Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Boys Boys Boys

I know there are some single girls out there that read my blog.

And I know that they're (we're) in the minority. The majority of you who have reached out to me personally who read here are married with families.

And yet, I give you all way too much information about my life, so why not continue?

And let me tell you this, single girls. I feel for you. And me. I feel for us. Dating is crazy!

You see, I was gawky in high school. Insecure. Not very self confident. My hair was too curly to straighten and too frizzy to wear curly. I was skinny and nothing fit right. No one noticed me. I had one boyfriend my freshman year of high school who kissed me by my locker and therefore I dumped him immediately, after a terribly long three day relationship. He was a junior. A drummer, of course. But for most of high school, I was ignored, the friend. My best friend's boyfriends would call me when they had problems with her. I was funny and silly and apparently very platonic.

Now my best friends will tell you differently, but they're lying liars who lie. Don't believe them. I spent years in love with one fairly nerdy boy and spent months coming up with a plan to make him fall for me, complete with diagrams. Basically I walked past his locker at key times and pretended to be bad at chemistry so that he would tutor me, and I wrote him a short, breezy note saying that we should hang out sometime that I'd spent roughly a week working on to make it seem just the right amount of laid back and off the cuff.  My diabolical plan to win him over didn't pan out although he did show up at one party to meet me, still in his work clothes, and I giggled so hard through my entire conversation that I'm fairly certain he wrote me off as a lunatic (Actually, much much later on, after graduation, he did admit he'd had a thing for me, but that's neither here nor there).

Then came the summer before my senior year, when boys suddenly liked me.  Attention from boys went to my head after the relative drought of most of high school, and from then on I always had a boyfriend, and I literally classify my memories of college by the guy I was dating at the time.

I had some pretty awesome boyfriends along with some not so great ones, and then, at an interview at Hollister one day, I met John. And that was basically that. To be honest I don't remember him ever asking me to be his girlfriend...I remember going on a date and then basically just being together. No letter jacket, no class ring...we were just together, and then, eventually, we were married at sunset on the beach. And then came the kids and in what seemed like forever and the blink of an eye, we weren't married anymore.

When I was married, even when I was not thrilled with my life, I was so happy to be married and no longer dating. Even when John and I were at our most disconnected, I would breathe a sigh of relief when my single friends would talk about dating, so glad to say that I would never have to deal with that again. The artifice of it, the games...not knowing where you stand, waiting to see if they'll call, not knowing whether it's okay for you to call, all the rules that girls are supposedly supposed to follow...it's exhausting!

And yet, here I am, single and going through it all over again, years and years later. I never thought I would be starting this all over again. Especially with several kids and a post-baby-baby-baby-baby-baby body. I mean, when you're married, your husband has to deal with what happens after kids...he did have something to do with it, after all, right? But now I have to know that if I ever get married again, my new husband is going to have to deal with the not so exciting changes that he had nothing to do with. Poor guy.

And can I tell you how hard it is just to find time to date? Even when you like someone, it's insanely difficult to see them. A guy I've gone out with recently, who is great and funny and sweet and a huge humongous dork, also has kids who live at home with him. It is literally a comedy of errors for us to come up with a night we can both get free. We went back and forth for three days once before we could find a time we were both available and had baby sitters. And when we do get together, we're both yawning by nine o'clock, aware of just how early the kids will be up and at 'em at our respective houses.

So dating has changed for me. Back in college, when I wanted to hang out with someone I just hung out with them. Now I have to plan roughly a year in advance. When I used to date people I just liked for whatever reason, now I have kids to think about. It's a lot of responsibility, to somehow think that if I pay enough attention, I can keep something like what happened to me from happening again.

The point is, for you single ladies...keep on keeping on. It's worth it, marriage. And for you married girls...don't just be glad you're not dating anymore...make sure you're still dating your husband! Because let me tell you, barring a few very unfortunate circumstances where a fresh start is the right choice,  you do not want to be starting over.
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