Saturday, January 10, 2015

I'd rather be a crazy cat lady.

I almost went on another date.  (I've long since lost count of how many dates I've been on since my divorce, but too many.)  I haven't been on a date since...hmmm, summer?... and I wasn't really looking, but a person from real life (not online) contacted me through LinkedIN.  At first I thought it was just another professional connection  - he's in a similar industry - but we exchanged a couple of emails and he made it clear that he was interested in me personally.  He pointed out the things we have in common, asked me to meet him.

I know his ex-wife, although not well, so I hesitated.  My radar was up: something seemed a bit off, so I was going to say no.  But then I thought, "Okay, missy, what are you doing here?  He's tall and attractive, lives close by, shares interests, is an active dad, we have some friends in common, and he's interested in you.  No wonder you're alone if you won't even give him time to have coffee!" so I deleted my "no thank you" response before I sent it, and sent something warmer.

But that radar was still up, so I asked him where he was living since his separation.

His answer?  With his wife.  They no longer have a sexual relationship, but they are "mindful" and things are so much better now; they consider themselves separated, but still live together. (There is no ex-wife, then.  There is only a wife.)  Their lives are "emmeshed" but they are exploring different things, and he has started dating.  And he hoped that this didn't send me running, because he and I have "so much in common" and he's "really excited" to connect with me.

I hope that my response was polite.  I did tell him that I wished him, and his wife, every happiness on their new path.  I also made it super clear that I wanted no part of it, and that I would not meet for coffee or anything else.


I know that I'm not a little girl any more, and that the Cinderella fairy tale with Prince Charming isn't going to happen.  First of all, I'm not exactly sitting in the ashes of the fire wishing someone would rescue me - I've got things pretty together and I don't want a rescuer to change my whole life, I want a partner to build our lives together.  I want synergy, not rescue.  Secondly, though I expect my prince to come with his own history (I am not virginal, nor a blank slate, and nor do I expect him to be) I'd like to think that I could be the only woman he shares his bed with, and that at the end of the day he wouldn't have another partner at home with whom he shares his evening glass of wine.  Call me crazy, but I am keeping the fantasy that I will find a partner who doesn't already have a wife, whether it's in name only or not.

Jane Eyre has long been a favorite book of mine.  I love that Jane stuck to her values and left her beloved, not because of an archaic idea of marriage (Mr. Rochester needed a divorce!) but because if a man lies about his past, or keeps a wife in his attic, he is not marriage material.  He is not boyfriend material.  He is not relationship material. I love that Jane had the strength of character to walk away from him when he was an ass to her. I like that they worked it out in the end - it made for a good story!- but I don't think that Bronte was being that subtle when she maimed him by fire before there could be a happily ever after.  Perhaps the reason that I'm not a world-famous author and part of the literary canon is that if I wrote that story, in the end, Jane wouldn't have come back.  (Hmm.  Maybe there are reasons that I'm alone!)

Every day, I settle more and more into my single life.  I am good at being single, good at occupying myself so that loneliness is not the center of my life.

I do feel loneliness.  This world is made for twos, not ones.  Sometimes I feel it when something good happens, and I want to share it.  Sometimes I feel it when I climb into my bed alone.  Sometimes I feel it when - like today - a weekend opens before me and Katherine is with her dad.  Sometimes I feel it around holidays.  It's there most of the time, but I am adept at pushing it to the edges.  It's like I've put myself in mosquito netting so that the insects can't bite me, but still, here I am inside netting, with buzzing in my ears, seeing the mosquitoes land only inches from me, just looking for a break in the netting where they can come in and gorge themselves upon me.  It is not easy walking around the world covered in netting, attempting to blend in.

Still, I would rather be a crazy cat lady, surrounded by art and books and friends, than date someone else's husband, no matter how mindfully that husband conducts his separated marriage.

Call me conventional, but I want a conventional relationship.  One where there are only the two of us romantically entangled, with nobody else sharing our hearts or beds.  One where we can shape some new kind of family.  One where, at the end of our days of work and kids and friends and chores, we only need one another.

But if I can't have that, I guess I should look into cat adoptions.

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