limbo

Oh what to write about?

How bout what I came home to last night, after I went to see the Lamplighters with my parents and the blue-haired crowd. (It was fun!)

My kid came home for the weekend and he had his friend Dylan over and Dylan was upstairs feeling sad.

You see, his girlfriend of a couple of months is doing that thing where she doesn’t answer his texts, gives no explanation and then later says that sometimes she needs to be by herself.

He’s been trying to firm up plans since Wednesday for Sunday and she has given him breadcrumbs every 36 hours rather than answering simple questions about logistics liike time and place.

This is a kid who is hardworking, smart and easy on the eyes. He’s nice. If I were his age I’d be sold.

My son is also having to accept that his girl crush is stringing him along, and he’s not happy about it.

Owen is on the Dean’s list in Engineering, he’s a talented horn player in both the school Orchestra and the Wind Ensemble, and he’s pretty dang handsome.

Both these guys are short. What can I say that’s a negative? Nothing really.

So what makes these women act this way?

It’s systemic at this point. In the dating world, everyone’s a swipe and people seem to enjoy collecting admirers but they suck at doin’ anything tangible in real life.

Too messy. Too much trouble. It was only a soft yes anyway…

Is it really too hard to show up, to engage, to give of yourself in a straight-up, meaningful way? Is a string of unanswered texts really preferable?

I told Dylan it was time he spoke up to defend the motherland. Yeah, he planned to say that he needs someone to show him that they even care…blah blah feelings.

I said nope. Forget feelings at the moment. This chick doesn’t get your feelings right now.

I told him to tell her that a girlfriend who doesn’t answer his texts isn’t something that he’s into. Then he needs to turn himself around, do the hokey pokey and walk.

It’s easy to have clear boundaries when it isn’t you who’s knee deep in ambiguity and ambivalence.

When someone is almost interested it’s one of the harder things to navigate. You aren’t getting yesses and you aren’t getting no’s. You’d be willing to accept the truth only you don’t know what that even is.

You get someone explaining how they do like you but there’s all this other stuff preventing them from showing up with a rose. You sort of get it and you sort of don’t.

I mean, doesn’t everyone want to be alone sometimes? Doesn’t everyone have a life that sometimes conflicts with dating? Isn’t it worth finding the right balance respectfully so you can have a rich interpersonal life and also do you?

Instead, plenty of us single people are beginning to feel more like we collect numbers, but we don’t meet people.

And what we really need is, we need people. People who show up. People we can eat with, talk to, hike with, laugh with. In the effin flesh.

These boys told me last night that girls just aren’t being very open with them. They say one thing and do another. They aren’t clear about what they want. Their actions don’t match their words – stuff like that.

And I see it.

I see the lack of connection all around me.

At the Dean Lesher aka the blue-haired club, there’s a ton of older couples. Older folks don’t understand what younger folks are up against.

My step-dad shakes his head and says, “Maria, you are a catch. Any man should feel lucky to be with you.” My mom repeats her story of dating for a few months before she found Colin and she had a handful of dud dates then found him. It was relatively stream-lined and simple and she credits herself (I love that woman) for knowing what she wanted. Down to his shirt size.

Well these boys know what they want too. They want a girlfriend!

I don’t need to say the obvious but if two cute 19 year olds with brains, looks and wicked senses of humor are having this kind of trouble tell me how exactly that bodes for a 55 year old quirky pediatrician with a mufffin top?

Actually I don’t have a muffin top because I’ve given up on jeans. But you get my point.

Owen is hanging out with me today. We’re going to Fairfax to spend the night at my friend Martha’s after we hike in Point Reyes. We’ll have a guaranteed good time.

Owen was laughing last night and he said, “How come I like hanging out with my mother more than my friends?” It’s funny because only a few years ago he was a teenager who announced more than once that he legit straight-up  hated my guts.

Owen’s friends may not always text him back but his mother does. And need I point out that I was with my own mother on a Friday night?

Owen had originally planned to bring his girl crush to Point Reyes today. She had said she wanted to hike with him but she needed notice to get the day off from work. So Owen planned it all out. They settled on a weekend and he rearranged a school field trip so that he could be free this weekend and then….crickets. After days of not hearing from her she texted that she’d been sick.

We laughed because how many times have you been SO sick that you can’t send someone a text? Maybe zero or one time, right?

But she was sick and then when he asked about the weekend after presumably she was better, she claimed to have Friday off but not Saturday. Smiley face emoji with the tears. Yep she sent that.

As Owen said to me, if you really wanted to see someone you’d say – is there any way we can do something Friday? Owen said he would have gone with Friday, only she didn’t say that. She left him with that emoji.

So, basically civilization as we know it is crumbling all around us.

But family still ranks, and we’ll be here for you, little grasshopper. (Not the same, but better than a poke in the eye.)

Hug your blessings and kiss the world for that.