Wednesday, May 09, 2007

That burning feeling

It's my psycho time of the month, so my imbalances could be manifesting in the form of illogical desperation. Bear that in mind as you read my current line of thinking.

I met up with Strategist at a local Starbucks that he suggested. I dressed in some dark jeans and a cute, white, hippie top. He texted me to let me know he was wearing a gray t-shirt and khakis. Boy, we are talking casual here. His t-shirt was some worn, dot-com logo shirt and he wasn't even clean-shaven. It just didn't give me the sense he was very serious about the meeting.

The Starbucks line was unreasonably long, so we went around the corner to a smoothie place. We sat for about two hours chatting mostly about traveling, some about work, and some about family. He was definitely curious to know what I was like. He asked if I thought I was like my parents. He asked if I ever had pets. We had a decent time, but there's something about his demeanor that was reserved or disinterested (or just out of it). I wanted this to go well, but I honestly can't say it was anything more than friendly. He didn't say anything that indicated he wanted to see me again. So, should I wait to see if he'll contact me or do I write him back with some friendly banter? How much effort do I put in going forward?

1of1, as always, was happy to see me. I sensed a hidden boyish excitement and nervousness in him when we meet up. He may have even mentioned me to his mom (he asked if she'd heard of the company where I work). We sat for awhile, just talking. He told me about a conference he had attended during the week. I was surprised at how long he went on about it even though I'd never really asked anything regarding it in the first place.

After our stroll through the park, we stopped for restroom break at a cafe. I then suggested we stay for a drink on the patio. 1of1 was a little embarrassed to realize he'd left his wallet in his car. I happily paid for our juice, it was no big deal.

As we sat on the patio and he talked about his upcoming class reunion, I thought to myself that he's not so bad a guy - he's smart, clean, attentive. I thought, "maybe he will grow on me. Would it be so bad to be cared for by a nice guy?" We did chuckle and have a fun exchange of stories.

His height and his nerdy movements still bug me. At one point, we were talking about people in their 30s who still live with their parents. He said he has a friend who is basically "owned" by his parents. He lived away from his parents for undergrad, but otherwise has lived in the same room in his parents' house since he was a child. It's so bad that one time last year, he awoke and dressed as if he were intending to bike to school... high school that is. Then, he realized that he actually needed to drive himself to work. Yeah, *BIG SIGN* that he needs to get a place of his own.

This is when I got on my soapbox and said how I will never allow my grown children to live with me (except for short-term needs to due to finances, medical emergencies, etc.). I preached about how it's unhealthy for both sides. Now, what do you suppose 1of1 was thinking when I said this given that he's been living at home for more than two years now? Here he was commenting about friends and acquaintances of his as if they were in a different world. I asked him a little about his interactions with his mom. At one point, he paused, nodding his head, and said, "yeah, I know I need to get out. Maybe next year when my dad retires." (His dad travels for his job.) His mother thinks he should buy something now. His father thinks he should rent or stay at home until he gets married. I said nothing. Frankly, I didn't know what to say because it's just not very appealing to know all this.

Four hours passed and I decided it was time to head out. 1of1 asked if I wanted to get dinner, but I declined saying I already had plans. As we said our goodbyes, he asked if anyone was giving me a ride to the airport for my upcoming vacation. "Yikes," I thought, "this is a little soon for such a gesture." I told him my brother's giving me a lift. His hug was a little tighter this time.

Honestly, I'm dumbfounded as to what to do. The word "date" or "relationship" has never even come up in conversation. I don't feel like there's anyone I can confide with because I've gotten to a point where I'm uncomfortable revealing my dating life to my friends anymore. The married gals just don't seem to understand (or maybe they know something I don't want to hear). Tim is my best friend, but this is definitely something I can't discuss with him given our history.

When I have some time alone to think, I consider my situation. On the one hand, 1of1 does not fit the image of the man I want. It's like those factory irregulars you can buy for a discounted price. They explicitly remind you that the blemishes or flaws do not affect the performance of the product in any way. But I hate feeling like I have to settle for second best. That's when I try to ignore the little superficial things and think about what I need in a husband. I could have a nice life. Maybe it wouldn't have the passion or excitement I seek, but does that matter after a awhile?

Naturally, I start comparing guy I meet with guys I've dated. In this case, I think about two guys I've dated, both good guys but relationship where I had my doubts. There are times I think I kept myself in the earlier one because I thought he was a good candidate for marriage. He won me over with his thoughtfulness and romantic gestures. We got along well. There was nothing really wrong, but in the end he got cold feet as he realized it wasn't for him. We would have made for a nice, arranged marriage.

