And Finally, It Clicks

I recently read a book entitled It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single. Okay, whatever, I read most of it. Ugh, OKAY, so I actually only got through three chapters before my kindle loan on it ended. I got sidetracked by a true crime…and by a smutty book (don’t judge!). But really, three chapters was all I needed of It’s Not You. I was excited to read this book. Normally I don’t really go for “self-help” style books, but after hearing nearly every reason in the world on why I might be single (see: Dumb reasons people say you might be single) I decided I needed to be reassured that all those reasons were probably bullshit. Well, the author of this book did just that. She tells you that being too independent, being too needy, wanting it too much, not wanting it enough, etc., ALL OF THAT is all bullshit. HOORAY! Finally someone speaking some sort of sense! Three pages into this and I was like, ‘move over, To Kill A Mockingbird, this is my new favorite book!’ In fact, there are plenty of people who have baggage and are needy, and all the other things people tell you are reasons you aren’t meeting someone, who are in relationships. There are no set right or wrong’s when it comes to who you should be when you want a relationship. HOORAY, I shout to myself again. The book just keeps getting better and better, and I’m still only in the first chapter! But then, she drops in the one reason people are single… you just haven’t met the person you are supposed to meet yet.

WHAT?

NO. SERIOUSLY. WHAT?

That’s all there is? As soon as I read this, I’m irate. The author goes on to say you can look and look for that person. You can go to parties, you can join clubs, you can online date, you can put yourself out there all you want. And you can work on loving yourself, you can work on becoming more independent, you can work on sorting out all your “issues”, you can do all of the things people tell you you should do to be relationship-ready, but you really can’t force the matter because, eventually, you will just meet that person when you meet that person. Well, thank you, oh wise Buddha author lady for all your zen-like advice! I throw the book down and start furiously texting my other single friends and dropping this “revelation” on them. ‘So glad I didn’t actually purchase this book’ I start typing out, ‘Just haven’t met the person you’re supposed to meet yet? Well, THANKS for enlightening me! I mean, I’ve NEVER heard that before. Oh wait, I HAVE!’ Ugh. Like I said, I was irate. A lot of all-caps shouty texts were sent. Why was I so irate, you may ask? Well, because! Because if I just haven’t met the person I’m supposed to meet yet and it will only happen when it’s supposed to happen how can I make it happen already?!

And then, of course, it clicks. I can’t make it happen. Oh. So that’s what she was getting at.

It didn’t really click with me until a few weeks later. I spent a few days in a real huff. Then I spent a few more days focusing on my true crime and my smut to take my mind off the huff I was in. And then, I just kind of got it. Her book isn’t telling you that all the advice people give you, like love yourself first, and become more independent, and work out all your past dating issues, isn’t actually valid advice. It is valid. But, it’s not valid in the sense people typically give it out. Those things won’t make you become more dateable. They won’t magically make you find Mr. Right. If you want to love yourself more, if you want to be more independent, if you want to work out your issues, then do it! But, do it for you. If the real reason that your single is you haven’t met the person you are supposed to meet yet, then don’t put your life on hold waiting for this person.

Of course, it’s highly possible that, as with most self-help style books, I may have gotten all of this from her book (or three chapters I read) because this is what I needed to hear. Maybe, after endless frustrations with dating this last year, this was already in the back of my head, but I just needed to see it written out for me to accept this “it will happen when it’s meant to happen” type of thinking. As a person who is very impatient and who thinks they can make almost anything happen if they just try hard enough and, okay, is somewhat controlling, it is very hard to accept that there are things in this world that I want, that I really want, that aren’t in my control. On the other hand, it is kind of nice accepting this way of thinking. If all the reasons we are typically told we still haven’t found the one yet are wrong then finally I can cut myself a little slack for being a little too scared of being hurt and a little too slow to open up and a little too stubborn.

Realizing all of this has been a pretty huge weight off of my shoulders, but it’s not a cure all. It doesn’t make me anymore patient and stop wishing I’d just meet the person who is going to laugh at and love me for all my terrible puns and awesome pop culture knowledge already, but it does make me stop beating myself up for not having that person in my life yet. There’s no reason for me to change anything about myself (except for the things I want to change for ME!) because eventually, when that person comes along, he’s going to know that I’m a little too scared of being hurt and a little too slow to open up and a little too stubborn, and he’s going to love the shit out of those things.

An Open Letter To Everyone. Re: My Biological Clock

Dear Everyone ever to make jokes about women of a certain age and their biological clocks,

Last night I had a dream. I was back in Denver on a shuttle coming back from DIA with my ex. And our daughter. We weren’t back together, nothing about our relationship had changed…except we had this beautiful daughter. We were coming back from a trip to KC to have all my family celebrate her first birthday. Not much happened in the dream aside from the three of us riding in the shuttle but everything about it was incredibly vivid, especially the feeling that this little girl was my whole world. I woke up at 4a.m. and the dream was so realistic it took me a minute to remember that I wasn’t still living in Denver. And I don’t have a child. And lately I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking that’s something I’d really like to have.

As you can imagine, this was a hard way to start the day. I felt out of sorts through most of the morning and when I finally told my (mother of one and soon-to-be two) coworker who is the same age as me why I was so off today she laughed and said, “Oh your clock’s just tickin’ away, isn’t it?! Poor girl!” One of my male coworkers must have overheard us talking because he threw in his two scents as well, “You know, this is why a lot of guys date younger women. You gals in your 30’s are totally on the baby track. Like, what’s the rush?”

