Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tis the Season to Be Miserable

Being single can be a pain any time of the year, but the winter holidays drive the point home a little bit harder than one might care to experience. All the cocktail dresses, sparkling jewelry, and cute shoes are for sale to those who have reason to wear them.

There's a necklace I would love to have, sitting in the display case of the T.J. Maxx in the town where my ex is living with the woman for whom he left me. I could buy it, but I have no need for it. The black-tie circuit I was supposed to join by this age is beyond my reach. It is my metier, but not my milieu. Admittedly, he would never have been the one to squire me to such things, and as an adult I've only gone out with one person who moves in those circles...but it would be nice to dress up every once in a while.

It eats at me that my ex feathered a nest before he left me, because he had it in his mind that I was cheating on him. It's the second time that a man's done that to me, and both times it was, as teenage boys say, "the smeller being the feller". He landed on his feet, already in love with someone else, throwing me aside like garbage. He plugged into a whole new family, and here I am, still alone, because I wasn't cheating on him. It's good riddance to bad rubbish, I know, but the magnitude of rejection, and the fact that he told me he pitied me and didn't leave before Valentine's Day since he thought it was too cruel is still painful in ways I can't even begin to describe.

Some people never get the opportunity to dress up and go out, but I suppose what's worse is that some of us never have the opportunity to be in love with someone who genuinely cares about them. That's what's so damn lonely about all of it. This is a season of togetherness, and family. Being a reject leaves one outside that circle, nose pressed up against the glass to look in on the warm holiday scene that belongs to the "haves".

So I will leave the sparkling necklace there in the display case, for the lucky "have" who has somewhere to wear it. Meanwhile, I will be sitting at home downloading books on my Kindle app and fulfilling the stereotype of "spinster librarian".

Friday, November 18, 2016

One for the Road

My best friend and I went shopping together recently and just for the hell of it, I tried on a cocktail dress that was on clearance. It was pretty, if not a bit large in the bust. Then she asked The Deadly Question: "It's nice, but where would you wear it?" And I didn't buy it, because the answer is "nowhere". It would just hang in my closet gathering dust. Hell, I don't even go to the movies, let alone anything formal enough to require a dress.

I'm not exactly "putting myself out there", because, hello, introvert, but I think, fleetingly sometimes, that it would be nice to have someone with whom to do stuff.  Being a spinster librarian kind of sucks. I guess the upside is that I get to read whenever, and how much, I want.

I just don't know anymore. I'm not dead yet. I want to meet somebody, but I doubt that whoever he is really exists. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

...and fade to black...

Life seems to move in cycles- relationships evolve, sometimes to the good, and sometimes not. Right now I'm on the nadir of one of those cycles and I just want to hide under my bed and cry.

When people get over you, and especially when they discard you, it's not easy. I tend to not simply pick myself apart- I'm never quite finished until I've thoroughly eviscerated myself. Maybe it's time for heavier meds...I don't know...

My world just keeps contracting. Somewhere down the line it will be a pinprick, and then it will blink out entirely. I don't think anyone will miss me all that much.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Night of the Living DudeBro

There's a whole lot of disappointment in store when you look in the mirror and realize that you're not at all what someone wanted in their life. You've been able to tick off the comparisons, each deadlier than the next, as they've arisen:
  • You're not a former beauty queen.
  • You're not rail-thin.
  • You're not twenty or thirty years younger.
  • You actually work for a living and consider your profession a career, not a job.
  • You aren't particularly interested in Junior League or Women's Club.
  • You don't like having your food ordered for you as if you can't read the menu.
  • That hand in the small of your back is a little too proprietary, as if the next gesture might be peeing on your leg to "mark" you. 
  • They have become habitues of "breastaurants" and other obnoxiously misogynistic locales.
I'm not Barbie. I'm not Miss America (despite my grandmother having been Miss Arizona, TYVM). I'd like to think that my ability to hold an engaging conversation, my educational and professional attainment, and my wit might count for something, but alas...I have neither youth nor looks on my side. It's just really depressing to figure out that someone you've actually dated at some point probably found your appearance and age repellent, since you observe that he's suddenly chasing young, thin, and dumb.

It might just be the Middle Age Crazies, or second childhood, if you will, but one does wonder: why in the absolute hell did he even ask you out the second time, when clearly, you're not his type? Oh, wait, maybe you're "interesting", i.e., morbidly fascinating, or rather, you're being dissected as "Why do I find this woman attractive at all, when she's not any of the superficial things for which I'm normally looking?", a bit like a science experiment.

Maybe I'm just punchy. Maybe I'm weary of being found wanting. Maybe I've realized that it's quite likely that I'll never be asked out again by anyone. Oh, well. There must be a couple of books lying around that I haven't read. I'd better figure out what they are so I'll have something to do on all those vacant weekend nights stretching out before me into oblivion.


