Monday, February 20, 2012

on dating (or something like it)

Last night I hauled the garbage to the curb, knowing that it would not be collected this morning.  My upstairs neighbor requested that we alternate weeks: she hauls it out this week; I haul it out next week; she hauls it out the week after that; I haul it out the week after that week; and so forth.  So last night I hauled it out to keep up appearances, though "hauled" is an inappropriate verb because it's really just a matter of rolling the can about thirty feet.  Anyhow, the greater point is that today is a holiday, and I have almost nothing to do.  I woke up and there was not a single, personal email to respond to.  Within ten minutes of waking up I was like, Oh, right, I have this entire day and no plans for it.  This is how my life always is.  I have this whole life and most of it is totally blank.  I was on okcupid for about a week before I realized two things (1) it was a waste of my time and (2) I had no intention of ever meeting any of the women on there.  So I cancelled it.  But for one week my self-description read: "Most days I cannot see beyond the end of my nose."  Today is not one of them.  I am expanding the garden this year, dreaming about that this morning.

I can see myself on the porch.  I can see myself becoming restless about the weather, keeping an eye on the weather, worrying about the weather, wanting the weather to be exactly right, wanting the ideal amount of rain and the ideal amount of sun.  The ideal amount of sun is tons of it.  I was talking with A.C. yesterday—we'd been clothes shopping—telling her that I need to leave this town, that all of my friends will leave this town one day, but I didn't know where I would go.  Maybe New Mexico.  The sun would do me well, I said.  This was when A.C. said that the sun gets old when it's constantly sunny.  She lived in Colorado, so she does have some authority on this issue.  When that yellow ball is up there EVERY DAY, she said, but then she confessed that she likes overcast and grey.  She does have a lot of grey skirts, so I believed her.  Still, though, I love the sun.  I think my okcupid profile said, I love hot weather.  Hot weather makes for good gardens.  I am generally happiest when my plants are happiest.     

Here's a little something that is maybe worth bringing up: people who love to garden are generally non-smokers.  At least, people who proclaim their love of gardening on dating websites tend to also proclaim their dislike for cigarettes.  Why is this?  Is it because nature lovers also love their health?  A couple friends of mine were talking about dating yesterday, and they were saying that they wouldn't want to date someone who thinks health is a great topic for conversation.  So, basically like 60% of the population was immediately eliminated.  I wasn't really involved in this conversation, though I was present enough to offer that I had once seen a cartoon in a Hustler magazine.  An unshaven man wearing a black leather jacket was in a book store.  He had a choice between two sections, the Self Help section and the Fine Exactly the Way I Fucking Am section.  I could be misquoting the cartoon, but you get the idea.  It would be nice if we could all feel that we are fine exactly as we are.  Unfortunately, there seems to be a mandatory clause in the dating literature that says, All dating must be at least 25% about becoming a better, healthier person.  You can define for yourself what better and healthier mean, but you cannot remove that clause.  It's in there.  

Happiness is a huge priority among daters, and this is as it should be.  Still, though, I do think that one can place too high a priority on happiness.  What I mean is that it's risky to make happiness your sole value in life.  Other things are valuable, too.  How can we be happy?  What can we do to ensure we will always be happy?  These are important questions and I would not dismiss them, though I do think there is something slightly misguided behind them because (a) life always throws curve balls, and (b) there is actually nothing wrong with some sadness from time to time.  In fact, I think the right amount of sadness is great.  Happiness doesn't mean very much without it.  So perhaps it's also good to ask, How can we be unhappy together?  Does that sound crazy?  I guess it depends on how you read that sentence.       


1 comment:

hilary said...

i like this post a lot