Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Not Anti. Just Non.

I don't know...if I lived anywhere near the Black Bear Lodge in New York maybe I would have attended yesterday. Most likely not. But it gave me a cynical smile.

Having never had a "significant other," Valentine's Day used to depress me. I mean, talking about rubbing my nose in it! LOSER.

But I've gradually overcome the tears and self-flagellation that accompanied every holiday or event that is associated with a loving relationship. No one to kiss under the mistletoe or on the stroke of midnight. No anniversary of any kind to celebrate. No one to give and receive red hearts on February 14.

When family or friends gush over the thoughtful gifts received from their men for holidays or relationship milestones, I just think "that's nice." I no longer go into an envious blue funk.

I was very shy and quiet when younger. I had no idea how the dating thing worked. I didn't know what to say or do to make someone like me, so I did nothing. Making me a very uninteresting person. No wonder no one noticed or asked.

In my twenties and thirties I was left behind by friends who got married, bought homes, and had babies. I had nothing to contribute to coffee break discussions about husbands, paint swatches, or the color of poop. I was desperately lonely. And we all know how attractive desperation is.

I tried a pre-online dating service for one year. Only two men asked to meet me. I actually met one of them and we were mutually unattracted. I didn't find anyone who seemed a good match. Of the very few men I indicated interest in, none wanted to meet me.

At forty I gave up trying. I just did not get how women met unattached men who were on the same wavelength who would date age-appropriate non-models. The men I encountered did not interest me, or they were married, turned out to have fiances, or they were gay. My friends never introduced me to likely matches. I am not religious, so meeting men at church, synagogue, or temple wasn't going to happen.

The experts advise singles to pursue their interests or hobbies where they may meet the special one. Well, I couldn't afford the concerts and exhibits that interested me, they weren't much fun to attend alone anyway, and I didn't care to be traveling unescorted after dark. I tried raquetball when it burst onto the scene but discovered that it, too, was designed for even numbers. It seemed I was expected to produce a significant other to play against the husband of the woman I was signed up to play with. Huh?

Rather than be owned by a house (which would be the case on my modest income), I instead bought my first horse. If I was going to go broke, at least I'd enjoy it. Besides, the horse world is full of men! Um, well -- not so much. On the periphery are the husbands and married fathers of the horse owners. I am not at all on the same wavelength as cowboys and besides, I always wanted to ride hunter jumpers not western. Then there are the gay or married male horse trainers. And the happily married or much-divorced farriers, etc. So after 30+ years of involvement with horses -- I've encountered 0 unattached compatible men.

After all these decades, I still don't understand how single women manage to meet their "soulmate" outside of a Hollywood "romcom" script.

Thus...Valentine's Day for me is a non event. Not even worth a "Love Sucks" evening at the Black Bear Lodge or somewhere closer to home. Although the poster did make me a grin. With all the commercial hoopla associated with romance on Valentine's Day -- at least a few places gave a thought to singletons.

1 comment:

gowestferalwoman said...

Thank you for being honest on this post. Most people dont know what to say when they met someone who has never been married nor had a significant other after the age of 35...That being said, my husband and I have been married for 11 going on 12 years. He was 42 when he married me, his first. And last ;).

His family gave up on him and he gave up on the dating scene at about 35. It was 2 years later that he met me, while at a coed volleyball regular open court night at the gym . I was a very divorced never ever gonna get married not even date again working career girl, mom of 2 young daughters and 2 horses, one pony and two parakeets. He loved books, i loved books and somehow after one of us quoted shakespeare, we started talking about our favorite places to find old books across a volleyball net during a game lol. Eight months later we went out together on a book shopping trip, but it wasnt a date, it was friends. 3 months later he surprized me with a kiss, and I thought, well thats kind of nice... It was a great way to start out a real friendship that progressed to where we are today...I married my best friend, and he was glad that he waited for me all those years without knowing when I was going to "show up" lol...

"and they lived happily ever after!"