Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sound the Alarm

For someone who is such a light sleeper, I seem to be deaf to alarm bells. They've gone of all around me, my whole life, in almost every aspect. But I always seem to hit a proverbial snooze button, denying the inevitable until something reaches that moment of unavoidable confrontation.

I was thinking about this as I took brisk sunset walk to the Promenade last night. At that moment, even though my Frankenpod could only seem to function on the "shuffle all" setting, it somehow knew what sort of soundtrack fit the mood: David Bowie's "Wild is the Wind" played just as the orange sky darkened over the Brooklyn Bridge. Arcadia's "The Flame" played as I took the scene in (oh, shut it, you purists). Siouxsie and the Banshees "Spellbound" sped up my walk home. And Robyn Hitchcock's "Dark Green Energy" accompanied me to my door.

Lately I've been pondering my single lady status a lot. Even with all the distractions from my busy academic and booze writing, I've had moments where I've been feeling this empty space where a male companion should be, like a phantom limb. Oddly, this is most often when I am in public settings. When I'm around my couple-y friends. When I'm the one who went solo to the gathering. When people have stopped even bothering to put a "plus one" on my invitation.

These thoughts were egged on by an online discussion yesterday about this article from the NY Times. Last weekend, I started reading it, thinking it might contain the answers to why so many women like me live like this. But instead, it was just another piece written from romantic inspiration. Words that never would have been strung together if the writer hadn't found her fucking "soul mate." The exchange with friends today, made me ponder my own path to being 40 and single. Well, 40 and single and clambering for a self-sustaining direction.

The article's message, that being single isn't necessarily someone's fault or choice, doesn't ring true to me. After all I am a person who pursued a degree in Medieval History with no follow up plans and never thought about why there is no such thing as a famous Medievalist. I'm the one who married someone two years after he checked the construction of waterproof boots by drowning them in the bathtub. Then had the nerve to be surprised when this translated into 45 minute teeth brushing twice a day and 6 hour car washing on weekends.

But for all these mistakes, I have done some things right. And even as I wanted to walk through my own self pity party, I could consider the good coming of all this. Being single again introduced me to a new solar system of friendships, adventures and knowledge that never would have been a part of me. I've finally started taking "sensible" directions even though I'm scared shitless of what it will take to reach my new goals. I've been in a bit of a cocoon stage this year. But I am emerging with a better sense of direction, better priorities, and a smaller waistline.

Yet I still have a 36DD chest. Score.

But I don't believe that Times article, that finding a partner isn't about me. That it's just dumb like and people just need to find a partner that appreciates them for what they are. That article is written from the perspective of someone who thinks they won the lottery and wants to gloat without sharing the wealth.

I'm realizing it's about finding someone when there is a better me to share. And that it's likely not this cinematic happenstance. I know now that a snooze button still sounds an alarm. And when to run from it.

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