Hey, why are you still on this site?
And I'm thinking, If that's a pickup line, I don't get it.
I guess I'm on this site for the same reason everyone's on this site, what do you mean?
I mean, I was on this site and then I was off this site and now I'm back on this site and you're still here. How can you possibly still be here?
I'm not sure I know what you mean.
You should have been gone in the first couple of weeks. I guess it's hard for everyone.
And I'm thinking, I really don't know what to do with that, it stinks of something but I can't put my finger on it.
I don't know what you mean, why would I have been gone in the first couple of weeks? And yes, I'm sure it's hard for everyone.
I mean somebody should have snapped you right up.
And I'm thinking, THAT'S IT, MOTHERFUCKER! I'M NOT A BAG OF POTATO CHIPS.
OK, now I understand. I'm particular and not in any hurry and it's kind of hard to snap somebody up unless they're mostly docile. I'm not really docile.
Don't you want a relationship?
Yes, but this is hard and I'm not really interested in a string of bad dates so I guess I'm going through a rather lengthy screening process.
And I'm thinking, and I had no interest in you the first time you rolled through here and I have no interest in you this time so why am I even talking to you?
I'd be interested in getting to know you.
You do know you live 108 miles away according to this site which will translate to 140 miles. Roughly. Right?
Where do you live?
It's at the top of my profile along with the mileage which is always as the crow flies, not road distance and right next to my age and just above my photos.
Lightbulb flash. They don't look above the photographs at the statistics any more than a good number of them look below the photographs at the profile information. Got another twenty-five year old this week with a heart-felt missive on why we should maybe be together and this time I nearly lost control of my hands on the keyboard, stopping myself just before I hit send on a response begging an answer to the twice your age plus two (and almost three) question. I know better than to engage them. I think in some of my pictures it might be hard to tell. But not all of them. The primary is up close and personal and it's a fresh shot. Never mind, I don't get it.
You do live kind of far away. Well that might be OK.
No, it's really not.
You say no a lot, don't you?
Yes I do. I find it's better to just say no up front then spend time on something that really isn't going anywhere.
And I do say no a lot. They come through in waves, five or six at a time and most of them never get a chance. I don't have any bad feelings about deleting the guys who send the single available emoticon wink without further communication because it's creepy and smacks of oh so many things. I won't even open the message to look at the profile because it sends an automated message back and I won't allow that. I will almost always delete a message that doesn't contain more than 'hi' or 'good morning' or 'good morning, how are you', because then I have to open your profile, hope I can find something useful (and you've probably written two sentences or nothing) and come up with some sort of conversation starter and in my experience getting a conversation going at all is going to be like getting blood from a stone, so, no, just no. Messages which contain cell phone numbers and instructions to call go instantly to the trash. I don't know you at all, I'm absolutely not going to call you, what are you thinking?
And this. Messages which begin with 'hello, cinderella', 'hello, sweetheart', 'hello, beautiful', no, no, and no (cinderella came in this morning).
Messages written in text speak. A lol is an automatic disqualifier and the use of the letter u in place of a word will get you deleted so fast your head would spin if you actually knew. The use of the word 'your' in place of the contraction 'you're'.
Punctuation. I am in favor of punctuation and mostly complete sentences. I will forgive poetic license.
This sounds bad, doesn't it? It's not though; I really don't think it's so bad. The thing is I've developed this tic having read so many of these messages and actually interacted with them. When I got into this I was trying to be open. I was actively trying to be open as in, don't be so boxed in terms of what and who you're looking for, Alecto. Give them all a chance. I found I didn't have the stomach for it. This shouldn't be a reflection on them and I don't think it should be a reflection on me. It would be horribly unfair to put any of them in a position where they couldn't possibly live up to a specific set of expectations and horribly unfair to ask myself to strip away so much of who I am just to be in a relationship. There have been too many times in my life when I've sat back and thought, 'Christ. This shit is just NOT worth it. I would far rather be alone.'
So let's just not do that again, OK?
