Truth be told, I have quickly grown tired of the ridiculous dating game yet again. I honestly am fine on my own, so I don't know why I feel compelled to go through the absurd social experiment that is meMarmony. On tonight's Gilmore Girls, Emily shocked both Lorelei and me by acknowledging that Lorelei doesn't really need a husband at all. Emily is in a canoe, paddling wildly on only one side and getting exhausted and dizzy without a partner, while Lorelei is in a kayak, balanced and productive all on her own. I'm in a kayak, too, I think. As Lorelei responded, "I am kayak; hear me roar."
I keep thinking of a Josh Ritter song containing a line that's always resonated with me. "I'm alone, but I'm not lonely," he sings in California. I relate completely. Still, I can't help feeling it would be, at times, better, to have a partner. Trips are being planned--"couple" trips where I will be the odd woman out. Before I know it, summer will be here, and the canoe metaphor will be a reality: I'll find myself on camping excursions, paddling partner nowhere in sight. Or worse, it will be December again, and I'll be back at my company's holiday party, dateless once more, watching my ex-boyfriend with not only a new girlfriend this time, but a fiance'--even worse. Yes, last week my ex-boyfriend (the ex-boyfriend, the only one who's really mattered thus far, the one where, upon our breakup, I rightly predicted, "That one's gonna leave a mark") got engaged. I have been mentally preparing for this news for a while now, and yet I still fully expected it would unhinge me when it became real. I am sort of still waiting for the knot in my stomach to form, the breakdown to begin. But as yet, I am somehow thankfully in large part unaffected. I rolled my eyes and recalled all the reasons his new relationship annoys and confounds me and all the things I'd like to say to him, but I realized also that holding on to all of that serves no purpose, that I somehow need to learn how to let go. I told my friends that I reserve the right to have a breakdown a bit later (healing and moving on is seldom a linear process, after all), but for now, I am pushing it out of my brain and holding fast to the knowledge that we were not right together, that we broke up for a reason, and that it doesn't really matter what he's doing with his life now. And also that the ring he purchased is hideous and that I'm better off without someone with such poor taste. (What? I am a bitter spinster! I have the right to an unfair comment every now and then, have I not?)
Regardless, the meMarmony game grows more depressing with each day. There are exactly two men in my list at the moment who look remotely appealing to me at all, and neither one seems interested in responding to me right now. Meanwhile, the matches who are showing some degree of interest are either wholly unattractive or seemingly just plain weird. Consider this example from one guy's "The one thing I am most passionate about" box:
Life! Wine, passion, the thrill of speed, and travel to trails that are crooked, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. mountains that rise into and above the clouds. rivers that flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys past temples and castles and poet's towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers & monkeys howl, down into deserts of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, deep vast ancient unknown chasms where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, places where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning crashed overhead.
I have no idea where this guy lives, as his city says "Null" on the profile, but I know of no place in the greater metropolitan area where tigers and monkeys howl in primeval forests. Most guys write something like "travel," "friends," or "family" in that box. This guy's into crooked, lonesome trails and unknown chasms alongside cliffs. I suppose it could be worse. He's not confessing a love for cross-dressing, after all. Still, a bit of normalcy (with a healthy and appealing side of quirky) would be refreshing at this point.
I do realize, by the way, that the problem could quite likely be me. A good friend told me the other night that her sort-of boyfriend mentioned, in conversation, that I'm probably compatible with only a fraction of the number of people with whom most women could be happy. If the average person could be comfortably matched with approximately 25,000 people in the world, I'm well suited for only 2,500 of those, he said. I'm not sure what he's basing this on, but considering this guy said most men would like only about 70% of who I am, he may be on to something, I guess. (That guy, by the way, tried to counter that statement by saying he liked 90% of who I am, but considering his goal was to work on and improve the 10% he was not OK with, I wasn't particularly flattered by that claim.)
I'm not sure what is so fundamentally unmatchable about me, but even Dr. Warren (the mysterious wizard behind the curtain at meMarmony) seems baffled at this point. The past few days, I've been repeatedly unable to log in, due to the supposed "recent membership surge" that's bogging down their site. And yet? No new matches for me. It's as though Dr. Warren and his band of yentas have thrown up their hands and said, "Sorry; you're on your own. I can't help you anymore." I've heard tales of people being rejected from meMarmony from the start because the system felt it could find no one worth matching them with at all. Me they happily accepted, but apparently I worked my way through their few prospects all too quick.
I am trying to maintain a sense of humor, as with all things in life. A meMarmony match recently asked me what five songs would be on the soundtrack for the movie of my life, and, unable to commit to five solid and meaningful selections, I actually included the Dresden Dolls' Coin-Operated Boy as my final song, with the explanation that "I totally want one of those." The man for me would understand that was a joke and appreciate the snark behind the lie. This guy? Time will tell if he's amused, I suppose.
Even my behavior on dates has been a bit questionable of late. I've often chided men for their lack of social skills, and yet, on my last date (Date #4 in my ElimiDATE game, the one date I didn't include in my recap that week), I was the one who'd seemingly not been let out in public in some time. I don't even remember all of the details at this point, but I may or may not have responded to a comment about his body size with the line, "Well, you are sort of burly, I suppose." I attribute the big ball of awkwardness that was that night to the fact that my date was a mute; he was entirely too comfortable with uncomfortable silence, which led me to fill the silence with any rambling thought that entered my head. Since I have, as I've mentioned before, no mental goalie whatsoever, at the end of that date, I actually said out loud, "I have been on four dates this week, and this is the first one where I've felt like the freak." I am not shocked that he closed the match two days later. I am only shocked I did not do so myself first to save my dignity.
All of this is telling me that perhaps it's time for a break from this nonsense yet again. Of course, I haven't yet told that to the guy I'm supposed to meet this weekend. I'd like to think that, just like in the movies, it's when you've written off all hope for love that the right one comes into view, but I'm far too cynical to truly believe that yet, I guess. As such, I'll likely have another awkward coffee date to relay come Sunday evening. I'm sure you're looking forward to it, right?