It's not "The Rules"....

it's just common sense, from a girl who has learned from her mistakes & had fun doing it!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What red flags??? Hindsight is 20/20 & not so color-blind!

Since I am new to blogging, I may be breaking a cardinal rule by actually blogging twice in one day? I don't care... I have always been a bit of a rebel. Throwing caution to the wind has always been my style & that sadly didn't escape my dating life.

I'm going to try to begin to outline how I came to be 3o-something, single and utterly alone. (I have a ton of girlfriends in NYC in a similar "situation", if you will, so I do feel like a member of a secret society for the stylishly forsaken). Yes, for a city stocked full of people, make no mistake, the Island of Manhattan is one of the loneliest places on earth.

Now, let me start by saying that I would consider myself to be, thus far in my life, a serial monogamist. I have jumped from boyfriend to boyfriend for as long as I can remember with very little time in between. Meeting new boys was always my forte and came easy to me. Hell, anything is easy when you have low standards... which is allowed when you are not looking to get married. Oh, you are currently unemployed??... That sucks but are you free Friday night?? Oh, you don't have a car---- well, I'll just pick you up!

Yes, my motto had always been if they are cute & fun, that is all that mattered. I never really saw myself getting married til my mid-30's anyways so what did I care?! Well, now I am there: my mid-30's and I do care, yet in large part it is in vain. Now, the seemingly "little things" that mattered very little to me in the days of yesteryear are the very things that I find of utmost importance. Like for instance, is there anything sexier than a man with a good health insurance plan???

I'd say that for the most part, the men in my life leading up to my last 2 serious relationships were all just "fluff" in a way. Just fun ways to pass the time so I didn't have to be alone. God forbid I ever actually spent some time by myself working on my dreams and goals and enjoying things like creative writing. Okay, in my defense there was no such thing as blogging back then to pass the time. (Oh god, is that what we'll be saying to our grandkids??? That is if I ever get a chance to have the kids in order to have the grandkids........oy vey! Yes, kids there was life before reality television, facebook & blogging! Holla'!)

So, I guess you could say I was scared to be alone, and that was pretty apparent by the guys I was dating at the time. I'll never forget the summer I stayed on campus to attend summer school at KU. My parents were visiting & stopped by to take me and my new boyfriend out to dinner. Aforementioned new boyfriend literally pulled up on the SIDEWALK on a shovelhead Harley Davidson. He was the one who wanted to buy me a tattoo gun so I could put my artistic abilities to some "good" use. That was one for the books... my dad still never lets me live that guy down.

It wasn't until my mid 20's when I began to date guys that I could actually imagine procreating with. Yes, my last 2 serious boyfriends were sufficiently "husband material". The problem with the first guy, aside from the fact that he was a bit of a control freak with whom I had nothing in common (seriously, not one single thing) was that he did not want to move with me to Manhattan. I could not foresee myself settling down without ever having taken a chance on my dream of moving to New York. To this day, I am so happy with my decision... so very happy & still so very alone.

Once I moved to "The Island Where Women Go to Die Alone" which in all fairness is also known as the "The Island Where All of Your Artistic Dreams Can Be Realized", I set forth to maintain a long distance relationship with the aforementioned "husband material". After all, there really was a lot of love between us, but after all... not enough to make it work with 1150 square miles in the way.

At 27, I was newly single, in a scary new city and as I have stated previously, utterly afraid to be alone. I lasted under 6 mos. before meeting "husband material" #2. At 15+ years my senior, and never-married, no one had ever told him that he was or ever wanted to be "husband material". Much to my chagrin there were warning signs/variable red flags a' flappin' left and right.... warning signs that I inadvertently chose to ignore. Fast forward 6 years together (I may or may not fill in those gaps at a later vulnerable time), and the 2+ years it has taken me to get over the fact that he did not want to marry me.... and wah-lah! Here we are!

Now, I have been alone for almost 2 and a half years now (much of which I was besotted with trying to get over the fact that "husband material" #2 (HM for short) did not currently or ever want to be my husband) and am finally coming to terms with the fact that being alone is not so scary! It is actually a wonderful opportunity for me to fall in love with someone I hadn't thought much about falling in love with in the past.... myself!!

So, now I've filled you in on the nitty-gritty of how I came to be entering this NYC dating scene at 30-something with a new-found love of myself and a security in the idea that being alone is not so bad! I feel healthy for the first time in entering into a new relationship. I feel like I will be bringing a well-rounded person to the table. I think, for the first time in my life, I have the capability to be a healthy loving partner..... now, comes the hard part. Finding someone to unleash this new found healthy lovin' on!

