Maybe it’s that I’m older now, but I’ve got this nasty little habit of being dreadfully hopeful when I meet a guy. In the back of my head there’s this irritating thought that maybe—just maybe—this person could be The Person, that dude who saves me from the last four years of other dudes who have often made me seriously consider throwing myself in front of oncoming subways. “That’s a lot of pressure to put on a date,” a friend once told me.
And at the time I couldn’t help it. You don’t ever walk into a job interview not really caring if you get the job. Generally you’re there because you’re seeking employment, a paycheck, a purpose in life. If you wanted a friendly chat you’d just meet a girlfriend at the bar.
But the other day, while visiting a married couple and their (very adorable) newborn, I had an epiphany. Standing in their kitchen, washing my hands in a sink flanked by foreign baby-centric ephemera, the game on the TV and the boys on the sofa, I thought that this life maybe just isn’t going to happen for me. I mean the life where you’re married and standing in the kitchen of the apartment you bought with your husband, your kid on a sofa somewhere in clothes given to you by friends at a baby shower. That life.
Trust me, this is a thought I have had often, usually in the throes of some sort of romantic depression, sulking on the cold tile floor of my bathroom in a fit of lonely girl tears. Only this time it was different, because this time it was okay. Think of it like this: A lot of kids grow up wanting to be astronauts, most of whom will never get the opportunity. At a certain point, you’ve got to come to grips with the reality that you might not ever walk on the moon.
In the days since having this moment of ultimate resignation, I have felt more amenable to the concept of just hanging out with men with zero expectation it go anywhere. Already, I’ve found a sense of spectacular relief. I don’t care what they think about me or if they even like me. They can do what they want… because it’s okay if I’m alone forever. As long as I am okay with myself, these guys can come and go. I can’t keep pinning some element of my own self-worth on the affection of some dude.
Oh, boys, if you only knew how horrible it was being a girl, having to wait for someone to come and deem you a thing of value, watching as everyone else around you gets plucked up, knocked up, loved in some way you begin to see yourself as not being worthy of. But I don’t want to need a savior anymore.
I’m just going to have to start saving myself from now on.