Something I love the most about myself is that I always reserve the right to change my mind about things. It’s also something that drives me truly insane. I can never seem to make up my mind about anything for very long.
Ok, some things I’ve got down. Some things are keepers. Like my kids. I’m pretty certain about them.
But right now a whole heck of a lot else is up in the air.
I have therapy once a month. I’m not sure what good it does, or even what good I need it to do. I just enjoy sitting on that couch and coming to terms with myself once a month. Every week would be horrid. But once a month and you get to check in and see how it’s all working out – or not.
The theme this past week was indecisiveness. I told Cynthia that I feel like maybe I’m running in circles not knowing what it is that I truly want next outa life. Small things are easy. Like right now I want someone to bring me a glass of water. But two big ticket items – where I want to live and whether or not I want to date and/or potentially find someone to (gasp!) live with (besides my two lovely 25 year-old roommates) – I can’t make up my friggin’ mind.
I am completely conflicted about my house. It’s too big and rundown, it’s too expensive, and it’s right in the middle of a damn city. Which is fine, but I want goats. Still, I love this old beat-up house. There’s the whale I just put up, all the great bone structure, memories of my kids growing up, and unfinished business. I promised this house I would fix it up and make it pretty, and leaving it would make me feel like a quitter.
The little house in Martinez I saw last weekend and fell in love with made me long for tiny, cozy and small town. And I love Fairfax and Woodacre and Lagunitas…my peoples.
I’ll have to bide my time and get a few ducks in a row if I want to move. I need to start lining up those ducks – and just thinking about starting that process gives me heartburn and the vapors. Also, there’s no thinking, there’s only doing, if you wanna get all who’s that blonde woman in that Ted talk?? Action, Jackson.
I’ve gone into denial about needing to move my office. There is gonna be a hostile condominium takeover. There is no exact time frame but it’s going to happen yet I need FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, to bury my head for the time being.
So, change the subject and let’s talk about dating. Since this is, loosely speaking, a dating blog.
I think I’ve sworn off dating more than a dozen times these past few weeks, I mean years. You’ve been there. You know the drill.
The past few months is the closest I’ve come to really meaning it and I think it is because I was just involved with someone really nice. And it ended because I craved time alone.
I really like being alone. But I don’t necessarily want to live alone, forever. Everything is harder. Like that glass of water. If I had a live-in he’d have brought me that glass of water by now!
I like having someone else to think about. On Valentine’s Day I sent my kids their candy care packages and picked up two really great steaks for my roommates. (Dylan got me a little bouquet of flowers which was really sweet of him). Nice. Boyfriends are also nice to do things for.
My love language is presents, by the way. I’m not a material person so this makes no sense but I really like gifts. Both giving and receiving.
When I talk about dating and relationships in therapy I usually start off all strong and stoic but eventually I tear up. I always tear up. And then pretty soon I’m goin’ full wail telling Cynthia that I’m dead inside. Dead I tell you!
I manage to let out in the same breath that I never want another relationship and also that if I end up old without someone else in that rocking chair next to me I’m gonna open up my wrists.
Cynthia is so sweet.
She told me that I am feeling ambivalent about where to live and whether or not to date etc etc etc because I don’t have enough information. We came up with a plan for the house, at least.
I’m going to hang out in Martinez and also in the San Geronimo Valley and also at home – and eventually I will figure out which vibe suits me the best. We agreed that I am not allowed to stay under the covers. I must be out in the world for the magic to happen. (I’m writing this from under the covers, heh)
I told her that I had felt pretty good about not dating but then I realized that I was drying up and not putting myself out there at all, and maybe I should. She might have muttered something about the Law of Attraction which states that I’d better drop this ambivalence nonsense if I ever want another…….ok ick here comes that word….partner.
Why I love the field of self-help so much is that people who believe in the Law of Attraction also will tell you that love will find you when you aren’t even looking. Which means it’s all a bunch of random bullshit – so why not read your horoscope and pick a tarot card.
I do that sometimes, too.
I told her about how OkC made me think recently that every available man in a 20 mile radius was hideous but that it was just because I got stuck in the ugly algorithm. She was taking notes furiously because she said she counsels people who are looking for love (people attempting to practice both the Law of Attraction and the Art of Not Looking) and she said my inside scoop might be useful. Remember that I had taken down any photo with any ounce of heat in an effort to avoid any hook-ups? Well I told her to tell her clients to turn up the flame a little or risk getting filtered into oblivion.
