Monday, November 05, 2007

Out

This weekend, I could have spent the entire time on the sofa, knitting (despite the pain), but I didn't. Saturday morning, there was soccer. My team kicks ass. I am mostly dead weight…well, I'm more like mild drag, but it doesn't matter since our offense is incredibly strong. We have one more game to play, and if we win, it will be an undefeated (one tie) season. I got very lucky in being put on this team—not just because they're so good but because they're a friendly, generous group. Maybe that's easier if you win all the time. I wouldn't know, never having been on a winning team.

After the game, it would have been so easy to stay home. I had an invite to a party, but there were two strikes against the party: 1) everyone there would almost certainly be at least ten years younger than me and 2) the party had a theme: "bad taste." I consider myself particular ill-suited to attend a party with such a theme. I'm sensitive to crudeness and based on the pic sent out with the evite, crudeness would about.

My other option was to go see a band playing (more or less) in my neighborhood. I'm acquainted with about half the members of this band and I like their music.

Still, I was leaning towards the party because it's easier to meet people at parties. I have arely met people in a bar watching a band. Mostly because it's too damn loud to talk.

I was on the fence and damn close to staying in when I got a call from Pele. It's through Pele that I know the band. She wasn't going but she reminded me about the show and said a mutual friend wanted me to go. That made it easy and I went to see the band.

Good for me, right? Well, I talked to about three people, folks I already know and left about three songs into the set of the band after "my" band. Still, I left the house and that was the best I could do. I did consider going to the party after—showing up late and empty handed is in bad taste, right? But I didn't.

Sunday was more eventful. While on my way to get some breakfast, DrJ called and asked if I wanted to see a movie. I did but I also felt compelled to watch football. I tentatively suggested we watch the game together and she agreed. So we did. Perhaps not the best use of a sunny, perfectly temperatured day, but what can you do?

That evening, I was scheduled to work the door at a swing dance (take the money for 45 minutes in exchange for free admittance). The dance was at the very place where I met SL. That gave me some , but I was sure he wasn't in the band—and he wasn't and it was fine.

Not many folks came so I didn't dance very much. I was beat and happy to go home early.

As I walked to the garage where I'd parked my car (my car! Not the flexcar! Crazy.), a man said, "Hello!" I said, "Hi," smiled and kept walking. He was a good-looking guy, tall, probably around 40 and possibly Ethiopian. I crossed the street and I heard someone call after me. I looked back and it was the guy—he'd followed me down the block. He said, "Would you like to get a drink?"

I said, "No, I have to get home."

"We can play pool, whatever you like!"

I said, "No thank you!"

He turned and left. It was creepy and flattering. While it's nice to get attention, and the guy wasn't scary, it's not nice to have strange men follow you to parking garages. To my relief, he was gone before I actually entered the garage.

Despite the lack of meeting people this weekend, I'm determined to push myself to go out a little more. It's getting colder and it's tempting to start hibernating at home with tv and knitting, but it's too lonely. I'm going to start saying yes to every invitation that strikes me as interesting. I'm not going to force myself to do things that make me feel uncomfortable, but I will attend happy hours and events that trickle randomly into my inbox. At least until it wears me out—then I'll take a break and regroup.

I think that's a good plan—be busy for the next two weeks and then take a break for Thanksgiving. I like that!

This is the thing, I find myself asking, "why not me?" while reading blogs by people who were single when I started reading and are now happily dating. [Good news is that this thought doesn't occur to me in relation to my real-life friends.] I've been writing this blog for almost three years and reading others for nearly that long. So, over the past three years, what has changed?

Lots. I've had a few boyfriends over the last few years. I've had several crushes and dozens (!) of dates. Blech. I feel like I want to retire. My desire for a relationship hasn't lessened but my desire to deal with the muck of dating has. I'm ready to fully resign from internet-based dating since it's never worked well for me. But I feel I should push myself a little into new social situations. I still like people, I still want a boyfriend and I actually think my screening mechanisms are better than ever. That is, I'm going to make better choices about who I get involved with than ever before. (I'd blame this long boyfriend-free hiatus on that, but the last boyfriend-free hiatus was almost as long and I wasn't busy claiming better judgment in that period.)

My last few involvements have proved that—at least to me. Remember Kansas? No? Yeah, me too. He is gone and I don't miss him. And SL? Yes, he was crazy, but I stayed involved with him for as long as it suited me—or perhaps just a tiny bit longer—and then I ended it. I even went on one ill-conceived date with Tim last summer, and I rejected his request for friendship. I had several dates with Kenny, but when it became clear we weren't well-suited, he just faded away. Excellent screening, I think. Lord, I hope I'm not telling the same old sad story over and over. At least my enthusiasm is undiminished when it comes to meeting new people. What has diminished is my initial emotional investment when I meet a new guy. I'm hanging back a little more at the start, just watching and waiting.

In each of these cases, I've made the right decision. I've limited my involvement and I've gotten out clean. Good for me! I have the feeling, the hope, that the next time I get a chance to date someone I like, I'll make a good decision. But I'm getting tired of waiting for the opportunity to test my decision making skills.

My impatience worries me. It's my impatience, my frustration, that propels me into bad situations. I don't want to waste time in relationships that I will regret. As long as I enjoy myself while I'm with the guy, I won't count it as a waste even if it doesn't last. But no more half-assing it with guys who aren't worth my time. I'm willing to work and weather hard times but I'm not willing to jump into relationships that start out with equal parts fun and work. It better be a whole lot of fun at the get-go or I'm not getting gone.

So, here I am, busy trusting my judgment, listening to my gut and ready to be happy. Now what?

Grateful for: a good attitude (mostly).

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