Being single at 36 is weird. It was weird at 26 – probably because I am simply weird – but now this is unfamiliar, lonely territory. Dark waters where I’m not sure if I’m the prey or the predator.
I’m not sure how much I can joke around and befriend both men and women without becoming an imaginary threat to their ball and chain. Having a wedding ring on before allowed me to be everybody’s friend. Now…not so much.
Having a blog* and exposing my innards to the world allows me an exceptional liberation to get out some of what I’m working through. Plus it’s great – as a highly opinionated lady – to talk and curse about things out loud. Even ridiculous old news that I had a lot to say about, like my post “Compassion for Humiliation.”
But at this age I’m surrounded by married couples and now that I’m the first gay divorcee in my circle, I can sense a subtle armor of possession or protection from one member of some of the couples I know or meet. I think the blog and my loud call for freedom may be the cause for this behavior.
Here’s the thing… I don’t want your man. Nor do I want to corrupt your wife. My longing, my emancipation…that’s MY story.
I’m no Jolene.
I have in my lifetime had strong feelings, as in “What the shit is that feeling?! Ohhhh… that’s what every song ever written is about…” maybe two, maybe three times in my entire life. And only once did I not hear a voice in the back of my mind tell me all the reasons why he was wrong for me.
None of that worked out, life carries on. I’m ok with that. Just like I’m ok with writing whatever I want on this here blog and it sounding lonely or – “Heavens to Betsy!” – angry. I’m human, of course I feel those things. Why should I play our lame culture’s game of behaving mediocre? Why should I join in on never expressing an actual feeling or personal thought, not just sweating Anthony Bourdain or quoting Guthrie or Johnny Depp in a FB status?
So I am now going to have to learn to just accept that some people are going to treat me differently because I’m single and also because I am ok with talking about sex and love. Half of this is do to the fact that I lack both, the other half is me not really understanding why I’m not supposed to talk about it. But let me make this really clear, I want love. As in true love, as in all I want is to hold your hand, sit on a park bench, make out, laugh and talk. I don’t want just a shag. I don’t want a companion. I don’t want to share a mortgage (this is the least sexy activity on earth) or someone to bark matrimonial orders at or keep score on. I don’t want to play the field and date desperately.
I want love.
To further add to the weirdness of being single at 36, something like this happened: I ran into an old acquaintance at the Trocadero, a concert venue in Philly, and the first words he said to me were “I heard you’re on the market.” Wow. How cheap. Listen, at 36 I’m not looking for a dickhead who dresses like a toddler. As current fashion trends have all male hipsters style themselves to look like three-year-olds. They all look identical to little boys but have ironic mustaches and bellies they push out. This happened last month at a Guided by Voices show. I certainly wasn’t trolling for true love in Chinatown. (I’ll be doing that in Copenhagen this fall or in the nature section of most any book store I happen upon.) I don’t even know anything about that band, my friend had an extra ticket. Talking to her was the best part of the night.
And as far as mustaches go, I love them, they turn me on but only in a non-ironic way. As in, I think it’s really erotic when I’m sitting in a sterile very dark room with my eye doctor who has clean fingernails, pleated pants and a perfect thick NON-ironic mustache and that 19th century looking vision machine is the only thing that separates our faces by like three inches. That is a really fucking Doctor-Who-David-Bowie-type of sexy. Not like dull hipsters who in my ten-year absence from the scene, still have nothing interesting to say, yet have the nerve to go about ruining mustaches for girls like me.
Navigating my (scary) independence through facial hair trends and cheap comments will take time to adjust to. I’m just going to have to learn to continue to be myself. And to also find a way to point out that if my personal call for freedom makes someone uneasy or insecure in their relationship, they better back away from me and take a good look at their business because I got nothing to do with it.
* God, that word – Blog – just never doesn’t sound odd to me. Even when I hear other people say it “blog”, it’s pronounced like an unfamiliar word or how parents pronounce their children’s names that they made the mistake of naming them just to be clever. Only to over-enunciate the name for all of eternity, not sure themselves if they are even saying it right. I honestly still don’t fully understand the world of blogs, Pinterest or Twitter and find tagging a chore but I do respectfully appreciate the ease and use of WordPress.com
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