Monday, December 19, 2005

Silly Quiz

Who knew these things could be accurate?




You Are Confident Sexy



You're one sexy chica, and you know it.

You've got the confidence to strut your stuff...

And approach any man who happens to catch your eye.

You may make a guys run away, but the true men will appreciate your moxie.

Single, Mormon, 30

Are married people, their friends, family and everyone with whom they come into daily contact as obsessed with their married status as said people are with the marital or non-marital status of singles? Perhaps most obsessed are the singles themselves. This evening I made the trek (by cab) to the upper east side. I live in the far reaches of Hell's Kitchen, practically on the Hudson (I have a river view if I peer past the neon Nissan sign to the west out my south facing windows). The upper east side is the most difficult place in Manhattan to reach via public transportation from where I live so I always spend good money to do my part to support NYC's cab drivers. Tonight I had planned a lovely evening all to myself indulging and enjoying the left-over holiday treats from last night's dessert party (I'll discuss later) while watching mindless tv. But as a singleton there is an ever-present voice in my head pressing me to attend various church-related functions involving singles in the hopes of getting myself "out there" even though I'm not convinced there is anything I want to pick up on me out there.
So I shared a cab with a fellow west-sider and did my duty. There were at least 10 women and 2 men (I use that word loosely). Somehow the topic of conversation landed on the roles of men and women in the church socially and specifically as it relates to dating. I think I started it, but not on purpose. Today I had tithing settlement which reminded me of tithing settlement last year in my ward in Utah. My bishop at the time looked at the print-out of my 10% tithes and commented that I was a "cash cow" and if he were to post my salary on his office door men would line up to date me. He knows they hadn't in the past and apparently he thought this was my lure to get them to bite -- money. I chose not to remind him that in the past he had told me not to tell men that I am an attorney because that intimidates them. Do I really want to start a relationship pretending I'm something I'm not? Do I want to date a man who is intimidated by my intelligence and success? Do I want to date someone who wants me only for my earning potential? Not only no, but HELL NO!!! You see, I truly enjoy my life. Yes, it gets lonely and yes, I strongly believe my life could be enriched and made better if I could share the ups and down and have someone to lean on and with whom I can be vulnerable. But not by compromising who I am.
The conversation was the male/female dating debate that goes on around the world in every culture I suspect. The misconceptions, the stereotypes and vast generalizations we make to assure ourselves that it is not in fact my fault that I do not date, it is some failure in the male counterpart -- they are intimidated by strong females who are successful and ambitious, they get too much female attention and have grown lazy in their pursuits, they want a submissive wife, they only date blondes, they only want flirty girls, blah, blah, blah. Of course some men fit these generalities, that is how they come about. But I know this is not entirely true. And to be honest, I don't want a man who really just wants a ditzy blonde to do his laundry and raise his kids and look to him as the all-knowing husband . . . why should I if he doesn't want me? The trouble is we need an external excuse for the social plague of being single too long. Not just being single but being dateless for too long.
This year I had a personal record of which I am not exactly proud. I do not believe I have had a "dry spell" as long as the one in which I am currently intrenched -- 18 months since my last kiss. EIGHTEEN F*@&ING MONTHS!!! Unacceptable. In the time span I have been on one horrendously bad blind date and that was nearly a year ago. I have excuses . . . for the first six months I was wallowing in the after effects of a break up. The next six months I knew I would be moving and was just waiting to start anew across the country in a new setting. The last six months I have just been new and contrary to all delusional hopes I had of having some sort of newness appeal, the drought has continued. There have been moments where I knew it was there for the taking but unlike the me of five years ago I don't just want to kiss random guys. I want a relationship. A real one. One that has substance and depth and promise of a future, not just of the moment.
Last night I had my annual dessert party. Every December for the last five years I have hosted a massive dessert party where I spend way too much time baking instead of Christmas shopping. Last night was a success. I had somewhere around 60-70 people shuffle through, eat my desserts, compliment my baking after asking if I really made everything myself, and shuffle out. The other tradition is the mistle-toe. I generally spend a good part of the night encouraging others to use it and playing along myself. This year. . . nothing. No one inspired me. I am not sure who I thought would show up. After all, I was in charge of the guest list. I guess I just hoped that someone would bring along a friend who would realize I am the perfect package - intelligent, witty and makes a hell of a cupcake. No such luck. I spent part of the evening supervising a couple of drunk co-worker's first Mormon cultural experience, re-filling the punch bowl and helping the girl who singed her hair on a tea light clean up in the bathroom. I enjoyed the night but I also had the familiar post-party let down. The realization that yes, I am good at throwing a party. But no, it really does not do anything for me in the long run.
I am going home for Christmas in a couple of days. Something I have been looking forward to the closer it gets. I am excited to see my family and friends and go snowboarding and maybe go to Costco. The pros of a less urban lifestyle. My brother is bringing his new girlfriend home. I have been looking forward to meeting her. She sounds almost too perfect for him and has really been the boost he has needed lately. Jealousy and how this effects me had never crossed my mind until my mother asked me if it will be hard for me to have her there. I said no, of course not. But as that question has sunk in over the past few hours I have realized how it does effect me. I have three siblings - the youngest is married, the next youngest is engaged and now the one just under me has a girlfriend coming home for Christmas. We have suddenly been transformed from a family of all single children to one with only the oldest being truly single. . . the dynamic will be different. It always is.
When I am home I will also see my high school friends. Twelve and a half years post-high school and we still manage to get together once or twice a year - usually without spouses. I am the only single one. The last one got married nearly three years ago and as of this past summer I am now the only one without children. I love these women as sisters. We have very little in common in terms of interests, life experiences, perspective, ambition and hobbies. Yet, we remain friends. They are bonded together by their status and stage of life - married with kids. I know more about pregnancy, labor, delivery, breast feeding and all the bizarre things it does to your body than any single woman should ever know. As they have evened out in terms of stage of life, I have been pushed further to the outskirts. I love them but our reunion Thursday night will certainly be bittersweet for me. I just wish they didn't insist on dragging their husbands along. . . I think we would all have more fun that way.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

