Let’s say you just got here, which continues to be absurd every time I say that. Blogging is over and no one’s just gotten here since 2011.
But maybe you’re on your Rumspringa or something. The English welcome you. And here, Amish person on a break, is my story. The story of an old English. If I were you, I’d be trying a McGriddle, not listening to me, but go ahead, if this is what you want to do. Go ‘head wich yer bad self. That is a saying from 2007, Amish person on a break.
[Amish person runs back to Pennsylvania]
I started dating when I was 14. My friend Beth fixed me up with her boyfriend’s best friend. He was, in fact, hilarious. She and I were in her basement, awaiting the arrival of the boys, who were 10th-graders as opposed to our 9th-grade selves. Her Hitler-youth-looking boyfriend came down like a normal, strong-jawed person. There was a pause.
And then my future boyfriend quite intentionally tumbled down the stairs to make his big entrance.
I also remember that night, he was over by a deck of cards. “God, I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” he said, scratching his arm furiously. “I might have the 7 of Clubs itch.” And then the 7 of clubs fell out of his shirt.
(I probably should have just stuck with him. He also came over once, on his way to the mall or something, and I told him to stay a minute, because my mother was on her way home and had wanted to meet him. He went to the bathroom, where my mother always hung her nightgown on the back of the door. My mother came home, and he emerged from the bathroom. In her nightgown.)
We dated I think four months and then it was over. He was my Facebook friend for awhile and maybe two years ago he unfriended me; I’ve no idea why.
After that, I fell in love with Giovanni Leftwich, my one high school boyfriend. Do you watch Victoria? He was a lot like Albert, with the intensity and brooding and floppy hair and so on. When I wasn’t with him, I was dating my other high school boyfriend, Cardinal. The least-intense person on our planet.
Neither of those worked out. They were both Facebook friends, until Giovanni quit Facebook. He can be found on Broodbook.
The last semester of high school, I met a Catholic boy, who went to the Catholic school where all the kids seemed rich but in retrospect weren’t, and we dated for two years. We went to the same college (his stupid idea), and he ended up sleeping with one of my high school friends, a girl who had also slept with Cardinal.
She’s still my Facebook friend.
Then I met Marvin, and originally that didn’t work out either, although I was berserk
about him. We dated for three terrible months in college (I Yoko’d him and he was indifferent),
and then we got back together 10 years later and married in 1998.
That decade between Marvins, 1986–1996, was full of a lot of relationships that…didn’t work out. The artist with long hair. The smoker with long hair. The recently-separated photographer. The drummer with curly long hair. The poet with long hair. The filmmaker with regular hair. (Oh my god, every one of those men are my Facebook friend. Facebook is my elephant’s graveyard.)
Then I met Marvin again, we got married, and?
It didn’t work out. It took almost 16 years to not work out, but it didn’t.
Then six years ago, I met Ned. We all know how that went.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed that lately I’ve had a dearth of dates. I think the last date I had was four months ago.
I’ve been kind of doing so on purpose (not entirely), but lately, I’ve been deciding something.
I give up.
Not in a bad way, not in a defeated way, and maybe not permanently, but for now?
I give up.
Ever since I fell in love with Giovanni Leftwich in late December of 1981,
OH WHAT A NIGHT. LATE DECEMBER BACK IN ’63. WHAT A VERY SPECIAL NOT-EVEN-A-FETUS-YET TIME FOR ME. AS I REMEMBER WHAT A NIGHT.
Ever since then, I’ve been chasing that feeling. Because when I fell in love with stupid mean Giovanni Leftwich, I was on top of the world. And then I crashed to a halt when he broke up with me three weeks later.
And it’s been the same way ever since. I fall in love, I’m on top of the world, then boom. Failure. And I spend all my time obsessing about when I’ll meet the next person, then I do, and I start all over again.
The thing is, this last relationship was so all-consuming that, well, when I think about it, I guess I’m sorta traumatized. And here I am, 52, I’ve pretty much lost m’looks, and even if I were the hottest 52-year-old ever, 52-year-old men want to date 35-year-old women, because to tell you the truth, in my experience, men kind of suck.
So lately I’ve been noticing that I’m not dating anyone, haven’t for awhile, and I’ve been perfectly fine. I’m not lonely. I’m not crying into my giant pillow. I’m not requesting Nothing Compares to You on the radio.
I remember one of you telling me once, in the comments, how you were in, like, 7th grade, and you had the radio play Nothing Compares to You, because clearly nothing was going to compare to the boy you dated for 9 days in 7th grade.
I’m kind of sick of the up-and-down-ness of it, and of how annoyed I get with the person when he inevitably disappoints me. I sort of don’t want anyone else’s actions to determine if I have a good day or year.
I’ve got no trouble heading to the movies by myself if I feel like going at the last minute. Last night, I spent an hour on the phone with Alicia. It’s not like I don’t have anyone to talk to. I have all you guys!
So that’s what I’m doing. I’m giving up. I haven’t set a lot of rules for myself about this. But mostly I’m just not going to try to do things so that I “meet people,” which has worked zero since I moved here, because see above re 52 and lost her looks and 80-year-old men hitting on 25-year-olds.
I’m not going to keep track of “how long” it’s been since I had a boyfriend, and I couldn’t tell you that anyway, since Ned and I were so nebulous for so long.
My plan is to, oh, life my life without thinking about men and when am I gonna meet a man and
I do have one rule.
When I’m out with my friends, and the conversation turns to our single status, I’m putting the kibosh on it. No more long nights discussing why this one didn’t like us and why that one would be perfect if only he…whatever. Men never do that. When men are together, I imagine they talk about sports and music and spitting. But if you have a man in your life, go ahead. Ask him how often he and his friends talk about their relationships. Ima guess almost never.
I just feel like for the last few years, I’ve been swimming upstream, hoping to meet someone at this late stage of the game, and the truth of the matter is, most of the men I’ve met are broken in ways that I don’t want to deal with. If a man is middle-aged and single, it’s not because he’s fantastic and undiscovered.
Same with me. I think maybe my flaws are just not conducive to being in a relationship. So I won’t be.
And that’s that.
And I realize we’re hovering on too late, but could you try to stop me from becoming a cat lady?