Sunday, February 7, 2010

LIFE IN LIMBO

I’m in a vulnerable state these days. I haven’t a clue what lies ahead. I can’t say where I’ll be living, what my job will be, whether I’ll ever see another manuscript published or if I’ll ever get over this single slump. Reminds me of freshman year of university in Texas. The first month was particularly exciting, meeting people from Florida, California, Minnesota, Colombia. Everyone was beginning a new phase and following a dream (or perhaps a family expectation). “What’s you major?” was the question that followed “Where are you from?” There were the bold philosophy majors, the quirky fashion merchandising majors, the khaki-clad, profit seeking business majors and the already caffeine-addicted pre-meds.

I was a pre-major. It was the university’s term of choice in lieu of “undeclared”. Always drew the same response: a quiet “oh” that always came across with the same tone in which people say, “I’m sorry for your loss.” Of all the possible majors, I hadn’t picked one. Undecided, uncommitted, unacceptable.

At forty-five, I’m a pre-major all over again. My mother would say I bring this on myself. Or, more precisely, she’d say I do these things just to see if that possible stroke side effect listed on her medication will ever kick in. Forget the meds…she’d say that adult children—because we’re always still children, aren’t we?—need to come with an extensive list of side effects. It’s true that I get bored with the same comfortable routines. My friend Roger, by contrast, tells me he is certain that he will never move from Vancouver and he never EVER wants a relationship. That’s what he said when I met him fifteen years ago and he’s been consistent with everything he’s said and done since. At times, I envy Roger—his outlook makes life easier—but I can’t ascribe to the same views.

I’ve revised my résumé and I’m applying for one or two jobs in the Vancouver area each week. My house has been on the market for six weeks now and the listing seems to mirror my online dating experiences: lots of first coffees, no follow-ups. The feedback: they like the inside. The outside? Not so much. OK, must stop drawing parallels to my (non) dating life!

I’ve resisted sending any messages on the Plenty of Fish until I move back to the city. So many guys can’t fathom dating a guy who lives even beyond the boundaries of Vancouver’s West End. The fact that I am willing to do whatever commuting dating requires is of no consequence.

Last week, I caved and sent a message to a forty-one-year-old who posted an attractive photo of himself cocooned in a parka and wrote a decent profile—avid tennis player, no typos and no grammatical errors. I couldn’t help myself. When I checked the next day, there was a reply, sent five minutes after my initial message. (Again, no writing errors!) Based on my profile, he felt I was “genuine” and “a breath of fresh air”. Promising, eh?

Before sending another message, I reread his profile to ask a question or two based on what he’d shared. I noticed he’d updated his page by adding a few more photos. Without the parka, he looked even hotter. Had I seen them the first time, I’d have never sent a message. Out of my league! Still, I was that breath of fresh air, right? No deceptions from me. My profile has several photos and is (surprise, surprise) one of the wordier ones, proactively spilling some of my quirks. He’d replied even after getting a pretty clear picture of who I am. After a little pep talk, I sent off my second message. I never heard back.

Oh how quickly fresh air becomes stale! I have no doubt that his new photos generated a flurry of interest and some guy baring his pecs took his breath away. Rejection stings all the more when I can’t attribute it to my rural location.

I caught “The Truth about Cats and Dogs” on TV last night. I was single in 1996 when it came out and, yep, I’m single again. Related to Janeane Garofalo’s role as much as ever. Somehow, when I view my ever-uncertain life as a romantic comedy, it doesn’t seem so bad.

1 comment:

Té la mà Maria - Reus said...

very good blog, congratulations
regard from Reus Catalonia
thank you