Monday, December 8, 2008

Seussical Dating

My adventures in dating over the year I have been divorced have been the subject of many journal entries and girlfriend discussions over wine. To put it mildly, it has been less of an adventure and more like a Dr. Seuss book for beginners.

As I meet prospect after prospect, I feel like the little bird asking everyone he runs in to, “Are you my mother??” He asks cows, and kitties, planes, and snow shovels if they are the “one.” It’s a strikingly accurate picture of my “process.”

In actuality, it is quite comforting to know that there is no drama, no crazy stories - just a quick evaluation and then “no.” Of course, this does explain why I rarely go out without my guy friends or my girlfriends…..

Saturday, I worked at the travel agency kiosk at the mall. As I stand there trying to look friendly, I see the shoppers walking through the mall, two by two - holding hands, pushing strollers, buying presents. I felt my life was missing something. The Christmas music, decorations and shopping bag after shopping bag acted as a megaphone screaming into my life that “you, Becky Pruitt, do not have someone to buy presents for.” It was enough to morph this Christmas fanatic into a bah humbug scrooge!

As single men passed my kiosk, I would look at them and ask myself, “are you the one?” Too young, too old, too thin, too heavy, bad shoes, old man jeans, too fabulous, not nearly fabulous enough, no interest on my part, no interest on their part….. I could feel my countenance droop, tears welled into my eyes and I started to inwardly pout. Like the little bird who eventually questioned, “Do I really have a mother,” I began to question myself. Maybe I am supposed to be single forever, maybe I should just “settle” for someone just to have someone - maybe I just need to get a freakin grip and realize that I have more important things to do besides planning my love life - like handing out travel information.

My shift ended and I headed off to celebrate my friend’s birthday singing karaoke. In truth, I wanted to simply eat massive amounts of ice cream and hide under my covers. In reality, I entered a smoky bar and ordered a margarita and chili cheese fries….same thing different zip code.

Hours later, as I was leaving the bar to go home - full of guy friend love and fun - I realized once again that the question really is, “Do I want to be found?” “Do I want to be caught?” “Do I need to be caught?” I have no one to make happy but myself - I don’t need to worry about living up to another’s standards - of disappointing them yet again. I can be myself and be loved for it - I can realize that I am valuable without a guy validating me. After 16 years of marriage, I had gotten hooked on the crack of seeking validation and not getting it. I had gotten so used to the unhealthy push-pull dynamic that it’s tough to operate without it.

So for now, I will revel in being the baby bird on the journey. I will celebrate the fact that every “no” answer I encounter means that there is a “yes” out there who will completely knock my socks off - as long as I don’t snuggle up to that cow or that airplane and get stuck!

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