Okay, y’all. Two fuck you’s needing to be given there.

I know some people will read the previous paragraph and not find anything wrong with what my coworkers had to say and call me overly sensitive and ask if I’m PMS-ing. To that I say, ‘So what. I’m allowed to be sensitive.’ and, ‘No. I am perfectly level headed (and level horomoned).’ Here’s what upsets me about people being all non-nonchalant with their ‘ticking clock’ metaphors and their ‘what’s the rush’ pondering- for some of us, e.g. women, there is a ticking clock. Not all of us humans are afforded the benefit of being filled with sperm that can fertilize an egg until nearly the day you die (or even after death if you buy into Stephanie Meyer’s preposterous take on sparkling vampires). For women, our time to naturally conceive a child is finite. (And yes, I’ll probably be emphasizing naturally a lot because as well as realizing I would, in fact, like to have a child, I’d also like to have one naturally. No judgement to those that do, but I don’t want to be a woman in her 60’s going through IVF. No thanks!) Yes, there are some women out there popping out kids into their late 40’s/early 50’s (one woman even conceiving naturally at 59- with the help of estrogen. Oh, and let’s not forget about the woman who gave birth at 70 after IVF. Like I said earlier, nothing about this topic sounds great to me.) but, for most women, fertility begins to decline more rapidly after the age of 35 (or so Psychology of Human Sexuality 201 and about four hours of internet research and my OBGYN tell me). So excuse me, coworkers and other glib asshats of the world, but how can a single woman in her 30’s who might be interested in naturally conceiving a child NOT be on a one track mind at times?

Now look, I know there are plenty of guys out there in my position; single and getting to the age where they feel like they may need to start considering their options on having kids. And, I know there are a lot of married people in relationships who have to consider alternative methods for having a family. And people in same sex relationships who have just as much, if not more, as I do to think about when it comes to this subject. But, here’s the thing- I’m not speaking for them. This is my open letter, so I will gripe from my point of view only. The point of view of a single women in her 30’s who pretty much always imagined kids would eventually be a part of her life, but weren’t really something she needed to put a lot of thought into because haha, oh man, I’m totally still in my 20’s and I will meet someone I want to start a family with eventually and it’ll be no big deal!

But, suddenly I’m not in my 20’s anymore. I’m  getting closer and closer to the rapidly declining fertility age and have little to no patience for people who make jokes out of my biological clock. Those jokes aren’t quite as funny to a person who has to sit down and have serious discussions with herself that includes topics like, ‘What if I don’t meet the person I want to start a family with until I’m in my 50s? Or later? Or never?’ and ‘If I don’t meet anyone by a certain age, should I try to have a child on my own?’ And other fun gems like, ‘What if my doctor is right and I have a difficult time conceiving naturally? Is that a disappointment I want to put myself through? Would I want to try hormones or IVF?‘ (Yes, as if I didn’t already have enough fun things to consider when broaching the topic of possibly having children.) This isn’t like debating whether or not to buy the super cute but maybe overpriced weekender bag I’ve been coveting online or whether I should just go ahead and let myself eat one more cookie. These things aren’t decisions that can be laughed off later like oh silly me buying bags online again! No. These are serious, potentially life altering decisions I have to sit down and start making in the next few years. And maybe a few years doesn’t seem so long in the grand scheme of things, but for someone who just felt like they were in their 20’s and now, oh shit, it’s like eight years later already, a few years to figure all of these things out in is not a lot of time at all. It is like a clock ticking away, it’s quiet, but it’s there lingering in the background. It’s there and it’s a little stressful and scary and overwhelming. So do a girl a favor and don’t belittle that clock with your flippant remarks.

Ohh The Weather Outside is Weather.

That little asshole Punxsutawney Phil just predicted six more weeks of winter. My reaction to that?

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I think it’s fair to say I cannot stand winter. Nothing about it pleases me. Not the cold, not the fresh, white snow (that soon turns dirty and brown and lingers for weeks on end), not the shorter days, not ANY OF IT. All I ever want to do is curl up in my blankets and hibernate. Good ol’ KC is in the midst of a (mini) snowpocalypse and I am on the verge of tears thinking about the prospect of six more weeks of this cold bullshit, but fear that the tears would freeze to my face keeps them at bay.

Y’all might think I’m exaggerating my disdain for winter just a bit, but I assure you I am not. To further prove how much I loathe this season, and the prospect of an extension of it, I’ve put together a little list of things I’d rather do than suffer through six more weeks of these freezing temperatures…

Share a tuna fish sandwich with a jort wearing, open-mouthed chewing chap.

Go one month without Yellowtail Moscato.

Have a nun magically appear and give me the side eye every time there is a sex scene in a movie I’m watching.

Watch every single episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

Have all my socks suddenly be made of wool.

Never be allowed to eat peanut butter froyo again. Ever.

Spend 24 hours in a cave that reeks of curry.

Have all radio stations be set to play nothing but Norah Jones for one full year.

Have the last ten pages missing of the next ten books I read.

Never, ever, EVER get to see the final season of Sons of Anarchy. Okay, no, never mind. That clearly is pushing it too far. Unless, maybe that would earn me a life free of winters for the rest of my days… then sorry, Jax Teller, we are through!

Sigh. Six more dreadful, chilly weeks. How can a person be expected to make it through? Finding a way to make the cold and snow more sufferable isn’t easy, but there is a way… Put Charlie Hunnam in it with you and suddenly the snow starts looking a whoooole lot better.

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