Monday, July 18, 2016

Too Proud to Beg

Being single again means that I don't have anyone with whom to go to the movies, or dinner, or basically, anything else. The Ghostbusters reboot opened this past weekend and I didn't see it. Star Trek opens this weekend, and, extra bonus, the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival's "Bard-a-Thon" (all three plays from this summer in one, marathon day of performances) is Saturday. Nope, not going.

(In her defense, my best friend lives almost five hundred miles away, but I try not to visit too much to keep from wearing out my welcome. That's a reflection on me, not her. )

People have been quick to chime in with, "Learn to go by yourself, it's not that big of a deal!" Okay, yeah. I'm an introvert. I have enough trouble getting out of the house to the grocery, let alone going somewhere like a restaurant or theater. I just stay home instead. I set a speed record of ten minutes from seating to ordering to dining and leaving at a favorite Italian place last night because once the food was in front of me, I was truly too miserable to eat it. I took a couple of bites, asked for a box, paid my tab, and left.

The other aspect of this is that I find myself begging people to do things with me, only to be ignored or dismissed unless they have absolutely nothing better on offer. As I pointed out to Stefan, I pay $10 once a month for the privilege of talking to him for fifteen minutes before Damaged Goods performs- and that's before you add in the cost of my gas, meal, and the physical demands of driving 260 miles round-trip, so it runs into some time and money. I enjoy seeing him, and I like the other guys in the troupe a lot; it's just that he's never available to do anything else when I ask...damn, it's just hard to know that one is that profoundly boring.

Any time Chris goes somewhere with me, it's because I asked him to, and I think it's mostly because it's free transportation more than spending time with me. I'd fall over dead on the spot if he ever sought my company. There's that begging thing again.

The only person who's pursuing my company (and whose attention I do NOT want) is my stalker. I can't get him to leave me alone. I do not want him around. His attention is unwelcome and undesirable...and it's hard to process the idea that he's the best I can do for any form of human attention or companionship.

I love my dogs and cats. They're what keep me sane. I'm just really, really lonely, and I'm tired of begging.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Crazy Cat Lady: Achievement Unlocked

I went to the local shelter to arrange for Moonshine, my youngest cat, to be neutered, and while I was there I made the mistake of going out to the "cat building", i.e., the animal shelter's garage. It's kitten season, so they were packed to the rafters with mamas and babies and unfortunate adult cats who don't stand much of a chance next to all those fluffy itty-bitties. Near the door, there was a petite medium-haired black cat named Luna. While I have wanted another girl cat for a while, I had thought I'd get another tortoise-calico...but Luna was sponsored for adoption for a single reason: black cats rarely get adopted. Often, when they are, they come right back to the shelter as soon as the man of the house sets his superstitious eyes on them.

It was the day before "down day". As I was standing there, with Luna desperately vying for my attention, the animal control officers from a neighboring county arrived with several dogs (including a particularly violent Rottweiler) and ten cats. The cat building has several kennels in it, provided by the Humane Society of the United States following the surrender of over a hundred cats by a single person about a year and a half ago- the source of Wysiwyg, my brown tabby- but each one held multiple cats or a mother with kittens. There was nowhere to put the ten new cats and kittens...which meant someone would be 'euthed for space'.

The black cats had been there longest. I asked if I could borrow a crate, and thus Luna joined my family of pets. I used to joke that I had the Crazy Cat Lady Starter Kit with my three cats, but now I have crossed over into plain old Crazy Cat Lady with Luna, who makes four.

Luna has her opinion on things. She's not really a dog person. She doesn't care much for my ancient Siamese. Her favorite place is under the blanket chest or the bed, and she's a talker when she feels like it. She also vented her spleen by emptying her colon on my bed twice the day she was spayed- I believe this was meant to convey that she was pretty displeased about same. I asked her politely to not do that again while I was away at camp, and what do you know? She didn't. She'll ask for me to pick her up and hold her once in a while. She's only been there for a couple of weeks, so it's going to take some time. Hopefully she will learn to think of it as home.

And yes, I know, I have two cats with lunar names, and Luna was probably named for Sailor Moon's cat...

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Bitter, Party of One

Three months out from my Involuntary Independence Day, I was sitting in the bar of a restaurant I've frequented for a number of years waiting for my dinner to arrive when a man sitting just around the corner from me struck up a conversation.

I was rather tired and it failed to register right away that he was hitting on me. I'm unaccustomed to that and unfortunately, because I've spent a lifetime downplaying the possibility romantic interest in someone to avoid being humiliated, the dime tends to not drop until well after the moment has passed.

What I take it to mean is that there may be a 50/50 chance that I won't die alone and be eaten by wild dogs (by the way, the newest Bridget Jones movie is out this summer) after all.  I guess we'll see.

