I am fifty-four years old – and live in a first ring suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota. I was born on August 29th, which makes me a Virgo… and I fit the astrological profile so well that I am often mistaken for the virgin herself: Hard-working, modest, critical, pragmatic, meticulous, conservative. Virgos are the ultimate perfectionists. I have a love/hate relationship with myelf… and I am often the loser.
I am a single gal, as they say. There is a perfectly good explanation for my marital status: I am a Virgo, and a loser. Hey, come on, I’m not intending this to be a poor me pity party. I’m just trying to colorfully express in words who I am, and why.
I am 5 feet tall, weigh 22 pounds — give or take 100. My hair is a grayish brown (taupe?), and my eyes are my best feature, which isn’t saying much since my left eye lid is beginning to droop. I describe my figure as curvey, mostly because the cellulite has landed nicely in two places: on my butt and my boobs. And, nicely might not be the right descriptive.
I have a high emotional intelligence, but am an idiot with high emotion when it comes to men. If the goal is to find the worst ones, then I’m a genius. I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve and men mistake that for being too dramatic. If I was really dramatic, I would select better leading men. Nonetheless, drama drives insecure, self-centered, egotistical men back into their man caves, and after I attempt to follow them into that cave an obsessive number of times, I give up — it’s certainly not for lack of trying that I am single.
I do have a wonderful "man-panion" (copyright pending). He is 26 years old, wears dorky glasses and owns a very predictable collection of sweaters. Let’s just call him sweaterjon. Sweaterjon is an artist, and I’m a writer… yes, we’ll describe it as that for now. Oh, and his father and I are friends.
Anyway, sweaterjon and I love to go to Wednesday matinees at the Landmark theater. Sweaterjon is too young to remember the movie "Harold and Maude," but I must confess I feel a bit like Maude when we’re on our little outings. For those readers also too young to know, the cult favorite from 1972 was a very dark comedy about the unlikely romance between a 19 year old and a 79 year old widow named Maude. I first saw the movie when a senior in high school. Several friends and I didn’t have dates to the prom (some things never change), and a younger classman (see?) named Ron Shelton escorted us to the only theater in nearby Waconia to see what four innocent teens found quite racy. (I rented it on Netflix a year or so ago, to see if it was really how I remembered from 36 years earlier. It was.)
After a loving, romantic relationship in my early 30’s, I’ve pretty much been solo. At 38, I had a brief encounter with a man 8 years my junior… and it was very sexual — and destined to fail, considering he was Jewish and his parents had a life plan for him. He isn’t all that cute anymore, and his wife has a huge ass. They have three kids.
Following that, I waited 15 years before I met and loved username AS1. I don’t want to say it was a huge mistake, because it did get me back in the "game," but AS1 is 38 to my 54, and he is exactly as I was at his age. AS1 has a very special man cave to hide in. His is in cyberspace so he doesn’t have to deal with real women. He can play with a assumed username, and that suits him just fine. Show any emotion, and AS1 is gone. But wait, then he comes back to play a little bit more, and then BAM - gone again — in retrospect, his life is a video game.
AS1 and I met about 5 years ago, and at some point it became clear that one day we would be lovers. He was the lone wolf that chased me into my cave — one suitable to serve as a nuclear bomb shelter — with the intensity of his prowess. I managed to avoid his sex appeal for 4 years before this year, when I finally gave in. That’s when I first learned I was too dramatic to be with a man the caliber of AS1. The truth, we shared extraordinary intimacy, and I miss him with an unexplainable force whenever he is gone. Our story is for another time.
Perhaps the hardest part of dating in the 21st centure is that cyberspace sex has become so commonplace and somewhat of an addiction. There is no drama, no emotion… no stained sheets. When you want your date to go home, you just turn off the computer. If you aren’t having any fun halfway through the "date," you can click to another eager-to-please match. Seriously, women – click on www.fling.com  and tell me why any man would want to deal with the complications of a real relationship when he can click, pay his twenty bucks a month, and find just about anything his heart – and penis – desires.
