this is mostly in response to this and the comments that followed...
a good long while ago now i started writing little letters to the man i'd one day marry (should i be so lucky).
and much as i do believe it'll be fun to one day give them to him, to one day laugh about them, they are mostly for me, now.
they are a backdrop against which i suss out what's important--what's of value. they are part stream of conscience, part scrapbook, part hope for the future.
and they have meaning--for me, they have meaning.
i'm not suggesting they should have meaning for anyone else.
i am not suggesting that all woman should want to partner off with a man. or that all woman should want to have children. i am certainly not suggesting that everyone should marry (modern statistics indicate that very few in fact should). only that these are the things of value in my own life. and certainly people can attempt to belittle and make small and devalue these notions, but i'm not sure that they have the right. in fact, i'm quite certain they don't. because i am not attempting to proselytize this way of life, truly i'm not, i'm just saying, hey, i think this might be important to me. i quite think i want that one day.
i dated a man one time who lived mere blocks from his parents. who had the keys to their apartment on his home keychain. who would pop over for sunday morning breakfasts or simply if the mood struck. and he had the audacity to suggest to me that i was too close to my parents. my parents, 1, 630.6 miles away.
he couldn't possibly have known what those 1,630 miles felt like, least of all because he never asked.
how easy it is for all of us to assume we know another's mind, another's heart.
someone recently pointed out that my letter's make me appear desperate. it is not the first time it's been suggested and i doubt it'll be the last. and so i gave it a moment's thought before realizing if i was truly desperate i'd probably be in a relationship now--probably would have been in many.
relationships for relationships' sake.
how many relationships appear perfect up until the moment they are over.
how many desperate women--desperate men--smile behind the facade of a seemingly perfect life?
i certainly don't know. and it's not for me to judge. we remain single--or with ill-fitting partners for a whole host of reasons, most deeply personal and not the right of the public domain.
sometimes someone will leave a lovely comment saying they are envious of my life and all i can think is no-no! you have no idea! it is tremendously difficult and there are some desperately low moments and i wouldn't wish this on anyone! and yet i wouldn't trade another's life for my own.
and so i want to say let's all enter into a tacit agreement shall we? i'll not wish for your life. and you'll not wish for mine.
i used to look at really thin women and say to tom, why can't i do that? obviously there are other women who are better than me--more successful. they are able to lose weight and keep it off. why can't i be like them?
and he would respond, okay, but you can't just take that bit of their life, you have to take it all. and you don't know what another's secret shame or great sadness is. you don't know another's addiction. you can't imagine another's loss.
and we all have something, don't we?
i consider myself a strong and independent woman. imperfect but also impossibly strong. relatively intelligent with an improbably fantastic group of friends.
but do i long for a man? yes, absolutely.
every shred of scientific evidence suggests that the reason we are here in this earth-bound-human-form is to make connections and form bonds. the bonds with friends being one, the bonds with family another, and the bond with a romantic partner all-together-different still.
i never realized that wanting a man--wanting to share my life with a man--made me less of a woman. made me somehow weak and an embarrassment to my sex. are the two things mutually exclusive? when did we as women do this too each other? is this the great, lasting legacy of women's lib?
because i don't want it. that's not the legacy i'll choose to take.
i am a strong, independent woman. and my desire for a man neither makes me more or less of these things. it simply is--and it is mine.
it makes me human. in need of sustenance. in the form of touch and affection and love.
but in wanting to find a partner--in wanting to choose the right partner--i want the man who compels me to be more. more of myself. who demands that i be as honest and as true and as good as i am capable of. and so in that sense yes, i want the man who will make an honest woman out of me. honest, having nothing to do with sin or sex or needing a man to complete me, but everything to do with allowing me to by myself--imperfect and messy and flawed in more ways the i care to share here.
i do want to take a moment to say this: if one more person says to me it'll come when you least expect, when you stop looking i'm gonna lose it. i can think of no more insulting cliche to throw at a single person. like saying, it'll be the last place you look for it. really, wow, thank you so much for the insight.
because to think that i haven't gotten to that place where i stopped looking, stopped searching, only to move on past it and circle back again more times than i care to count is a gross misestimation of me as person. i have felt deep affection for a great many men in my life. and i have found them when i was looking, when i wasn't, and at each of the many steps between those two extremes.