In the meantime, I've reacquired my sometime-stalker thirteen-years-ago ex, who played D1 football at an SEC school and scares the crap out of me. His grandmother fell and broke her hip, recalling him to the Great Bluegrass State from Nevada, where he's been marinating in constant dissolution for a couple of years. She's doing well in physical rehab; when she can toddle along at her house, I fervently hope he'll go back west. So far, he has peed on my front porch twice when I wasn't home, like a dog marking its territory. I am not kidding.

The joys of being single...

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ghost Etiquette

Since when did it become antiquated to expect a response when one asks a friend if they'd like to attend something? Oh, wait. Yeah. "Ghosting."

In my world, "ghosting" is actually an IT expression indicating that the computer system is being set up with a uniform desktop via network broadcast. In the wider ergot, however, it means that someone who is disinterested in continuing a friendship or relationship ignores the other individual entirely until they give up and go away.

Look, I have a timeline here. If tickets have to be purchased in advance and you're not interested, the correct response is, "No, I don't want to go," or "I'm really not interested in that," or something along those lines. At some point, if you change your mind or get around to responding, it may just be that I've already had to schedule it when you can't go or it would involve reorganizing my entire schedule around accommodating you.

The thing is, while it's easier to "ghost" or ignore someone, it's also cruel. Just say no, and move on.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Back on the Trail

So many things terrify me about the prospect of dating. I'd really prefer to meet someone organically, as it were, but that's a little difficult since I'm not really all that social.

Also, whoever they are, they're not Chris. (There, I said it. Moving on.)

My sister recommended going to the Big City and hanging out with her in a coffee shop. Well, I love coffee...but she (who is married) will inevitably be hit on more than I will.

I was never exactly good at the dating thing. It took me from my senior year in high school until the second year of grad school- six years, give or take- to realize that one of the guys in my class was trying to ask me out when I shot him down about homecoming. I was dating a boy from another school who I'd met in college over the summer. Call me clueless...I never expect anyone to be attracted to me.

Maybe it's that my heart's just not in this.

I have this fabulous wardrobe. I've got all and sundry topics of conversation. My interests are widely varied. I also scare the hell out of most men.

It may be the degrees. It could be the career. Or it could just be the "big words"...I dunno...the lazy default is, "Oh, it's because I'm fat."

I've also tried to be egalitarian in my dating and the one thing it's shown me is that eventually, if I'm dating someone outside my own social class and educational level, it will be thrown in my face as a "silver spoon" argument. Only once have I dated within "my class", and it wasn't that long. At our age, they can buy younger and thinner if they want it.

I'm a bit lonely, but I'm not lonely or desperate enough to take whatever pops up this time. I don't even know where to start.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Rest is Silence

Some time ago, I wrote an entry about the cruelest thing I ever did to someone else. I don't know if I can fully convey the childish stupidity that led up to it, or the hideous guilt and shame I've carried for thirty years for having done it.

I got into a turf war over Hopkins with his other close friend, a boy named Doy. If I'm going to tell this truly, I'm also going to give up the pretense of "Hopkins"...everybody who knows me is well aware that his name is Chris. It doesn't seem right to write this without using both of their names.

Doy died on April Fools' Day at the age of forty-eight, having had his birthday in March. That's far too damn young. I don't know the circumstances, but I'm deeply disturbed by it. It feels unreal and unfair.

I'm tempted to say that I hope he forgave me, but...that seems weak. I must carry this sin, mindfully, forever, because I have to let it inform me in moments when that cruelty could leap out and assault some other innocent person.

It was jealousy, plain and simple. Chris and Doy had bumped along as best friends for a dog's age and then lo and behold, here was this *stupid girl* driving a wedge between them. He took his shot at me, and I delivered the most perfect, complete coup de grace to end it. (Never push a Southern girl to this point, because trust me, you will regret it in ways that you never imagined.)

I'm not wide of the mark when I say that this particular moment is why Chris has not and will not ever become romantically involved with me. One cruel 'gift' of a high intellect is an excellent memory; he saw that lacerating bitch and she scared him to death...as well it should.

It dawned on me last night that I was not the only one who probably got a "Hail and Farewell" speech from Chris when they graduated. Doy had received a decent scholarship to Western Kentucky University, while Chris swanned off up East to Baltimore and Johns Hopkins. We were proud of him, mind you, but it hadn't occurred to either of us that he would turn his back and walk away. The words that have rung in my ears for thirty years were: "There is nothing and no one in Green County worth remembering."

That statement included me, and it also included Doy.

I hope that whatever life Doy had after Western, that it was a happy one, or at least one that included some moments of happiness, or contentment. He was a gifted mathematician, a decent person with a kind nature, and he was too young to die.