turning point

I have been living in New York for six months now and I have not really been content with the social scene. None of it has really appealed to me. I would receive an invite to this party or that dinner or a movie with one hodge-podge group or the other and was not really finding my element. But as a singleton, one must keep forging on - testing out this group and that hoping to find the right mix. I knew I had developed a bad attitude and I could not articulate what it was. But I generally went to things out of obligation or knowing if I turned down too many invites. . . the well would dry up and the invites would stop completely.
December hit hard - I ended up with social engagements (obligations) Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the first few days of the month! Tired of trying to fit and conform myself to what others expected, I tried something different - I was myself. Not that the other times I wasn't myself. I was just a different version of myself -- the part I thought was easier to accept in those surface, small-talk type social situations. Apparently I was wrong. I wasn't a fan of that version of myself. I always sat back inside my head somewhere wondering where the "safe" social persona emerged from and wondered how to turn her off. She was quiet, reserved and sometimes nervous and self-conscious! That is not me. I'm a type-A, red personality who loves being the center of attention, cracking jokes and being loud. But somehow I turn boring when things get socially awkward. I was turning into a social recluse. No fun.
I eased into my string of social activities with a bridal shower Thursday and built up to birthday parties Friday and Saturday night and ended with non-stop social stop-offs on Sunday. I was floating through the weekend enjoying my debut into society as me - really me - when I started noticing the reaction of others, especially Saturday night. Girls I thought I knew and had spent time with thought I was a different person. They were surprised by my uninhibited dancing, flippant remarks and shameless flirting. Somehow I found my comfort zone and allowed the real me to escape. The next couple of weekends have more holiday parties - including a fancy, formal party as well as a shin-dig of my own. I am hoping the boring, socially awkward me doesn't rear its ugly head again and I can retain the confidence and comfort that allows me to be me.

Friday, December 02, 2005

A start

I feel stuck. I have felt stuck for a while. From the outside I don't think I appear stuck. I'm not entirely sure how I ended up stuck or even what I am stuck in . . . or maybe between. I know that there are times during which I very consciously wedge myself in a bit tighter because I enjoy whatever this rock or hard place or bog is in which I have found myself for the last couple of years. Yes, I have been here a while so I should know my way around a bit better. Instead, it is like I am just now opening my eyes, looking around and wondering how I ended up here - stuck.

We all like to consider ourselves unique and different with something to contribute but part of something at the same time. The truly unique either end up leaders or outcasts. I once explained to a friend that the reason I don't date much is because I do not fit into categories easily. No one meets me and realizes I fit some "type" or image they created of what they have been looking for. In relationships, friendships, etc. I often feel I am only showing a sliver of who I really am. I get frustrated because one side or the other of my personality or interests is being stifled. Maybe others feel this way as well. In the familiar wedge I have created for myself I have been watching events happen around me rather than participating. I need to choose a new direction and un-stick myself.

This is what happens when I decide to start a blog at midnight when I should be sleeping.
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