I don’t know if these are real women, paid models, or, well, whores… but they will expose themselves to anyone at any time with absolutely no concerns of morality. I had to stare at a couple of the pictures because I just didn’t know what I was looking at! The men who are engaged with these cyberspace beauties actually think they are living the perfect life, one to envy … but I can’t help wonder, when they are sick, who will kiss their feverish forehead or clean up their vomit? Sure, maybe these women can bend over backwards and lick themselves, but can they make a decent bowl of chicken noodle soup? When they’re done oiling up and tweaking their perky nipples for the web cam, are they prepared to change dirty diapers or care for an ailing mother-in-law? On the other hand, do they have to?
I have a rather eclectic group of friends and acquaintances. They are wonderful people who love and support me, and for whom I would do anything. They range in age from 25 – 65, and come from all walks of life. I have learned many of life’s lessons from them. It’s wonderful to know that I can turn in any direction and someone will be there to catch me if I fall, and love me unconditionally. Many of these friends are men, so I have to ask the question: if I can have loving relationships with my male friends, why can’t I have a mutually respectful, romantic relationship with a seemingly fine single man? Is it really me, my quirkiness and emotion and drama that turn the single man away — or is it that today’s single man doesn’t know how to accept and love a woman for who she truly is?
I am getting acquainted with a couple of men on an on-line dating service. I tried it about 7 years ago, and the good looking guy I assumed I was chatting with was really a frighteningly freakish fiend from whom I couldn’t wait to escape. Nonetheless, I thought I’d try it again. I have been having an interesting time chatting with men who mostly find my photos "sexy." Great! I might as well oil up, tweak my nipples and join www.fling.com !
But then along come a few seemingly sincere chaps who are looking for true companionship, friendship and love. Every now and then a guy with the tag name "knightrider" pops into my space to give me kind words of encouragement. I look at this guy and I think, now there’s a loyal man who deserves to be in love and enjoy all the amenities that follow suit. But even I am hung up on physical attraction, and I right here and now duly apologize to all the knightriders of the world.
I’ve met one guy who, as it turned out, actually lived on the same side of the small suburban community as I. We met for a drink and some conversation — and I thought, now here’s a guy who is exactly like his profile reads. We were not a match.
Now I’m chatting with Jim. His profile attracted my attention because he claims to be looking for a woman who has all the traits that to other men have made me unattractive as a life mate. How can this be? It must be a trick — I’m intrigued.
My 60+ year old friends have both found beaus within the past year or so. Di is a lovely woman who deserves to be in love, and she has found Mike. They are a wonderfully special couple. Bee, on the other hand, is a self-sufficient woman who was perfectly content living life as a single woman, until she met Lyndon. Having two of my best friends be in loving relationships makes me feel happiness… and loneliness.
Sometimes we have to say goodbye in order to move forward. I once again said goodbye to AS1. It was a tender moment where I again confessed that I became somewhat of a lunatic in love — although I didn’t say love. AS1 and I sat next to one another, and I placed my head on his chest as he once again let me take it like a true trooper. He told me that it was going to take more than a few days or weeks this time, but months before we would know where we were to land. And I felt like a fool because I just wanted everything to be OK, but it was never okay and that’s what brought me there in the first place. The only way I could regain my sanity was to say goodbye. Is there really such a thing as goodbye? It felt terribly bad to me, and he hugged me one (more) final time and I left. And then I cried. I’m glad I waited to cry.
I wonder: if a woman cries in cyberspace and no one is there to hear her, does she make a sound?
One of the best lines in Harold and Maude is when Maude says to Harold: "Harold, everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can’t let the world judge you too much."
So, is the moral of this story, for lack of a better ending — it’s okay to make an ass out of yourself as long as you can bend over backwards and lick your own wounds?
I’ll keep you posted…