut off my hair in times like this, that's not going to happen right now.
So I have big, ole porno French tips now and they make me feel better on a deeper level than the Cherry Misty Floats from DQ were hitting me.

Anyway, despite the parenthetical inner monologue, I was thinking about what she had to say and she's kind of right. She knows better than anyone that for as often as I've dated, I haven't really wanted to. She reminded me of the times I came over to filch one of her cigarettes before dates because I was so stressed out about going out with any given person. She reminded me of the time I asked her to not bring her much-older boyfriend to an event. Her much older boyfriend who has a bunch of friends, any one of which would be a lovely date for me. She reminded me of all the times I've quoted Scarlett O'Hara, "When the War is over, Coffee Man. When the war is over." She reminded me that I didn't really trust myself to be available to people.

So what changed?

I got this email the other day. Just a friendly hello, but it was from this guy who, at the time that I met him, had things to offer me that I wasn't ready for.
It was weird... it was one night and it was at a party and we stayed up very, very , very late. It was right before I moved out here and ironically, we were in Steve's living room and in a very drunken state. I like to believe that it was the kind of drunk that was so long and late that it had begun to swing back around toward sober. We talked, and made out and I mean we talked about everything you can think of. He was an ultra-conservative who was educated and interesting and who had gone OUT into the world to do the things he believed he could do.
He had just gotten back to Springfield and I was just about to get out.
I can't think of too much that we didn't cover and I think that if I were to have the same experience now, with him and know what I know now, I might do things differently. If I had the same experience now, I would sink my spinster claws so deep in his back that thirty years from now, he would getting out of the shower while I am away visiting a sick aunt and he would catch a glimpse of his back in the mirror and realize that the weird pain he's been feeling all these years is due to the lady-talons that I used to trap him in my nest of boobies.

He made this comment about why would a guy who's a pig and a jerk always get the most amazing women? At the time, I probably scoffed it and tried to laugh it into being something funny. I was self-deprecating back then, and not to be funny but because I believed that I wasn't very special.
It was an amazing night with an amazing guy and sadly, I had too little maturity and MUCH too far of a walk that I had to take alone. I needed to exorcise Steve, a task that took forever. I needed to find some falsehood and disprove my theory that I was nothing to be proud of, nothing to remember in a good way, and certainly nothing to treasure for any length of time. I really needed to check my stone-cold belief that I would never be good enough for someone good.

I needed to be out here doing everything I've been doing in the last four years.

What he said stuck with me, and it's so far still stuck.

At first it stuck with me because I hadn't heard it from a guy like him before. I had been exclusively involved with some pretty low people and that's all I want to say about that. There have been too many men in my life whom I felt sorry for and whom I wanted to paint as a sympathetic character, rather than as the manipulative jerks that they were. I believed myself to be the selfish shrew that these men told me I was whenever I asked for more from them. More, like.... could you maybe not be drinking with my ex-best-friend on the night I finish grad school? Maybe you could wait for me and meet me out? No?
You're right.
I'm being demanding.
So at first it stuck with me because I didn't believe it at all, I didn't believe in myself as being worthy of anything good. In my head, I made this kid into a creep who only had one thing in his mind - well, two if you count boobs in the plural.

As I started to move through feeling so rotten all the time, it stuck with me because I started to believe it. The more I got stronger in myself and in my conviction that I was capable and desirable for more than having a pretty sweet rack, the more I came back to his comment and thought about it. Why do jerks get amazing women?
For awhile my answer was than amazing women rarely think they are amazing.
Then it became, "He's not a jerk." I went through this thing were I had to believe that some of these people weren't so cruel. I had to believe that so I could trust my budding believe that I was good. You know... if I had chosen to be involved with him, he mustn't be all bad, right?

Now, my answer is that fuckpots of the world don't really get amazing women. They get a chance when an amazing woman is not so amazing but I've not seen one truly brilliant and vibrant woman end up with a bloated bigot or a selfish pig. I've not seen the Jerk get the Girl.
After all, I'm here and not one of those jerks is still around me.
I keep moving forward and getting more out of my life while those guys?
They're nowhere to be seen and no matter how much I risk being a spinster, I would a hundred and a thousand times rather be that aging lady than be what I used to be - a sad and scarred little girl who took five years to recognize a truly beautiful experience and a beautiful compliment as such.

arizonasarah at 8:00 a.m.

previous | next