Then there's the ultimate comparison to Tim. He was very excited when we started dated. Admittedly, it scared me a little because he was so intense. At the same time, I'm glad he was so open about discussing the potential of the relationship. I'm not good at knowing how to bring up these topics and I didn't have to worry with him. Still, there was always this nagging feeling that he wasn't the one. We weren't in the same place, and my feelings of guilt forced me to break it off. We're best friends and I can't imagine life without him. Yet, as much as yearn for the idea, I still don't we could ever successfully get back together. Damn these unexplainable things! How much do I sabotage my chances for happiness by comparing new guys to Tim?

Between my upcoming travel and his, I figure I have a few weeks to think about the situation with 1of1. My gut says that this won't make me happy in the long run. Another side of me says that 1of1 is a good man that I should get to know better because he's someone who is compatible and would marry me. How many chances do I have left? Why pass someone up who willing to accept me and likes me the way I am just because he doesn't fit the mold? I want to be loved; I don't want to be alone anymore. Could this end up working if I stick with it a little longer?

Ever heard of the corn dilemma? You're walking through a field of corn. You must pick one ear of corn by the time you come out at the other end of the field. You may pick one and *only* one. You'll see ear after ear of big, juicy corn with perfectly straight rows of yellow kernels. So the question becomes, when do you know to pick a particular ear. I feel like I passed by the good corn and am now in a patch of slightly flawed corn, be it is small kernels, missing kernels, crooked rows, or discoloration. The edge of the field is in sight. Do I take the best among what lies in front of me, or hope that there are a few good ones left up ahead before I must exit the field?

Maybe I should ask my therapist for some mind-quieting medication...


zerodoll said...

first thing to remember is that even those "perfect" guys you passed by or didn't meet or whatever, are NOT perfect. there will be no one ever that meets every expectation/fantasy/wishlist that you have, nor will you meet theirs. if you're not feeling it, you're not feeling it, but are you sabotaging it b/c you feel like all that's left is seconds?

Pandax said...

It's a fair question, but I was open to both Designer and Strategist. I certainly didn't think of them as such. They're the ones who didn't show interest for me. Certainly, they aren't perfect either but I couldn't even get my foot past the door. I'm no spring chicken, but I don't think that means I deserve less than what feels right.

Pandax said...

I'm not that good of a writer. It's hard for me to convey what's going on inside my head.

I feel like I have to date this man. I have to because he's a good person, because he likes me, because this could be the best person out there for me, because I'm running out of time. Yet, I know it all sounds SOOOOO wrong because it's not fair to him. I'm playing games; I'm taking advantage of him; I'm not being honest. But when you get to where my head is, it's hard to trust your own judgement; it's hard to ignore what everyone else thinks is right and what everyone wants for you. I'm amazed you even bother to read this.

DonnaK said...

Didn't you used to be on the fence about Tim? He was a good guy but had all these flaws like being too short. Now you _yearn_ for him? How'd that come about?

If he was suddenly available to you now would you still yearn for him? Or would you focus on how he doesn't fit your pre-determined mold?

If you go back in time with Tim and were granted a second chance, would you do anything differently?

1on1 is a good guy who you get along with and who digs you. His biggest problems: living with his mom and being too short.

Is 1on1 your second chance?


Zerodoll is right. Read her words deeply. Every ear of corn has a some bad kernels, even those that appear perfect. Your choice is whether to obsess over the bad kernels, or to play them down and obsessively savor all the other great kernels, every day.

Your happiness with a mate -- and in life -- depends on this choice.

Pandax said...

Perhaps I write very unclearly... or perhaps I'm completely unable to comprehend English. I know my reply is just going to get me into more trouble, but it just feels like you all have a very different impression of the situation than me (or I just don't like what I'm hearing).

Isn't it an ideal for your SO to be your best friend? Sure, I occasionally consider what things could be like with Tim. You take me too literally - it's JUST a thought. It still wouldn't work out because we know we have differences in opinion that won't change. (And I'm not sure where I complained that Tim's short, but I know I've also written that I'm okay with his height.) I think "what if's" about several exs; it's how I identify good and bad to look for in the next relationship. Tim's the only one I happen to write about because he's still in my life.

After a few dates with Tim, I wanted him to kiss me; I liked holding his hand. His personality is particularly thoughtful and merry. The fact is, I have sense no attraction to 1of1. There are intuitive senses I don't always mention because they are impossible to describe. I can get along with a guy I meet at the bus stop, it doesn't mean he'd be a good partner for life.

1of1 looks good on paper - smart, stable, responsible, etc. It's the intangible personality traits that are missing which I've felt with other men within a few dates.

And let's leave "perfect" out of this. We all know better. Marriage is far from perfect but that doesn't stop me from wanting it.

No more comments from me on this thread.

Grace said...

Beware: as you get older, the corn gets scummier and scummier.

sorry - feeling sorry for myself on the same score, today.

but i know i would rather be alone for the rest of my life - and lonely at times, like i am today - than settle for scummy corn.

because *i'm* NOT scummy. even if my single status seems to infer that that must be the case.