That doesn't mean sit in a tight little box either, it just means I have to figure out where I can stretch and where I cannot. I figured out with the VBF that I couldn't stretch so far as to risk as much structural upheaval in my life as I might. His fifteen year plan, and even his current life had him careening from one cliff edge to the next and it appeared to be working for him. It wasn't going to work for me and my measured steps weren't going to work for him and he could see it. I'm pretty sure this last guy defined ambiguity not because he needed it, more because he couldn't pin himself down. Combine that with a sudden passive aggressive attempt to control and instead of turning to face it and try to unravel and sort it out like I might have in the past I turned and ran.
But there's another thing I'm doing and I don't really want to look at it.
This upsets Elizabeth so I try not to let her see.
When I was in Costa Rica the witch doctor told me to write down exactly what I wanted and since I don't really believe in doing that I did not write it down. I did, however put it in my head, more or less. When it got too close to all the parts of my last boyfriend that worked for me I completely freaked out and dumped it down a well. Since then I've been sort of floating with some of those pieces parts and some of the antithesis which might not be such a good idea. For example, I automatically sort men with advanced degrees and suits to the top of the list. From this group, the following get dropped back out: men with children under ten (there are some sixty year olds with four year old children and I have already raised mine), men who spend more than four weeks out of the country for pleasure (I started with two but had to let that go as unreasonable), men under fifty, men over sixty (too close to retirement and I'm too far away), men who use phrases 'old school gentlemen' and 'treat you like a lady', men who like to be in loud, noisy places more than one or two nights a week, men who spend five nights a week in the gym (this worries me, go outside), men who are actively looking for younger women (that's a mindset I don't want to deal with but thank you for your honesty), super athletes (what are you doing?), men who are actively looking for a wife and by wife I mean support spouse and there is nothing wrong with that, any gender can fulfill the role, it's just not me.
I'm looking for that needle in a haystack. Please have an advanced degree, be in the 55 - 60 age bracket, a little crunchy around the edges, at least semi-evolved, perfectly comfortable being alone, willing to play outside (you don't have to love it but at least give it a shot), please at least like your job and have ways to manage your stress, and please, for the love of god, have some skin. I can't be perfect. There is no way in hell I'm going to make it to perfect. I cannot be good all the time. I am going to get mad at you. I am going to get upset. I am going to cry. I am not likely to yell. I am not ever going to hit you or throw anything at you or throw anything at all. I am going to want answers if I don't understand something. If you've offended me, you're going to know. Listen, I'm going to start out gentle with this communication because I've been taught how to do this but if you can't handle this communication it's just not going to work out. You're going to get mad at me. You're going to get upset. You may or may not cry. If you don't tell me these things there's no way in hell you can expect me to read your damn mind. It would be useful if you were responsible in the way you choose to tell me these things but I'll do my best.
Please respect my boundaries. I'll do my very best to respect yours but you have to tell me what they are and when I've crossed them. I promise to tell you.
You think that's not asking much?
What is it Elizabeth sees?
Elizabeth sees disqualification happening too soon. She doesn't have the language to tell me why I'm disqualifying but I can see it. I can see that any place where there might be work required I back off like the guy's on fire. I might as well have a big sign on the bottom of my profile, just like those guys which reads:
NO DRAMA, PLEASE.
And what have I said about this?
The drama just happens when you're unwilling to deal with it. It might look like you're dealing with it but you're really not. Somebody's not getting what they need or somebody's not letting go of something.
I think I ran out of steam and I haven't screwed back up the courage quite yet.
So why the advanced degree and the suit? Shit, I don't know. I don't have an advanced degree. Maybe that's where I expect the very small pool of viable men to be, in the well educated thinker category. I like the guy in the suit who manages mass tracts of conservation land all over Canada and the US but lives in the city. So he's rescuing a wounded duck in some swamp in NC last week and then back in his NYC apartment this week and his youngest kid is off at boarding school in CT. I have no idea what to do with this.
This is what I will most likely do. I will chat with him a bit longer, I may meet up for coffee or tea before a dance in the city and then I will walk away softly.
Because honestly, I don't know what to do with any of them at the moment. Or maybe that's not it. Maybe that needle just hasn't fallen out of the haystack yet.
(yeah, I know. the way to get a needle out of a haystack is with a magnet. however, I don't have a magnet so I'm just going to have to go with patience for the time being. maybe Elizabeth will bring back a magnet from Nicaragua)