Are You My Mother? is the story about a hatchling bird. His mother, thinking her egg will stay in her nest where she left it, leaves her egg alone and flies off to find food. The baby bird hatches. He does not understand where his mother is so he goes to look for her. As he lacks the ability to fly, he walks, and in his search, he asks a kitten, a hen, a dog, and a cow if they are his mother, but none of them are.
Refusing to give up, he sees an old car, which he realizes certainly cannot be his mother. In desperation, the hatchling calls out to a boat and a plane (neither responds), and at last, climbs onto the teeth of an enormous power shovel. It belches “SNORT” from its exhaust stack, prompting the bird to cry, “You are not my mother! You are a Snort!” As the machine shudders and grinds into motion, he cannot escape. “I want my mother!” he shouts.
At that moment, the Snort drops the hatchling into his nest, and his mother returns. The two are reunited, much to their delight, and the baby bird recounts to his mother the adventures he had looking for her.
That’s the plot summary from Wikipedia.
Why have I included it here, on this dating blog?
Because…..that’s what dating has come to feel like, SNORT!
I started out dating simply going along for the ride. Meeting interesting men was enough. I wasn’t looking for anyone or anything specific, and so I ended up with nothing specific, one way or the other.
Mostly I dated out of lonely. Because everyone craves connection.
Sometimes I’ve wondered if my person might show up. So I’ve opened some windows. I’ve opened windows even when I’ve wanted to seal shut every portal into my soul for all eternity.
It’s hard wandering around.
Like that little baby bird, I asked cows and dogs and airplanes and steam shovels. And predictably, there came no answer, or the answer, No!
At the end of the book, the baby bird returns to his nest and his mother appears.
I’ve thought many times that one day, my person is just going to appear. And all these dating stories will only be adventures along the way to finding myself back home.
Now, when I look at a man, I’m looking for home. A place to rest. An undeniable fit that makes sense.
No pressure, right?
Actually, it does lift a lot of the pressure.
Because a cow or a dog or a hen or an airplane – those aren’t my mother!
It’s easier to keep walking when you know exactly what you’re looking for.
I’m no longer willing to sit around pretending a steam shovel is what I’m looking for. Steam shovels are loud and they clamp their jaws shut and they are scary!
The hardest thing is when you think maybe you’ve found a possible yes. For a minute or an hour or a day, you begin a little happy dance. You prepare to relax. You think how nice it will be to quit your wandering. Well, not so fast.
This little momma frenchie I just accidentally adopted likes to pin me down and lick my face with gusto. She wants to know that she’s home. I put up with as much licking as I can stand and I think to myself that at least I can give this little soul a place to rest, a place where she belongs.
Dating, I’ve tried really hard to stay upbeat. I’ve laughed and cried and used this forum as a place to pull myself up by my bootstraps.
I’ve contemplated feathering my nest alone, forever.
Today, I’m going to do a little Spring cleaning. Because you gotta look after your nest.
My nest doesn’t feel too inviting at the moment. It doesn’t give me that “I’m ready to take on the world!” power that one needs in order to be out in the world, wandering. Time to shore up the foundation!
I’ve suspended the dating accounts again. This past round showed a lot of promise and delivered maybe one new friend. It also was thoroughly draining. I found myself crawling around on my hands and knees, exhausted. The mental toll can not be overstated.
Tom2 is a nice person and he texts me back on a dime. He looks like a guy who could be my mother but he is reserved and someone to get to know slowly. He’s a good person to be my last date for a while because he’s genuine and normal. I can’t tell if there’s chemistry between us but I know that I like him. Above all, I know that he’s kind.
And he passed the square dancing test. He showed up and he did it. And that’s a lot.
(I should add that though Marc was willing to give it a whirl, no one has ever actually showed up at the Marxist library to square dance with me. I should also add that we did the waltz at the end. I’ve only ever waltzed once before – with a ginormous Belgian bearded animal wearing my preferred clothing for men – the kilt. He twirled around like a big dancing bear and I’m sure he was gay. This time, I waltzed with a straight man, and I liked it. Beards while waltzing -2. Kilts – 1. Belief that the waltz is the best dance in the world—infinity!)
To everyone wandering around talking to lamp posts, there’s this book and it has a happy ending. The wandering may be scary, but it’s part of the adventure.
Have the courage to say, “You aren’t my mother, you’re a SNORT!” and maybe life will drop you with a happy thud back into your nest, where you’ve always belonged.
It’s a good story, anyway.