Friday, January 22, 2010

The Boyfriend Brigade

Last weekend, I was out with a friend, decompressing from a dinner with friends, when I started whining. "I want a boyfriend, I want a boyfriend," I snivelled. This girl-move is so attractive that several young men immediately leapt before me and prostrated themselves on the dirty Bistro patio, shouting, "Pick me! Pick me!" Ladies magazines of the world, take note. Steepling my fingers and raising one eyebrow, I performed a visual inspection of the candidates and chose according to height, weight, depth, presumed overlapping interest in music, a caring soul (which can be detected by pore size, for the underinformed) and the ability to carry on semi-coherent conversation with my parents. Having made my selection, we celebrated with grilled cheese sandwiches and are now engaged to be wed.

Oof. No. When am I going to learn that saying something doesn't make it so? Remember that whole "I'm going to be a triathlete" fiasco? Yeah, saying that led to jack squat. I can't even raise one eyebrow.

But this is an interesting moment for me, because it's been a long while since I've felt like dating anyone. A quick primer in My So-Called Dating Life: three ex-boyfriends, one monster heartbreak 2.5 years ago, much kissing, and loads of squeamishness re: commitment. That monster heartbreak shook me like an Etch-A-Sketch, leaving me, as the French say, totally fucked vis-a-vis the love. It's taken me a long-ass time to come back into the fold; not only was I skittish about having a boyfriend, I was peevish about not having one. That's a lot of ish to deal with.

I'm not going to turn this into an advertisement for myself - if I was desperate, I would take out one of those back-page ads in the NOW magazine - but just the realization that I even wanted to hang out with someone, partner-wise, was kind of a big one. I'm not going to be jumping on the next man's shadow I see, but feeling like the vise around the part of the heart that governs romance (is that the ventricle? Probably not) has loosed is one of great relief.

So. Now I face a quandary. I feel picklish about wanting a boyfriend, because I feel like one of those characters in a rom-com that gazes wistfully out a rain-streaked window while dreaming of something - someone - that may never come. I mean, at the ripe old age of 26, is weird to feel like a romantic washout?

Not to get all Sex And The City on people, what with the stupid rhetorical questions and so on, but how does this work? Dating is complicated (and understatements are fun!), and unfortunately, I'm actually getting old enough that a statistically significant number of "the good ones" are shacked up with loves of their own. And, like, more power to them - the good ones get snagged so early precisely because they're good guys. I used to believe one of those crazy corollaries. You know the tune, so sing along: because I hadn't been snapped up like this morning's fish, I was somehow riddled with flaws and 100% unloveable. Sigh.

The truth is, I might be overly picky and kind of neurotic, but I'm not an asshole. I was holding out on dating because, for whatever reason, I wasn't ready. Maybe it was the heartbreak. Maybe I was too young to really commit to someone. Maybe I needed to get a little more grounded. Maybe I needed to work the phrase "pitching woo" into my dating vocabulary. (I totally said "pitching woo" tonight and felt awesomely retro.) Maybe it's a melange, a blend of all these things and more. Whatever it was, I feel like I'm over it. Bring on the boyfriends: I'm ready for you.


  1. I agree with saying "pitching woo" more often!

    Good luck with your search! I think you'll do fine.

  2. Hey this post has really made me feel better about myself. I'm 16 and alright looking i just havent found someone...and i know i know i am young and i will find someone but i feel so much pressure on me and i have the "ishs".