Then I told her I found out that there are some more decent sorts out there because (get ready to snicker and say that you knew I wouldn’t last offline) – I went back on Tinder.
I went back on Valentine’s Day which is totally understandable.
I went back on even though I had cancelled two perfectly reasonable dates a few weeks back because I just couldn’t.
I went back on because somehow I know that somewhere there is a really terrific man and he needs me to show my face. Finding each other is like pornography. We’ll know it when we see it.
It was easy, breezy – match match match – and I ended up last night having drinks and a few small plates (I really did just say that) at Penrose with a sixty-five year-old hairdresser from Jersey.
Mom if you’re reading this, I’m sorry. I’ll tell you the same thing I told Cynthia, when she shot me a quizzical look. I’m trying to work with what I’ve got here.
I’m pretty sure that when I told Cynthia that I was just working with what I’ve got, that it made me cry. Because I know the kind of man that might make me change my mind from ambivalent to hell, yeah. And I knew going in that this dude was probably not going to be it.
I was right, but he was so Jersey and so real and so kind that I enjoyed myself. Until I got a headache. One thing he did gift me with is the dad-warning that every human being of any means needs to have somewhere between five hundred and a thousand dollars in cash stashed at home under the mattress. And it needs to be in small bills. I learned this as we were splitting the check. He handed me a twenty and told me he was a “cash man”. I said – “Of course, you’re a hairdresser.” But he said no, he just prefers cash and that’s when he gave me his survival tip. Because in an emergency, all the ATM’s will be down and no one will be accepting large bills. Or else they won’t have change. Kind of a coincidence that today we entered a state of national emergency, no?
Be warned, people!
Valentine’s Day came to a close, and I got under the covers. Then, because at Penrose the Jersey barber and I talked about this other restaurant we both liked, I remembered a guy I sort of know who kinda might have had an interest/no interest in me sometime back….a guy who works at the restaurant we were talking about.
So I texted him a Happy Valentine’s Day. Because everyone knows that on Valentine’s Day you get a free text to any man you’ve ever known. It’s like a thing.
Next thing I know my clothes are back on and I’m driving to some Irish bar on College to meet the guy that I’ve known forever who might/might not have had some interest in me at one or maybe several points in time. Then driving over to College, it hit me that I’d already taken my Lunesta for the evening.
I found this a mixture of super funny and potentially frightening. I decided to lean on the funny pedal and I even told the guy I was meeting that I was rolling on Lunesta. I’m not sure if he found it as funny as I did. He seemed a bit alarmed that I would, being a doctor, put random pharmaceuticals into my body. All I know is, I’ve been getting the best sleep I’ve had in years, hands down. I thought I was going to bed at ten. Whoopsies.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. When this old/new friend walked into the bar something really shifted. It was a little Grinchy moment where I could actually feel my sad little heart start to swell up right inside my chest.
You know how you feel with old friends – kind of warm and comfy? And you know how it feels to be a little racey and living on the edge? Well it was like all of that wrapped into one happy emotion. With Lynyrd Skynyrd playing in the background.
I’m not sure if anyone but therapists and doctors and bartenders know what it’s like when most of your intimate interpersonal dealings occur with relative strangers. What I mean is, my life isn’t lacking in drama or love or kindness or sweetness or anything like that. But most of it is professional.
Another thing I decided with Cynthia this week is that my work/private-life balance is a bit too work-heavy. If you’re going to have an unbalanced life, then kissing babies aint a bad way to go. But, still.
So I sat in that bar and drank red drinks (Campari and something or other called a Negroni) and I felt like my 24 yr-old self. Before med school and marriage and kids and divorce and dating and a big fat mortgage sucked me dry.
It was super nice, and I was very glad to be reminded that I’m not dead inside.
Today, I had to squash it all back down and go to work.
I texted the guy who might/might not have had some interest in me because I wanted to. Because a man who makes my heart swell has my attention.
But then there was work to attend to…
And then I came back home, by myself, to a house I’m not sure I want to live in anymore.
I’m going to take a couple of Lunestas and maybe tomorrow head over to Martinez or Lagunitas and sit with a book in some coffee shop and wait for life to hit me over the head with some answers. I’m going to practice the Law of Attraction and the Art of Not Looking simultaneously, like a pro.
Because, as my mother always says, it’s better than the alternative.
Speaking of which…
A neutron walks into a bar and orders a beer. He asks how much and the bartender says, for you, no charge.
And thus endeth another day.