That strange week between Christmas and New Year really has me struggling this year of 2020.
What a big surprise!
I have been in my house now for 4 days and haven’t spoken to anyone using my actual voice. I have been feverishly making Spotify playlists thinking about all the moods I have and the kind of music I want to listen to when I feel that way. I am trying to give them “cool” titles. Yes, I am still preoccupied with being cool. I’m working on it with my therapist. My last appointment was on December 10th and my next appointment is January 8th and I have to say that, even though sometimes I start an appointment thinking “Why am I doing this every two weeks? I am totally fine.” I have come to realize that YES I do indeed need therapy every two weeks and thank god I have the means to do this because WOW sometimes my brain is a total asshole.
Anyway, close therapy parentheses, my playlists. So far I have:
They are not fascists
Slow dancing in the living room
This is country
J’affirme en toute cécité
Summer of love
Hip hop hooray
Ooh honey love - soul
High for this
You can take the girl out of the valley
Sad ass country songs
Left to my own devices
So yeah, four days with my Spotify membership and I now have 14 different playlists. I’m doing great! I’m fine! It won’t stop snowing and I haven’t been touched in 3 years. 3 YEARS (at least, who knows at this point).
Read the studies
You need 7 hugs per day.
Loneliness can kill you.
Being touch starved leads to both mental and physical issues
People are having less and less sex because SOCIAL MEDIA.
Dating apps give us this false sense of choice and abundance and grass is always greener syndrome so we just go on one date (if I’m lucky I get to a first date) and if it's not fireworks check please! Apps take away all of the ways in which humans seduce each other because we are presented with a curated image with a few insignificant prompts that we either put too much or not enough effort in. (Why is he always wearing a hat in all his pictures? Why is he holding a fish? Is that his kid? Did he crop a photo of him with his ex?) I already know what you do, your age, if you have kids and how bitter you are. OR I don't know anything except for one photo and that triggers a sense of mistrust. So I swipe for a few days, get maybe 3 matches and then I don’t get a hello. So, I make the first move. I am an independent woman. I can do that. But then it is like pulling teeth. Typical script:
Me: Hey! How are you?
Him: Good you?
Me: Good. I saw in your profile (insert profile specific prompt)
Him: Oh yeah (add one sentence here with no follow up question) then - What are you looking for on this app?
Me: Not sure, meet some people, get to know them, maybe have a connection and date
Him: (insert sexual innuendo)
Variation 2 (true story)
Me: Hey Joe
Me: Where you goin’ with that gun in your hand?
What am I doing wrong? AND if I make it clear early on that I am not looking for hookups they disappear. My dude I didn’t say I never wanted to have sex I just said I didn’t want to have sex NOW and with someone that doesn’t actually think I am fun or a nice person. Sex would be great right now but I just can't get used to sex with someone that won't look me in the eyes. I wanna make out not just have sex. Remember making out? Kissing, hand sliding into the front of my shirt, sitting on top of you, passing your hands down my back and my hands in your hair, making out?
I had a moment the other day thinking about all of the people who have told me that my standards are too high and to that I say: FUCK THAT SHIT. Yes, my standards are high. I have been taking care of myself for a long time. I have a good job. I read. I am doing my best to unlearn unhealthy behaviour. I am concerned with whether or not the person I am having sex with is experiencing pleasure. I am trying to be a good ally to BIPOC and LGBTQ2+ folks. So yeah I am doing my homework. I own art and have plants for fucks sake. I am not perfect, far from it but I will be goddamned if I am gonna date someone who is praised for doing the minimum.
You are probably thinking WOW this girl. Wait. I know a lot of great guys, not single, but great. Like really great. So I know they exist. They come in all shapes and sizes and I find them charming and funny and overall pretty wonderful.
I know single guys exist too but I don’t seem to know where they hang out or how to attract them. I haven’t been flirted with in a long time. I used to think this was a skill I excelled at. I used to even go so far as to describe myself as a bit of a player. Granted I haven’t always made the best choices but let’s not get into that here. But in the last few years (6 years) guys haven’t flirted with me and I seem to have lost my game. Do I come off (insert unattractive personality trait here)?
Bitter? Judgmental? Ok, maybe a little (I’m working on it) Uptight? Basic? A little too “conservative” (not politically don’t be absurd) Not at all. Funny? Thoughtful? Curious? Yes. Insecure? Yes. Passionate? Sensual? Yes, definitely.
I think about getting old too much. You see, I am generally attracted to younger men (older men too but I’m trying to make a point here) but don’t think they would ever be attracted to me (because I’m old and I have fat thighs and my boobs are saggy-ish and when I was young I thought I was attractive because of my personality but a tight ass certainly helped right?!).
And what about these “I have my shit figured out” types? What's up with them? I do not have my shit figured out. I could live in another city in a year, I could decide to live in Africa for work for 6 months, I’m still getting my tattoos sorted and I have just figured out what my skin routine should be. On the other hand, I know what my values are. I am self aware. I go to therapy (see above for frequency) I know that I am still curious. I still want to travel to a bunch of places. I try to discover new music and read as much as I can. I love all kinds of food and I would rather do something different every weekend than do the same thing all the time. I’m happy with participating in an activity or sport once or twice per season. The thing I do (did) most often is go see live music, go to the theatre and go spend time camping or at a cottage. But I wouldn’t give up going snowshoeing or bowling or go on a random hike or even play street hockey or anything really for those things. I want to do them all. When I read “I have my shit together” I’m actually reading “I have settled” and that’s scary to me. If I’m totally honest that’s not so bad. My anxiety likes routine but it doesn’t like boredom and doing the same thing all the time for me is death.
I was never self conscious about my body but the other day I went bra shopping and looked at my boobs in the change-room mirror under harsh white fluorescent light and was shocked. My boobs looked old. They are huge right now because I’m overweight and I feel like they sag. Will a man ever want to bury his face in them again? I came home and cried, like cried, from rage. When did this happen?
Oh wait wait...I am an insecure asshole, that's why I’m single. AND I’m obsessed with the fact that I am single. That’s hot (say in Paris Hilton voice) So isn’t this the exact moment when the handsome guy (Prince?) who loves to dance and has a British accent sweeps in and sees right past the walls that I’ve built and then I cry in front of him and he wipes the one tear off of my cheek and says: “You are so beautiful” and then it starts to rain and... Sorry what? Life’s not like a rom com? Right, right, riiiight!
So this pandemic, will it help? When we all get our vaccines and we can be out in public again will flirting be the new black? Are we all gonna go out with the extra pounds we put on or the flat abs we got because we had nothing else to do but eat/workout and just flirt the hell out of life? Like unabashedly flirt with men, with women, with anybody that catches our eye? Flirt like we did when the bars were dark and the music was loud and we felt like we owned the world and everybody wanted us. Can we do that? Let’s make a pact.
I solemnly swear that I am up for flirting. I want to feel desired again. Don’t you? Isn’t that what we all want? The kind of desire that is fun and that isn’t tainted with the risk of rejection. Light desire that makes you feel fierce and then when the moment and the person is right that desire gets electric. ELECTRIC.