Tuesday, May 25, 2010

on being a woman

Okay, this is the part where I say how my life has become the loneliest place I know.

Peter has herniated a disc, poor thing. So straight off, I come back from the above pictured paradise to an empty apartment.

I know I talk about boys a lot. Well, men. Or at least the goons parading around as such. Now this is the part where I give a great big Eff You to everyone who has ever said, "you've got too many balls in the air" in the same breath as "you should get out there and date." I realize this site has become the place where I sort through the dross in my fishing net (shrimp, tires, candy wrappers), but listen, it is a jungle out there. I'm trying to uphold my feminist ideals and still not end up alone and surrounded by cats. I'm doing my best not to despair and whine, but hits are taken all the same. Each one harder to shake off.

The following is a transcription of a conversation (over text) last week with the Photojournalist:

Him: "Have you fled the country yet?"

Me: "As soon as the right train hits the station, I'm jumping."

Him: "Well first you ought to jump the train to my place so we can discuss this over cocktails."

Me: "It's a bit of a trek from my neighborhood. Perhaps we could meet in the middle?"

Him: "Maybe. But I'm worth the trip."

I nearly flung my phone across the restaurant in rage. I ended the thread with a snippy "So am I" and slammed shut another chapter labeled: "Douchebag."

Then there was a cryptic invitation (over email) from the G.I.Q.

And then last night, I tried to have the talk with Non-Date. The 'hey-we-can-just-be-friends-if-you-want-but-in-deference-to-what-has-passed-between-us-can-we-at-least-acknowledge-each-other-once-before-we-close-the-subject' chat. My attempt, however feeble, was blocked with a snide comment and a car door closing.

Another night watching the West Wing to keep from crying and wishing the world—and my life—were written by Aaron Sorkin. Another morning of showering bitterly on the way to The Job Where Self-Respect Goes To Die. Another commute wondering why the hell I live here where people are so flat fucking miserable.

Perhaps this post has gone a bit haywire. You'll have to forgive me. This happens every time I leave New York and see people breathing and functioning and living comfortably (yes, and sipping cocktails on the [insert body of water here]).

Fortunately or unfortunately, I don't have time to go home and wallow. Or take myself on artist dates. Or decide what I actually want to be when I grow up. Or look for another job. Or even do what my best friends advise and have some good wine and good cheese and good cries.

I'm frankly just afraid I'll snap.

Then I think of my mother, who is more or less in the same place called Lonely, only a couple decades my senior. These posts, however humiliating, however compromising to my better reputation as an Independent Woman, are for her. And, really, for every woman who goes through this crap and has these feelings, but is too afraid to appear weak in discussing them.

I could write about so many things. Tango, food, the books I read, the trials and traumas of life in New York City. I'm a complex and educated lady with passion, passion everywhere (and not a drop to drink?). But there are other—likely better—blogs about those things. What I'm trying to do here, I realize, is stay painfully, embarrassingly honest about what it feels like to be a single woman in this world where we're supposed to do everything on our own. Where people buy love on the Internet with monthly dues. And where most men have decided they can get away with bad manners and bachelorhood forever because, well, we've all been willing to settle for so much less.

I can't ease my mother's aloneness any more than she can mine. We've each accustomed ourselves to such a level of high-functioning survival-mode self-sufficiency that we are no longer comforted by the empathy of another. We can hardly spend time together because the presence of someone who truly understands us backwards and forwards, either side up or in the past, has become alien, discomfiting, and only causes us to forget our keys or lose our sunglasses or just plain fall apart.

Our only option is to learn but good that we are each alone. The perfect job, the perfect boyfriend will not change that one disagreeable truth. Those of you who have found that comfort in your daily selves may spare those of us who have not your lectures. Take the high road here, please. And this means you, Anonymous 1.

I'm sitting here with my sprouted grain toast and my antioxidant green tea, trying to do everything right. Yogi tea offers you a little saying every day. Today reads: "Be happy so long as breath is within you."

Easy for you to say, tea bag of platitudes.


Phoenix said...

I'm never gonna be the one who leaves trite comments like "there's plenty of fish in the sea" or something like that. I hear you, girl...I have been there and somehow navigated it and had my heart trampled on time and time again.

I hope things look up soon. You're too powerful to have to deal with this kind of shit from idiots.

Anonymous said...

May I just say that PhotoJ guy doesn't really sound like a douche-bag. I heard flirting in the "I'm worth it", regular old fashioned flirting. And YES, of course you are too but I wouldn't rule him out. Sounds like it would be nice to have a friend.

Loneliness is a pain that dare not be spoken of -- few are brave enough to give voice to it. Courage is yours and a fulfilling life will be too. Do not despair. This too will pass.

Anonymous said...

whatever people may comment about your content, you should take great comfort in the fact that your style is breathtaking and heart-aching. i wish i could write like that.

Kathleen said...

Wait... WHAT happened to his back? No one tells me anything.
Also, have heart. Courage, and don't spend any more time on those jerks.

Scarlet-O said...

Well GF you know I think you're brilliant and understand what you're doing and what you're going through and really, truly, it makes me feel better that you're going through it too... not because I want you to be lonely or unhappy but just because you know... it makes it seem okay that I am. You should watch Chungking Express maybe.