A friend of mine leaned in to inspect my hair the other day to exclaim “Wow, there’s some really blonde ones in there!” I am not a blonde. By blonde she meant gray. I am officially a 35-year-old single woman who often finds herself sleeping on the diagonal in a big king bed. After my birthday I even moved over to a new survey check box, the 35 to 44 range, as if to say “Congratulations! You’re getting old and soon we will be sending you some AARP invites”. I don’t feel much different but I guess this means I’ll be getting more ads for wrinkle creams and age “defying” make-up. I might not be on the Depends list yet but I’m only a few brackets away. The thing about checking a new age box is that it opens up this idea in my head that I should be checking off all kinds of boxes. After all, it’s only a few more brackets over and Wilfred Brimley starts slinging home testing medical supplies at me. It’s not all bucket list kind of checking though. Sure, there’s the travel list and the generic things to try at least once kind but the more I ruminate the more it becomes apparent the swooshes I want to ink out are more internal. I’m actively trying to live a “why not?” life instead of a “why would I?” life. There was a time when I thought I should keep my personal thoughts to myself, that it was better to be all locked in and locked down. But then I checked this new box and thought to myself “Self, what the hell?” So why not start a blog like the REST OF THE WORLD? Well, except I’m so far behind the technological times it might be retro now to start a blog. This might be my one and only post, or perhaps the introduction to a long string of ramblings to the fancy interweb, so bear with me if it comes off a bit long in the tooth for a typical 140 character post in our post-Twitter world. I like the words.
Hi. I am a 35-year-old never married (gasp!) woman who owns her own home, loves a big wine glass (though my liver probably hates me) with a low tolerance for bullshit. Oh, the low tolerance is probably where the still single part comes in. I think the rules for dating are fairly simple:
- Don’t be a jackass.
- Be interested or go away. Let’s not waste our time.
- Please refer to #1
Seems simple, right? The smart girl in me thinks so. The 20 years of dating girl says “Whoa there Tonto. That’s a lot to ask.” These are actually my top three rules for interactions in general with a few tweaks:
- Don’t be a jackass
- I don’t do small talk so don’t ask me about the weather. Look outside.
- Please refer to #1
But since I’m trying to keep with a concise theme for this first post let’s stick with the dating, the why the whole shebang is titled Sleeping on the Diagonal, and leave the musings of how most people in general suck for another time. Twenty years is a long time to date, and refuse to date, and try to date again. One more year and my dating life will legally have a margarita. On the rocks. With salt. She sure could use it. It’s years of committed relationships and not so committed ones. It’s people whose names are foggy because I didn’t start taking the Ginkgo Biloba yet. For a decade it’s my mother looking at me like “Hi, grandchildren?” Or, “Hi, are you straight?” I have no idea and yes. Its 20 years of everything from electrical engineers to ex-cons and everyone in the middle. It’s that one time I brought a date home and my roommate was drunk on the Tony Little Gazelle (a post unto its own) or the one and only time in my early twenties a boy left me in a bar by myself and I shook so hard in anger I couldn’t drive (I’ll title that one “Pothead smokes away his manners”). It’s 20 years of learning to do it myself and hardening my heart and trying to open it up again. Along the way I have learned and forgotten many a thing about dating but there are certain truths that shine through kids. Strong, independent woman are by no means ironclad. We know we are awesome and we do demand someone to be awesome in return. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt when Rule #1 is violated. We can be strong and still have moments of feeling less than. We just try not to show it as much. We do want to be pursued. More than anything we just want to be thought of. Here’s the thing, the dirty secret truth: a strong woman doesn’t actually need a man in her life but she still wants one. So if she invites you in to her life in some way don’t violate Rule #1. It’s better to sleep on the diagonal than suffocate as the little spoon.