I've been internet dating, meeting boys out at bars, joining social groups etc etc etc to no avail. I'd say I've been out on at least 30+ first dates in the last 2 and a half years.... but very few second dates. I would begin to think the problem may lie with me, had I not had such a healthy new awakening about what a well-rounded loving person I am! So, I am coming to the conclusion that the problem is that there are just too many gosh darn beautiful, talented, charming 30-something women in this city (thanks a lot SJP and the women of SATC for beginning the pilgrimage!) and not enough equally endowed men (not that kind of well-"endowed", get your mind out of the gutter)! Not to mention, with so many beautiful, talented, charming 30-something women on this Island, how is a guy supposed to choose just one to settle down with????
Awwwwwwww, poor fellas.
Hand me my violin---- so I can beat them over the head with it! "Bitter, party of one, your table is now ready"!
Hey, sharing all of this really does seem to be helping me!!

Where to Start? My Love Affair Begins......

Okay, okay... so you might think that the title of my new blog sounds like I'm turning into a bitter, desperate surly hag on the verge of a nervous breakdown in this nightmare of a dating scene that inhabits NYC.... and you'd probably be correct!

Fortunately, this is exactly the reason why I've decided to start such a blog. I don't expect anyone to actually read this and therefore I will be expressing my heart out, using this platform as a way of dealing with my anguish over said nightmare dating scene in hopes to grow from these hellish experiences. Perhaps, I'll even find the funny and entertaining upside to the atrocities and monstrosities that I've commonly referred to as "last night's date". Yes, I am setting out to chronicle the hardships of being a 30-something single woman in this city... a journey of self-awareness and self-acceptance and perhaps a little self-deprecation too. (What? Every thing is funnier with a little sarcasm, isn't it?)

Let me take a few steps back to start... let me examine the love affair that brought me to this place of anguish and despair. It began many moons ago.... whilst I was just a High School girl replete with my Catholic school plaid, my frizzaliscious hairdo (or shall I say hair "don't") & my mouth full of tin. I was doomed from the start. Once I laid my eyes on the prize I never could get it out of my mop-topped head. My love affair was with the Island of Manhattan!

Excelling in Fine Art, and not much else (don't get me wrong, I was pretty decent at
creative writing and gym class but the general basics of math & science eluded me and still do to this day) and with a flair for wearing a "one-of-a-kind" wardrobe .... I dreamed of a place where one could excel with these types of unique talents. I dreamed of moving to New York City, where seemingly all of the socially-stunted, artsy-fartsy "diamonds in the rough" were to migrate to escape the bowels of a sedentary,
mundane existence. I just never really felt that I fit-in in the Midwest; like I was born somewhere else and a stork really did fly through the air and drop me smack-dab in the middle of the country. I'm adopted (and gullible) so you never know- it could have happened!

That did not stop me from attending school in Kansas. Oh, what a fine experience it was too. I absolutely loved College! I'd have lived out my days there but realistically, how many degrees does one person really need? After getting just one (that's all my parents would pay for)... I found myself with a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts for those of you out there with a "real" degree) living back at home in St. Louis and scratching my still-frizzy head wondering how the hell I'd get myself to New York. How does one find a job as an artist? How does one find the money to move to the most expensive city in the world?

It was during this time that a little known HBO show starring Sarah Jessica Parker was just beginning to gain a following (me!). It was based in NYC and focused on the lives of 4 independent, beautiful 30-something friends. Always dressed fabulously and uniquely (thanks to Patricia Fields) it followed their inexplicably messy and unsuccessful love-lives. I was sold from the moment I saw "Carrie" get splashed by a city bus that actually had her own picture on it! Oh the irony! and OH! such great clothes!

Never mind the fact that the entire series is based on the impossibility of dating in New York & the trials and tribulations of said dating scene.... never mind that every single episode outlines the sheer and utter dismay these women face day after day as they strive to find what seems like it should be a basic human right: LOVE. Never mind the main message of the entire show! I was blinded by fabulous clothes and cherry red Cosmopolitan martinis. I simply had to get there. Besides, where else is an artist supposed to go to actually make a living doing art? If you can make it there, you can make it any where, isn't that what Frank said? And has anyone ever actually seen God and Frank Sinatra in the same room? You get my point.

Well, here I am, Manhattan, almost 10 years later.... "making it!" ...along with the other 15,000+ extra single women than men in this city (who were surely fans of SATC as well)! Yes, there are said to be 15,000+ more single women than men in NYC and that statistic even includes the gays! How do we stand a chance???
Yes, wearing fabulously unique shoes, I walk your beautiful city streets lined with shiny angular buildings a' plenty and the most interesting people you'd ever want to see..... alone. Yes, I walk alone.

I still love you, Manhattan... but I think I should start dating other people.