Tuesday, October 6, 2015


“Gosh, you’re so lucky,” she said. “You seem so creative, such a free spirit. You get to do what you want whenever you want. To be completely honest, I must confess that nearly all the time I wish I lived alone. I hate cooking dinner for him, I hate finding wet towels wherever he decides to leave them, and sometimes I simply can’t stand him in general. It has gotten to the point that I even hate the way he smells. He just . . . stinks.” Her mouth turned down stiffly and her eyes scanned the room. “Why am I confessing this to you? Please never tell anyone I said that. Please. Never.”

"Okay, your secret is safe with me,” I said. “ But I think you’re totally overestimating how blissful my life is. A lot of the time—a lot of the time—it’s very lonely.”

"But I think I’d like a little bit of that lonely.” She then tried to talk me into trying one of those online dating sites, which didn’t make any sense at all. If she was so miserable being married, then she wasn’t doing a very good job convincing me to find a man of my own.

Yes, I am sometimes achingly lonely. I don’t feel lucky. Sometimes I really, really want to have someone to share my life. I haven’t been lucky that way and I don’t understand what I have done wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t be so dismissive and I should take my friend’s suggestion to try one of the dating sites, but … but it scares me. So I played with the idea of writing a profile for one of those sites and telling the brutal, unvarnished truth about myself. Something like this . . .

Lonely old woman who has failed in past relationships, not sure she even wants to try again, in search of someone who won’t be frightened off like the others. If you even bother to read this you should be aware of my many flaws:

I have an undeserved reputation as a great cook; I even write a blog on cooking (among other things) but I rarely cook anymore. It’s too much trouble and I’m sick of cleaning the kitchen. Last night I had a glass of red wine and a half a bag of coconut for dinner. Bon appetit!

It would be a very bad omen if you suggest going to a sushi restaurant. Sushi caused the abrupt termination of another possible relationship. (It could be because he was a totally inflexible jerk, but all I remember about him was that he insisted we go to a sushi restaurant when I said I didn’t like sushi.) In my mind sushi = bait.

I’m a beer snob. I would die of thirst before I drank either Budweiser or Miller Lite. I also won’t drink beer out of a can because it tastes like aluminum. (I once had a very short date with a guy who asked the waiter for two beers then asked what I would like. He had seven beers in less than 40 minutes. Don’t do that.)

Once attached, I don’t detach easily. This was pointed out to me some years ago by my psychiatrist. Yes, of course I saw a psychiatrist. You have a problem with that? I read some of my writing to that same psychiatrist and he just smiled and said, “Someday some wonderful man is really going to love you.” A woman remembers such things. I hope he is right. I’m still waiting. No pressure though.

I have little patience for people. I love my friends but I get really, really annoyed when they post inane things on Facebook including what they just had for dinner. I delete their posts so I don’t have to see them again. But if I post what I had for dinner, I’m hurt if they don’t “like” my post. My standard is double. For serious infractions—for example, if you post anything that hints of support for the NRA—I will unfriend you. No mercy, like the Queen of Hearts, “Off with their heads!” And speaking of social media—Facebook is all I can handle—I don’t tweet or twitter (is that the same thing?) and I don’t Instagram. I’m not even sure what Instagram is. Maybe I do it and I don’t know it.

I’m a horrible insomniac. I get up about 14 times before I settle in to sleep. I’m too hot, I’m too cold, I put socks on, take socks off, get itchy, need a drink of water, have a headache. In one of these fits of insomnia I might decide to start painting something at 2 a.m. It makes sense to me. You would hate sleeping with me almost as much as I would hate sleeping with you. That said, I would love to be proven wrong on this issue. The idea of sleeping all night beside someone I love is . . .  is enough to make me cry.

I don’t have a television so don’t ask me if I’ve been following the plot line on your favorite show. I don’t understand what people do who become celebrities and it makes me really angry that the family of O.J. Simpson’s defense attorney does whatever they do (no one can tell me) and they just pout and strut their fat derrieres in skin-tight clothes and make a lot of money. They seem a bit trashy perhaps. And their father/mother who was a man in the Olympics and is now a woman is so confusing. Please don’t bother trying to explain it to me.

I play banjo. Yes, really—this is not a joke. I play old-time banjo, Appalachian mountain music. No one ever knowingly enters into a relationship with a banjo player. I’m a music freak who will break into song at inappropriate times. Just ignore me.

I’ll do almost anything to avoid cleaning the bathroom. Please don’t pee on the seat.

You won’t be able to figure me out. I’m unabashedly Christian in a non-denominational church but I don’t fit the presumed right-wing evangelical stereotype. I love Jesus and I’m into peace and social justice and human rights. I’m also into contemplative prayer and very often I cry when I’m praying. It just happens that way—I feel the presence of God and I cry. I cry other times too when I’m just plain sad and I’m not feeling the presence of God.

I’m critical of others but I’m even more critical of myself. I’m dumber than everyone else and uglier than everyone else and horribly unaccomplished and without ambition. When my mouth opens, my foot starts moving in the direction of my mouth. That makes me want to stay home and avoid polite company much of the time.

I wear sensible shoes. They are not sexy.

I don’t travel much because I’m too darned comfortable at home. I like my own bed and hot baths and quiet. My house is sacred to me, my sanctuary.

Don’t get sick because I don’t do well with sick people. I once refused to believe my poor daughter and forced her to travel on Thanksgiving. She passed out and started vomiting at the hotel. I lose patience with my elderly mother who needs oxygen and a wheel chair. So I’m a bad mother and a bad daughter. I love my grandchildren and pray they don’t treat me the way I have treated other people.

Please consider the following assets:

I do like some things. I like cats. I like dogs too. And horses. I will sleep with cats and dogs but not horses.

I love the Rocky Mountains, the San Juan Islands, the Shenandoah Valley, and the Chesapeake Bay.

I love pasta and pizza and crab cakes. If ever I stoop low enough to cook, I can produce fabulous versions of any of the above. Don’t ask for sushi—we’ve already discussed that.

And you should know that some of the people who love me think that I’m very lucky. Maybe they’re right.

No comments:

Post a Comment